Thanks for joining us today. We have a fun visitor, Michael Lunsford, here to talk about his debut middle grade novel, DEREK HYDE KNOWS SPOOKY WHEN HE SEES IT.
Welcome Michael. First, can you tell us a little about you?
I’m a traditionally published author, poet and playwright currently focused on writing funny, adventurous works for middle grade kids. My Halloween play, Scary, Scary Night, was winner of the 2015 Shawnee Original Playwright Series. I also wrote a book of wacky kid’s poems, Sometimes I Get My Shoes on Backwards, winner of the 2015 Reader’s Favorite International Book Award. In my spare time, I’m a musician, composer, inventor, entrepreneur and chief cook & bottle washer.
Kai: And now, share your book with us, please. That cover! *heart eyes*
My debut novel, Derek Hyde Knows Spooky When He Sees It, is a tongue-in-cheek ghost story set in the spooky town of Littleburp. Good news: during our national Coronavirus shut-in, INtense Publications is offering the ebook version to middle grade kids for free. The link is https://tinyurl.com/r8mzzna and the code to get it for free is DHKSGIFT. You can find hardcopy and paperback versions on Amazon at https://tinyurl.com/v3qrzod. Here’s the description:
Twelve-year-old Derek Hyde isn’t happy that the spookiest old mansion in town is about to become the Hyde Funeral Home & Used Coffin Outlet. Especially since he has to live there with his mortician parents, Jack and Formalda.
Of course, being driven in the family hearse to his first day at middle school doesn’t exactly add whipped cream to his broccoli.
As if things couldn't get more horrific, an evil classmate named Nussbaum attacks him in the cafeteria with a plate of beef stroganoff. Seems this kid used to love living in the old mansion himself, but got yanked out after accidentally blowing up his own mom and dad. With his chemistry set.
Derek desperately craves a nice place to live, but a couple of minor details stand in his way—just some blood-curdling apparitions that scare the pants off him and a classmate bent on landing him in his parents’ embalming room. As a client.
Kai: What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve always wanted to write a ghost story for middle grade kids that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck while it tickles your funny bone!
Kai: Okay, now for a little fun. So our readers can get to know you a little better, share your top 3 answers to the following:
Top 3 foods to snack on while writing
Maggot milk, tombstone-shaped pancakes, and mixed fruit in miniature coffins
Top 3 sources of character inspiration
Formalda (Derek’s mom) was inspired by smelling formaldehyde in biology class
Jack L. Hyde (Derek’s dad) sounds like Jekyll Hyde
Nussbaum (Derek’s evil nemesis) named after author of my first rejection letter
Kai: Nussbaum ß laughing/crying.
Top 3 places you like to write
An armchair in my bedroom
My car (writing in my head)
The shower (where I get most of my best ideas)
Kai: Yeah…sometimes my shower gets really crowded. Awkward!
Top 3 character traits you like to add to all or most of your characters
Kai: We’re so glad you visited today. Where else can readers connect with you?
To connect with me, go to my website, https://waldenpondering.com and click on CONTACT. Or include my Twitter name @lunsfordmichael in a tweet. My username on Instagram is @mlunsfordauthor and you can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EMichaelLunsford/ .