Monday, September 17, 2018

Realm Explorers Part CXV: Visit Myrtle Beach with Kandi J Wyatt

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: Kandi J Wyatt

Title of book and/or series: An Unexpected Adventure, book 1 of Myth Coast Adventures trilogy

Brief summary of the story: When four eighth graders discover a dragon’s egg, they must choose between protecting their treasure from the NSA or protecting their town from a growing dragon!

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: The story takes place in modern-day in a fictionalized town on the Southern Oregon Coast called Myrtle Beach. It’s rural America at its best.

If we were to visit Myrtle Beach as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there? Well, since Myrtle Beach is so small, you’d not want to blink or you may pass it without realizing it. First off, you will want to slow down as you go through town. Being right on the highway, it’s easy to zip through town, but officers have been known to patrol, so be careful and do observe the speed limit.

Second, you’ll want to wave at people who wave to you. Yep, it’s that kind of a small town where everyone knows everyone and a friendly hi is acknowledged. People will notice you’re a stranger, and they’ll want to know where you’re from. Be polite and kind in response.

For a day of fun in Myrtle Beach, start up Myrtle Mountain and watch the sunrise at Camp Pinewood. Maybe even come during July when there are camps in progress. Then carefully come down the mountain—you don’t want to run into any livestock trucks on the windy road. Next make a stop at Myrtle Creek Coffee and pick up a chai latte, hot cocoa, or coffee, whichever is your flavor for a hot drink. Take your drink with you down to the docks and visit Carl’s Crab Shack. You may run into Will, unless he’s out on one of the boats. He may be willing to take you deep sea fishing or crabbing. If you don’t get out on the ocean, be sure to swing by and see the lighthouse. It’s no longer functioning, but the historical society keeps it maintained. About lunch time, head to the market and be sure to grab their turkey sandwich with homemade mustard and pickles. If turkey’s not your favorite, go for their famous hot dogs. You can either eat it there at the deli tables or take it to-go and head either to the beach or Myrtle Lake. If you have more time to spend in the area, go south about an hour and enjoy a trip up the river on a jet boat. It’s a tradition for the eighth grade class to take a fieldtrip at the end of the year and ride the boats.
What dangers should we avoid in Myrtle Beach? Probably your biggest threat would be the tourists, oh wait, did I say that? Sorry, really Myrtle Beach is the best little town because there are no real dangers. If you go out of town and up the mountains cougars, coyotes, and bears roam and often prey on the livestock, but that’s really it.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Myrtle Beach? Not unless you make a stop at the restaurant or the market. The market sells wonderful sandwiches with a homemade, spicy mustard that’s delicious. The restaurant has wonderful tacos, pizza, and a breakfast selection.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Myrtle Beach? There’s nothing special as far as fighting or weaponry. Most farmers own shotguns and hunting rifles, and every so often will threaten trespassers with them.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Myrtle Beach? If anything, technology can be limited in Myrtle Beach. Cell service is sketchy up the mountains, and most homes have landlines as well as cells. Internet has reached the area and kids use instagram and other social media sites.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Myrtle Beach that we don’t see on Earth? Well, the kids go looking for thundereggs. No, that’s not where Thunderbirds come from. They’re the state rock. They look like eggs, but when you crack them open they’re hollow and have gems inside of them—usually just crystals.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Myrtle Beach?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used. Up until just recently, the residents of Myrtle Beach would say magic was for fantasy books, and the supernatural was only seen in answers to prayers. However, over the last month or so, some strange things have been happening. The kids discovered a dragon egg that somehow came through a time-space continuum. Just imagine what kind of havoc a grown dragon could have on sheep and cattle ranches in the area!

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Myrtle Beach?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples. Up until Harley met Professor Raleigh, there was no unusual technology, but the professor has a gun that shoots a sticky web to ensnare his prey.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Myrtle Beach. Harley plays both soccer and track. His friend, Chase, goes hunting all year round, while Will works at the crab shack and loves to fish. Some kids at school know how to wind surf and enjoy that out on Myrtle Lake, and others surf in the ocean in the town south of Myrtle Beach. If you’re in the area in the summer, you may be able to go hear a band perform at the Skillet Restaurant.

Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Myrtle Beach as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there? Yep, everything is the same there. The big celebration is the 4th of July. It starts with a parade, dinghy race, barbeque in the town square, and beach volleyball in the afternoon. The final event is the fireworks show which lasts for a whole hour and explodes over the ocean.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Myrtle Beach?  Please describe what it involves. Just like everywhere in the United States there are various religions. There’s only one church in town, and the pastor often jokes that he’s the best preacher in town, since he’s the only one.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book? Myrtle Beach is inspired by my own town of Langlois, Oregon. The characters came from students at the school where I work. Several of them didn’t like to read or would avoid it if at all possible. So, I wondered if they’d read if I wrote them into a story. They’ve promised me they just may read it.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book? None in this book, but book 2 has one of the main characters worrying about her parents’ health. If anything, the fact that a teenager carries a gun could be considered controversial, but it is very much rural America, and I wanted to stay true to that.

Author Autobiography: Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links. My books are available in all formats (paperback, ebook, and audiobook for the first three of the Dragon Courage series).

Dragon Courage Series

Biblical Retellings:

Where can readers connect with you online? 

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Myrtle Beach.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima


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