Arkansas Author: Barbara Youree
Book titles and publishers:
Courageous Journey, Walking the Lost Boys’ Path from the Sudan to America (Co-authors and subjects of this non-fiction book: Ayuel Leek Deng and Beny Ngor Chol) New Horizon Press, 2008
Race to Glory, Red Willow Press, to be released near the end of 2011
FAN: You have a wealth of writing experience. Can you tell us about your most recent book about the Sudan and also about the YA book coming out? Please include a brief plot synopsis.
Synopsis of Courageous Journey: Bombs crash in the dead of night, destroying Ayuel’s village in southern Sudan. At a cattle camp, Beny runs from savage attackers wielding axes and guns. Along with thousands of other displaced children in the civil war (1987-2005), they walk across deserts, swamps, and jungles—menaced by wild animals, disease and starvation. The two young boys meet months later and become life-long friends at refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. The two boys strive to get a good education and rise to positions of leadership in their teen-age years. Hope and perseverance bring them to find sanctuary in the United States.
The book was endorsed by President Jimmy Carter.
Synopsis of Race to Glory. This YA novel captures the thrills of competing in the Olympic Games in first-century Greece. In addition to competition between two friends, the reader will find a love story, conflict with the teen-age Nero, a trip to the oracle at Delphi, and a few guest appearances of Saint Paul.
FAN: What inspires you to write?
Youree: An idea usually comes to me by way of an event or experience. It plays around in my head for a few days or years. Then it must come out, sometimes as fiction, sometimes non fiction. Often when I begin writing, the original idea never makes it to the final version.
FAN: What advice do you have for others in the Natural State who might want to write?
Youree: Read lots of books in your chosen genre. Go to writing conferences. Join a writers’ critique group. And, most importantly, feel passionately about what you write.
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