Ryan commented, “It’s a wonderful feeling to see my debut novel win awards and receive excellent reviews. More than anything, I love hearing young readers tell me how much they’ve read the book and the world of Jumbalot. I just wish I could stroke my cat Albert one last time and thank him for inspiring me. “
Riverview, FL October 24, 2021 – (PR.com) – “The only thing bigger than his appetite was his heart.” This is how local award-winning writer Ryan Wakefield described his best friend and the pet that changed his life. “One day I was just sitting on a patio chair and next, this big, loving cat jumped on my lap. This unexpected visitor immediately decided he would stay with me and I became a pet owner. “He called his new friend Albert.” I was amazed at how big he was compared to other cats; he could easily slide my heavy sliding door open when he wanted out, and he even taught himself how to turn on the faucet for a fresh drink of water. “Ryan says amusingly that it wasn’t as funny as Albert did that when he was at work … especially when the water bills came in.
The two were quick friends for 13 years until Albert succumbed to poor health. It was at this point that Ryan, an accomplished graphic artist, decided to make Albert the main character in a new fantasy adventure novel to honor his memory.
Ryan Wakefield has always dreamed of writing a fantasy novel for young readers. At a young age he imagined creating a fantasy world full of colorful, hybrid animals. He loved the idea of mixing two or three animals together to create a great new species and dreamed of breathing life into a world full of these creatures. That dream recently came true with the release of his award-winning debut novel, Journey to Jumbalot, to young readers ages 11-14.
The premise of the book is about Alby, an engineer’s house cat, and his adventurous quest to find his missing friend, Professor Vincent Wizoom. Wizoom is a brilliant engineer and is building an unusual triangular door in his laboratory. After completing the door, Wizoom mysteriously disappears. To Alby’s astonishment, the door opens automatically and his sympathy for his missing friend gives him the strength to venture through the door and finds himself transported into a strange, new world – Jumbalot. Jumbalot is not your typical fantasy world full of dragons, elves and goblins. No, Jumbalot is inhabited by hybrid animals called jumboos, which include: threatening mantaraves, friendly froguars, brave tigers, wise pandowls, and much more.
Ryan stated, “Young readers will cheer a humble house cat for finding the will to believe in himself and to overcome overwhelming adversity. The main protagonist Alby initially doubts his possibilities, but discovers that the love for his friend gives him the strength not only to save him, but to oppose a tyrant who is terrorizing the world of Jumbalot. During his trip, Alby learns of a belief system that most jumbos follow called the jumbaloo. The Jumbaloo triangle focuses on three equal qualities: compassion, bravery, and imagination. Alby learns to use all three during his adventure and I hope it teaches young readers the importance of confidence and overcoming uncertainty. “
Journey to Jumbalot recently won several awards including the following:
Mom’s Choice Award (Gold Recipient) for excellence in family-friendly media, products and services.
Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards (Gold Award) for published fantasy.
· Global Book Awards (silver medal) for the Action and Adventure category for children.
· Purple Dragonfly Book Awards (Honorable Mention) for New Writer: Fiction Category.
Ryan commented, “It’s a wonderful feeling to see my debut novel win awards and receive excellent reviews. I especially love it when young readers tell me how much they read the book and the world of Jumbalot. I just wish I could stroke Albert one last time and thank him for inspiring me. “
Journey to Jumbalot is available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon: https://amzn.to/3rcg6aC
To learn more about the novel, visit the following website: http://www.jumbalot.com.
12821 Genève Glade Drive
River View, FL 33578
Journey to Jumbalot
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