I’m excited to present you with a wonderful new middle-grade dark fantasy! I had planned to do several spooky posts all month long, and while I achieved that goal in my newspaper column, I can’t say the same for the blog.
But, to make up for it….I will be posting Halloween posts every day starting today through Monday!
This might cut into my Hocus Pocus watching time, but I’m willing to make that sacrifice…only for you.
I’m kicking off this fun weekend with a big post! I have a review, a publisher interview and an author interview to share. Get excited 🙂
And now…on with the show!
The Midnight Glass
When I first heard of this book, I was immediately intrigued by the title. And I’ll admit, I did judge it by its cover…because I loved the cover!
Then I watched the book trailer….
And I knew I had to read this book!
I love that this book is from a new publisher and they have put forth a fantastic first book. The cover design, layout and feel of the book is fantastic. I would not have known this was a publisher’s first attempt if they hadn’t told me.
The Midnight Glass (2016, Branford Books, Middle-Grade Dark Fantasy)
When Wyatt’s mom accepts a new job, their family moves to the mysterious town of Davenport. Secretive and secluded, the town exists deep in the woods locked behind a gate. Wyatt is excited for the move, until they actually arrive. He thinks he must be seeing things when his classmates have green skin, gills, fangs and more! But the residents of Davenport aren’t the only mysterious thing…Wyatt learns the greatest mystery of all is that Davenport hasn’t seen the sun in over 400 years. As he adjusts to life in eternal darkness, Wyatt learns more and more about Davenport’s deadly secrets.
The Midnight Glass, written by D.T. Vaughn, is a great dark fantasy for Middle-Grade readers. With just the right amount of creepiness, readers will be eager to learn more about Davenport without being too scared to read in the dark. Readers will identify with Wyatt as he is bullied at his school and then doesn’t quite fit in at his new school in Davenport either. As Wyatt makes friends and stands up to bullies, children will root for him. Adding in all the fantasy elements, including curses and weird creatures, plus the normalcy of middle school, moving, and fitting in, makes this a book that touches on many popular themes. Some may find the pacing a bit slow, but most will be drawn into the rich world crafted by the author. Fantasy seems to be a popular genre for Middle-Grade, and adding the darker elements will likely appeal to many readers.
This story has all the elements to make it a hit with readers ages 9 to 12. For the hard to please pre-teen boys, this is an especially good choice.
Imaginative and fun, this book will have readers imagining their own Davenport, and all the adventure they might have there.
4 stars to hang in the brilliant night sky of Davenport!
Interview with Branford Books
I’m excited to introduce you all to a new face in the publishing world. Branford Books has debuted with a strong title in The Midnight Glass, and I’m excited to help spread the word! They were also kind enough to sit down and answer some questions about their new company and the future of Branford Books.
When was Branford Books established and what is your mission?
Branford Books began in 2016 with the idea of starting something fresh for the publishing industry. Our goal is to bring new and exciting fantasy books to readers of all ages. We started our mission with one of our favorite genres, middle-grade.
Who is the owner/founder of Branford Books?
Branford Books is comprised of editor Shawn Conley, publicist Lauren Ruggles, and D. T. Vaughn, our first author.
What kinds of books do you publish?
Fantasy is at our forefront for books we’d like to publish, and that really umbrellas all of the subgenres from urban to high-fantasy to more subtle themes. Ultimately, we love books that spark the imagination and have well-designed characters to tug at our heart strings.
Congratulations on the release of your first novel, THE MIDNIGHT GLASS! Do you have any more releases planned for the near future?
Thank you for the well wishes for THE MIDNIGHT GLASS. We really hope the book captures readers like it has captured us! We are putting a lot of our energy behind this project because we feel that it deserves it; but as soon as 2017 rolls around, expect to see some enchanting new stories.
Are you open to submissions? And if so, how can an aspiring (or established) author submit to you?
At this time, we are not taking unsolicited material. However, that may change. We invite authors to visit our website and subscribe to our mailing list for updates.
What have been the biggest struggles with starting a publishing company?
The publishing industry is constantly changing and that can be a challenge. We love this business and we’re stockpiling new and exciting ideas to spark reader interest.
What do you hope for the future of Branford Books?
We aim to establish followings of fantasy readers who are always looking for the next exhilarating read. We also intend to have some of our books shift to new media like movies and television. It’s a process we’ve already begun, and it’s more thrilling than we could have ever imagined!
Anything else you’d like to say about Branford Books or THE MIDNIGHT GLASS?
If you’re a reader who loves Roald Dahl’s Matilda, Louis Sachar’s Holes, or Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, we couldn’t recommend a better book for you than THE MIDNIGHT GLASS. It’s the dark fantasy novel about a lovable boy against the deadliest of odds. Get it in print and eBook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our site, BranfordBooks.com.
Interview with author D.T. Vaughn
The author of The Midnight Glass was kind enough to answer a few questions about the writing process and life as an author. I’m excited to share this interview with you and hope it offers some valuable insight into the writing process.
How long have you been writing and when did you publish your first book?
I started writing when I was about eight or nine years old. I would create little short stories in class and read them aloud to the other kids during story time. The first set of little books I wrote were called The Homework Stealer series. They were about a little man who secretly crept in at night and stole kids’ homework! Come to think of it… that might make a really good series now. The Midnight Glass is my first full-length book. I’m both the writer and the illustrator.
Where do you find your writing inspiration?
I often find myself coming up with ideas while I’m on the treadmill. It’s a funny place to think of them, but I just blank out to the world and imagine characters interacting with each other. My nephews are also huge inspirations for my middle-grade ideas. They have a lot of energy and it really sticks to me when I think about kids and how they experience the world.
What inspired you to write THE MIDNIGHT GLASS?
For THE MIDNIGHT GLASS, I pulled ideas from my past and present. As a kid I was obsessed with the idea of living amongst werewolves and mermaids. So, I decided to create a world based on that. My family also gave me a lot of inspiration to write this book.
How long did it take you to write THE MIDNIGHT GLASS?
The first draft took about a month. However, there were many, many more drafts after that and the book took about nine months to complete.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A rock star! And I was! For years I wrote music in a band and toured the nation. It was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people. Maybe one day I’ll write about that, too.
What was your favorite book as a child?
That’s a tough one to answer! I was a huge fan of Roald Dahl, but I also loved Louis Sachar’s Sideways Stories from Wayside School. I think I’ve read that book more times than any other. He did a fantastic job of bringing to life each student and giving them an identity, wish, and purpose.
Who has most inspired you in your writing career?
In college, I worked at an elementary school full of amazing kids. They loved my weird drawings and stories about things like gluttonous hamsters and thieving goldfish. That was about ten years ago, and I still remember it like it was yesterday. I often pull inspiration from what they liked the most.
What struggles have you faced on your way to becoming an author?
At first, the hardest part was the risk. I’m a full-time writer and I freelance various projects. However, starting a business can be scary. I worked nonstop for months before taking the leap and doing it full-time. Now taking risks is just part of the job and it’s crazy to see how they can work out.
What advice would you give to young writers?
First, writing is a career. If you love doing it, then you should go for it! Second, write as much as you can to improve. Third, ask for both praise and constructive criticism from peers and professionals. The praise will help determine your strengths and the constructive criticism will help you improve the gaps.
Name one interesting fact about yourself unrelated to writing 🙂
I’m a self-described sloth enthusiast! Even just seeing a sloth makes my eyes water with joy. Okay, that makes me sound crazy, but I don’t care–I love them!
Where can readers learn more about you and your books?
I invite everyone to visit TheMidnightGlass.com to watch the stunning book trailer and to read more about me. I’m also available for readings and lectures if you want to meet me in person, just visit BranfordBooks.com for the contact.
Anything else you’d like to mention about THE MIDNIGHT GLASS or your writing career?
Thank you to everyone who has read this interview. Branford Books is a small business, which means that word of mouth means the world. If you liked THE MIDNIGHT GLASS, please tell your friends and family. Maybe even order a copy for a kid you know for the holidays. Hopefully, they’ll enjoy it, too! Again, thank you for your support. I greatly appreciate it.
Eager to experience the world of Davenport and learn about the midnight glass? Check it out for yourself! The Midnight Glass is available now!
Thank you to Branford Books and D.T. Vaughn for taking time participate in my interviews and for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.