Book Title: The New Adventures of A.R. Achnid (Revised Edition)
Author: Sandi Smith
Illustrator: Kathy Lee
Category: Children’s Fiction, 126 pages
Genre: Children’s Chapter Book, Animals, Bugs & Spiders
Publisher: Mindstir Media
Release date: January 3, 2017
Tour dates: June 18 to July 13, 2018
Content Rating: G
Harold! There goes that spider! See, he is running on the floor! That spider has to go. He cannot live here anymore!!! Oh, no! Beth looks very, very angry. What has A.R. Achnid done now? Well, before A.R. got into big trouble with Beth, he had a lot of wonderful adventures.
There are ten different adventures in this book. There is the time he went to the circus and rode on a balloon, and then had some shoo fly pie. Another day, A.R. and Rex (a Great Dane, who is A.R.’s best friend) decided to walk all the way into town, and they had such a wonderful time. Then, A.R. and his family went to New York City for the biggest craft fair ever (which was for spiders only), plus many, many other adventures.
Unfortunately, in the tenth story, A.R.’s current living situation is going to need an adjustment. Something changes in the lives of Harold and Beth (the humans) that will make things very difficult for A.R. Come along with A.R. for some fun, and find out what small bundle will cause problems for A.R. and his family.
As A.R. says, “Spiders rule!”
Making your characters believable.
I have written two novels, and it was very challenging to make the characters believable, but when I wrote my A.R. Achnid stories, I had so much fun. I had to open my mind and accept the fact that the character was a spider (as you know, I do NOT like spiders), so this took a little bit of time to get used to. The thought of trying to make a spider cute or funny or adorable, just wasn’t something I was going to be doing any time soon, so I thought at that point that there was no reason to continue. I could never make this character believable. Why, I didn’t believe it myself! How could I make others believe that this spider (that, to me, was creepy and scary) could be a spider you might like to have in your home? It wasn’t going to happen, until I started getting some of the words that made me laugh, and then I sat back and looked everything over. How could I make A.R. believable? Humor was certainly going to be one way, and then I believed I had to make a connection between A.R. and the humans. I wasn’t sure how to do that because I didn’t want any connection to any spider at all, in my house, outside of my house, in my car, etc. Then I thought about my husband. When my husband sees a spider, he’ll say, “ look at how cute he is” (I believe he only says that so he can watch me roll my eyes), and then he picks the spider up in a cup and safely puts him outside. Watching Johnny, I thought, yes, I can make that connection. I will have one human be sane (Johnny, or Harold, in the book), and the other one insane (me, or Beth in the book). Once I brought the two humans together – one human who doesn’t mind spiders and one who doesn’t like them at all – it was then that I knew that A.R. could be a believable character. Of course, the clothes, hats, and other items A.R. wears certainly are not believable, but they sure do make him cute and funny.
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Sandi Smith spent her time as a young girl combing the shelves of the public library. She has always enjoyed the magic that books have to offer and was inspired by her high school English teacher, Mr. Coolidge to embrace the arts. The author found her calling as a writer early one morning as her first story came to her in the form of a poem. Since then she has written more than 15 children’s books, with her most popular series about the adventures of an adorable spider in the A.R. Achnid series.
Sandi is happily married to her inspiration and husband of 40 years, John. She continues to write for her two precious grandchildren. When she’s not penning a new story, Sandi and John like to camp, kayak and to enjoy the simple life in their home in Pembroke, NH.