FAST FORWARD FRIDAY – Loriel Ryon

Thank you so much for participating in Fast Forward Friday, Loriel. It’s a pleasure to have you here today!

Hi Kathie. It’s a pleasure to be able to participate in this interview series. Thank you for having me.

I’m grateful that I had a chance to read an ARC of  INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS, and I thought it was SO well done. I wonder if you could give our readers a description of what it’s about?

INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS is a coming of age story about twelve-year-old STEM-loving, semi-cranky protagonist Yolanda who must embark on a magical journey through the desert to save her grandmother’s life. Set in the New Mexico desert, it has elements of fabulism and explores topics on grief and loss, sister relationships, family connections, misunderstandings and growing up.

Can you tell us about your experience writing this book?

This book started with a memory from my childhood. I was very young, maybe 4 years old, and we would leave town for the summer and stay with my grandparents in south Texas while my dad was serving in the military. I remember when we came home after being gone and opening the blinds of the sliding glass door and seeing the grass had grown as tall the house. I stood there in awe, wondering how it was possible, and that image has always stuck with me. I remember my grandad saying “Don’t go out there, there’s snakes out there!” and him going to cut it down by hand. That was the first snippet of what I had to start writing this book. I also have a love of genetics and wanted to write about a magical familial trait where one sister has the trait and it appears the other sister doesn’t. After that, the story just kept flowing and I had no idea where it was going to take me.

What role has your Las Hermanas mentorship played in it?

My mentor, Angela Cervantes, has been so wonderful during this debut year. I was looking for a mentor to help me navigate my debut year and ask all those questions, and the Las Hermanas mentorship through Las Musasa has proved to be so helpful. Some pairings in the mentorship are working on manuscripts, but I was looking more for someone who could help me navigate the debut year.  How do I talk to bookstore owners? How do I design a school visit? When should I make bookmarks? What should I put on them? Becoming an author is like nothing I’ve ever done, and she has been a vital resource and person that I can turn to. 

Yolanda was one of my favorite characters, and I loved watching her bloom over the course of the novel as she discovers more about herself and her family. Where did the inspiration for your characters come from?

All of my characters have a little bit of me in them (it would be impossible if they didn’t!), and my family will definitely say I was a bit cranky as a kid…so that part of Yolanda is me, 100%. As for my other characters, they are a mix of relationships I’ve had with people in my life. Yolanda’s relationship with Welo is much like the relationships I had with both of my grandfathers. 

Yolanda learns many new things on her journey to the pecan tree. Can you share one thing with us that you’ve learned from your publishing experience?

Publishing has been a whirlwind of an experience, fast then slow, no news then tons of news. I have learned to try not to stress too much over the small things and be patient. I was never a patient kid, but as I’ve become a mother and my other job as a nurse has taught me more patience. Those roles have laid the foundation for the unpredictability of publishing. In publishing you never really know where things are going to go. But I love it and I’m enjoying the ride. 

This is a story about family, friendship, relationships, misunderstandings, growing up…there are so many wonderful topics to discuss. What do you hope young readers will take away from your book?

I hope that readers enjoy the magical nature of the book and come away with an understanding about grief and loss and how someone can change, including themselves. For this age group, kids on the cusp of adolescence, they are just starting to figure out who they are and what defines them. I hope through Yolanda, they can see that there is always a capacity to be open and change from who you thought you were.

Where can readers go to find out more about you and your writing, and do you have another project on which you’re working at the moment?

You can find me on twitter and instagram. My handle is @Lorielryon. I am also on facebook at that handle, though not as active. My website is Lorielryon.com

I am always working on something, I have a few projects in the works, but nothing I get to talk about right now. 

I really appreciate you joining us today. I wish you many magical moments in your debut year.

Thank you so much for having me, it was a pleasure.

Loriel Ryon is an author of middle grade fiction. She spent her childhood with her nose in a book, reading in restaurants, on the school bus, and during every family vacation. Her upbringing in a mixed-heritage military family inspires much of her writing about that wonderfully complicated time between childhood and adulthood. Also a nurse, she lives in the magical New Mexico desert with her husband and two daughters.

Cover Reveal: THE DARE SISTERS, by Jess Rinker

Hi Jess, and welcome to MG Book Village! We’re so happy that you chose to do your cover reveal with us. Congratulations on your debut MG novel, THE DARE SISTERS, which will be released on September 8th. Can you tell everyone a bit about it, please?

Thank YOU Kathie, and MG Book Village! I’ve been following you guys for a while now and love what you’re doing, so it’s an honor to be here. I call The Dare Sisters “Goonies meets Little Women”. It’s an adventure story with a ton of heart, deals with loss and friendship, and most importantly sisters and family. The story takes place on Ocracoke Island in North Carolina where Savannah Dare and her sisters are searching for Blackbeard’s treasure using a map their grandfather left them before he died. Most people, including their parents, believe the treasure is just a legend, but the girls know Grandpa wouldn’t have made this up. 

Plus, they’re not the only ones searching…

Can you share three interesting facts with us about this story or its road to publication?

1. In 2015, my husband and I were vacationing in the Florida keys and as we were driving through we passed three tanned, sun-streaked blond little girls skateboarding down the shoulder of the highway. They looked like carbon copies of each other. The oldest held the rope and did all the work, the second was sitting on her board and the third was on her belly, and down the road they went tied together. It was quite an unbelievable sight! I announced right then that I was writing a story about those sisters. I didn’t actually do it until about 2 years later, however.

2. There is a lot of real historical tid-bits about pirates and Ocracoke in this book, (and book 2 which comes out next year) so much so that in early drafts I had to decide if I was writing historical fiction or an adventure story! I decided on the latter and am glad I did because I can take many more liberties. Learning about Blackbeard and the Golden Age of Pirates was a tremendous amount of fun. And Ocracoke is one of my most favorite places, so I don’t consider the research a waste of time at all. 

3. The loss of Savannah’s close relationship with her late Grandpa is the driving force behind her determination to find the treasure. When he was alive, he and Savvy bonded over games, puzzles, codes, and riddles and now that he’s gone that part of her life is also gone. Savvy doesn’t love school but loved the challenges these kinds of puzzles gave her, so when she receives the map and then later some special codes, it’s not only the fun of the hunt but the feeling that Grandpa is near her again that’s so important to her. She doesn’t want to lose that connection. I hope that in some small way kids see that even in loss–no matter how big or small–there are ways to keep those special connections. A lot of times we grownups don’t want to talk about loss–death, divorce, moving, and many other small losses that we have over a lifetime. We think if we don’t talk about the hard stuff, it spares our kids’ hearts. But the reality is kids are much more open to conversation than we give them credit for. And they need it. 

Did you have any input on the cover, and if so, what was that experience like for you?

I did! First my editor asked for more description on the girls, because I don’t give a ton of physical description about my characters, I keep it pretty general. I like for readers to imagine what they want about the characters. Then after the initial sketches, there were three cover options and they asked for my input again. I felt they valued my opinion, which I really appreciated. It wasn’t too difficult either because my editor, agent and I all pretty much agreed on small changes and final choices. 

Here’s the big moment, let’s show everyone the cover!!!!

Oh wow! I love the kid appeal to this cover, it looks like so much fun! Can you tell us about it?

Christine Almeda–who also did How to Make Friends with the Sea, which MGBV also revealed!–did such a fantastic job with this. My first thought was how cute the girls were! I could instantly picture this as an animated movie or show. (Are you listening, TV gods!?)  I loved Christine’s color choices and the layout so much–it’s a fun, cheery cover, and yet there’s the shadow lurking in the back which gives it a little bit of creepiness. It’s pretty perfect.

If you could in time two years and give yourself one piece of advice you’ve learned on your publishing journey, what would it be?

Two years ago, I’d have said, Keep Hustling!  But now, actually my advice to myself is, it’s okay to slow down. You did it. You’re here. Now take a break and enjoy it. Keep writing the best books you can…it’s all you can control and it’s what you love anyway. Two years from now, I think the advice is the same. 

Can you tell us where we can go to find out more about you and your writing?

Absolutely! My website is jessicarinker.com. Although shortly that’s going to change to jessrinker.com. I’m in the process right now of getting a new site and redirecting the old. Either way, shouldn’t be too hard to find me just by googling. I’m on Twitter: @jm_rinker as well. 

Thanks again for letting us be part of your cover release, Jess; I can’t wait to read it!

You’re so welcome. Thanks for having me. 🙂 

Jess Rinker is the author of Gloria Takes a Stand, a picture book biography about Gloria Steinem, and the chapter book Out of Time: Lost on the Titanic. Her forthcoming titles include: Send a Girl: The Brenda Berkman Story, and her first middle grade novels, The Dare Sisters duology.

Jess has a BA in Social Welfare and received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has won many awards for her work including short story, creative nonfiction, and most recently an honorable mention for the Katherine Paterson Prize from Hunger Mountain for her middle grade manuscript, The Young Traveler’s Club. 

In addition to writing, Jess also teaches in the MFA program at Sierra Nevada University and undergrad English at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, as well as in collaboration with the Highlights Foundation.

She lives with her husband, Joe McGee, who is also a children’s author, and was recently inspired to buy a metal detector and start hunting for treasure just like the girls in Dare Sisters

Interview with Karla Manternach

Hi, Karla! Thank you so much for joining in today to tell us a little bit about your upcoming book, NEVER FEAR, MEENA’S HERE! (March 24, 2020 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers). Before we talk about your new book, can you tell us about your debut book, MEENA MEETS HER MATCH, that came out in January 2019?

Sure! Meena Zee is a scrappy, imaginative third grader who wants to make the best Valentine box in her class. She especially wants to beat Sofía, who was her best friend until Sofía inexplicably stopped playing with her at recess. Meena starts scavenging in the neighborhood recycling bins for supplies, but when an unexpected seizure sends her to the ER, her parents and teacher won’t leave her alone long enough to work on her big idea. The scarier Meena’s diagnosis looks, the more frantically she works to create the winning box. But she can’t see how her trash-picked project can compete–or how she’ll ever outshine Sofía if her own body is a mess.

Did you know you were going to be writing a sequel at that time?

I wrote the first book as a stand-alone, but when Krista Vitola at Simon & Schuster made an offer on the book, she asked for a second one, too. I was thrilled for a chance to follow Meena on a new adventure and see what she got up to next!

I just had the opportunity to read NEVER FEAR, MEENA’S HERE!, and I truly enjoyed it. I love that Meena is so headstrong and spirited, and yet there is some truly important subject matter covered as Meena accepts what it means to have epilepsy. How would you describe this book in your own words?

In the new story, Meena finds an unusual object that seems to give her superpowers. She spends a lot of time trying to figure out what her powers are and how to use them. She’s also starting treatment for epilepsy, and she sees that as a weakness. I’d say it’s a story about Meena confronting her sense of grandiosity. On the one hand, that’s a quality I love about her. She is single-minded and fearless in going after what she wants. On the other hand, she needs to learn to learn to think about how her actions affect other people and to consider her friends’ feelings instead of bulldozing over them. She also needs to learn that her medical condition won’t stop her from doing great things–but that sometimes small acts of kindness and solidarity have the biggest impact of all.

I love the cover of this book. Can you tell me a bit about the design team?

Tom Daly at Simon & Schuster designed both books. I love the playfulness and exuberance of his vision! Rayner Alencar illustrated the first book. He has a very eye-catching, anime-inspired look that was the perfect way to introduce readers to Meena as a character. Mina Price illustrated the new book. She did an amazing job of creating something that is faithful to the original yet still very much in her own style–and in a way that hints at the story to come. I feel very fortunate to have hit the illustrator jackpot twice!

I know the subject matter of the book is close to home for you. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this series?

My daughter Amelia started having seizures when she was nine years old. It was a scary time for our whole family, especially at the beginning while she was being tested for a possible brain tumor. Amelia taught me a lot during that time about how young children deal with fear and uncertainty. They feel and think about it deeply, but they also find ways to cling to their “kid-ness.” I really wanted to explore that in the first book.

In the second book, I wanted to develop the sibling relationships, especially between Meena and her little sister, Rosie. I’m a middle child myself. I have an older sister, and I am an older sister, so I feel like I have insight into both experiences. My daughter Mara is the little sister in our home. I wrote the second book for her. Even though Rosie isn’t the title character, I wanted to give her a chance to shine and to help Meena grow and learn something about herself. Completely by coincidence, the book comes out on Mara’s birthday. I couldn’t have planned that, but to me it’s perfect.

If there’s one thing you’d like our readers to know, what would it be?

I’d like them to know that the new book expands and develops Meena’s whole web of relationships. We get to know all the other characters better, especially Sofía, Rosie, and cousin Eli. I’d also like to keep reminding everyone that books about girls are not just for girls. I think that might be an adult hang-up even more than it is for kids. When I go to book signings, most adults bring their daughters and granddaughters and nieces along. I love that they do. I’m grateful they think the girls in their lives will connect with the book. But I want them to know that boys do, too. When I go to schools, the boys I meet are every bit as enthusiastic about Meena’s story as their female classmates.

Are there more Meena stories on the way, or do you have another project on which you’re working right now?

I don’t have plans for another Meena story right now, but I’d love to revisit her world some day. I spent the last year working on a new middle grade novel. It’s a middle-school friendship story and deals with some tough themes related to real life versus virtual life and our need for connection versus the importance of standing on our own two feet. It is very much the book of my heart. I can picture the cover so clearly that it almost hurts. I hope I get to see it in print some day!

Some helpful links:

www.karlamanternach.com

https://www.simonandschuster.com/series/The-Meena-Zee-BooksSocial media handle: @mskarlam (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)

Thank you so much for joining us today, Karla!

Karla Manternach grew up in small-town Iowa, a grubby kid in tube socks who once stopped a parade by running in front of a fire truck for candy. When she was older, Karla detasseled corn, read Star Trek novels, and studied languages nobody speaks anymore. Today, Karla lives with her family in small-town Wisconsin where she creates books for young readers and works as a freelance writer. She is currently at work on a new middle grade novel.

FAST FORWARD FRIDAY – Stacy Hackney

Thank you so much for participating in Fast Forward Friday, Stacy. I’m so glad you could stop by the Village and talk to us today.

Kathie, I’m so happy to be here! MG Book Village has long been a place I go to for book reviews and to learn more about upcoming releases. It’s a thrill to be interviewed for the site! 

FOREVER GLIMMER CREEK is scheduled for release on April 7th. Can you tell us what it’s about?

Sure! FOREVER GLIMMER CREEK is set in a town where a Miracle happens every year. 12-year-old Rosie Flynn decides to make a documentary about the Miracles in the hopes of proving they’re real and connecting with her absent father. Along the way, she faces obstacles in her filming, navigates changing relationships with her friends and Mama, and faces doubts about her own beliefs. In the end, she discovers the true meaning of Glimmer Creek’s Miracles and learns a great deal about herself in the process.

Glimmer Creek is a delightful town with a touch of magic that runs through it. How did you come up with the idea for this book?

The town of Glimmer Creek is based on the small towns along the water in the Northern Neck of Virginia where my family has a cottage. I’ve always believed there was something special about this area. One night, I witnessed neon green bioluminescent plankton streaking through the river. They looked eerie and fantastical and otherworldly. That very event got me dreaming about a town with small doses of magic and thinking about which kinds of people would believe in the miracles associated with that magic. From there, the idea for Rosie and Glimmer Creek were born! 

I loved Rosie; her determination to film scenes for her movie despite the obstacles before her (including silly things like laws!) made me laugh but also admire her. Did you have a favorite character to write?

Well, I love all my characters, especially Rosie! But I think I may have loved writing Mama the most. I lost my mom when I was a young adult, and writing that character and her relationship with Rosie really brought back wonderful memories with my own mom. It was such a gift to write those scenes. 

Rosie learns some important lessons in this story about relationships, both with her family and with her friends. Can you share one lesson you learned while writing this book?

This story got me thinking about kindness in its many forms and how small acts of generosity and compassion can make an enormous difference in someone’s day, even their life! I’m sure this will sound a bit sappy, but I think that theme made me want to show more kindness in my own life. 

If you could choose any of the Glimmer Creek miracles for you own, which would it be and why?

There’s a lot of Glimmer Creek Miracles I’d like to have including always staying warm and finding money wherever I went! But if I absolutely had to choose, I suppose I’d wish for a Miracle that would make me an exceptional singer like Miss Lily. I used to dream of being on Broadway when I was younger so a Miracle that made that dream come true would be wonderful!   

If readers want to know more about your book and your writing, where can they go to follow you?

They can go to my website – www.stacyhackney.com

I’m also on twitter: @hackney_stacy

And instagram: @stacyhackneybooks 

Thanks again for chatting with us today, Stacy!

Thank you for having me, Kathie! 

Stacy Hackney grew up in Virginia where she spent her early years reading everything she could get her hands on, and singing in the school choir. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in English and received a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. She currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four sons, and their rescue dog named Albert. Forever Glimmer Creek is her first novel. Learn more at StacyHackney.com.

Cover Reveal: THE SECRET LIFE OF SAM, by Kim Ventrella

Hello, Kim! Thank you so much for stopping by the MG Book Village to reveal the cover of one of your upcoming releases, THE SECRET LIFE OF SAM!

Thanks so much for having me!

What’s THE SECRET LIFE OF SAM all about?

How far would you go to be with the people you love—even after they’re gone?

After Sam’s dad dies in a car accident, he’s shuttled off to the dusty town of Holler, Oklahoma to live with a long-lost aunt. He misses everything about his old life—fishing in the swamps, drinking warm cans of Orange Crush and, especially, listening to Pa weave his famous tall tales.

He hates everything about Holler, with its empty fields and dead grass, until he encounters a strangely familiar cat who leads him to a mysterious tree—a tree that turns out to be a portal, letting him return to his old life for a few minutes a day, and be with Pa once more.

Sam’s visits to the bayou become stranger and stranger. Pa’s old stories unfold around him in beautiful but sinister detail, and Pa is not quite himself. Still, Sam is desperate to find a way for them to stay together—until he learns the bittersweet lesson that sometimes loving someone means having to say goodbye.

Certain themes or motifs seem to pop up in all of your work. Most notably (to me, at least): magic, darkness, and nature. Can you tell us a bit about your tendency to approach tough, dark topics and situations with magic or fantastical elements? And is there a reason why that magic is, in your work, so often combined or rooted in the natural world?

I like to think that I tackle difficult topics with big doses of whimsy, humor and hope. It’s true that from a very young age, I’ve always been drawn to dark stories. I had a tough childhood, and I always found myself yearning for stories that reflected my experience, preferably in the guise of a fantasy. Rather than make me sad, these stories made me feel accepted and understood. They validated my experience and gave me courage. That’s not to say that SAM is a sad story. It’s not! More than anything, it’s about the healing power of friendship and family.

As for my stories melding nature and magic, I’ve never really thought about that before, but you’re right! Notably, both my first book, SKELETON TREE, and SAM involve trees with magical properties. In retrospect, I think this connection totally makes sense, because what’s more magical than nature? Not only is nature full of mind-blowing plants and animals, but it’s full of mystery! There’s so much we have yet to discover.

What do you hope your readers – especially the young ones – take away from THE SECRET LIFE OF SAM?

SAM is about so many things: new friendships, reconciling with family, losing someone you love and, ultimately, hope. I want readers to come away inspired to tell their own stories. I see this book encouraging readers to be more understanding, to focus on friendships and, of course, to look at the world in a more magical way.

Many of our site’s readers are teachers of Middle Grade-aged kids. Is there anything you’d like to say to them – in particular those planning to add THE SECRET LIFE OF SAM to their classroom libraries?

I always love to connect with classrooms, either digitally or through in-person school visits! If your class is reading one of my books, or would just like to chat with an author, let me know. You can find more info at: https://kimventrella.com/school-visits/

Okay, on to the cover! Were you at all involved in the process?

I created a Pinterest board with some ideas for aesthetics and gave feedback on the initial sketch. The illustrator, Brandon Dorman, did an amazing job capturing the essence of the novel in a single image. He has also done some super impressive MG series, like LAND OF STORIES and FABLEHAVEN, so I knew I’d be in good hands.

Let’s check it out. Here it is!

It’s FABULOUS! Full of mystery and movement! Wow. What was it like for you seeing the cover art for the first time?

It’s always a little nerve-wracking, but also fun. Thankfully, Brandon Dorman is awesome! The image inside the alligator is so perfect and sweet and teeming with nostalgia. It’s really fantastic how he incorporated so many story elements seamlessly into this single scene.

When can readers get their hands on THE SECRET LIFE OF SAM?

It comes out 9.29.2020 with HarperCollins!

Where can readers find you online, and how can they learn more about you and your work?

Readers can visit me online at https://kimventrella.com/ or follow me on Twitter or Instagram @kimventrella.

KIM VENTRELLA is the author of the middle grade novels Bone Hollow and Skeleton Tree (out now), as well as Hello, Future Me and The Secret Life of Sam (coming soon). She is also a contributor to the anthology, Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (9.1.2020). Her works explore difficult topics with big doses of humor, whimsy and hope. Kim has held a variety of interesting jobs, including children’s librarian, scare actor, Peace Corps volunteer and French instructor, but her favorite job title is author. She lives in Oklahoma City with her dog and co-writer, Hera.

Exclusive Preview: ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS, by S.M. Vidaurri and Hannah Krieger

Accompanying this morning’s interview with author S.M. Vidaurri about his upcoming graphic novel collaboration with Hannah Krieger, the MG Book Village is pleased to share this EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW of All My Friends Are Ghosts.

Click here to check out S.M.’s interview, and scroll down to see a handful of selected pages from the graphic novel, which will be available in comic shops on Wednesday, and in bookstores next Tuesday! Click on each page to get a closer look at the art and get a taste of the story!

Interview: S. M. Vidaurri

Hi there, S.M.! Welcome to the MG Book Village! Before we get to your new graphic novel, ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS, would you care to tell our readers a little bit about yourself?

Hello! A bit about myself… Hm! I’m an author of a few books now, some of which I have done the art for, and others, like All My Friends Are Ghosts, I worked on with an artist. I’m also an illustrator, and have illustrated comics and book covers. I have written video games and in my spare time like to write prose! I have a cat named Ingrid, she’s a diluted calico. She’s very talkative! I like peach tea and superhero movies. I think that constitutes a bit!

How did you come up with the idea of having Effie, the main character in ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS, enroll in a school for ghosts?

When Hannah (the artist and co-creator) and I decided we wanted to work on a book together I asked her what she liked to draw. She said she liked spooky things like ghosts and Draculas and werewolves. I thought of a lot of different things but the one idea that stuck was a school filled with ghosts. We hadn’t figured out *why* they were filled with ghosts just yet, but that was the jumping off point.

Fascinating! And now, I have to ask — have you ever wished that YOU could be friends with ghosts? Or would you rather keep your interaction with them limited to the worlds of your fiction?

I’m sure most ghosts are very chill. I think I would be a cool ghost. I’d just probably haunt a movie theatre and see all the new movies. I imagine most ghosts just mind their own business and we only interact with the rude and scary ones.

Do you have a favorite character or relationship in ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS that was the most fun or rewarding to write?

I really loved Caim and Beulah’s relationship. How they went from being extremely at odds with one another to being friends. But I don’t want to ruin any of the story!

Ha! Lastly, we know that ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS will be available in comic shops in a couple days, on March 11th, and in bookstores on the 17th. But where can our readers find out more about your and Hannah’s work?

You can find my work at www.smvidaurri.com, and I implore you to check out artist Hannah Krieger’s work at www.hkrieger.com as well!!

S.M. Vidaurri was born and raised in northern New Jersey. He lives and works in New York. He received a BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. His apartment is filled with many animals. He likes romance novels and superhero movies. His first graphic novel Iron: Or The War After  was published in 2012 and was nominated for the Graphic Album category in the Pépites 2013 Salon de Montreuil. His work was also featured in Locust Moon’s Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream which won for Best Anthology in the 2015 Eisner Awards. He is currently working on writing ‘Steven Universe: Harmony,’ a five issue miniseries starting in September 2018. His client list includes: Archaia Entertainment, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Editions Cambourakis, Image Comics, Paste Magazine, Z2 Comics, and many more.

. . .

ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS, an original graphic novel from acclaimed writer S.M. Vidaurri (Iron, Steven Universe), artist Hannah Krieger (Psychic Mansion), and letterer Mike Fiorentino, about discovering what makes you special and believing in yourself, available in stores March 2020.

Effie feels a bit lost in her own life. Her mom’s always working, school sucks, and her teacher doesn’t get her fantastical fiction about werewolves and vampires. One day, when she realizes that no one will notice, she escapes from her everyday life… and discovers a school for ghosts in the nearby woods!

With the help of her new ghostly friends, she enrolls in Minourghast Middle School for Wandering Spirits, but just as she’s beginning to learn all about the amazing things that ghosts can do – like possession, poltergeist-ing, demon magic and more – Effie and her new spirited friends take on the challenge of tracking down and freeing a lost soul. But it’ll take more than ghostly powers to succeed. If Effie’s going to help, she’ll have to look deep within herself and trust the support of her friends.

ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS is the latest release from BOOM! Studios’ award-winning KaBOOM! imprint, home to comics for middle grade and younger readers including original series like Just Beyond: The Scare School by R.L. Stine and Kelly & Nichole Matthews, Hex Vet by Sam Davies, Hotel Dare by Terry Blas and Claudia Aguirre, RuinWorld by Derek Laufman, Drew and Jot: Dueling Doodles by Art Baltazar, and Pandora’s Legacy by Kara Leopard and Kelly & Nichole Matthews, as well as licensed series such as Adventure Time, Steven Universe, and Over The Garden Wall.

Print copies of ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS will be available for sale on March 11, 2020 at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the nearest one), on March 17, 2020 in bookstores, or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers, including comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Madefire.

For more on ALL MY FRIENDS ARE GHOSTS and other projects from BOOM! Studios, stay tuned to http://www.boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter.