Sunday, March 3, 2019

FEATURED AUTHOR: LAMAR GILES





ABOUT THE BOOK

The Hardy Boys meets The Phantom Tollbooth, in the new century! When two adventurous cousins accidentally extend the last day of summer by freezing time, they find the secrets hidden between the unmoving seconds, minutes, and hours are not the endless fun they expected.



Otto and Sheed are the local sleuths in their zany Virginia town, masters of unraveling mischief using their unmatched powers of deduction. And as the summer winds down and the first day of school looms, the boys are craving just a little bit more time for fun, even as they bicker over what kind of fun they want to have. That is, until a mysterious man appears with a camera that literally freezes time. Now, with the help of some very strange people and even stranger creatures, Otto and Sheed will have to put aside their differences to save their town—and each other—before time stops for good.




Book Details:


Title: The Last Last-Day-of-Summer


Author: Lamar Giles


Genre: YA Fantasy


Age Range: 10 - 12 years


Grade Level: 5 – 7


Publisher: Versify (April 2, 2019)

Print length: 304 pages








INTERVIEW WITH LAMAR GILES


Q: Lamar, tell us about your series. Is this book a standalone or do readers need to read the series in order?

A:
The Last Last-Day-of-Summer
is the first book in an ongoing series so readers are coming in at exactly the right time. In this book, we’re dropping in on a pair of seasoned 11-year-old adventurers named Otto and Sheed as they’re about to embark on their strangest adventure yet—a town frozen in time (thanks to them!). It’s a wild ride with wild characters and hopefully the start of a long love affair with these guys.

Q: Do you have another job outside of writing?

A:
I’m a Most-Time Writer. My other part-time jobs include traveling across the country to speak to eager readers, and teaching in the Spalding University low-res MFA program. 

Q: Where did you grow up?

A:
A town called Hopewell in Virginia. It’s 20 miles south of the state capital, Richmond.

Q: What’s the dumbest purchase you’ve ever made?

A:
A Helly-Hansen sailing jacket when I was in high school. Ghostface Killah of the Wu-Tang Clan wore one in a video, and so I thought it would be a cool thing to have, but it cost like $200 bucks, fit poorly, and just looked dumb. Lesson learned.

Q: What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

A:
Treating people like gold is better than actual gold. I don’t know who told me that, but I think it’s true.

Q: Who would you pick to write your biography?

A:
Jason Reynolds. Let just be honest, he’d make me sound way cooler than I actually am.

Q: What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now? 

A:
Don’t waste time trying to impress people who don’t like you and likely never will. The people who get you are your tribe.

Q: What makes you nervous?

A:
Public Speaking (says the guy who speaks publicly 50+ times a year).

Q: What makes you happy?

A:
My wife.

Q: What makes you scared?

A:
Tentacles.

Q: What makes you excited?

A:
Vacations.

Q: How did you meet your spouse?

A:
We met in college in 1999. I was a junior, she was a freshman, and she came to my apartment because her parents knew my roommate's parents and they told her to stop by and say hi so she’d know someone on campus. We became friendly and started dating a few years later.

Q: If you could only save one thing from your house, what would it be?

A:
The hard drive (yikes!).

Q: What’s one of your favorite quotes? 

A:
“Get busy living, or get busy dying.”

Q: If you could live anywhere in the world, where in the world would it be?

A:
A Caribbean cruise ship.

Q: Are any of your characters inspired by real people?
A:
Otto and Sheed are probably analogs of me and my cousin AJ. We grew up together in a small Virginia town, and when we’d hang out on the weekends it always felt like an adventure to me.

Q: With what five real people would you most like to be stuck in a bookstore?

A:
Michelle Obama, Barack Obama, Stephen King, Ryan Coogler, and Shonda Rhimes.

Q: What book are you currently reading and in what format?

A:
Sadie by Courtney Summers, e-book.

Q: If you could be a ghostwriter for any famous author, whom would you pick?

A:
Stephen King. His work was very formative for me. It’s not like he’d ever need the help, but I’m here for him. LOL!

Q: Where is your favorite library, and what do you love about it?

A:
Appomatox Regional Library, Hopewell, Virginia branch. I love it because it was my first library. The original building was demolished a long time ago, but the upgraded building is beautiful, so if I had to name some I love, it’s all the windows that let in a lot of natural light.

Q: You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be? 

A:
Easy. Spiderman. I think webslinging through New York would be the coolest thing ever.

Q: What’s the worst thing someone has said about your writing? How did you deal with it?

A:
I saw a review once that said something like “this writer is just dumb.” How did I deal? I probably ate some gummi bears (go-to comfort snack) and kept it moving.

Q: What would your dream office look like?

A:
Okay, so it would be more like a suite. There would be stairs that lead up from my kitchen to this space over the garage. The main area would have a TV/couch, then there’d be a corridor that leads to the actual office area which wouldn’t be huge—I don’t need a lot of space—just cozy. Also, I’d have a full private bathroom across the hall. No, I haven’t thought about these detailed layout a lot…lol!

Q: Why did you decide to publish with Versify?

A:
Kwame Alexander, the founder of the Versify Imprint, contacted me personally to ask if I’d like to write for him. First, what an honor! Second, who would say no? It was an easy decision.

Q: Are you happy with your decision to self-publish with Versify?

A:
Absolutely. There’s a freedom and trust with the Versify team that allows me to write the weirdest stuff in the world without any reservations on their part. I don’t know if every publisher would be up for such a gamble. I’m very grateful to be a part of this imprint.


OTHER BOOKS BY LAMAR GILES

Spin

Overturned 

Endangered

Fake ID 









ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lamar Giles is a well-published author and a founding member of We Need Diverse Books.  Lamar has two novels forthcoming in 2019: his debut middle grade fantasy The Last Last-Day-Of-Summer (Versify / HMH) and his fourth YA thriller Spin (Scholastic).

Lamar Giles is a two-time Edgar Award finalist in the YA category, for his debut YA thriller Fake ID   (HarperCollins, 2014), and his second YA thriller, Endangered (HarperCollins, 2015). His third YA thriller, Overturned (Scholastic, 2017) received this glowing New York Times review, and was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2017. You can see the book trailer for Overturned here. Fake ID has been optioned by Sony Pictures.

Lamar is a contributor to the YA anthology Three Sides Of A Heart (HarperCollins, 2017), the editor of the We Need Diverse Books YA short story anthology Fresh Ink (Random House 2018), a contributor to the forthcoming YA Anthology Black Enough: Stories Of Being Young & Black In America (HarperCollins / Balzer & Bray 2019), and a contributor to a forthcoming We Need Diverse Books middle grade anthology The Hero Next Door (Random House 2019). He has published several short stories for adults. You can see TV interviews with Lamar here, and here, and here, and in a truly fun “Fun Facts” short interview, created by HarperCollins.

Connect with the author:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  

Buy the book:
Amazon   |  Barnes & Noble  |  Indiebound  |  Hudson Booksellers 



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