By Kathy Collins

Steve Altier, an author and resident of the greater Brandon area, has written and published his third illustrated children’s middle grade chapter book, Blast Off With Gabby and Maddox.

This book is a space adventure for Altier’s intrepid adventurers, Gabby and Maddox. Altier explained the inspiration for this book.

“I am a science fiction enthusiast. I have always loved space travel and wanted to write a story about the subject. I used the same characters as the first two books. In this story the children join NASA’s Children’s Astronaut Program, or the CAP.”

The book begins with a summer visit to their grandparents. Grandpa was in the space program, so he is familiar with CAP. A routine trip to the space station leaves the siblings lost in space on a ship with no power. They are rescued by Spark, a friendly alien from the planet Ubatuba. After helping their new friend solve a mystery on his home planet, the Ubatubans keep their promise by helping Gabby and Maddox return home. This newest installment in the lives of Gabby and Maddox has lots of fun filled and wacky adventures.

Altier was not always a professional writer. He spent many years serving in the United States Air Force.

“I spent three years overseas in the Philippines. When I returned state side I was stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa. I fell in love with the area and when my first term was up, I decided to call Tampa my home,” said Altier.

“I wrote when I was a child, when time permitted. It was a few years back when I decided to follow my dream and started to pursue writing again. It is never too late to follow one’s dreams, no matter how old you are,” added Altier.

You can meet Altier at a book signing at Barnes and Noble located at 122 Brandon Town Center in Brandon on Saturday, December 5 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

All three of Altier’s books are available from major bookseller such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million. You can also order autographed copies at www.stevealtier.com.