Friday, September 13, 2013

MERGO

After wrapping up the edits on Frenzy, it was time to think about my next novel. I bounced some ideas around with my editor and we decided on a concept that falls into the same genre as Frenzy, a science-thiller with a good mix of horror. I'm excited to announce that the follow up to my debut is tentatively titled MERGO. The good people at Disney-Hyperion have graciously allowed me to say a little bit about the plot. 

When a family member falls deathly ill, 14-year-old Piper turns to her classmate Tad for comfort. Tad, an amateur botanist, tells her there's a Seminole legend of a cure-all flower found only in an unexplored section of Georgia’s Okefenokee Swamp. Desperate for any glimmer of hope, Piper convinces Tad to accompany her on a hunt for the flower.

What awaits them in the country’s largest black water swamp is an entity the Creek Indians, now long gone, spoke of in hushed, fearful tones. The Seminole believed that the swamp's first settlers, the mystical Tasketcha tribe, still existed as evil spirits, forever tethered to their burial mounds found in the dark heart of the waterlogged forest.

If Piper has any chance of saving her loved one, she’ll have to do the impossible—find the miracle flower, face her past, and overcome an ancient evil known only as Mergo

Not official book art

Mergo's publication date is a still a long way off, but it's nice to sink my teeth into a new story. I'll post updates on this project as it develops.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cover Reveal!

Today is a day I've been looking forward to for over four years. In 2009 I left a great job in the construction industry to pursue my dream of writing children’s books, and I’m excited to reveal the result of that leap of faith. The advance reader copies of Frenzy have arrived and they’re amazing!
I’m so grateful to the many people who were involved in bringing Frenzy to this important stage: my agent Lauren MacLeod, my editor Ricardo Mejias, and the fine people at Disney-Hyperion, including the book jacket’s designer Joann Hill. And a special thanks to the artist who painted the awesome cover, Mark Fredrickson.
I want to talk about Mark for a moment. When I was told who would be painting the cover I was thrilled. I've been a fan of Mark’s work for a long time. Although you may not recognize his name, you've probably seen his art many times while scanning magazine racks at the grocery store, because Mark is one of the premiere cover artists for Mad Magazine. In fact, the day I learned that Mark was going to be doing the cover for Frenzy, I was standing in the check-out line at Publix and saw, tucked snug in a rack next to People Magazine, a special-edition of Mad sporting a Mark Fredrickson cover. Mark has also painted for Time Magazine and he's created book covers for some of my favorite writers including R.L. Stine.
You may have even seen his work on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
I think Mark did a fantastic job on my cover. The squirrel almost leaps off the page, and the raccoon is terrifying (I was once confronted by a rabid raccoon while walking a neighbor’s dog, and I can say from that experience that Mark nailed the look). But my favorite is the sickly porcupine peeking around the tree trunk in the upper left-hand corner.
Now that the advance reader copies are off to reviewers, I’ve moved on to the next book, which I hope to talk about soon. As a teaser I’ll just say that in a few weeks I’m heading to the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia to do research for the story.
Frenzy is now available for pre-order at B&N and AMAZON.

B&N

AMAZON

And for those of you who prefer to support indie booksellers, you should be able to find it here soon.

The soft-cover advance reader copies aren’t available to the general public, but the hardcover version will be released on April 8th and you can pre-order them online or buy them in bookstores on that date. If a child you know (ages 10-15) is a fan of science-thrillers like Jurassic ParkCongo, or Micro, then Frenzy will be a perfect gift. The book is scary (in a good way), but it’s also loaded with fun, factual science. So, you know, they’ll actually learn something.
I’d like to thank all of you who have purchased or plan on purchasing Frenzy. I hope you like it! If you want to read more about Frenzy and my future books, please visit me at: