Archives for 2013

Interview from my hometown newspaper

My first interview for my children’s books with The Delta Optimist.

Slowly but surely, word is getting out about the X-tails!  Below is an article that ran in the Delta Optimist on Nov. 20, 2013.  The Delta Optimist is the local newspaper from South Delta, where I grew up.  Now that the X-tails have been in all of the big newspapers, next stop is Oprah, Ellen, and of course Entertainment Tonight Canada! OK, maybe that’s stretching it, but I’m zoober-stoked to see how supportive everyone has been!  A big thanks!  Here is the article:

Author returns with first book in children’s series

Author L.A. Fielding

A former Tsawwassenite was back in town earlier this month to promote his first children’s book.

Larry Fielding, who grew up in Tsawwassen but now lives in Prince George, was at Raindance: A Festival for Indie Authors at Lansdowne Centre in Richmond to promote his book, The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park, the first in a series of six self published children’s books that follow the antics of six best friends on their search for fun that takes them on many wild and extreme adventures.

Fielding, who writes as L.A. Fielding, grew up in Tsawwassen but left shortly after high school. After spending a year living, and snowboarding, at Mount Baker, he ended up studying forestry at the University of Northern B.C. Now settled in Prince George with his wife and two children, Fielding said the idea for the X-tails was born on the weekly drives the family would make to go snowboarding at Powder King Mountain Resort. During the two-hour drive, Fielding said, all his son would want is for him to tell stories.

His wife encouraged him to start writing them down, and the X-tails was born.

Growing up, Fielding, a professional forester, was an avid athlete and gravitated to skateboarding, biking and snowboarding. Today, he continues to pursue his love of those sports with his family. And his love of sport and adventure has come through in his children’s stories.

Fielding began work on the books two years ago and the first one has been out for about a month.

He said he is currently working on the second book in the series.

The X-tails Snowboard at ShredPark is available in e-book format for Apple devices and Kindles through iBooks and Amazon. Hard and soft cover versions of the book can also be found on Amazon.

For more about X-tails visit www.thextails.com.

Reviews of my book from Raindance

The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park received it’s first book reviews.

On November 9th, 2013, I participated in the Raindance Book Festival for independent authors and I received my first book reviews! I was really excited to be able to share my story and the X-tails with people. It was a great event with many talented authors in attendance! I networked with authors, attended a couple of workshops, and shared my book The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park. A catologue featuring all participating authors and their books was circulated. Inside the catalogue were book reviews. Here are the two reviews that I received for my book:

The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park Review

My first interview

What an exciting day! My first interview ever for the X-tails!

I was so nervous the day Christine Hinzmann contacted me and asked to do an interview with me on my book The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park. The following newspaper article was released on November 1st, 2013, in the Prince George Citizen, and marks my first interview about the X-tails! It was super exciting, or I should say, it was zoober-exciting!

The reporter, Christine, captured the essence of the X-tails.  I think she did a great job!  I definitely said a lot in those twenty minutes of the interview.  Of course, not everything I said made it in the article.  I see that my comments towards the illustrations, and the great work of Victor Guiza did not get printed; maybe it’s because the illustrations speak for themselves!! I do know that it was the illustrations on the X-tails website that caught Christine’s attention and led to the interview.  I also thanked my family, friends, and all of the great people that have supported us!

I’m looking forward to future interviews to help get the word out there!  Here is the article:

 

New author Fielding books for sports-minded children

 

L.A. Fielding family photo   Here’s one way to inspire reading for those adventurous young children. Local author Larry Fielding and his family spend many hours travelling to and from Prince George to his family’s cabin at Powder King each winter weekend.
Two years ago, little Colton, then two, would beg a story from dad to make the drive go by faster.
Soon Fielding developed six animated animal characters and storylines offering up tall tales – X-tails, that is, about action sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, surfing, heli-skiing, BMXing and mountain biking.
The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park is the first book with five more being released later. All books are geared for the three- to 10-year-old crowd.
Fielding, who is a professional forester, said it was his wife Corrie’s idea to put pen to paper. “We first developed the characters a little more and landed on six characters we call the Xtails and then it took months and months of writing and I completed six stories,” said Fielding, whose pen name is L.A. Fielding. “And here we are today.”
The “mane” character is Wisdom the Lion, who is the natural leader and the smart and responsible one. They drive around in the X-Van, which is a four-by-four all-terrain type vehicle and Wisdom is always the driver.
Flight is the rocker gorilla. Mischief the Wolf is the sneak, who is always up for pranks and jokes. Crash the Hippo is silly and goofy. Dazzle the Bear is a tomboy at heart and the boys have trouble keeping up with her. And then there’s Charm the Kangaroo, who is very bubbly and loves the spotlight.
“When I developed these characters, I thought it was important to have a couple of female characters because there’s not a lot of females in these sports,” said Fielding.
“I thought it was important for these books to appeal to both boys and girls. I’ve written these characters to be role models.”
Fielding said it’s only been in recent history that people have acknowledged these sports as legitimate and the people who do them as athletes.
“I know there’s a lot of parents like me that did these sports when they were young and now they have their own kids that they’re bringing into the sports as well,” said Fielding.
Fielding chose the X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park as the first to be released because it has such a strong message.
“It’s about believing in yourself and understanding that we’re all special in our own way,” said Fielding.
Next up is The X-tails Skateboard at Monster Ramp, which will be released in summer of 2014.  Each story in the series has a modern twist and is written for today’s parents and children, said Fielding.
“The series is about six best friends who are always searching for the ultimate adventure,” he added.
“When I write these stories the main goal is for the story to be fun to read. They’re fast-paced and funny and they’re energized by these exciting characters. The stories always promote safety and being active.”
For the short term, Fielding wants to start with book signings, enter writing contests and is hoping to offer school visits. His long-term goals include wishing the books will morph into something more. “I’m hoping one day they will be a household name,” said Fielding. “There will be a cartoon, toys, clothing – we’re already offering clothing on the website – so I have a big vision for The X-tails.”
To check out the series visit www.TheXtails.com with links to Amazon, where people can order hard- and soft-cover versions. A digital ebook is also available at the Apple iBooks store.
Local book stores will carry the books and locations will be listed at www.facebook.com/ TheXtails.
For local residents who would like autographed copies and stickers, e-mail Fielding directly at lafielding@thextails.com or fill out our contact form.

A Long Journey- publishing my debut book

I had no idea how much much work it would be publishing my first book in the X-tails series.

If you remember back to my 3rd blog, I had two awesome illustrations for the X-tails, thanks to the help of Dragonpencil and Victor Guiza.  With these two illustrations, I planned to provide a better understanding of my stories to literary agents.  It was February of 2013.  For whatever reason, I was compelled to take another look at the Dragonpencil website.  I knew that Dragonpencil offered self-publishing packages, but when I looked at their website again, the self-publishing route caught my attention, and I couldn’t let the idea go!

I weighed the pros and cons of self-publishing with my wife, Corrie.  After much deliberation and in full understanding of the risk, we decided to go for it!  I had no idea I was about to kiss my little speck of spare time goodbye.  I was naïve to the huge amount of work involved and the many steps required to self-publish a book.

Choosing which story to publish was one of my toughest decisions.  I strongly believed that all six of my manuscripts were fun and exciting, and each one had an important message to tell.  Again, after much discussion with Corrie, we decided to publish the snowboard story starring Pride the Elephant.  I picked that story because it met my first and foremost writing goal of being FUN.  It would be a book that children want to read because of the high-speed action and laugh-out-loud humour.  The bonus is the terrific messages that are written into the story.  Besides promoting safety and being active, the story focuses on believing in yourself, understanding we are ALL special in our own way, and never giving up on your dreams.  With such important messages for children, The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park was a perfect choice for my debut book.

After buying the self-publishing package from Dragonpencil, there was no turning back!  Now, I needed to ensure my manuscript was perfect.  I was fortunate editbecause friends and family were willing to read my story and provide critical feedback.  After receiving valuable feedback, I made a few more changes.  I then had it edited by an editor.  The result was a polished manuscript. Page layout

The next step was the page layout.  This part of the process involves breaking apart the story into individual scenes, where each scene will represent an illustrated page.  I was ahead of the game because I had already completed that step….or so  I thought.  What I didn’t realize is sixty words per page is typically the upper limit for an illustrated children’s book―and I had way more than that!  My project manager, Margaret Cogswell, helped to revise the layout.  Margaret did a great job of managing the overall project and maintaining momentum.  Even though the number of pages increased in my book, the result was a captivating manuscript with exciting illustrations on every page.

The page layout was then handed over to Victor Guiza for illustrations.  With my book having 43 illustrations, Vic’s role in the publishing process would be the most timeFlight all alone consuming.  As you most likely have seen by now, Vic is a brilliant artist!  You can see that Vic has a real gift for grasping the personality of each character, and his detail is amazing.  What you don’t know is Vic has never snowboarded a day in his life.  Vic took on the challenge, and with a little guidance from me on the technical side of snowboarding, he did an unbelievable job!

It took less than three months for Vic to finalize the illustrations.  It is impossible for me to know the intThe X-tails Snowboard at Shred Parkricacies of illustrating a book, but I can certainly appreciate the work involved.  The first part of the process I see is the illustrations in pencil.  At that point, I try to identify any and all changes.  Making changes later when the illustrations are in color is much more difficult.  Vic was always very receptive to my feedback, and made any necessary revisions.  Next, color is added to the illustrations.  Because this book has 43 detailed illustrations with that “real life” feel, it was inevitable there would be some revisions to the color illustrations.  Requesting changes was the hardest part for me, especially knowing the amount of time and effort Vic puts into each illustration.  Through it all, Vic always had the best attitude, and we ended up with mind-blowing illustrations!  I couldn’t be happier!

One of the last steps was the book design.  Margaret, my project manager, informed me that Kenny DeWitt would be handling the book design.  I didn’t know anything about Kenny, so I inquired with Margaret about his experience.  I could tell she was a little amused by my concern, and reassured me that Kenny had lots of experience.  I didn’t have too many expectations, other than knowing the font would be finalized, the cover page designed, and text added to the illustrations.  I was in for a shock!

Kenny provided me with three choices of font.  I made my decisioThe X-tails Snowboard at Shred Parkn, and a few days later, I was sent a draft copy of the book design.  I quickly scrolled through the book and my jaw dropped.  The text was fun and lively!  Words were full of color and seemed to jump off the page!  I had read lots of children’s books, but I had never seen anything like this.  Now that I knew what Kenny could do, my mind reeled.  I requested some additional graphics and Kenny presented another draft copy, which was even better!  Kenny continued to impress with more graphics, an amazing cover page, and taking his creativity to another level with the visuals in the Trick-tionary!

With the completion of this blog, we arrive at present day.  It hasn’t sunk in yet, but in just a few weeks, The X-tails Snowboard at Shred Park will be released as an eBook and printed book!  I have been blessed to work with such great people on this project, and I am very proud of the book.  I can’t wait to see children’s reactions!  My focus now switches from publishing to spreading the word about the X-tails.  I have big plans for these six zany characters, and it is my dream to grow the X-tails into a household name.  We can all dream, right?  Stay tuned…..

– L.A. Fielding

A Long Journey- the X-tails come to life

The X-tails……. the start of an amazing journey!

It was near the end of 2012, when I realized that I needed to try something different.  Through my search for a literary agent, I realized that the X-tails concept may be a challenge for some people to envision.  Although I created the X-tails for a book series, I believed the X-tails could be so much more than books.  In order to better explain the books and general concept, I decided that I needed to bring the characters and X-tails to life.  Rather than tell, I was going to show the X-tails!

xtailspencil1

I originally thought the concept was self-explanatory, but it later dawned on me that it’s not.  In my head, I pictured these funny, vibrant, and cool characters, but the problem was, it was a picture in my head that no one else could see.  It’s difficult to describe in words the six characters in my short children’s book manuscript.  Illustrating the characters would help bring out their personalities and voices.  The other main part of the X-tails’ concept is the stunts, which I envisioned having a “real life” feel.  The illustrated stunts would be something you would see in a magazine, but without having illustrations to look at, it’s not easy to picture a lion or hippo doing a McTwist, Tailwhip, or even a Kickflip.  The illustrations would help to show the originality of my stories.  Other parts of the concept could easily be conveyed through my manuscript such as safety, being active, humour, fast-paced action, suspense, and important life lessons.

I immediately began to search for an artist to do a couple of illustrations.  I was not looking to illustrate my story; I only needed two illustrations to show my concept.  For the first illustration, I made a detailed description of the characters holding a skateboard, snowboard, BMX bike, surfboard, mountain bike, and skis.  I carefully described each character’s appearance and personality.  The second illustration would be an action scene, portraying that “real life” factor that I was going after.  I found a freelance illustrator and hired him based on a balance of affordability and talent.

xtailspencil2

I was super excited!  We signed a contract specifying that I would be the sole owner of the illustrations.  I sent the illustrator the files describing my requested illustrations.  A week into the project, I received some discouraging news.  The illustrator would not do the two illustrations unless I agreed to increase the price by an amount being 10-fold of the original price.  He felt that the illustrations were too complex and too much work for the standard illustration price.  I was obviously not happy!  Paying more money was not a viable option for me.  We terminated the contract, and I was refunded my money.  In hindsight now, I know that it was meant to be.

