June 30, 2011

City of Ashes

A month or so ago I read City of Bones, the first book in The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare and loved it. I just had to read the second book!
Summary: Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go—especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil—and also her father.
To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings—and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father? In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

Okay, I'm not sure if this is possible, but I liked City of Ashes more then City of Bones. Maybe it's because I was already in love with the characters or maybe it's just because Cassandra Clare's writing has gotten better since her first book.
I especially loved the character of Simon, who started off to the side but grew more and more important as the series went on. He's nice, loyal, and always hilarious! I liked him in the first book but he wasn't involved too much till the end of it. In this one he's always involved more or less.
I think villains are a very important part of any story and this one had a great one. Valentine is ruthless, corrupting and very charming, like saying to Jace, join me or everyone you love will get hurt. And also it helped the suspense a great deal knowing he is Clary and Jace's father.
Cassandra Clare has a dreamlike and emotional narrative style that is very descriptive.The book flows along very nicely. Something I didn't like from the first book was how confusing the plot was. This one was still very mixed-up, but Clare has gotten a tad better at keeping everything in line.
This book was a very enjoyable fantasy, that sometimes reminded me a bit of Star Wars (you know, father of main characters is the villain, new-found sibling, and father is set on destroying everything). A rare sequel that's maybe even better the first.
Book Battle Update: This is my third book read in the book battle, but Maddz has read four! Have to read, read, read. But I am halfway into another book so I should have no problem catching up (I hope).

June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 6/28

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
This week's teaser is from:
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
And the teasers are:
1. That you freed a possible criminal by trading away your brother to a warlock who looks like a gay Sonice the Hedgehog and dresses like the child catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang?
2. I'm undead. Now, I know you may preconceived notions about the undead. I know you may not be comfortable with the idea of me being undead. But I'm here to tell you that the undead are just like you and me. Simon paused. Well, okay. Possibly more me than you.

June 25, 2011

Jack Blank and the Secret War (ARC)

I was really lucky to score a advanced reader copy of Jack Blank and the Secret War by Matt Mykusch (read my interview with him here), this is the sequel to the amazing book The Accidental Hero (previously published as Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation).
Summary: Picking up a year after the events of Jack Blank and the Imagine Nation, Jack and his fellow students are now well into their School of Thought training and are "sidekicking" for official, card-carrying super heroes. But, even though Jack feels more at home in the Imagine Nation, he’s still hiding secrets from his friends Skerren and Allegra, both about his shocking connection to their enemy Revile and about his “Top Secret” school assignment, which involves investigating the Rüstov computer virus that affects the Mechas. Jack is busy trying to find out how far the Rüstov sleeper virus has spread, working to find a cure, and striving to avoid the dire future that Revile warned him about. Meanwhile, Jonas Smart is working just as hard to discover what Jack is hiding from everyone. When a rogue Secreteer—the protectors of secrets of inhabitants of the Imagine Nation—starts selling secrets to the highest bidder, Smart is ready and waiting. Jack knows that if Smart finds out the truth about him and Revile, he’s as good as dead. When Jack discovers that the Secreteer causing all this trouble also has information about his father, the distractions really start piling up. If Jack is going to help prevent a second Rüstov invasion, keep Smart from discovering his secrets, and find out what a shadowy, half-mad Secreteer knows about his long-lost father, he'll need to learn to trust his friends, and to find the true path toward becoming a hero himself.
I loved the first Jack Blank adventure so I had high expectations for this one, and Matt Myklusch fulfilled everyone of them and maybe more. I thought that all the characters were all very colorful and decorated. Even the villans could be my favorite characters because of the way Myklusch crafts them. When I read the first Jack Blank book I had no idea what it was going to be like, but for this one I thought that maybe I wouldn't like it as much because I knew a lot about the world already, instead I was pleasantly surprised about how much Matt adds and changes to the story with it still having all the fun stuff readers loved about The Accidental Hero. I did think this book was maybe a bit on the confusing side because there are a lot of things going on, which does make you stop and just keep everything in check. Other then that I don't think I have really anything else to complain about. This book had a fair few amount of suspense and plot twists, my favorite kind of book!
This novel was a fun action packed sequel that will win leave readers hanging for the next. Matt Myklusch has done it again!
Book Battle Update:This is my second book read in the book battle! More to come!
This book is released August 9, preorder it on Amazon.

June 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday 6/21

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
This week's teaser is from:
Jack Blank and the The Secret War (ARC) by Matt Myklusch
And the teasers are:
1.They moved like ninja ghosts, striking hard and fading away fast, only to reappear again moments later in clouds of smoke, attacking from new angles.
2. Don't think you know the battlefield... know you know the battlefield!

June 21, 2011


I've been seeing Wither by Lauren Destefano everywhere! And I have been meaning to buy it since it came out but didn't until last Friday. Before I start the review let's take 10 seconds to admire the cover.... Okay, on with the review.

Summary: What if you knew exactly when you would die?
Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb — males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.
When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape — to find her twin brother and go home.
But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.

Okay, where to begin? This book was amazing! From cover to cover. Rhine was very sweet, and didn't take it out on people whom she knew had no control of the situation. I think my favorite part of the book was probably Rhine's relationship with her sister wives. She was very motherly to them throughout the book. And also, the villains were so well developed. Destefano really made you think that these people had it in them to do such dastardly deeds. Another thing I loved was how the characters changed so much; you think they are villains to begin with and you end the book thinking, hey, they weren't so bad after all.

The setting, like everything else in this book, was wonderfully done, and every description was spot on, making it's own little masterpiece inside a greater one. Destefano crafts a book that will leave readers longing for more, a beautiful yet horrifying debut. A book fans of The Hunger Games and Matched will call their own.
Book Battle Update: Yay! This is my first book read in the book battle.

June 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

Announcing a Book Battle!

Benji from Readings of Benji


Maddz from Slightly Bookish

So me and this really awesome book blogger Maddz from Slightly Bookish are having a book battle! From today (June 20) to August 31 we will both try to read as many books as possible. Now this is where YOU come in. I have read 46 books so far this year and Maddz has read 40. If you correctly guess which of us is going to read more books this Summer you automatically get entered in my giveaway for a copy of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. So, who's going to win? Readings of Benji or Slightly Bookish? Vote now!

June 18, 2011


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld has been on my radar for quite some time, so when I saw it in Scholastic's book orders I finally decided to get it.
Summary: On the eve of World War I, conflicts in Europe are coming to a bloody boil. On every side, governments are frantically arming themselves with new weaponry and sorting out likely friends and foes. On the whole continent, perhaps the oddest pairing of all is the makeshift alliance bred in danger between Aleksandar Ferdinand, fugitive prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and Deryn Sharp, a daring British airwoman disguised as a boy. Both have secrets that they must conceal and now face dangers of literally global proportions. A steampunk series by the author of the Uglies and the Midnighters series.
Okay, so let's just get started by saying I LOVE steampunk books, and this was no exception! I think characters are key in most books and this book had some great ones. Both Alek and Deryn are very well developed and I connected with them a lot throughout the book. I loved Deryn's narration because as Deryn would say "it was so barking brilliant," very cheeky and fun! I don't think I can find a single flaw in this book, except maybe it could have been shortened by 30 or so pages. An adventurous, fast-paced 440 pages [in the paperback edition] of awesomeness.

June 15, 2011

Interview with author Clete Barrett Smith

Hey guys! I got the pleasure to interview Clete Barrett Smith, author of Aliens on Vacation. And without further ado here goes the interview:

Benji: How did you get inspiration for Aliens on Vacation?

Clete Barrett Smith:I take a hike through the forest every day to help me think about stories. I really love the Pacific Northwest and all of its outdoor activities and natural beauty, so I was hiking along and thinking that it would be a great vacation destination for absolutely anyone. Then it hit me: why not aliens? I love alien stories, but most of them are about aliens wanting to come to Earth in order to eat us or steal our planet's resources or enslave us or whatever. I thought "Wait a minute . . . what if they're just coming here to hang out? Doesn't everyone need a vacation?" I thought that would be a funny premise to play around with for a story.

