Mr. Boyer's Books
During the school year, a number of students chose to read my books for classroom assignments, as well as recreation. This web page is intended to provide some background information on my books for students doing book reports or simply interested in getting more behind the scenes information about a book they read.
The first book I got published, Arthur Ashe and Me took me nine months to write. It was inspired by an actual place where I played tennis. It was my first attempt at writing books for kids and was very surprised to have it accepted by the first publisher I mailed it to. One of the ways the book changed from the way I wrote it is that my editor decided to cut out the last chapter and original ending to the story. I thought it tied up a loose end about Faith and her friend Meredith. My editor liked ending with a little less certainty about Faith and Meredith. Being a newly published writer, I swallowed my pride and went along with the decision....but I still liked my ending better!
When I was a kid, I loved the story of The Sword in the Stone. Looking back, I liked the idea of a kid suddenly having all this power as a king because he was able to pull a sword from a stone. I wanted to write a modern day version of this story, and it seemed to me that baseball was a good way to go with it. The story was much easier to write, but I wasn't sure how the story was going to end. I knew I didn't want it to end with the main character winning the big game. Growing up, I got tired of reading sports books that always ended that way. I decided to set the story near the beach because I thought it would be a nice change of pace since my last book took place in the country. The main character is not based on my son, though they share the same name! My editor didn't make too many changes to this book, which was a relief.
My great-grandfather rode in the Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War. I've seen the sword he used, and I have copies of letters he wrote home describing his experiences. So I was fascinated by the Civil War at an early age because of my great-grandfather. The more I learned about the people involved in the Civil War the more I discovered that both the North and the Southern armies included soldiers who had graduated from the West Point Academy. When I read about some of these famous people as kids at West Point, I learned they had a lot of the same problems that kids still have today. Robert Lee was jealous of the rich kids and their clothes. Ulysses Grant got bullied a lot because he was the smallest member of his class. Even Dwight Eisenhower, who'd go on to be President, actually neglected his homework because he liked football so much. This was my first and last attempt at writing nonfiction. While the book turned out great, it just took so long to do research. I could only write as fast as I could find facts, which I didn't enjoy.
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