A couple more months went by, and although I strongly believed in the X-tails, I was beginning to lose momentum and motivation.  My wife, Corrie, on the other hand wouldn’t let our dream die.  She contacted Dragonpencil, which is a small children’s book company in the U.S. that has a variety of services including illustrators for hire.  Corrie convinced me to give it another try.  An illustrator by the name of Victor, immediately caught our eye.  His illustrations were amazing!  He had an impressive background of work, including Disney, the Simpsons, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  We were told that Vic is easy going and very professional.  We decided to hire Vic to complete the two illustrations.

Wisdom the LionCommunication with the illustrator and project manager occurred through a personalized message board.  I sent Vic my descriptions for the two illustrations.  I waited nervously.  I received a response an hour later.  Oh oh, I thought before opening the message.  The response read: “Thank you for selecting me as your illustrator.  I will check the files and will work on something really cool!! Let the fun begin!”  OK, so far so good, but Vic hadn’t yet looked at the project description files.  I continued to wait nervously.  I received another response from Vic two days later.  The response read: “Here are the 2 pencil sketches for your review.  If you have any edits please let me know.  If these are OK, I will begin to color these.  I want to tell you that you have a 24K Diamond here.  This project is so unique and it so cool, have you thought about pitching it for a cartoon?  Have you considered to develop an app of it like the X-tails games plus the children’s book, etc.  I am so excited with this!”

Now that was a great response!  I was thrilled, but at the same time, I was petrified to open the files that Vic had sent.  What if Vic’s illustrations of the characters were completely different than I had envisioned?  What if the X-tails were not cool or vibrant or funny?

The X-tailsI opened the files, and took a few seconds to absorb all of the characters.  I was ecstatic!  Vic had nailed it!  The characters were exactly as I had envisioned, all except for Mischief the Wolf.  I carefully studied Mischief, not sure what to think.  He was much smaller than I had pictured in my head.  After a few seconds, I fell in love with Mischief’s new look.  He was perfect for my sneaky and mischievous wolf!

One thing I have learned about Vic’s illustrations is if you like the pencil illustrations that are provided as an initial draft, then you will be absolutely blown away with the final color illustrations.  Now that the X-tails had been brought to life, I figured that I would be able to find the right agent for this project.  I prepared to send out more query letters to agents.  Little did I know, I was soon going to make a decision that would propel this project in a completely different direction…

– L.A. Fielding

A Long Journey- searching for a literary agent

Author L.A. FieldingMaybe everything is meant to be…….. this my story about finding a literary agent.

I am currently self-publishing my first X-tails book, but as you will read, this was not my original intention.  At the beginning of my journey in early 2012, I dreamed that my stories would be picked up by a successful publishing house.  To accomplish this dream, I set my sights on finding a literary agent.  I was pumped!  It took me months and months of writing, re-writing, and then editing over and over again.  I worked hard to perfect my six stories about the X-tails, and then moved on to perfecting a query letter that would catch the attention of a literary agent.

I fondly remember sending off my first query letter with an attached manuscript to my number one agent of choice.  It took me an evening of researching this agent, and learning as much as I could about her.  I wanted my query letter to have a personal touch.  As I pressed “Send” on my email, I felt a rush of adrenaline and nerves!  A few minutes after sending that email, I hit “Refresh,” foolishly thinking that I may have already received a response from the agent.  There was nothing.  I went to bed, but woke up in the middle of the night and went upstairs to check the computer.  Still nothing.  I truly believed that the X-tails and my stories were going to be quickly snatched up.

L.A. Fielding in his office

The X-tails, to me, made sense.  I had created an illustrated children’s book series that would be respected by parents that grew up skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, biking, surfing, or whatever else- there are so many sports out there. I also wrote these stories with a message in mind, and a story line that would be enjoyed by children and parents of all backgrounds. Although these books were for kids, I aimed to make these books as realistic as possible.  I fell in love with the characters and I knew that children would too.  Writing about the X-tails was so much fun!  But of course, I am biased.  After all, I am the author.     

Days and weeks went by after sending out my first query letter, and then finally, I received a response.  Likely it was a generic response, and it went like this: “I carefully read and consider each submission I receive, and I’m sorry to say that yours is not quite right for me.  Agenting is subjective and while I couldn’t take on your project, another agent may well feel differently.  I wish you the very best of luck with your writing in the future and thank you for thinking of me.”  I decided I’d better step it up.  I began to send out letters and emails to multiple agents.  After all, at the rate I was going, it could be years before an agent took on my project. 

