Sunday, November 25, 2012

Part II Interview with Eric Gale, author of the Bully Book, and International Giveaway

Author Blurb: Eric grew up in Metro-Detroit, attended the University of Michigan with almost everyone he currently has contact with. He now lives in Chicago where he's working on his second book, and the script of a new musical.

Book description: 
There is a book that teaches you how to be the coolest kid in school and it’s ruining Eric Haskins' life. Right from the beginning of 6th grade, three boys turn the entire class against him. But Eric hears a conspiracy theory about “The Bully Book, a manual for ruling the school that's been past down through the years. The lynchpin of the system is selection of the Grunt, the kid that will be lowest of the low. Eric becomes a detective of the book, following a paper trail, seeking out previous year's Grunts, hoping he can find out why he's been chosen. If he can discover why he’s the Grunt, maybe he can change himself and his fate. 

The story of The Bully Book is told in Eric's journals and actual pages from the mysterious Bully Book.

Part II Author Interview.
1. I really enjoyed your characters. Who was your favorite to write? Did any of them surprise you?

My favorite to write was Eric, because he’s really just an 11-year old me. Colin was enjoyable too because he’s based a real kid I knew (who was also named Colin, oops!) and was this kind of gross guy who was my only friend. 

2. It seems like you have a rather unusual road to publication. Can you tell us a little about that adventure? What was the hardest and most rewarding parts of that journey?

We sent the manuscript off to eight publishers in our first round of submissions and, over the course of three months, every one of them rejected it. They all pretty much said they felt the story was too dark for kids. 

I figured I needed to do something to change the perception of the book before we sent it on the second round. My good friends have a very popular youtube channel called Team Starkid that I’d done work with in the past. I released The Bully Book as an ebook and they promoted it to their fanbase. The book reached #7 on Amazon’s children’s list. 

Then when we sent it back out, it was a different story. Two publishers ended up wanting it and it was HarperCollins that won out. 

That started a grueling 6 month revision process where the book was rewritten about three times. I’m really proud of the book’s final shape, so I’m thankful for those six months, though they were painful at the time. 

3. What do you have on the horizon? Are we going to see Eric again?

I wrote up an outline for a sequel to The Bully Book, but I’m not sure if I’ll go through with it. Sometimes sequels have the unfortunate effect of diminishing the original work, or they twist the characters too hard to keep the drama going. I would like to do another mystery with Eric, but I’m going to keep him on the shelf until I’ve got something I’m really happy with. 

I’m currently at the 80% completion stage of a fantasy novel I’ve been working on for a few years that features talking animals. So, I’m coming out of left field a little with the next one. 

4. Lastly, could you talk a little about bullying in schools today? I feel that your book sends a powerful message that this needs to be addressed. How has your book has made an impact in schools around the country? How can my readers help make a difference?

I can’t say that the book has made an impact in schools yet, because it hasn’t come out in a format kids have access to (hardcover) But I’m doing a tour of schools this January and hope to speak at a lot of events about the book and bullying as a whole. 

I think the number one thing your readers can do it talk to the kids in their lives. I go into this further in this video:

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