Friday, April 3, 2015

Book Spotlight: Rain of the Ghosts by Greg Weisman (Author Interview)

Title: Rain of the Ghosts
Author: Greg Weisman
Series: Rain Cacique, #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: December 3, 2013

Synopsis: Rain of the Ghosts is the first in Greg Weisman's series about an adventurous young girl, Rain Cacique, who discovers she has a mystery to solve, a mission to complete and, oh, yes, the ability to see ghosts.

Welcome to the Prospero Keys (or as the locals call them: the Ghost Keys), a beautiful chain of tropical islands on the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. Rain Cacique is water-skiing with her two best friends Charlie and Miranda when Rain sees her father waiting for her at the dock. Sebastian Bohique, her maternal grandfather, has passed away. He was the only person who ever made Rain feel special. The only one who believed she could do something important with her life. The only thing she has left to remember him by is the armband he used to wear: two gold snakes intertwined, clasping each other’s tails in their mouths. Only the armband . . . and the gift it brings: Rain can see dead people. Starting with the Dark Man: a ghost determined to reveal the Ghost Keys’ hidden world of mystery and mysticism, intrigue and adventure.

About the Author: Greg Weisman (BA Stanford, MPW U.S.C.) has been a storyteller all his life. His first professional work was as an Editor for DC Comics, where he also wrote Captain Atom.

Greg worked at Walt Disney Television Animation from 1989 through 1996. In 1991, Greg created and developed a new series for Disney: GARGOYLES, becoming Supervising Producer and Supervising Story Editor of that series.

In 1998, Greg became a full-time Freelancer. He wrote the new Gargoyles and Gargoyles: Bad Guys comic books for SLG Publishing, while producing, writing, story editing and voice acting for Sony’s The Spectacular Spider-Man. He then moved over to Warner Bros., where he produced, story edited, wrote and voice acted on the new series, Young Justice, as well as writing the companion Young Justice monthly comic book for DC.

Greg was a writer and Executive Producer on the first season of Star Wars Rebels for Lucasfilm and Disney, and he’s also writing the spin-off comic Star Wars Kanan: The Last Padawan. His first novel, Rain of the Ghosts, was published in 2013; its sequel, Spirits of Ash and Foam, arrived in bookstores in 2014.


Author Interview:

Hi Greg! First off, I'd like to thank you for joining me on the blog today. And I want to let you know that Gargoyles was one of my favorite shows as a kid- so I’m already a huge fan! This leads me to my first question. 

1. How has being a writer/producer for TV shows helped you with this YA project? 

Well, for the Rain of the Ghosts AudioPlay, I’ve called on all my skills as a producer and ALL my friends from years in the business to cast, record and produce this wondrous thing.

2. Describe Rain of the Ghosts as a tweet (140 characters or less)! 

Living and working in her parents’ B&B on the Ghost Keys, Rain Cacique starts seeing ghosts, solving mysteries and fulfilling her destiny.

Whew! That was tough. 

3. What kind of research, if any, did you do for Rain of the Ghosts?

I did quite a bit of research for Rain of the Ghosts, on the history, culture and mythology of the Caribbean. I did even more research for the second book in the series, Spirits of Ash and Foam. More research on the mythology of the TaĆ­no people and their culture and history. Research on dolphin, bat, manatee and mosquito biology. Research on hurricanes. On bioluminescence. Research on Caribbean synagogues, etc. By that time, I had actually visited the Caribbean, too.

4. I love that you have a Kickstarter project in the works for a Full Cast AudioPlay of Rain of the Ghosts. How did you come up with the idea? 

It started simply enough. I wanted an audio-book of Rain. But my narrator is an adult male, and my lead character is a 13-year-old girl. I couldn’t stand the idea of listening to some guy like me struggling to do Rain’s voice for most of the dialogue. So I fell back on what I knew from working in animation: a full-cast recording with music and sound effects. I’m basically making a studio-quality cartoon, with everything but the cartoon. That’s the key thing here: this is NOT an audio-book. This is an unabridged full-cast AudioPlay!

(You guys, if you this sounds awesome, head on over to Greg's KICKSTARTER page to learn more and support!)

5. When writing Rain of the Ghosts, did you plot the entire book out or did you take a more flexible, by the seat of your pants approach? 

No, I’m a planner. Very low tech. Hundreds of index cards in various colors on a giant bulletin board. I use these cards to create a detailed outline. But I still have to leave myself open to being surprised. In Spirits, there were two characters that I thought were very minor. But they quickly asserted themselves, and suddenly I found myself creating arcs for both.

6. What are some of your favorite books? 

Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner. The Blue Hammer by Ross Macdonald. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Really, that just scratches the surface. 

7. What is your favorite medium to work with for storytelling? 

Don’t have one. I love working in both animation and comic books. And writing these novels. And working on this AudioPlay. I’ve written Radio Plays for conventions. And I even wrote a stage play once in graduate school. I just love telling stories. That’s always been who I am.

This or That... 

Ebook or Real book? 

Real.

Twitter or Facebook?

Twitter.

Chocolate or Vanilla? 

Chocolate Chip.

Past or Future? 

Oh, I live and work in both, really.

And just for fun- What is the strangest thing on your desk right now?

A “Debra from Dexter” bobble-head.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

Thanks for inviting me. ;)

______________________

Don't forget to head over to the Kickstarter page and check out some of the super cool rewards!


-Kristen ♥

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