Guest Post & Giveaway: David Estes, Author of Fire Country: 10 Slightly Weird and Moderately Funny Things My Readers Probably Don’t Know About Me

David Estes was born in El Paso, Texas but moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when he was very young. He grew up in Pittsburgh and then went to Penn State for college. Eventually he moved to Sydney, Australia where he met his wife.
A reader all his life, he began writing novels for the children’s and YA markets in 2010. David is a writer with OCD, a love of dancing and singing (but only when no one is looking or listening), a mad-skilled ping-pong player, and prefers writing at the swimming pool to writing at a table.
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Hello! *waves* I’m extremely excited to be here today, and I want to thank Lade for having me on this awesome blog! The topic I was given is 10 Things My Readers Probably Don’t Know About Me! I will try to keep my responses as absurd and as entertaining as possible

Must I say more? Hammocks are a slight obsession of mine. I see one and I’m drawn to it like a dog to an interesting odor. All I want to do is settle down into its soft, swinging comfort for just a moment or two and then…zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Don’t believe me? Ask my wife, Adele. When Adele and I were in Mexico last year, we visited a beautiful cenote, which is a freshwater, mostly underground pond/river sort of thing. SOOO beautiful! Sparkling, clear, turquoise water, incredible rock formations, snorkeling, little fishies that nibble the dry skin off your feet for free (not like those $100 day spas), and— Oh wait! Is that a hammock? *Runs off leaving Adele still snapping photos* Yeah, I saw a hammock at that cenote, and while Adele enjoyed the beautiful water, I napped in comfort and style. In fact, my Goodreads author profile photo is of me in that very hammock, only you can just see my face. Adele snapped the shot just as I opened my eyes from my nap.

My love/hate relationship with cats!
OK, there isn’t really any hate in the relationship. I love love LOVE cats! Especially kittens. They’re so cute and have unique and hilarious personalities. They like to play and sleep (both things I like to do, too).
And yet, my body HATES them. I have bad cat allergies. Adele is a cat lover,too. Everywhere we’ve gone on our two-year trip around the world (we’ve been travelling for 16 months), seems to have cats, and I always fall in love with them. Only problem is, then I have a runny nose and itchy eyes and hives…misery.
But I don’t think I’ll ever learn, so I just keep on keeping on, popping allergy pills like vitamins and hoping that one day I’ll outgrow my allergy.

I cried during Armageddon! And Titanic and Stepmom and a whole bunch of other emotional movies.
I’m not afraid to admit it: I’m a Sad Movie Cryer! Perhaps I shouldn’t be admitting it. Perhaps you’ll think less of me. Perhaps it’s a blight on my manhood. But I don’t care! I like sad movies and I like when my cheeks are stained with salt when they’re over. And oh my gosh, when Bruce Willis is talking to Liv Tyler on the screen just before he blows himself up to save the world…how could you not cry?!

Spelling Bee Champion!
Okay, okay, it’s not like I ended up on that National Spelling Bee competition they have on ESPN every year with the kids that whisper into their palms and ask for “language of origin, please”. But I did win a few at my elementary school! I pride myself on my spelling ability and hate when I’m defeated by spell check.
(Note: if you catch a spelling error in this post, blame my speedy and somewhat reckless typing, not my spelling.)

I should’ve been born in Canada!
In reality, I was born in El Paso, Texas, very close to the border of Mexico. Hot sands, scorched earth, cacti. And yet, after my family moved to Pittsburgh when I was very little, I became obsessed with hockey. I love all kinds of hockey, ice and roller and floor. I love watching as much as I love playing.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are my team of choice and it was such a thrill to watch them win the Stanley Cup just before I left the U.S. to move to Australia! So yes, I think I should have been born in Canada.

Shower acoustics!
I am such a good singer…in the shower. When the slight tingy echo takes my deep, narrow range and amplifies it, I almost consider trying out for American Idol. And then the moment I step out of that warm cubicle, it all falls apart. So I’ll keep singing in the shower daily, but you won’t see me at an open mic night anytime soon.

Young at heart! Although I’m 32 now, I seem to relate much better to kids than adults, which is perhaps why I write Young Adult and Children’s fiction. Whenever Adele and I visit family, I usually end up spending more time with their kids than with them. Imagination is an important part of my life, and I find kids are more receptive to me using it 24/7

Warm water/cold water!
I love warm water! Jacuzzis and hot tubs and bath tubs…ahhhh! I could sit in them all day with a good book, until I’m beyond the point of pruniness. While Adele is swimming laps in the pool, I’ll undoubtedly be in the hot tub.
Cold water? Brrrrrr! No thanks. I hate it with a passion. Even water that most people wouldn’t probably consider cold is freezing to me. So keep it above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, thank you very much. NOTE: if I am forced to swim in cold water, I prefer to jump right in and get it over with. A slow and steady walk into the water will only send me running back to my towel before it even gets to my knees.

Paper or plastic?
My first job was a bagger at a grocery store called Shop ’n Save. Me and my bagger friends prided ourselves on our ability to bag efficiently and with “like items” in the same bags. Nothing heavy near bread or eggs. Frozen items together. Don’t make the customer wait long after they’ve paid. But our favorite duty was cart patrol, collecting carts from the cart returns, stringing them together and pushing a mile-long train of carts back to the front without dinging up any cars in the parking lot. Now they use those machines that push the carts for them. Cheaters!
And my most feared announcement over the speaker system: “Clean up in Aisle 8!” Yeah, it was always the pasta sauce or pickles or eggs. Something smelly.

The dry author!
I’ve never, not once, had a sip of an alcoholic beverage. How I made it through four years at Penn State for college and three years working in Australia is a wonder. I’m not particularly religious, but it’s a lifestyle choice I made a long time ago, and I’m sticking with it. So though I may never experience a real hangover, I get book hangovers all the time, from staying up until the wee hours of the morning finishing a great book. Whew! I felt like I was baring my soul! Okay, maybe that’s a bit melodramatic, but it was somewhat intense sharing all these random things about me. I hope you all enjoyed it and learned a few things about me you didn’t know before.

Thanks again to Lade for having me on this awesome blog!! I pledged when I started writing to always respond to readers, and love getting comments and questions, so please contact me using one of my favorite social networking sites above. And if you enjoy YA dystopian books like The Hunger Games or Divergent, check out my list of 14 published books below. As always, happy reading!!

Other YA Books by David Estes!The Dwellers Saga
Book One—The Moon Dwellers
Book Two—The Star Dwellers
Book Three—The Sun Dwellers
Book Four—The Earth Dwellers

The Country Saga
Book One—Fire Country
Book Two—Ice Country
Book Three—Water and Storm

The Evolution Trilogy
Book One- Angel Evolution
Book Two- Demon Evolution
Book Three- Archangel Evolution

Children’s Books by David Estes
The Nikki Powergloves Adventures
Nikki Powergloves- A Hero is Born
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Council
Nikki Powergloves and the Power Trappers
Nikki Powergloves and the Great Adventure
Nikki Powergloves vs. the Power Outlaws (Coming soon!)

He is giving away one ecopy each of:
The Moon Dwellers [Book 1 in The Dwellers] and
The Fire Country [Book 1 in The Country Saga]

Enter Giveaway here


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