Please join me in welcoming author D.J. Williams to the blog today to chat about family friendly action-thrillers and his new action fantasy for teens, Hunt for Eden’s Star!
HUNT FOR EDEN’S STAR by D.J. Williams
SERIES: Beacon Hill #1
GENRE: Inspirational Teen/YA Action Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: April 4, 2023
A coming-of-age teen is thrown into a world of ancient secrets when he discovers a supernatural artifact that protects a weapon of mass destruction. With the help of a diverse group of friends, he embarks on a global adventure, seeking the truth about his sister’s death, and uncovers two clandestine, supernatural societies waging an epic, hidden war that threatens the future of civilization.
D. J. Williams’s suspenseful, page-turning style whisks readers into a wildly exciting, supernatural adventure that grabs hold of the imagination and never lets go. As Jack races to collect ancient artifacts critical to the survival of the world, readers are transported to incredible locales across Asia, including the lush jungles of the Philippines and the high-energy streets of Hong Kong. Themes of addiction, revenge, faith, and friendship emerge as Jack battles literal and psychological demons, and even his own friends and family members, on his quest to thwart the forces of evil.
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KEEP IT CLEAN! WRITING FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTION THRILLERS
by D.J. Williams, author of Hunt for Eden’s Star
Ten years ago a spark of an idea struck with the young adult series I’m currently writing, Beacon Hill. It’s an unexpected story that refused to let go, even though it’s taken over a decade for this dream to become reality. Many years passed as the characters and world swirled in my imagination. As an author in both adult thriller and young adult action fantasy, the stories that capture my attention are ones rooted in themes driven by transformation of characters, immersive visual world-building, and an edge-of-your-seat plot that keeps readers turning the page. When I peer through the lens of family-friendly action thrillers, there are three main aspects to consider for writers who are passionate about reaching this audience.
Authenticity is a cornerstone to any story, whether it be on film, streaming, or within the pages of the next bestseller. It’s a guiding light in the late hours as writers stare at a blank screen in the quietness of the night. For a long time faith-based stories were wrapped in a bow for Christmas morning or were viewed on weekends on certain cable channels where the plot was predictable, and two hours later you were left wondering how it all wrapped up in the last ten minutes so perfectly. As a storyteller, I’m convinced just because it’s family friendly doesn’t mean it needs to be unexciting or surprising. The more authentic a story becomes, the more the entire family relates to the twists and turns in an entertaining adventure.
On many days while writing book one, Hunt for Eden’s Star, I thought about this as I worked hard to create a series that isn’t strictly for young adults but is one the whole family can enjoy together—now that’s family friendly. How is this accomplished? Diverse characters. You see, characters are the ones who bring authenticity to life even when tackling tough topics or themes. We don’t have to dig deeper into the darkness and remain stuck in despair, we can offer a glimpse into this world and offer characters a choice—oftentimes the choices become relatable to readers or viewers which only adds to the authenticity of the story. Whether a character is dealing with addiction, anxiety, depression, loss, fear, or other challenges, there is an opportunity to walk through the darkness in an action-packed thriller toward the light. How a character reacts to those moments on the edge drives the narrative, and the more they are pushed to choose, the more thrilling the story becomes for everyone.
While storytellers want characters to reflect the real world, when creating family-friendly action thrillers, it’s critical to offer ways for the characters to move forward, transform, and evolve so by the end of the story they’ve become more than who they were when the story began. You never want your characters to remain static—whether good or evil—for the entire story. One might find these moments in a climactic moment of triumph or in other moments which lead to heartbreaking tragedy. Too often, the easy way out is to take characters to an extreme through explicit language, sex, drugs, and whatever else is scandalizing in today’s culture. But I would challenge storytellers, especially those with a faith perspective, to push those boundaries to the edge without crossing to the other side. You can be more creative in communicating the struggle while offering hope.
A thriller rooted in authenticity and believable characters leads to an action-packed adventure that pushes entertainment to another level—whether it be a hero BASE jumping to escape a barrage of bullets or racing through the streets of Tokyo to save someone they love. You can keep it clean while leaving readers or viewers breathless. Oftentimes the story becomes even more exciting and stronger when creativity entertains all ages. It’s what I’ve discovered as I’ve been writing Beacon Hill.
D. J. Williams was born and raised in Hong Kong, igniting an adventurous spirit as he ventured into the jungles of the Amazon, the bush of Africa, and the ancient cities of the Far East. His global travels submerged him in a myriad of cultures, providing a unique perspective that fuels his creativity.
As an executive producer and director, Williams has produced and directed over 500 episodes of broadcast television syndicated worldwide. Residing in Los Angeles, he continues to develop new projects for television, film, and print which are being pitched to major studios, streaming companies, and publishing houses. Hunt for Eden’s Star, the first book in D. J.’s Beacon Hill series, published with Tyndale House Publishers on April 4, 2023. Visit D.J. at djwilliamsbooks.com
Tyndale House is offering a print copy of Hunt for Eden’s Star by D.J. Williams to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read Hunt for Eden’s Star by D.J. Williams?