{Blog Tour} Spotlight + Interview + Giveaway: Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves by James Matlack Raney

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Thank you to Sarah of Smith Publicity and James Matlack Raney for the chance to join the blog tour for Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves! I also have a giveaway for a paperback and an an ebook open internationally so watch out for that! Come on and join me for an interview with James!

Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves
Title: Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves
Author: James Matlack Raney
Date of Publication: September 28, 2012

Young Jim Morgan loves everything about his life: ignoring his old tutor’s lessons, flaunting his new clothes, terrorizing his servants, and perfecting the fine art of snobbery. But the night his father returns from a mysterious sea voyage with the secret to a vast pirate treasure, Jim's world is thrown upside down.

Now Jim must escape the clutches of his father’s wicked enemies, decipher the magic of a gypsy witch, hide from a shadowy pirate and his talking raven, and outwit the King of Thieves and his army of pickpockets.

If he is to survive, Jim must learn to trust new allies and discover the power and magic of true friendship. And through it all he may, just possibly, uncover a hero hidden within him, and live an adventure beyond his wildest dreams…

Purchase from Amazon

Praises for Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves

“Full of energy and a sense of wonder.”
-- Publisher’s Weekly

“Beautifully written and perfectly paced…a must-read for everyone who loves to step into a world colored with a little magic and a lot of adventure.”

“A rip-roaring good tale for children of all ages.”
-- Kirkus Reviews


Today, I have an interview with James! Check out his insightful answers about Jim Morgan and about himself!

Why did you write this book? Is there any “back story” that inspired you to write this book?

There were two events in my life that most inspired the themes in this novel.  The first was the death of my father when I was six years old and the second was my childhood spent traveling the world in an army family.  It was growing up on that rootless, gypsy path that led me to a place in my young-adult life where I discovered my identity on my own terms, wrestling with whether or not my father would have been proud of me.  That journey inspired and continues to inspire Jim’s adventures.

Why do you want to be a writer?

I suppose the simplest reason is that I love writing! I find so much joy in taking the pictures and thoughts in my mind and making them real through the power of words.  I guess if I were talk about why I want to write as a profession though, I would say it would simply be for the chance to add my voice to the human conversation – a small voice, granted, but a tiny part of the chorus nevertheless.

What will readers discover in the sequel to Jim Morgan and the King of Thieves?

About a year has passed between the first novel and the start of the sequel, so Jim is almost thirteen.  If I were to use one word to describe the next book it would be “more:” more pirates, more magic, more adventure!   However, I’m especially excited for this novel because I think I've been able to include all of that fun, popcorn stuff and yet still keep the emotional center intact, and those are really the best kind of stories.

Why did you make the choice to self-publish?

Well, being rejected about 90 times helped make the choice more obvious!  But truthfully, after all those rejections I nearly gave up on my novel.  It was a good friend that talked me back into the idea of trying to publish Jim Morgan on my own.  It was a hard decision to make though, because I had really bought into that myth that all self-published writers must be hacks that couldn't cut it in the “real” publishing world.  But experience helped me realize that first, not everything that makes it through the gatekeepers of literary agencies and big publishing houses is necessarily good, and second, not everything rejected by those groups is turned away because it’s bad.  Once a writer understands that I believe self-publishing becomes a more appealing road for the daring artist willing to hold true to the story they long to tell and willing to work twice as hard to see it brought to life.

How would you introduce readers to Jim Morgan?

When we first run into Jim, he ranks somewhere between a spoiled brat and an unholy terror, which is part of what makes him so much fun to write.   You know, he’s not that completely innocent kid that immediately melts your heart with pity – Jim’s got an attitude and maybe even a few delusions of grandeur.  But behind the eleven year-old bravado I think Jim’s like many of us were at that age: he’s a little lonely and just trying to figure out who he is and what he’s made of.  But unlike most of us, Jim goes through some really tough, really dangerous and fantastical obstacles on the way to figuring some of that out.

Did you always want to write for this age group? If not, what brought you to that decision?

You know, I never consciously decided that this book was going to be for kids.  When I was growing up, I wasn’t aware of this hard line between Young Adult, Middle Grade, etc.  To me, there were the little kids books (which I didn’t like so much) and then there were just books, and I loved reading books.  That idea has really carried over for me into my writing.  Yes, the hero, Jim Morgan, is 11 years old, but I didn’t want to write just for 11 year-olds.  I wanted to write a good book that someone of any age could enjoy.  Hopefully I accomplished that.  Of course, one nice thing about including young readers in your audience is that their imagination is so fertile. Some of the questions kids have asked me about the book have been really amazing!  When I was younger, reading books would really whisk me off to other worlds where anything was possible, and I would love to give that same experience to young readers from this generation.

Thank you so much, James! I will be reviewing Jim Morgan soon and I can't wait to get to know this wonderful character!

About James Matlack Raney

James Matlack Raney grew up all over the world, including Europe, Latin America and Africa, before winding up in the mysterious land of horses and bluegrass (otherwise known as Kentucky). These days, he calls Southern California home, and spends his time writing adventures…and occasionally living a few of his own.


James and Sarah of Smith Publicity has been very generous and offered a paperback and an ebook copy up for grabs! So this giveaway is OPEN INTERNATIONALLY (!!!!! yey!) and ends May 31 so you have a little over two weeks to join. There will be TWO WINNERS, with the first place getting a paperback and the second place will get the ebook. Good luck!

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Follow the Tour

Check out the next stop tomorrow at Tracy's Nook!


  1. Jim was a wonderful character and the story was spectacular. Anyone would love this book and I can't wait for the sequel!

    Great interview :-)

  2. Wow! I can't WAIT to read this! I love that cover, too ; )
    I'm definitely adding this to my TBR list immediately!
    I wonder what kind of events or people in the author's life inspired them to write this book!?
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  3. My granddaughter thinks it would be a good book to read about Jim and his adventures and his attitudes that he can do anything. WOuld be fun...

  4. I like the interview. His perspective on self-publishing was neat to read!

  5. Fantastic interview! Mr. Raney's book definitely delivers what it claims, and then some. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I've recommended it to my students, some of whom who have read it. Bravo, sir!


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