Welcome to the Blog Tour for Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours! I’m honored to have Steve stop by the blog today to chat about his book!
TWELVE WEEKS TO MIDNIGHT BLUE by Steve Searfoss
SERIES: KidVenture #1
GENRE: Middle-Grade Fiction
PUBLISHER: Independently Published
RELEASE DATE: Jan 26, 2020
Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.
KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.
Hi Steve! Welcome to the blog!
Steve: Apples. Before we moved, we had a couple apple trees in our backyard and my kids used to just pull apples off the tree and eat them. Always made me very happy to see that.
Carrie: My husband would love to have an apple tree in our yard – and I wouldn’t be sad about it either!
Steve: Here I’ll borrow my four year old son’s favorite answer: “both”. We enjoy Winter so much more after a hot Summer and vice-versa. The contrast is delightful.
Carrie: great answer! (although I’d never enjoy summer lol)
Steve: Dogs. We have two precocious and very social Labradors.
Carrie: i love Labs! so friendly!
Steve: Board game. We love playing board games. Whenever we get a new one we pretty much have to play it four or five times in a row to really understand the rules, and then how to use them to your advantage.
Carrie: we love board games too!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Steve: I would hope it’s writing!
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Steve: The history section. As much as I like fiction, I probably like history even more. It really is true that life is stranger than fiction. If you were to pitch some of the shenanigans of the late Roman Empire or the Peloponnesian War as a novel plot, you’d be told to tone it down to make it more realistic.
Carrie: lol so true!
Q: If I asked your characters to describe YOU as an author, what would they say?
Steve: I love this question. Good writing is about creating characters you fall in love with…and then making them struggle and suffer. So on a good day I’d hope my characters would describe their author as unpredictable, but also fair and loving.
Carrie: i love that answer 🙂
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in your book?
Steve: The first draft of Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue had only two main characters, a brother and sister named Chance and Addie. That’s how I grew up, my sister and I were partners in crime. When I read the first draft to my four kids, they were horrified. Why were there only two siblings? Oops. I went back and added a younger sister and a much younger brother who only make minor appearances in this first book, but will grow into main characters in future books.
Carrie: that’s the best kind of peer pressure haha
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue?
Steve: KidVenture books are business adventure stories where kids learn about starting a business and being entrepreneurs. There are a lot of lessons about problem solving, decision making and negotiating packed into the book. But there are also key moments when the characters wrestle with ethical dilemmas. I would hope kids reading Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue would not only pick up some good business tips, but also be inspired to think of themselves as moral agents with the power to do good.
For example, Chance gets a call from an old man who wants his pool cleaned. When Chance arrives, he realizes this man hasn’t cleaned his pool in years and it would take all day to clean up the mess. There’s no way this job would be profitable. Chance struggles with whether to just walk away, but after looking around and seeing how much this old man is struggling, he decides to spend the day cleaning his pool.
Here is how that scene ends:
“He seemed genuinely happy as he watched me work. Slowly his backyard came to life as I removed bucket after bucket of debris from his pool. After a while he was smiling wide, and I think he got inspired because he started raking his little patch of grass and tidying up the area around the pool. That was its own reward, to see a little bit of joy return to this old man, and to feel like I made a difference. Some payments are even better than money. I hope I never forget that. Business should be about more than just making money. Ultimately it should be about making people’s lives better…
Old Man Lee had been so grateful for the work I’d done, I almost felt bad taking his money. But I also knew I had worked hard to earn it. Both of those things felt good.”
I wrestled with how to end this scene. Should Chance have just offered to do it for free? He did spend a full day working. I didn’t want to send the message that he shouldn’t value his labor. He would quickly go out of business if he offered to work for free any time he thought one of his clients was struggling. But I certainly didn’t want him to just walk away either. Hopefully I found a middle ground where Chance respects himself enough to charge money for his work and sees that the service he provides has value; but he also understands having a business creates unique opportunities to go beyond the ordinary and do good.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Steve: The second KidVenture book, There’s No Plan Like No Plan, will be out soon. Chance & Addie are back for a new adventure. Riding high off of the success of their first business, they decide to launch a new venture, this time shoveling snowy driveways in the winter. They are full of confidence: they have a team of kids, a shed full of shovels, repeat customers, and, best of all, a great plan. But sometimes the perfect plan can get in the way of adapting to something as fickle as the weather. Will they learn to be flexible and figure how to make this new venture work? They’re losing money fast as new challenges pile up faster than the falling snow. Perhaps a curious new partner can show them the way.
(1) winner will receive a $25 Amazon Gift card!
(10) winners will receive a paperback copy of Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue!
Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight January 25, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on February 1, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US/CAN/UK/AUSTRALIA only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
This giveaway is hosted by JustRead Tours, not RimSP
Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!
What about you? What makes you want to grab a copy of Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss for a young person in your life?