L.A. Fielding with his children

I sent query letter after query letter, and all I got was the same sort of answer: “I’ve discussed with him, and unfortunately this project is not a good match for his current list” or “thanks for sending but this project doesn’t seem quite right for us.”

An agent’s workload was put in perspective with this response: “Unfortunately, we are unable to offer representation as it is not right for us at this time.  Our agency receives over 700 submissions per month and we only take on a few new clients per year.” It was discouraging.  After months of querying agents, I had gone from believing in the X-tails, to believing that maybe I was wrong.

L.A. Fielding in his office

I did receive a few positive responses from agents, which gave me hope and helped to keep up my motivation.  But it was something else that completely restored the belief in the X-tails and in myself as an author. It was at my local ski hill, Powder King, where I took the opportunity to read my stories to the local kids.  The response overwhelmed me.  As I read my stories, I was overcome with smiles, giggles, and suspenseful looks from the kids.  I received the same sort of response from the local school in Prince George, and from my children’s daycare.  To think that I was getting such a great response from my stories which did not have illustrations yet, I wondered what would happen when my stories were illustrated.

It was at that point when I decided I needed to go in a different direction to have my books published, and that is another chapter in my long journey…

– L.A. Fielding

A Long Journey- how the X-tails began

This is how my life changed forever. The day I decided to write a children’s book series called the X-tails.

My first real passion was riding my BMX bike with the neighbourhood kids in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia.  All day long, we hung out at the dirt jumps, pretending we were the next BMX pros.  Ripped and dirty jeans were a daily occurrence back then, much to the dismay of my father!  We also owned skateboards at that time, but our knees were used more than our feet to get around.  

It was when I moved to Tsawwassen, British Columbia in grade 5 that I learned the true meaning of skateboarding.  It was a humbling lesson.  Tsawwassen was different from Pitt Meadows.  This experience could be compared to the book “The Outsiders.”  In Pitt Meadows, I had been a member of the Greasers.  L.A. Fielding as a childNow in Tsawwassen, I had no choice but to join the Soc’s.  I got a haircut and no longer knee-boarded, but pushed my skateboard like a skateboarder should.  I was accepted by the local skaters and my BMX bike began to collect dust.  I quickly learned that skateboarding was not a hobby; it was a lifestyle and obsession!  All of my spare time was spent on my board.  There were no skateboard parks nearby back then, only the mean streets of Tsawwassen- hah.  It didn’t matter though; we were happy grinding painted curbs and ollie’ing cracks in the sidewalks.  It didn’t take long before ollies progressed into kickflips and heelflips.

It was in grade 9 that I bought a snowboard and headed up to Grouse Mountain f or my first day of snowboarding.  Funny thing, I had never even seen someone snowboard in real life or on TV before.  The closest I had come to snowboarding was riding an old skateboard deck on the snowy hills of a local golf course.  That day at Grouse Mountain, I had no idea that the metal edges on a snowboard had a purpose.  I just straight-lined it right off the bat, not realizing that snowboarding was a lot different from skateboarding.  Surprisingly, I made it fairly far down the run.  I somehow learned to turn that day and even went for a few jumps.  Now, I was not only obsessed with skateboarding, but snowboarding had opened up a whole new world!

It was later on in high school that my time skateboarding slowed down and I turned to mountain biking.  What a rush!  It was a new challenge.  Mountain biking was no longer about pedaling on flat trails, it was all about speed, hitting jumps, and balancing across high, skinny wooden structures.  The mountain biking world was quickly evolving and it was a lot of fun to be a part of that.  Looking back, I realize it was these sports- BMX, skateboardL.A. Fielding bikinging, and mountain biking that kept me out of trouble when I was a young kid.  

After graduating high school, I still wasn’t ready to grow up.  My friends and I moved to Mt.Baker for the winter.  We were snowboard bums, plain and simple.  What a life!  After spending a winter at Mt. Baker, I was finally ready to grow up; or so I thought.  I moved to Prince George to go to school at the University of Northern British Columbia.  Unbeknownst to me, Prince George would become my permanent stomping grounds.  

L.A. Fielding skateboarding

During my first year at University, three amazing things happened to me.  First, I fell in love with skateboarding again at the Prince George indoor skate park.  Oh, how much fun it was to skateboard again.  Why did I ever stop?  The second great thing to happen to me was falling in love with a small ski hill called Powder King.  You see, Powder King is a little secret that is nestled in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia.  Jumps, tree riding, great people, and did I mention powder- lots and lots of powder!  Again, it was unknown to me that Powder King was about to become my second home.  The third amazing thing to happen to me that year was falling in love with a girl named, Corrie.  Being young, it was once again unknown to me that Corrie would one day become my wife and mother of our two children.   After graduating University with a degree in Forestry, I was finally ready to grow up, right?  Wrong!  

L.A. Fielding snowboarding

Corrie and I moved to Red Mountain in southern British Columbia.  We were both officially snowboard bums.  The fun didn’t end there.  Our next winter was spent at FerniMountain Resort.  After those two seasons of ski bumming, we were finally ready to grow up…..not!  We bought a house and became the parents of three big, furry dogs.  Shortly after that, we got married.  My skateboard was once again collecting dust, but we were loving life on our snowboards and our mountain bikes!  

A few years later, we lucked out and moved into a cozy little log house on a small lake.  Again, I was oblivious to the fact that this house was one day going to be the perfect setting for my writing.  I was now working full-time in forestry, and we still managed to snowboard fifty days at Powder King each winter.  Life was good!  For years now, we had been dragging a tiny holiday trailer back and forth to Powder King on the weekends.  It was a lot of work dragging that trailer around.  Out of the blue one day, an opportunity came up to buy a cabin.  Oh, did I say “cabin?”  Sorry, what I meant to say was that we bought a camperized school bus with a built-on addition!  Compared to the eight foot holiday trailer we crammed into with our three big dogs, our new cabin felt like a mansion.  This became our second home and we immediately painted a red sign on the front that read “The Fielding Shred Shack.”  Now, our Shred Shack was not the fanciest cabin in the world, but the wood stove kept it warm, and the gas powered generator kept it bright…..or a bit better than dim.

When our son, L.A. Fielding with ColtonColton, was born, he was introduced to the Shred Shack when he was 3 weeks old.  Our parents thought we were crazy.  I have to admit, we were nervous to bring our newborn to the humble life of the Shred Shack.  We all survived.  When our daughter Dylann was born, we were even braver.  She was introduced to the Shred Shack at only two weeks old.  We’re all still here!  

As my kids got older, I soon realized how much fun it was to take them snowboarding, skateboarding, and biking.  What better way to spend time as a family?  

Where am I going with all of this?  Well, you see, it was during this time in my life, about two years ago, that everything clicked.  It just so happened that I learned something about myself.  It seemed like I was pretty good at telling stories; maybe, I was a little too good because Colton wouldn’t stop asking for stories when we drove in the truck.  Did I mention that Powder King is a two-hour drive one way?  That means a lot of time for stories.  Naturally, my stories were about the sports I loved- skateboarding, snowboarding, biking, surfing, and all of the other sports I admired.  What was unique about my stories were the characters doing these sports.  The characters were animals of course, and I did my best to make them as fun and cool as possible.  I named them the X-tails, which I knew was a perfect fit!  Corrie was the first one to raise the idea of writing these stories down.  I immediately dismissed the thought, but her idea stuck with me.  I had a flashback of grade eight when my teacher asked me to read a story in front of the class.  It wasn’t just any story, it was a story I had written.  I was embarrassed!  My friends were in the class.  But, I did it!  It was a sad story that I had written about raccoons.  I can’t really remember it to this day, but my teacher gave me full marks and said it was the first time she had ever cried while reading one of her student’s work.  Hmmm, maybe I can write?   

L.A. Fielding with family

Over the last year, I have written six stories about the X-tails.  It is our cozy log home and the Fielding Shred Shack where I draw most of my inspiration.  I often read my stories to the neighbourhood kids at Powder King.  Whenever possible, I try to share my writing with others, as I enjoy seeing a child light up when they listen to the X-tails.  I am passionate about writing these stories because I can portray these sports in a way that kids and parents of all backgrounds will love, while still being respected by those that do the sports firsthand.  It has been a long journey to publish my first book, and it is a journey that I am looking forward to sharing with you…

– L.A. Fielding

The X-van

Xvan-Slider

Wisdom | Charm | Crash | Dazzle | Flight | Mischief | X-van

Mischief

Mischief-Slide

Wisdom | Charm | Crash | Dazzle | Flight | Mischief | X-van

Flight

Flight-Slide

Wisdom | Charm | Crash | Dazzle | Flight | Mischief | X-van