The Chronicles of Egg by Geoff Rodkey – Interview & Giveaway

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Welcome to Author Geoff Rodkey

Geoff Rodkey is the Emmy-nominated writer of such hit films as Daddy Day Care, RV, and the Disney Channel’s Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas.
He grew up in Freeport, Illinois and began his writing career on his high school newspaper. While in college, Geoff was an editor of both the Harvard Lampoon and the Let’s Go travel guide series. His early writing credits include the educational video game Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?, the non-educational MTV series Beavis and Butt-head, and Comedy Central’s Politically Incorrect.
Geoff’s debut novel, Deadweather and Sunrise, is the first book in the middle grade adventure trilogy The Chronicles of Egg. The final volumes in the series, New Lands and Blue Sea Burning, will be published by Putnam in 2013 and 2014. Geoff currently lives in New York City with his wife and three sons. They do not have any pets, mostly because the whole experience with the goldfish was just too upsetting.

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Interview

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Deadweather and Sunrise is the most fun you can have between two covers: funny, thrilling, scary, and even poignant at times.
(The sequel, New Lands, is even better, and for all the same reasons.)
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
It has a combination of humor, adventure, mystery, and emotional resonance that I don’t see too often among middle grade books. And it ages up very well–while it’s written in a way that kids can enjoy, the characters and story are complex enough that some of the most rabid feedback I’ve gotten has been from parents who bought it for their kids and wound up reading it themselves.
Also, unlike a lot of middle grade adventures–which tend to employ the Harry Potter template of a kid with some kind of magical power and/or noble lineage, who winds up literally having to save the world–the main character in the Chronicles of Egg is just an average kid who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, gets in a whole lot of trouble, and has to get out of it using just his wits…which aren’t all that impressive.
How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
I’m not sure I did celebrate. By the time I sold a book, I’d been a working screenwriter for over a decade — so while I was thrilled, it wasn’t the same once-in-a-lifetime feeling that, say, selling my first screenplay was. Plus it happened on a Wednesday, so I had to be home early to feed my kids and put them to bed.
But the day the book actually came out, I threw myself a book party at a barbecue place in NYC called the Hog Pit. It was a lot of fun. I’d recommend that to anybody who publishes something (not just throwing yourself a party, but throwing one at the Hog Pit. Their pulled pork is delicious).
Where do you write?
I work at a communal writers’ space where I pay by the month for 24/7 access to a big room full of cubicles, attached to a kitchen/lounge area. It’s fantastic, because while the work space is quiet and distraction-free, I get to enjoy the camaraderie of being in the same place as a lot of other writers, all working in different fields. So I can hang out in the kitchen during lunch and complain about studio executives with the screenwriters, complain about book marketing with the authors, and complain about the weird smell in the bathroom with everybody. It’s a great antidote to the isolation I used to feel when I rented an office and wrote alone all day.
If you were not a writer, what would you like to do?
Ideally, I’d play guitar in a critically acclaimed rock band with a massive fan base. Unfortunately, I’m a terrible guitarist. And I’ve never been in a band. And the music industry no longer really exists. So I’m starting to think this may be unrealistic.
If the rock band thing didn’t pan out, I’d be a teacher. I’m not sure what, or where, or who I’d be teaching. But it seems like a good fit.
What is one book everyone should read?
You mean, other than Deadweather and Sunrise?
I can’t pick just one, because there almost as many kinds of books as there are people, and so much depends on not just your taste but your mood.
If you’re a kid, I’d suggest Bridge to Terabithia. Unless you don’t like books that leave you emotionally devastated, in which case The Westing Game is a really good mystery. And The Pushcart War is not just funny, but all-around awesome…although it’s out of print, so you have to hunt for it.
If you’re an adult, for general fiction, I’d suggest City of Thieves; for crime, Beat the Reaper; for thrillers,Gone Girl; for humor, How I Became A Famous Novelist or Where’d You Go, Bernadette?; for sci-fi,Ready Player One or Redshirts; for history, Bartlett and Steele’s Howard Hughes biography (originally called Empire, but I think the title’s changed); and for rock history, Stanley Booth’s book on the Rolling Stones’ ’69 tour, originally called Dance With the Devil but now sold under the godawful title The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones.
If you can’t find something to like in that list, we probably shouldn’t sit next to each other at a dinner party. Not that I get invited to a lot of dinner parties.
If you could have a signed copy of any book, what would it be and why?
The Bible. Just seeing who signed it would clear up SOOOOO many questions.
Are you for or against books being made into movies?
I’m ambivalent. On the one hand, some of my favorite movies (Election, The Godfather, The Princess Bride…) started out as books.
On the other hand, I’ve almost never read a book, loved it, and then felt the same kind of love for the movie adaptation. Usually, I come away from those feeling varying degrees of annoyed.
I think that’s because reading a book is so personal–when you read a book, you’re not just experiencing the author’s words, but the images you create in your mind from those words. In a way, a book is like a collaboration between the author’s words and the reader’s imagination.
But when a book becomes a movie, a whole bunch of other people get involved and do all the imagining for you–and if you’ve already read the book, it’s almost mathematically impossible for all their choices to wind up being faithful not just to the text itself, but to your experience of the book as a reader. Which is where the annoyance comes from.
That said, I can’t help being a little excited about Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. It’s one of my favorite books of all time, and the trailer looks phenomenal.
How do you juggle writing & family life?
I’ve managed to make it work by eliminating television from my life. There are episodes of TV shows on my DVR that I’ve been meaning to watch for literally years. And the list of shows I’ve been told are fantastic, that I’d love to watch but probably won’t get to until after I’ve retired, is longer than my arm.
How do you react to a bad review?
If it’s on Goodreads, I usually react by scrolling through the ratings that the user gave to other books I’ve read. This is almost always effective in making me feel better. “You gave two stars to The Great Gatsby? What a relief! Now I can sleep at night.”
How many books are in your TRB pile?
Somewhere between twenty and a hundred, depending on how you count it. Which is sad. There are so many more good books in the world than I have hours in my life to read them.
Incidentally, this is why I believe you should abandon a book if you’re not enjoying it. Life is too short to read books you don’t like.
Do your characters ever talk to you?
They don’t. Which is fine with me, as long they’re not talking to anybody else.

 

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Deadweather and Sunrise

A stunning middle-grade debut–full of heart, humor, and nonstop action

It’s tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody’s trying to kill you.

Not that Egg’s life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts.

But when Egg’s father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect.

Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.

Suddenly, Egg’s running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he’s been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy.

Come along for the ride. You’ll be glad you did.

 

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New Lands

This highly anticipated sequel to Rodkey’s much-praised debut is funny, heartfelt, and action-packed. Don’t miss it!

After a narrow escape from Deadweather Island, Egg and his slightly deranged partner Guts head for the remote New Lands. They’re in search of the lost Okalu tribe, who hold the key to the mysterious treasure map that Egg can’t decipher. But the ruthless Roger Pembroke is hard on Egg’s trail, and the New Lands are full of new enemies—against which our heroes’ only weapons are their brains, their courage…and the two dozen swear words Guts just memorized in the local tongue.

They’re going to need help. But who can they trust? Is Kira, the beautiful and heavily armed Okalu refugee, their ally…or their enemy? Is Pembroke’s daughter Millicent on Egg’s side…or her father’s? Why on earth is the notorious pirate Burn Healy being so nice to them? And the biggest question of all: what shocking secret is Egg about to discover in the shadow of an ancient Okalu temple?

 

 

 

Giveaway Details

One paperback copy of The Chronicles of Egg Book One: Deadweather and Sunrise and one hardcover copy of  The Chronicles of Egg Book Two:  New Lands.

Open to US & Canada only

Ends 5/23/13

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