SALT LAKE CITY, UT February 17, 2017
John Irby’s delightful middle-grade tale, Red-Tailed Rescue, about the friendship between a young girl and a hawk named Orville, was published by WiDo in 2014. There was no suggestion about a sequel, so WiDo’s Managing Editor Karen Gowen, was surprised by the submission of a follow-up book three years later.
“I was thrilled that John had penned a sequel. Red-Tailed Rescue is one of my very favorite of all our WiDo books,” stated Gowen. “It’s the kind of story you read and re-read, then go buy copies for your kids or grandkids.”
The author hadn’t intended on going further with the story, but as Irby says, “So many people told me how much they loved Red-Tailed Rescue, that I decided to try a follow-up.”
Being a teacher himself, now retired, John Irby is intrigued by the forces between teachers and students. “Students often remember and cherish a teacher long after their classroom contact is over. Both of these books inspect those relationships.”
Irby’s first book came out to positive reviews from readers of all ages. The following two blurbs are typical of the enthusiastic response by fans:
“Red-tailed Rescue is a heartwarming novel about a friendship between a twelve-year-old girl and a red-tailed hawk. The story, rich in description, offers lovable characters and a bird’s-eye view of present day rural South Dakota, with a quaint, 1950s sensibility.” –Ethel K. Coffey, author and former educator
“Red-Tailed Rescue moves like an express train with calculated stops along the way. The express is a story of relationships and rescues with more than one unexpected curve. The stops lend realism to the adventure set in South Dakota by providing valuable information about hawks. The mix of fact and fiction pairs algebra, physics and young hawk flight instruction with human and animal connections. A particularly poignant moment occurs during Orville the hawk’s flight school graduation when Orville, receiving an award, reveals a family secret.” –Sylvia P. Abbott, PhD., school psychologist, educator”
Asked what he’s learned about writing and publishing now that he’s on his second book, Irby has this to say: “I’ve learned that writing and editing go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. As far as publishing goes, I trust the publisher to produce a fine looking book that presents a handsome face to the public. I’m not keen on pushing sales, but I try to build a following on Facebook and Twitter each day. If the story is compelling, I think the people will come.”
Irby currently is working on a YA love story, editing it “for the umpteenth time.” The author likes to write early in the morning while the house is still quiet and cool, coffee at hand, “but I’m writing in my head 24/7. Whatever story I’m working on won’t leave me alone, even when pumpkin pie is close by.”
About John Irby:
I was born in Butte, Montana but mostly raised near a tiny village just northeast of Seattle, Washington along with two sisters and two brothers. Since we lived in the boonies with no access to a library, my mother walked us kids half a mile to the crossroads once a month to visit the county Book Mobile, where I first discovered the adventures found only in books. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan novels jump-started my budding imagination. At home, whenever anyone became ill, our mother, even with her very meager budget, provided comic books along with the aspirin. I read and reread our stacks of Archie comic books until I had them memorized.
I now live in sunny Marana, Arizona with my wife, Norizan, a Malaysian citizen. I write in the cool and quiet times each morning, tend our garden, and try to stay in shape by walking and playing a bit of golf. We enjoy long drives, discovering new restaurants and traveling whenever we can.