Interview with author, James Blackburn
James Blackburn is an elementary school teacher in South Orange County, California. He was born and raised in Laguna Hills with his triplet siblings, Juliana and Justin. James graduated from California State University of Fullerton with a B.S. in Child and and Adolescent Development. While in school, James spent many years working as an instructional assistant for students with moderate/severe disabilities. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree, he pursued a career in law enforcement and became a probation officer for the San Bernardino County Probation Department. He would later return to the field of education at National University to obtain his master’s in special education and a moderate/severe education specialist credential.
To learn more about James Blackburn, visit his website here.
Also stay tuned for James’ IOS app, Drake Jump!
Sky Dragon is a story about a dragon named Drake who is born with a lame wing. What happens when Drake can’t fly to get back home to his parents? Drake uses both bravery and courage to navigate back home. This book is about overcoming obstacles and highlighting abilities and not disabilities!
I wanted to ask James more about his book and what inspired him to write this story.
What inspired you to write Sky Dragon?
My students were my inspiration to write Sky Dragon. These individuals work hard everyday to accomplish their goals. The dedication they have for being successful is infectious and influential!
You have an interesting background as a educator and also a probation officer. How have your diverse careers influenced your storytelling?
While working as a probation officer, I met a lot of individuals who had their own struggles to face. Many of them brushed their pasts aside; however, those who worked hard and persevered to make a difference in their lives influenced my own perspective of bettering myself. Everyone has a vine to climb.
What would you like children to learn from your book?
Nothing worth while in life comes easy. This includes success. Dedication and perseverance are crucial to overcoming hardship. As such, living with a disability can make the journey even more difficult. Life is a journey. Be prepared to Climb the Vine!
Why did you choose your dragon as your main character?
Dragons have always been a symbol of fantasy that I have admired. Every person shares the privilege of indulging in fantasy. While the message of Sky Dragon rings true to many of those who struggle with disabilities, it is important to find a way to indulge in fantasy that is relatable. Dragons are completely mythical beings. To display one that, while mythical, shares a disability is an honor.
Grand Prize Winner: Submitted by artist quailqin (Tina Qin). This Teaser trailer for the book encompasses the struggle of climbing the vine! You can visit Tina’s YouTube channel for more videos at her Qin Tina channel. The trailer is posted on her YouTube channel as well. Please visit her channel to view an I cropped version of her teaser trailer!Thank you Tina for this amazing piece! Gran Prize Winners will receive a signed copy of the book prior to release date and an Amazon Kindle Fire tablet!#climbthevine
Posted by Sky Dragon on Wednesday, December 11, 2019
affiliate link in post