Benji: When did you first become interested in aliens?

Clete Barrett Smith:I was in kindergarten when the first Star Wars came out, and one of my earliest memories is sitting on my dad's lap at the drive-in for that movie. I loved the scene where all of the different types of aliens were hanging out together in the saloon on Tatooine, and that was probably my first inspiration for a hotel where different aliens mingled together. Then, in 2nd grade, the movie E.T. came out. My grandpa was supposed to be baby-sitting me in downtown Seattle but he had to work all day, so he bought a ticket to the early matinee and dropped me off. Whenever the movie ended I would hide behind the curtain while the ushers cleaned the theater, then I would sneak back to my seat and watch it again. I watched E.T. four times in a row that day! And then in 5th grade I read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. That was the first time I had seen sci-fi done in a really funny way, while also still having action and being a great story.
Benji: When did you first start writing?

Clete Barrett Smith:Whenever I finished a good book when I was a kid, I never wanted them to end, so I would play in the woods by my house and think up continued adventures for them. But I never really wrote them down or anything (although now I really wished that I had). I didn't start taking my writing really seriously--writing every day, showing my work to other people, taking writing classes, etc.--until I turned thirty. (My advice to kids interested in writing: Don't wait that long!)

Benji: Who are some of your favorite authors?

Clete Barrett Smith:For kids books I really like Roald Dahl, Nancy Farmer, M.T. Anderson and Rick Riordan. For adults I like George R.R. Martin, David James Duncan, Stephen King and Mary Roach.

Benji: Can you tell us a bit about the sequel, Aliens on a Rampage?

Clete Barrett Smith:One of the things that I like about this premise is that the sequels will each have an entirely new cast of alien characters. I hope this allows the books to be familiar enough to people who liked the first one and want to read more of the same, but also different enough to keep readers interested (and to keep myself interested while writing). In the first book, I wanted all of the aliens to be funny and (mostly) friendly, so the "bad guy" in Aliens on Vacation is the suspicious local sheriff who is trying to shut the place down. The sequel starts on the first day of the main character's return to the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast during the following summer, and the villain is an alien who has been hired to work there while the main character was away. This alien hates Earth and desperately wants to leave, but there's something preventing him, and he wants revenge. I don't want to give too much away, except to say that he has lots of nasty surprises up his sleeve.

Benji: Anything else you would like to tell us?

Clete Barrett Smith:Let's see . . . well, the Disney movie studios just renewed their option on the movie rights for Aliens on Vacation, so there's a chance that it could be a Disney movie someday. I grew up loving Disney movies, so I think it would be really fun to see this story on the big screen. Also, I just received the German version of Aliens on Vacation in the mail (the German translation for the title is "Extra-terrestrial Holiday.") It's really fun to see their version of the cover, and the illustrations inside the book. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and my story takes place up there, so it's fun to think of some kid in Germany reading my book right now. It has also sold in Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, Russia, Italy and France. My new goal is to visit all of these countries where my book has sold.

Benji: Thanks, Clete! Clete's a great author, please visit him on his website.
Thanks for reading!

June 14, 2011

In My Mailbox (9)

Waiting 2 Read - June 2011

I wasn't able to do a Waiting 2 Read for May because, there wasn't really any good books coming out this month but thankfully July has a book I can't wait to read. It's called Ripple by Mandy Hubbard. Here's the summary:
Lexi is cursed with a dark secret. Each day she goes to school like a normal teenager, and each night she must swim, or the pain will be unbearable. She is a siren - a deadly mermaid destined to lure men to their watery deaths. After a terrible tragedy, Lexi shut herself off from the world, vowing to protect the ones she loves. But she soon finds herself caught between a new boy at school who may have the power to melt her icy exterior, and a handsome water spirit who says he can break Lexi's curse if she gives up everything else. Lexi is faced with the hardest decision she's ever had to make: the life she's always longed for - or the love she can't live without?

Doesn't it sound good! It's out July 21 preorder it now! It looks super exciting and I can't wait to read it!
Hope I made you anxious!

Teaser Tuesday 6/14

Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should be Reading
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
This week's teaser is from:
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
And the teasers are:
1. " Take heart at this impoliteness, Alek. It proves that you are still a threat to the throne".
2. Of course he'd never imagine a Cyklop Stormwalker having to hide from anything.

And the Winner Is...

The Winner for a Signed copy of The Accidental Hero by Matt Myklusch is...

The winner will have 48 hours to respond, after 48 hours without a response a new winner will be picked.

June 13, 2011

Interview with author Aimée Carter

Hey guys! So I got the pleasure to interview Aimée Carter, author of The Goddess Test. And without further ado, here goes the interview:
Benji: How did you get inspiration for The Goddess Test?
Aimée Carter: I've always loved Greek mythology, and ever since I heard the myth of Hades and Persephone, I wondered about Hades' side of things. I began to form the idea for this story back when I first started writing, nearly fifteen years ago, but it wasn't until 2007 that I began to form it as it is today. It took a long time for the pieces to fall into place.

Benji: When did you first become interested in Greek Mythology?
Aimée Carter: Around five or six, when I got my hands on a copy of D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. To this day it's my favorite book on mythology. I used to watch Hercules and Xena, two TV series based on Greek mythology; I played computer games, read everything I could get my hands on, and I was that annoying kid who lectured everyone else during the mythology unit in fourth grade.

Benji: How does the character of Kate relate to you?
Aimée Carter: When I wrote The Goddess Test, I didn't relate to Kate's situation much at all. My mother died when I was ten years old, so it's been a long time, and I was never in the position of caretaker. However, after I'd sold the book to my publisher, Harlequin TEEN, my father was hospitalized under life-threatening circumstances, and in a twist of events, I was placed in Kate's situation as caretaker of my only family. Armed with a new understanding of what that was like, I edited portions of the manuscript to reflect that.

Benji: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Aimée Carter: Write what you want to write and not what anyone tells you that you should be writing. Pay attention to critiques and learn from them, but trust your gut as well. Keep writing and don't give up. And learn as much about writing and the publishing process as you can. It's a craft that takes years -- you wouldn't expect to play guitar like a rock star when you pick up an instrument for the first time, right? It's the same thing with writing. You have to really work at it, and it's a skill like anything else.

Benji: What kinds of research did you have to do for this book?
Aimée Carter: I was already very familiar with Greek mythology, so it didn't take too much research there. I did some geographical research based on the place the story takes place, and I did some research on cancer and the like. The interesting part of writing this for me was the research I couldn't use -- the mythology that didn't work with the story I wanted to tell, and how creative I had to get to work around that while still sticking to as much of the myth as I could.

Benji: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Aimée Carter: JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, David and Leigh Eddings, Orson Scott Card, Kevin Brooks, Rick Riordan, and I love so many of the debuts this year as well - Wither by Lauren DeStefano, Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton, A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, etc.

Benji: Could you tell us a bit about the sequel, Goddess Interrupted?

Aimée Carter: Sure! Goddess Interrupted will be released in March/April 2012, and the back of the book was just released. This is what it says:
Kate Winters has won immortality.
But if she wants a life in the Underworld with Henry, she’ll have to fight for it.

Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

Here's a look at the cover:

Benji: Anything else you would like to tell us? About you, your books, or life in general?
Aimée Carter: Bloggers and readers like you are the reason we get to write, and I can't tell you how grateful I am for everyone who has given The Goddess Test -- or really, any debut YA book -- a chance. You're amazing.
Thank you so much for having me!

Aimée Carter is a great author and I invite you to visit her at her website!

Horton Halfpott or the Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor or The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset

From Tom Angleberger [read my interview with him here] author of the New York Times best-seller, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda comes Horton Halfpott or the Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor or the Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset. Wow is that a mouthful of a title!
Summary: Tom Angleberger's latest, loopiest middle-grade novel begins when M'Lady Luggertuck loosens her corset (it's never been loosened before!), thereby setting off a chain of events in which all the strict rules of Smugwick Manor are abandoned. When, as a result of "the Loosening," the precious family heirloom, the Luggertuck Lump (quite literally a lump), goes missing, the Luggertucks look for someone to blame. Is it Horton Halfpott, the good-natured but lowly kitchen boy who can't tell a lie? Or one of the many colorful cast members in this silly romp of a mystery.

So as you can see from the summary, this book does not take itself seriously, and I think that makes the book a whole lot more fun! One thing I was surprised by in this book was how different it was from The Strange Case of Origami Yoda but I guess that's to be expected seeing how this book takes place in Victorian England and Origami Yoda takes place is middle school. Personally I'm glad that Tom Angleberger can write well in two different genres. The only problem of this book was that it goes off on way too many side stories and ends of giving the reading a cartoon-filled headache. What can I say? As the back cover states "Tom Angleberger's loopiest novel yet".

June 11, 2011

Aliens on Vacation

After reading a review on a fellow blogger's site I was enticed to pick up author Clete Barrett Smith's debut book Aliens on Vacation.

Summary:David, otherwise known as Scrub (don't ask), isn't happy about leaving Florida and his friends to summer with his grandmother in "Middle of Nowhere," Washington. When he arrives at her Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, he isn't surprised by its 60s meets Star Wars decor, but he is surprised by the weird-looking guests. It turns out that each room in the inn is a portal, and his grandma is the gate-keeper, allowing aliens to vacation on Earth. Grandma desperately needs Scrub's help with welcoming (and disguising) the tourists, shopping for cartloads of aluminum foil for dinner, and taking rambunctious alien kids camping in the nearby woods. The problem is, the town sheriff--already suspicious about Granny--is a scout leader camping in the same spot. Will Scrub blow Granny's cover, forcing the B&B to shut down forever?

Normally I'm not a big fan of alien books, but this was an exception. The idea for the book is very creative, and smart. I've read plenty of books about vampires, werewolves, mermaids, basically everything under the sun [or moon] but nothing compares to the aliens in this book. From aliens whose skin glows to aliens that are taller then basketball players wearing high-heels, this book has it all! I thought the character of "Scrub" and the entire cast of characters were all very colorful. My only problem with this book was that it was rather hard to believe, and didn't really make it seem real. Other than that, a fun, quirky novel that will leave readers wanting to take another ride.

Giveaway Reminder

Hey guys! Just a quick reminder to enter the giveaway for a signed copy of The Accidental Hero by Matt Myklusch. Enter on this post. Don't miss your chance to win this awesome book! The giveaway ends June 14, so make haste!

June 9, 2011

The Goddess Test

After seeing this book around and reading review's of it, I finally decided to dive into The Goddess Test, Aimée Carter's debut novel.

Summary: It's always been just Kate and her mom—and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld—and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy—until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

So ever since reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan, I've been loving the "gods in real world" genre so after reading the plot I was hooked. From page one I loved the character of Kate, she was really a great person and someone anyone would be lucky to have as a friend. Characters were a big part of this book and most of them I loved, except for Henry- I felt like that he wasn't really Hades. Hades is supposed to be a devilish trickster of the underworld, not a mirror of Edward from The Twilight Saga. That was probably the only flaw in the book. I loved every moment and Aimée Carter had a great writing style, it really flowed along perfectly. There is supposed to be a sequel, which I can't wait to read but this book summed it up pretty well. A strong debut for Aimée Carter.


June 5, 2011

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past three years then you know about the Mortal Instruments series by runaway author Cassandra Clare. I've heard a ton about these books and how great they are, so I finally decided to buy it from Barnes and Noble.

Summary:When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder—much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing—not even a smear of blood—to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Okay so, where do I begin? This book was amazing. Clary's character is so easy to connect with as a reader and really makes you care about her. The writing style is so beautiful and flows along wonderfully. The only thing I didn't like about this book was the plot. It was a good plot, don't get me wrong. But it was very hard to follow and easy to get confused. But aside from that, this book was an awesome, epic start to the series that will leave readers longing for more.


June 2, 2011

Interview with author Matt Myklusch and Giveaway

Hi readers, so I got the pleasure to interview Matt Myklusch, author of The Accidental Hero. And without further ado, here goes the interview:

How did you get inspiration for your book?

