Posts Tagged: guest post

Guest Post from Tyler Whitesides, Author of the Janitors Series

24 Sep, 2013 by in Shadow Mountain, tyler whitesides 1 comment

We are so excited to have bestselling author Tyler Whitesides here with us at Fire and Ice to share this exclusive guest post as part of the official Shadow Mountain Janitors blog tour. Today he explains just how the Janitors series took shape:

“I always try to draw inspiration from everyday occurrences and real life experiences. The idea to write a series about janitors came when I worked part time to clean a middle school. I had a few friends that worked the night shift with me, and I’m sure we were much more effective cleaning alone than we were on those mischievous nights that we went to work together. Perhaps the following story will show you what I mean. 

It was a late night, easily past midnight, when we got to the school to start cleaning. The task of emptying 300-plus trash cans was exhausting before we even began. About an hour into the work, it became clear that we needed a little something to energize us. 

Two of us let ourselves into the front office and used the school intercom to call our other friend who was sweeping in the gym. By the time he arrived, we had discovered a CD player next to the intercom. There was already a CD in the device and all we had to do was press play, and turn on the intercom. 

Pleased with our discovery, we went back to work, now enjoying a variety of songs playing in every classroom via the intercom. It was nearing two o’clock in the morning, and we were about three songs into the mix, when our boss arrived abruptly, pajama-clad, in the middle of the hallway. 

We waved and asked him what he was doing at the school so late. But he didn’t look too happy. He raced past us and turned off the music and intercom as quickly as he could. He shared a few choice words with us and trudged off down the hallway. 

You see, apparently the school was equipped with several sets of speakers OUTSIDE the building. And while we had been enjoying “The Entertainer” at work, the neighbors in their beds… not so much. 

The next day, I apologized profusely to the boss. He was good-natured and merely replied with, “at least you were playing music I liked! That was Scott Joplin, wasn’t it?” 

I didn’t listen to music after that. I worked quickly and quietly. But each night, as I wielded my mop down the hallway, I let my imagination roam. And there, in the dusty, grimy corners of that middle school, the JANITORS series took shape.”

Thanks so much Tyler! 

We caught up with him in NYC this year at BEA playing the “cans” 


And don’t miss Book three of his series, which is hot off the press!

Janitors, Book 3: Curse of the Broomstaff  on sale now for $7.99 in ebook format

 A secret society of Janitors with wizard-like powers continue their battle, and now, the stakes are even higher. The Bureau of Educational Maintenance is after Alan Zumbro and this time they mean business, deadly business. Spencer, Daisy, and their little team of rebels must find the source of all magical Glop and destroy it before it can destroy the world as we know it. No small task with the BEM and their monster toxites at their heels. It s a wild and dangerous ride as they follow the trail of clues all the way to the hiding place of the mysterious aurans: guardians of a secret landfill. What they discover there will change the way Spencer sees himself, not to mention the fate of the rebels.

About the Author: Tyler Whitesides worked as a janitor at an elementary school to put himself through college. He graduated from Utah State University with a degree in music. In addition to writing novels, Tyler is an avid composer and arranger of instrumental music. He and his wife, Connie, who teaches third grade, live in northern Utah.

Learn more on Goodreads/ Author website/ Deseret Book

Purchase while they are all ON SALE 🙂

Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters Blog Tour- Guest Post With Meredith Zeitlin

20 Mar, 2012 by in meredith zeitlin, putnam Leave a comment

Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the blog tour for Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin.
She is joining us for an exclusive guest post …SO, WHAT ABOUT MY FRESHMAN YEAR?

“My freshman year was both really hard and ultimately really rewarding. I started at a brand new school that year, which was really nerve-wracking. I missed my friends from middle school and could barely find my way around the place! But I actually ended up loving it – I did make friends, and figure out where to sit at lunch, and got cast in a lead role in the school play, and somehow ended up on the lacrosse team – a sport I’d never even heard of before. (In a related story, I was TERRIBLE at it. But I stuck it out, just like Kelsey does with soccer in the book.)
Of course, this is me as an adult looking back – at the time I know I was incredibly frustrated much of the time. It’s so hard to be new. It took a long time for things to be mostly fun instead of mostly terrifying.
I’ve been asked a lot during this book tour what I’d say to myself if I could go back in time, and the answer is: PLENTY. To be honest, I think Freshman Me would probably roll her eyes and tell Future Me I had no idea what I was talking about – I mean, what would you say to some nosy old person who claimed to know all about you and tried to tell you how to run your life? But I’d give it a shot, anyway.

I’d tell her not to try so hard, and to trust that people will like her even if she isn’t always “on,” or cracking a joke, or proving she’s right about everything. I’d love to explain to her that all the other fourteen-year-olds are just as insecure about themselves as she is. I’d definitely inform her that the guys she agonizes over are not worth her agony, and that she doesn’t have anything to prove.

I’d tell her not to suck up to that junior after the cast list for the fall play goes up. “It backfires!” I’d say. “Someday you’ll be working this moment into a YA book – stay away from her!”
I’d encourage her not to go into Manhattan to stay over at the apartment of a random girl she barely knew from camp. “She turns out to be really weird and live in what is essentially a room filled with garbage!” I’d insist. “This is not going to be the cool adventure you think it’s going to be!”
I’d try really, really hard to talk her out of the darkish-brownish-burgundyish lipstick she insists on wearing. Oh, and I’d suggest she find out something about Kurt Cobain – like, the name of more than one song he sings, for instance? – before she hangs pictures of him all over her locker. (I wouldn’t tell her he dies on her 16th birthday. That would just be mean.)
I’d tell her she’s pretty, even if she doesn’t think so. And that she isn’t fat. And that her parents aren’t ACTUALLY out to destroy her, even if it seems that way.
And the things I’d want to warn her about the next three years after ninth grade? Or college? Well, that list would be too long for this post.
The truth is, there’s a good reason we can’t go back and reveal these things to ourselves – we have to learn the hard way. It’s what makes us the adults we become, I think. And we probably know that truth, even as we’re slogging through the mess of freshman year – even if we don’t realize it til much, much later.
Of course, being able to read a book about anothergirl whose life is a disaster doesn’t hurt. So that’s really why I wrote this one. For fourteen-year-old me… and all the real freshmen who are trying to figure it out right now.”
About the Author: Meredith Zeitlin is a writer and voiceover artist who lives in Brooklyn with two adorable feline roommates. She also writes a column for Ladygunn Magazine, changes her hair color every few months, and has many fancy pairs of spectacles.

“Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters” (Putnam, March 2012) is her first novel.

You can learn more about the book on her website/ twitter/ facebook.