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Fanbase Press Interviews Creola Thomas on the Release of the YA Adventure Novel, ‘Adventures with the Shortiez’

The following is an interview with writer Creola Thomas regarding the release of the young adult fantasy adventure novel, Adventures with the Shortiez. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Thomas about her creative process in bringing the Chicago-based story and characters to life on the page, what she hopes that readers will take away from the story, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of Adventures with the Shortiez! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?

Creola Thomas: Adventures with the Shortiez: Portal to the Unknown World is a fantasy fictional novel that creates a tapestry of wonder and suspense. The story takes place in the heart of a working-class West Side community in Chicago. The neighborhood has long been legendary, with many stories told of hidden worlds within.

After a group of misguided pre-teens gets in trouble again – as this is what they are known for in the hood – they find themselves face-to-face with some of the strangeness the community has whispered about for centuries. They are pulled into another world, the mystical “Learned Kansan,” before they can get home to face the consequences of their choices. As all is not what it appears to be in Learned Kansan, the thriller aspect adds a heartbeat to the story, keeping readers eagerly turning pages to uncover the next twist.

Growing up in the heart of the West Side of Chicago, what held together my sanity was the power of storytelling. I spent hours reading The Little Rascals and Nancy Drew mysteries, way past my bedtime. I enjoyed stories that not only made me laugh, but forced me to think and figure out clues, or solve a good mystery. I write to share a little of the magic I experienced growing up with kids across the world, and hope they too will find that a good book can transcend poverty, hate, and segregation.

BD: What can you tell us about your creative process in bringing this world and its characters to life on the page?

CT: Good writers are good listeners, and everything around you speaks. Sometimes before I write, I take a walk to the park and just listen to what’s happening around me. My creative process starts with choosing just to write, and let the characters speak for themselves. It’s the freedom of writing and giving your characters a place to breathe; when you think of it this way, writing has a much higher purpose.

BD: What encouraged you to select Chicago as the setting for this adventure, and what did you most want to represent about the city to readers?

CT: I chose Chicago because I grew up there, and Chicago was a wonderful place to grow up. It held together family, faith, and friends, and that’s important for people living in other places to learn about.

BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel the Drake Street Shortiez’s story may connect with and impact readers?

CT: The Drake Street Shortiez will give readers a front-seat view of life in the hood, and, truthfully, it was not all bad. We hear a lot about poverty-stricken communities, but what we don’t hear much about is the families that lived and survived there – the families that called that place home.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects you are currently working on that you would like to share with our readers?

CT: Yes, I am writing a Christmas graphic novel, and I am also working on Book Two of the Adventures with the Shortiez series.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Adventures with the Shortiez?

CT: The best way to find out more information about adventures is to check out my website, Here is where I post information about upcoming projects. You can also follow me on social media.

Thank you so much for this interview.

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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