Scary School (Scary School #1)Released: 26 June 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Middle Grade, Humor
At the Other End:
You think your school's scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire
Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess
Mr. Snakeskin—science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
Mrs. T—break the rules and spend your detention with a hungryTyrannosaurus rex!
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost!
Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends—including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf—and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky!
Scary School is absolutely genius! A great paranormal for middle graders.
Derek is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn’t work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth. Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.
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The Scary School series was my first published books. Before that I was a little bit know for my one-man show – Michael Jordan’s Magic Shoes, which toured around the country. I also wrote directed musicals and started my own production company – Sad Ninja Comedy.
2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
When a book has been on sale for a week, I’m usually hustling doing promotions, so the work has just begun. I’m going to launch events, school visits, storytime visits, and also handling all of the viral marketing. It’s a very busy time so I’m usually on overdrive trying to get the word out and making new fans.
3. What inspired you to write this novel?
The first novel I ever wrote was originally called SCARY SCHOOL: BOOK 1 - MY HOMEWORK ATE MY DOG! - it's a middle-grade fantasy series very similar to Harry Potter. The only problem was, it didn't have a whole lot to do with a "scary school". I just thought of that title and wanted to use it before someone else did. So my editor at HarperCollins read the book, and almost acquired it, but in the end, they ended up passing on it, but gave me the recommendation to write a book series called SCARY SCHOOL that was lighter, funnier, and more school-centric. I took their advice, which became the Scary School series we know today. It was also great because for inspiration I got to use all of my favorite characters from the horror movies I loved, like Jason, and Freddy, and even the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park! I wanted to imagine what it would be like if they had all gone to school together when they were kids, and in my silly head, the reality of that would be pretty dang funny .By the way, the original book ended up becoming RUDY AND THE BEAST: BOOK 1 - MY HOMEWORK ATE MY DOG! which is available exclusively through my website at http://www.scaryschool.com/bookstore.html - and you can get it on Kindle (just $2.99!) or paperback! For those who like dark fantasies like Harry Potter, I've gotten many responses that young readers enjoy it even more than Scary School!
4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
Well, luckily the reviews for Scary School have been extremely positive. If it were a movie on Rotten Tomatoes, I think we'd be polling at 99%, so I can chalk up the 1% to being out-of-touch elitists :) But, if they have good, constructive criticism, I love hearing that. Those helped me make improvements in Book 2 of Scary School after seeing the same couple criticisms pop up a bit too often.
5. How long was the writing/planning process?
I usually take about a month or two of serious pre-planning. I make lists of things I want in the book (that can happen all year when I think of something). And then I spend a good amount of time outlining. I make a general outline and then flesh it out into a very detailed outline that’s like a beat sheet.
6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
I loved the cover art when I first saw it, but I had one idea for a change that they actually ended up using. The first mock-up of the cover had a werewolf kid riding a skateboard. I suggested they might want to try a zombie instead, and they ended up going with that.
7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
Yes! Lots of stuff! Of course you can expect Scary School #2: Monsters on the March due out June 26, and then Book 3 June of 2013. I also have a very funny new book called Principal Mikey that we're currently shopping, plus I'm starting up a couple new projects - one is an older YA book that will be kind of an adventure story through great cinema, and also a new middle-grade series about the wackiest town in the world.
8. Top 5 books
- Maus 1 and 2 – Art Spiegelman
- Welcome to the Monkeyhouse – Kurt Vonnegut collection of short stories
- Harry Potter 7 – I forget the author
- If I Ran the Circus – Dr. Seuss
- Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Louise Sachar
9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee, Shark Wars series by EJ Altbacker, A Weapon to End War by Jonathan Ross, anything by Cormac McCarthy or Stephen King, The Beyonders series by Brandon Mull, 52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody
10. Why read your novel?
This novel was received for review via the author. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel