People write for many reasons. Some know it’s their passion from early on, others might figure this out later or decide to write a memoir or informational book. Still others go through a life-altering experience and their focus changes, priorities shift and a writer is born. This is what happened with Brian Abela whose son has a rare condition called Mowat-Wilson syndrome.
THE PONDS OF WONDER is Brian’s first book.
Tom Hanson lives in a quiet little town. He, along with his best friend Ben, love seeking out adventure and fun.
One afternoon, Tom learns that a mysterious package would be delivered to him from a relative living far away. Little does he know that this package will set his life on a course of adventure far greater than he has ever known, an adventure that will have him meeting strange and wonderful new friends, experiencing mysterious events and dangers that will change the course of his life….forever!
AMM: Welcome Brian. You had mentioned that your son has a rare disorder called Mowat-Wilson Syndrome. Is that why you decided to write THE PONDS OF WONDER?
BA: My son, Eric, was a huge reason why I had actually fleshed out the story, which had been in the back of my mind for so many years. Throughout the turbulent start of his life, I wanted to write something that hopefully he would be able to read one day should medical technology advance enough to help give him the ability to see and read with his own eyes. Writing the story had also provided me with the opportunity to find some form of respite from all of the concerns and worries my wife and I had to face. Getting the story out allowed me to feel some form of control and I wanted to put as much emotion and creativity as I could into the story so that other children could enjoy the worlds I had created in my mind.
Realising that Eric would need a great deal of support, both medically and therapeutically, it was my hope and drive that if I could help to support and motivate the imagination and creativity of other people’s children through THE PONDS OF WONDER story, in turn, I could then utilise the proceeds I collected from the sale of the digital book to help support my son’s needs. In my mind, it’s a win-win situation, an idea that I hope other parents would agree with.
AMM: How did you son respond to the book?
BA: To date, Eric has not reached the stage in his life where he can actually respond verbally when he is questioned or told something. However he loves listening to stories and through practice we have begun to increase the duration of stories that he listens to with very good success. I really look forward to the day when I can sit him next to me and read THE PONDS OF WONDER to him, which I believe will come sooner than later.
AMM: I also hope this happens very soon, Brian. You’re very much interested in encouraging kids to read. Why is this important to you? And did you find that your book helped or encouraged the kids who read it?
BA: As an educator in the Primary Sector, I can never stress enough the importance of children spending time reading. It’s so fundamental that they learn to enjoy reading for pleasure, to enhance their curiosity and knowledge of the world around them and to develop the patience and endurance that will be needed when the amount and level of reading they will have to do later on in their scholastic lives increases. In addition to this, having a strong admiration for reading can help children to become more tolerant, patient, creative and knowledgeable of the world around them, which can only be a good thing. There is so much going on in the lives of children today that had not existed a mere 10 – 20 years ago, many of which is good and has made life so much easier and enjoyable for the children of today, but we as parents and educators have to keep this important pastime alive as well. Whether it’s through holding an actual book or reading a story on a tablet or PC, children need to read and they need to see adults reading too! Parents and educators are the best examples that children can emulate.
With respect to whether my book has helped or encouraged the kids who have read it, I believe that it has. During the writing process, the teacher in me also came through in the story as I had interjected certain teaching messages about respect and organization, two other important beliefs that I hold, into the story through the interaction of the characters. Some children who have read the story had come back to me in the past with comments about what they had liked about the story and some had even made mention of these particular ideals without even being verbally directed to do so. That was very gratifying!
AMM: Kudos on the positive response to PONDS OF WONDER and I agree with you 100% that reading is very important. Do you plan to write other books?
BA: Yes, I’m presently fleshing out some ideas for Tom’s second adventure in THE PONDS OF WONDER and am very excited about it. It’s something I’m hoping to work on in earnest this coming summer.
AMM: Where do you see yourself and your dream five years from now?
BA: Five years from now I would like to see myself having published at least another two stories in THE PONDS OF WONDER series but most importantly I would like to see Eric progressing and becoming more independent both in his ability to walk and in his ability to communicate. It would be great if he could be able to see on his own by then, but one has to be realistic and keep one’s feet firmly on the ground. Medical technology is making advancements every day, so who knows.
AMM: I love your attitude, Brian. Eric is very lucky to have you as his champion and father. Would you be willing to share one thing that not many people know about you?
BA: There is not much about me that I hide away as I try to use all that I have learnt in my life and pass it on to the students around me. I grew up reading comic books and science fiction books, (David Eddings and the late Robert Jordan are two of my favourites), and loved playing instruments that included the piano, organ and saxophone. I marched with the Spirit of Windsor Youth Marching Band in addition to the school concert and Jazz bands during my high school years, which had provided me with the opportunity to travel across North America and see places which I had only read about as a younger child. I’m a fan of classic rock music and an avid Star Trek fan.
Brian J Abela Originally from Canada and of Maltese descent, Brian began his writing career creating Skill Developing History Workbooks for young students studying Maltese history.
After successfully completing the trilogy workbook, Brian then decided to put the proverbial pen to paper and flesh out a story for readers 8 years and older that had been in his mind for a number of years.
He is currently promoting the digital format of his story in order to help fund and support the medical and therapeutic needs of his son with plans of writing a sequel in the near future.
Where you can learn more about Brian and get a copy of his book: