STAMFORD, Conn. — In his first book, “Killmaiden’s Compendium of Uncommon Occurrences,” Stamford’s James Shapiro hopes to give young readers a trip around his fantasy world without leaving home. But after reading, he wants them to have their own expeditions.
“It will make kids get off the couch” Shapiro said. “There is an adventure outside of every doorway and this book will unlock that for people.”
Shapiro’s story introduces readers to 12-year-old Alexander Drake who has to search the “Wide World” with his sister and others in order to find their father, who was on a mission for Lord Killmaiden. “Killmaiden’s Compendium of Uncommon Occurrences” is a book in the story, which chronicles the mystery of the “Wide World” that is added to by explorers like the Drakes.
The idea for the book came to him while he was asleep one night, and without leaving himself anything to write on at his bedside, he figured he would forget it in the morning. Fortunately for Shapiro said he “still felt this burning need to start this story,” in the morning, and now does have a pen and paper by his bed.
While Alexander Drake and the Wide World are fictional, he did draw on his personal experiences having traveled, hiked and backpacked all over the world, which he enjoys to do as an escape from being inside.
“Bear Grylls has no reason to be afraid of me” the corporate lawyer and former State Representative, said of his adventures.
“Killmaiden’s” was officially released on Jan. 7, but was available on-line earlier and has seen success reaching as high as third for hot new releases and 20th for teen literature in fiction for Kindle downloads, he said.
“It’s one thing for your best friend to write a review, it’s another thing for a reader in Oklahoma to say, ‘I liked this as much as if not more than the ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Harry Potter,’” Shapiro said.
Shapiro, 42, is a lifelong Stamford resident and is married with a 4-year-old son.