To coincide with the launch of the World’s first interactive augmented reality book, we asked author Martin King what inspired him, was it difficult to bring his vision to life and if he plans on releasing more!
In February 2014, Martin King released his latest novel in the Jack Hunter series called The French Connection, this book truly brings the story to life as Martin releases it in Augmented Reality and 3D.
Martin has not only put together a book, which we could hardly put down, but he has also brought each treasure hunt, secret and mystery to life with the use of augmented reality. Using a smartphone or tablet you can jump right into the middle of the action.
Q. Who or what inspired the story and character of Jack Hunter?
A. It is loosely based on true events that happened to me as a young boy.
Q. The phrase ‘Bringing the story to life’ couldn’t be truer with this book – what encouraged you to make an augmented reality novel?
A. I was a reluctant reader as a child myself and so wanted to create more than just a book, I wanted to create a modern adventure with a ‘wow’ factor; something that would appeal to children and encourage all to pick up a book.
Q. How difficult was it to bring your vision to life using 3D and augmented reality?
A. Although the project has not been without its own problems and hurdles along the way, an augmented reality game working in tangent with a children’s story book has always seemed to me to be a very natural fit, and of course, in the end, all issues were eventually overcome, due mainly to the hard work of the development team at iBO Live. Q. Readers can unlock a secret cipher throughout the novel, but what came first, the text or the cipher?
A. The text came first – the adventure and the story! The cipher seemed to be the perfect addition to compliment Jack and his friends’ hunt for treasure so I worked it into the story.
Q. Will readers have to read the first book (Secret of the king) to be able to follow Jack’s adventure?
A. Yes and no. Like most series, it’s always best to start at the beginning and read book one, however, in The French Connection, I tried to ensure that none of the twists or plot lines were given away from the first book and it also works as an individual story in its own right. Q. If children do not have a smart device can they still read and enjoy the book just the same?
A. Absolutely. I wanted to make sure that the book would always remain a book. The technology is designed to simply enhance the story.
Q. What does your book offer to ensure readers don’t just skip the story to play the game?
A. There are two things; firstly, the book is a good mystery adventure story with plenty of twists and suspense so, hopefully, the reader will get drawn into the story and enjoy the read. Secondly, the game has been created to include the story. In the game, you hit barriers and puzzles along the way, whereby the solutions are found in the pages of the book. Q. Aimed at 8 and older, could adults also enjoy the experience of the book?
A. Absolutely! What adult doesn’t remember reading books like the Famous Five adventures, Jennings, Tintin or Malory Towers, just to mention a few, during their youth? Hopefully the Jack Hunter stories will rekindle those fond memories of wanting to be an intrepid explorer, vanquishing pirates or finding a trove of buried treasure in all of us.
Q. Team work, friendship and bravery were featured throughout the book, do you feel young reader’s will pick up on this?
A. I think all children’s authors want to have a positive impact on their readers and characters in books will have an influence on a child’s moral perspective, however subtle. Showing the characters working together for a successful outcome is a positive message to send out and I hope this is something that my readers can take away with them.
Q. The next installment in Jack Hunter’s story (‘The Legend Of The Two Giants’) is coming soon – can you give us a little clue as to when – could this be a Christmas release?
A. I’ve just finished writing ‘Jack Hunter Legend of the Two Giants’ and it’s definitely my favourite so far. It’s jam-packed with action, suspense, mystery, clues, treasure and of course, villains! I believe at this moment in time the plan is for a release in early 2015. For now I’m currently working on the plot outlines for the fourth Jack Hunter story.
Q. Finally Martin, What’s next for you? Perhaps an augmented reality book aimed at older readers?
A. I do have a fantasy trilogy lined up for young adults once I’ve finished the Jack adventures, but with seven books currently planned for the Jack Hunter series, each with an accompanying augmented reality app, has got my work cut out for the foreseeable future, which is very exciting!
Once again a huge thank-you to Martin King for taking the time to not only answer our questions but to give us an insight to every aspect of Jack.
Read our review on The French Connection here: Jack Hunter and The French Connection Review.
Enter our competition here: Win 1 of 3 copies of Jack Hunter The French Connection
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