The inspiration came from the thousands of comic books that fired up my imagination when I was a kid. I read tons of comics growing up, and they always made me want to grab a pencil and paper as soon as I was finished reading. I would either draw my favorite characters from the Marvel or DC comic book universes, or I’d make up my own. Most of the time I wanted to make up my own. I always say that I’m easily inspired. I see something I like, and I say to myself, “I want to do something like that.” A lot of the heroes and villains in THE ACCIDENTAL HERO are characters I created a long time ago.

At what age did you start to write?

The first time I wrote something for real was in college. It was my junior year, and I was determined to write a screenplay over Spring Break. At the time, I didn’t know anything about screenwriting or even how to structure a story properly. I just knew that screenplays were supposed to be about 120 pages and that sounded manageable.

Three bad screenplays (and several years) later, I switched to novels. I wrote a novel with a friend of mine that we weren’t able to sell, but we had a lot of fun writing it and I learned a lot in the process. After that, I sat down to write THE ACCIDENTAL HERO and finally broke through with that story. All in all, it was about a 15 year journey from that Spring Break screenplay to the start of the Jack Blank Adventures.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

My tastes are all over the map. I don’t read a ton of books from the genre I write in, which I suppose is good, as I am less likely to get influenced that way. I’m a big fan of Tom Wolfe, Tom Clancy, Stephen King, JK Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, and Michael Harvey. I love a good detective story, and I think Michael Harvey has created the modern day Phillip Marlowe with his Michael Kelly character. It’s only a matter of time before we see that Private Investigator prowling around Chicago in the movies.

Can you tell us anything about the next book in your series "The Secret War"?

When we last left Jack Blank, he was holding onto some pretty big secrets-- both about himself, and about the Rustov’s plans to invade the Imagine Nation. Jack has become something of a celebrity hero in Empire City, but he’s still weighed down by the burden of secrets. He hasn’t even told his best friends Skerren and Allegra the whole truth about himself yet.

When the heroes of the Imagine Nation discover an attack by Rustov sleeper agents is imminent, everything changes. Jack is forced to trust his friends in a race against the clock to fight back mass hysteria, find the enemy spies, and thwart the Rustov plans before it’s too late. Along the way, he’ll come one step closer to becoming the hero – or villain – he is destined to be.

A few other tidbits you can look forward to… We’re going to travel outside of Empire City and see more of the Imagine Nation in this book. We’re also going to see how the heroes and villains who live there interact with the Real World, and how it’s all swept under the rug. We might even find out something about Jack’s father, but you’ll have to read the book to get the details.

When did you start reading comics?

The first comic I remember reading was Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew. That came out in 1982, so I must have been about five years old when I started. After that, I read a lot of classic superheroes: Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, Captain America, and such.

When I was nine, I read my first X-Men comic book. It was Uncanny X-Men # 211. I remember the exact issue because it was the start of what is now a famous storyline called “The Mutant Massacre.” There was a cool team of villains called The Marauders that got introduced in that issue, and they all had awesome powers and code names. The X-Men team lineup at point in time was a great one as well (they have good years and bad years… kind of like SNL casts). It was a great jumping on point, and I think that is about the time I started drawing my own superheroes. Like I said, I’m easily inspired.

Anything us you'd like to tell us about yourself? Your books? Life in General?

Let’s see… I’m a die-hard Yankee fan, and I was in the stadium for the Aaron Boone game in 2003. I actually got tickets for two Red Sox fans that night, and I remain convinced that the good karma I gained from that act helped the Yankees win that series.

Before I quit to write full time, I worked at MTV for almost ten years. I helped launch mtvU and managed MTV Spring Break three different times. My title was Director of Ancillary Business. I still don’t know what that means, but it was a great job.

My favorite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo.

Okay and now to the Giveaway part: We're going to keep this one simple, just fill out the form:

June 1, 2011

And the Winner Is...


The winner was picked by random.org. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to me by email and accept their prize. After 48 hours if they have not yet accepted the book, random.org will pick a new winner. Thank you everyone who entered and stay tuned because I will be doing some more giveaways over the summer. Thanks!

In My Mailbox (8)

You can check out my interview with Tom Angleberger here!
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