Book Nerd Guest Post
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Aladdin (October 4, 2016)
"A GUIDE TO THE OTHER SIDE IS A FUN RIDE AND A GREAT CONCEPT. A MIDDLE GRADE MEDIUM TAKING ON A VERY BAD GHOST, AND FINDING HIS TWIN SISTER—WHO’S ALSO A GHOST. CHILLS GALORE." –JAMES PATTERSON, #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR
"BAYLOR'S ADVENTURES WILL INTRIGUE, EXCITE, AND CAPTIVATE YOUNG READERS...THIS SERIES OPENER IS FUNNY, MYSTICAL, AND ENDEARING." –KIRKUS REVIEWS
"FANS OF ANYTHING OTHERWORLDLY SHOULD BE INSTANTLY ENTRANCED. VERDICT: A UNIQUE GHOST STORY LOADED WITH JUST THE RIGHT BLEND OF LAUGH-OUT-LOUD HUMOR AND SUSPENSE. ANTICIPATE HIGH DEMAND FOR THIS SERIES STARTER." –SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"WHERE THE BEYOND BAYLOR SERIES IS HEADING IS ANYONE’S GUESS, AND PLENTY OF KIDS WILL WANT TO KNOW. " –BOOKLIST
What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?I consider myself something of an open book, and a very boring one at that. I’m not sure what would surprise anyone. In fact, at a recent dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in perhaps two years, she asked, verbatim, “So, besides the book coming out and the new job, what else is new?” Now, one might think those two events would be enough to fill a month’s worth of dinner convos, but I think part of the problem is that I’m very casual and nonchalant about these kinds of big moments. I’m not one to boast about myself, so I tend to downplay what others might see as a big deal. “Oh, yeah, the book came out in October. So weird that that happened, right? Wow, this menu is great – the chicken limone sure looks good. What’s new with you?”
So, if you’re reading this, you clearly know about one significant event in my life as of late (the book, in that wasn’t obvious…!) But it might come as a surprise to people that I worked in a very specific area of publishing—brand marketing—for my day job. Brand marketing is fairly different from marketing for your standard trade books. These bigger brands are typically much more established with a large audience, outstanding sales numbers, and hefty marketing budgets.
I originally got my start on the James Patterson brand team at Hachette. These people are among the best in the biz, and I count myself lucky to still call them my friends. And, of course, JP is a marketing whiz. It was such a privilege to work for him and see his mind at work.
Next I worked at Abrams on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid marketing team. Our team was small and scrappy, but we worked hard and made magic happen. I’m extraordinarily proud of some of the things we accomplished. Plus, Jeff Kinney is at the top of his game and one of the nice people you could ever hope to work with.
Just recently – a couple weeks after A GUIDE TO THE OTHER SIDE came out, actually – I started on the brand marketing team at Random House Children’s Books. I get to work on some of the biggest chapter book series around, like Magic Tree House and Junie B. Jones, along with licensed titled from amazing brands like Nickelodeon, Disney/Pixar, Dreamworks, and Mattel. This area of publishing definitely presents its own unique challenges, but I find it to be incredible exciting. There’s something about leveraging the power of brand and finding the perfect way to promote it (ideally with some beautiful synergy in a third-party cross-promotion) that’s almost as exciting as publishing your own books.
Top 10 Ways To Get Inspired to Write
1. Go for a walk, and let your imagination wander. Some seriously random things can spontaneously happen – I once came up with a new story idea by thinking too much about a construction crane I passed on West 18th Street in NYC.
2. Read a good book. I think this is vital to keeping the creative tank full.
3. Do something new. For me, this usually involves saying yes to some random request from a friend. Sure, I’ll go see that aerial yoga show, why not? An Ethiopian restaurant for dinner? Let’s go! Collecting these experiences will keep you feeling fresh and on your toes.
4. Travel. There’s nothing like getting lost in a new place to inspire you. I recently visited Scotland, Denmark, and Sweden, and now I’m itching to write some sort of sweeping, epic YA romance that mashes up certain elements of each culture. (Swedmarkland – coming to a store near you…one day!)
5. Laugh. After a good, solid laugh, I always feel an urge to somehow translate that good feeling and positive energy to the page. Go see a comedy show (UCB in NYC is the best!). Watch a classic episode of Friends. Listen to my roommate Di tell one of her ridiculous stories.
6. Ask “why?” all the time. Seriously, do your best impression of a precocious toddler and ask why endlessly. Maybe don’t literally do this to your friends and family – you want to still hang out with you, after all – but leave no stone unturned with your questioning and wondering.
7. Read chapter 11 (“The Firebolt”) of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. I know, this is very specific advice, but it’s a microcosm of what makes that series perfect. The mystery! The friendship! The lightheartedness, the magic, the suspense! Plus, let’s not forget the right amount of McGonagall sass and Dumbledore weirdness. I get chills just thinking about it.
8. Go to the beach, drink a margarita, and listen to Zac Brown Band on repeat. OK, this one might be very specific, too, but I swear it works like a charm!
9. Real talk – sometimes the inspiration just isn’t there, no matter how hard you try to make it happen. In that case, force yourself to sit in a coffee shop – preferably a charming, airy, light one – stare at the blank page on the screen, and see what happens.
10. Most importantly, don’t over think it! Trust your instincts, and go for it. You can always edit later. If you spend more time thinking about writing than you do actually writing, that’s a problem. It’s always, always better to be writing.
There are a few things you should know about Baylor Bosco: He’s thirteen-years-old, he has a twin sister, and he really does NOT like ghosts…which is problematic because he’s a medium and sees ghosts everywhere.
Oh, and his twin sister, Kristina? She’s a ghost too.
They’ve been working as a pair for years, expertly relaying messages from ghosts to their still-living loved ones. Baylor’s even managed to come up with an introductory phrase—one that he has to use far too often.
But when a strange ghost shows up close to Halloween, a grown man, covered in a sheet, with only his black leather shoes showing from the bottom, Baylor starts to wonder if something else has taken notice of him. And when his sister goes missing, somehow ghost-napped, he’s forced to figure out the truth about the Sheet Man and his sister’s disappearance, all without his usual ghostly ambassador.
Rosalie had erected a table in the corner covered in all kinds of paraphernalia; an ancient, thick book, tarot cards, a cracked mirror, dark prisms, and a small voodoo doll covered in a white sheet, with pins sticking into all parts of the body.
Standing guard over the table was a Bruton, its black, jagged wings spread apart like a massive bat’s, taking up nearly the entire width of the basement. The fire in its eyes burned mercilessly.
“Kristina,” I said under my breath. “Back up. Go back up.”
“No. Walk over with confidence and destroy the relics,” she said, defiant.
I started walking slowly again, and with every step the fire in the Bruton’s eyes glowed more sinisterly.
“Good demon,” I said breathlessly. “Good boy. Please don’t attack me.”
Its head followed me and shifted violently around, like black smoke escaping into the air.
I focused on my breathing, trying to keep it steady, in and out.
It can’t hurt you, I reminded myself. It can’t touch you.
I collected the tarot cards as the Bruton hovered over me, maybe three feet away. I ripped them up, trying to stifle a horrified gasp as wisps of black energy slithered into the air from the paper shreds and circled my hands, as if trying to invade me, before ultimately returning to the demon. Then I threw the book onto the floor and chucked the mirror at it, a thousand pieces of glass stabbing into its cover and scattering all over the bare gray concrete; the prisms met the same fate a few seconds later.
Finally, the doll. With each needle I removed, more black energy returned to the Bruton, like he was vacuuming it up. I shredded the miniature sheet, then ripped the head off the ragged voodoo doll, threw the pieces down, and stomped on them.
The table empty, I smiled at Kristina and said, “That wasn’t so bad.”
The Bruton, which had been eerily watching me, suddenly screeched, and it was like an airplane had just crashed into the house. The fire in its eyes exploded out at me, and it started beating its wings back and forth to direct the flames all around me.
“Run, Baylor!” Kristina yelled.
“Where?” I shouted back, seeing only fire, which seemed to take alternating shapes of people writhing in pain.
Kristina looked around, then stuck her hand out and tried to blast a spot through the wall of fire, but it was like water evaporating in the heat of the flames.
The wall started closing in, eviscerating the table and chairs, and before I knew it, the intense heat was just a few feet away, the hairs on my arms burning, the skin practically melting off me. The terror etched in Kristina’s face was sinking in, and I closed my eyes and simply thought, Help.
And now, The Giveaways.
November 28th Monday JeanBookNerd GUEST POST
November 29th Tuesday Mama Reads Blog REVIEW
November 30th Wednesday Captivated Reading RANDOM THINGS
December 1st Thursday La Fin Absolute du Monde REVIEW
December 2nd Friday Sabrina's Paranormal Palace REVIEW & FAVORITE BOOKS
December 3rd Saturday Deal Sharing Aunt REVIEW
December 3rd Saturday Confessions of a Librarian in Training SPOTLIGHT
December 4th Sunday Rose's Book Corner MUSIC PLAYLIST
December 4th Sundayaturday Books, Dreams, Life REVIEW
December 5th Monday CBY Book Club SPOTLIGHT
December 6th Tuesday Cover2CoverBlog REVIEW
December 7th Wednesday A Dream Within a Dream REVIEW & TENS LIST
*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*