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There's A Book

Today I’m pleased to have both of the authors from the soon to be released novel, The Familiars. I asked them to both share a bit about the books that got them started being interested in reading. So here’s what they had to say:

ADAM JAY EPSTEIN spent his childhood in Great Neck, New York, while ANDREW JACOBSON grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the two met in a parking garage out in Los Angeles. They have been writing for film and television together ever since. The Familiars is their first book.

One day, Adam asked Andrew, “Are you familiar with what a familiar is?” And from that simple question, Vastia was born, a fantastical world filled with the authors’ shared love of animals and magic. They wrote every word, sentence, and page together, sitting opposite each other.

Adam Jay Epstein lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jane, their daughters, Penny and Olive, and a black-and-white alley cat who hangs out in their backyard. Andrew Jacobson lives with his wife, Ashley, and their dog, Elvis, four traffic lights away.

THE FAMILIARS will be produced for film by Sam Raimi and Sony Animation.


The Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual” by Gary Gygax
Before I ever started reading novels, in third grade this was my introduction to fantasy. A friend’s older brother turned me onto it and after I purchased it and brought it home, I read it cover to cover. There’s no story, just a list of magical monsters in alphabetical order, but each one was like a story to me. And an excellent primer on mythology, both Greek, Norse, and Babylonian.

Spell for Chameleon” by Piers Anthony
In fifth grade, my dad gave this book to me. Up until that point, I wasn’t really interested in novels at all. I’d rather read my dragon magazines and make up stories of my own. But on his recommendation, I started it, and couldn’t put it down. It was funny and the world of Xanth was like nothing I had ever seen. Plus with surprise twists and turns it got me hooked on the art of storytelling.

The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien
The first Tolkien I ever read, and yes, still my favorite even over “The Lord of the Rings.” The classic hero’s journey tale and the book which all other fantasies are indebted, including mine!


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” by Roald Dahl

Notable not because it was the first book I ever remember reading, but because my 2nd grade teacher allowed us to keep a candy bar in our desk and take a bite each day during reading time.

The Whipping Boy” by Sid Fleischman

A clever, twisty yarn that I returned to over and over again as a kid.

Encyclopedia Brown” and “Two-Minute Mysteries” by Donald J. Sobol

I had a shelf full of “Encyclopedia Brown” books, and “Two-Minute Mysteries” take me back to family road trips and hours spent with my older brother trying to determine what happened to a man hanging from the ceiling over a puddle of water. (He stood atop a block of ice!)

You can learn more about “The Familiars” at where you can even “Find your own Familiar” and much more!

I want to say thank you so much to both Adam and Andrew for stopping by There’s A Book today! It’s always interesting to see all the different books that inspired us on our reading journey.

Make sure to stop by The Familiars site for more fun book info and don’t forget to pick up a copy when it releases on September 7th! I know I’m definitely looking forward to it!

Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with IndieBound.

9 Responses to Guest Post: Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson “The Books That Got Us Started”

  1. I can’t get over how cute these look. Great post 🙂

  2. Shannon says:

    I love this post. I am always interesting in the books that got people started on reading, and made them become “readers”. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kel says:

    Sounds like a great book. I read the same books Andrew did growing up. I still love kids and YA adventure novels. 🙂 Got to read them to write them…right?!?


  4. NotNessie says:

    This looks like a very fun book!

  5. Hoshino Ai says:

    I’m so very excited about this book coming out, and it’s really inspired me to try harder than ever to try and get my own stories published. Thank you so much for telling us all about it.

  6. Pam says:

    I just met these guys today. I mentioned that you are the best MG blog out there and as I am trying to learn MG and incorporate it into my site I look to you for that. Can’t wait to read this book tomorrow!

    • I LOVE YOU! 🙂 Oh my, you are just fabulous! Thank you so much for mentioning my site and for such a nice compliment. MG is fantastic! Most of the books are pretty quick reads, but so many are full of great plots & themes. I just love reviewing them. Let me know if I can help at all.

      I can’t wait to read this one either! This month is full of some really fantastic reads, this one included!

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