Monday, April 8, 2019

MMGM ~ Roger Mantis by Author Tom Alan Brosz & a Giveaway!

Monday's are a favorite day for me when I get to participate in Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays! And this Monday I have a really sweet middle grade read to share.

Psst . . . and you get to read an excerpt! Remember to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this post.

Meet Roger Mantis and his creature Author Tom Alan Brosz.

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Roger Mantis by Tom Alan Brosz

Publication Date: April 2, 2019
Publisher: Tantrum Books

Baseball is Roger McGillicutty’s whole life. That is until he wakes one Saturday to find he is no longer a normal eleven-year-old boy. He's a five-foot-tall praying mantis.

Roger has school on Monday, the carnival comes to town next week, and his baseball team is poised to play their biggest rival in one week. Being a giant bug will seriously cramp Roger’s style!

To Roger’s surprise, his parents and friends are supportive. Even his dog isn’t spooked. But not everyone’s thrilled about Roger’s change. Some people are frightened and others would like nothing more than to squash him into the ground like the bug he is.

And when Little League officials oust Roger from baseball, his world collapses.

When a reporter from the city comes snooping around rumors of a man-sized baseball-playing praying mantis, Roger must choose between hiding his true self or being the hero he's always wanted to be.

Doesn't this story sound like such a hoot for an adventurous middle grade reader you know?!!! Here's a snippet from Roger's story:

Slowly, carefully, and as quietly as possible, Roger staggered across the room to the mirror over his dresser.

As prepared as he was, it was still a shock. A triangular emerald-green head looked back at him, with two enormously round green compound eyes on either side. Two long, thin antennae stuck out of the top of his head. He could move them around if he tried, kind of like wiggling his ears (which he didn’t have anymore and couldn’t wiggle when he did). His mouth was … he didn’t know what the heck his mouth was. It was a weird mess of powerful-looking cutting and crunching things and some even weirder tentacle things. Roger wiggled the many separate bits around and then quickly stopped, deciding it wasn’t quite as gross if he wasn’t moving it.

He folded his arms tightly together in front of him, side by side. He had done it without really thinking about it, but his odd posture suddenly made him realize what he had become.

“I’m a praying mantis,” he said in his new buzzy voice. “A big, frigging praying mantis.”

Tom Alan Brosz actually is a rocket scientist (sort of), having done design and engineering work in the private space industry back before the private space industry was cool. His qualifications for writing this book are that he has experience in raising children who like bugs, and raising pet mantises for those children. Normal-sized mantises, of course.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interested in being part of MMGM ~ Shannon Messenger's genius plan to give middle grade reads their just due? Click HERE to join in and for the other participants.

Want to read more excerpts or interviews with Roger and his creature? Follow the Roger Mantis BlogTour!  Blog Tour Schedule

Have you read a middle grade story where the main character turns into an insect? An animal? Something else? Please share!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

IWSG ~ First Chapter FRIGHT

Each month I struggle with my opening thoughts for my IWSG post. Every. Stinking. Month.


I'm honestly not sure, but what better way to figure it out than during this month's posed question:

If you could use a wish to help you write just ONE scene/chapter of your book, which one would it be?

(examples: fight scene / first kiss scene / death scene / chase scene / first chapter / middle chapter / end chapter, etc.)

I'm sure you've figured out that help with my first chapter would be greatly appreciated. It's funny, you know. When I began writing the first chapter was always the easiest. I'd get an idea and start writing. Simple. 

It was about a year ago that I realized my first chapters were starting to give me trouble. Initially, I was super ticked off about it, thinking this was a sign I couldn't write anymore. But since then, I've given this writer plight lots of thought and I've come up with a few reasons that might be making me gun-shy with my opening chapters.
  • Querying  
What's one of the first bits of advice a newer writer is told before they start to query agents, editors, and publishers? Make sure your first five pages draw the reader in so they can't stop reading. Talk about making a newbie doubt themselves before they even start.
  • Previously Published  
Both books I've sold to publishers had, not just major revisions to my first chapters, but completely new chapters written after insightful discussions with my editors. And with a deadline, can you say stress-me-out?
  • Confidence 
Lots of life has happened during and since both my books released, and some of that has pecked away my inner confidence. You know, the tiny voice every writer must have to keep forging ahead despite all the rejections and disappointments. The one that's there, reminding you that you love to create new worlds and discover your characters as they nudge you along their journeys.

I'm not really sure what the solution is. What do you think? Have any of these eroded your confidence when you start a story? When you're trying to discover your character's current world, yet give enough clues to their impeding challenges to growth?

A HUGE thank you goes out to this month's awesome co-hosts of the IWSG ~ J.H. Moncrieff, Natalie Aguirre, Patsy Collins, and Chemist Ken! 


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