Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Book Alert & Contest

I have a special guest on the blog today: Antony John is the author of FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, a fabulous book that recently hit bookstores. I had the pleasure of meeting Antony earlier this fall and he is such a cool, fun person that I want you to know who he is and how awesome his book is. Antony was gracious enough to stop by for an interview - and if you leave a comment below you'll be entered to win FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB!!

We first met at Anderson's YA conference in Naperville, IL in September - meeting awesome authors, like yourself, is one of my favorite 'perks' of being a writer. What have been some of your favorite things about being an author?

* Oh boy, I could write a dissertation on this one!

First off, you’re spot on when you say that the biggest perk is meeting other authors (and also editors and agents). People who dedicate their lives to an aspect of children’s literature are invariably doing it because they’re passionate about it, and it’s so energizing to be around them. Meeting you in Naperville was a case in point. I could’ve just sat and listened to you talk about Nightshade all day, although that might have defeated the purpose of our panel, right?

Second, I love the rush of writing: those times when you get in a zone and the words just pour out like you’re in your own personal IMAX movie. It’s thrilling, and exhilarating, and I’m in the incredibly luxurious position of knowing that those words will most likely make it into print one day. I get the feeling both of us know how lucky we are to be able to say that.

As a random third, I have to admit that being a YA author definitely wins me the Coolest Job prize at social gatherings. Every time I attend a party I’m reminded that (a) people find authors fascinating, and (b) a lot of adults are reading YA these days (and they’re very opinionated)!

Tell us about Five Flavors of Dumb:

* Five Flavors of Dumb is the story of Piper Vaughan, a deaf high school senior. When her parents raid her college fund to pay for her baby sister’s cochlear implant, Piper resorts to managing her school rock band as a way of making some money. It’s crazy, funny, heartfelt, and uplifting—at least, that’s what the reviews are saying.

Since this book is, in part, about a band - did you listen to music while you were writing it? If so, can you tell us a song from the playlist as an example?

* Oh yeah, I listened to LOADS of music. In fact, I have a playlist of over a hundred songs that I listened to over and over while I was writing. (I’ve played most of these songs at least 20 times according to iTunes, which tells you how long it takes to write a book.)

But as the example, I’m going to name a couple songs that actually appear in the book. (I’m not going to say HOW they appear, though, because that would spoil the surprise.):

Nirvana – Seasons in the Sun

Jimi Hendrix – Star-Spangled Banner (live at Woodstock, 1969)

What surprised you the most about writing Five Flavors of Dumb?

* Ooh, good question. I think I’d have to say the most surprising thing was how fully I got inside the head of my main character, Piper. I spent several months researching deafness before I wrote a word, by which time I had a truly deep understanding of who Piper was, and what made her tick. She’s smart, sardonic, determined, and someone I would have loved to know when I was a teen. Writing from her perspective felt effortless, and I think that’s a good sign!

What are you working on next?

* My next YA will be coming out around spring 2012 from Dial. It’s called The Hallelujah Book Tour, and is the story of a boy who writes a spiritual self-help book that becomes a bestseller. He’s sent on a promotional tour along Route 66, but things don’t exactly go as planned, particularly when a former crush hitches a ride.

After that, around fall 2012, the first book in my Elemental trilogy will be released (also with Dial; can you tell I like my editor!). It’s set in a dystopian colony of the United States where everyone is born with powers of the elements—earth, water, wind, and fire—except for one boy who is powerless . . . or is he? I’m so psyched about it I can barely see straight.

Please visit me at www.antonyjohn.net (and friend me on the Facebook link)!

Thanks for having me along today, Andrea. And Happy Holidays to all your readers!

Thanks so much for being here, Antony & readers be sure to leave a comment below so you're entered in the contest!


  1. Great interview! Consider me entered! :D

  2. I agree that being able to meet other authors would probably be one of the best parts of being a published author yourself. I know I was shocked by the fact that some of the authors at the TX Bookfest were people I could see myself hanging out with - not the crazily unaccessible rock-stars I envisioned... But, still rock-starishly cool of course!

    Anyway, thanks for the contest!

    jlelliott08 AT gmail DOT com

  3. Looks like a good book and I can't wait for his next ones to come out!


  4. This book looks so interesting! I'd love to read it. Thanks for the interview and giveaway.


  5. Hi Andrea :)
    Thank you for having Antony here today.
    I wasn't aware of Antony's writing before and his Five Flavors of Dumb is very interesting! I liked what he had to say about it.
    All the best,

  6. I'm game, here's my comment: I made a list on my blog of the top 5 boys I love from some of my favorite YA novels. Shay snagged the number one spot with his killer combo of looks brains and awesomeness. So now I've killed two birds with one stone by letting you know AND being entered to win an awesome book! (Pick me! Pick me!) ;)

  7. Oops, I didn't provide my e-mail


  8. This book looks great and the interview was informative, as Antony's other books look good too.


  9. This sounds like a fantastic read. Thanks for having Antony.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  10. Please count me in if this is open internationally. Thanks!!

    sauvadeavelle at yahoo dot com

  11. What a beautiful interview! I had this book on my wish list on Goodreads, I find very interesting and I've read great reviews.

    Thanks for the chance :)


  12. Great interview! I am excited abotu this book! Thanks for the contest! apereiraorama @ gmail.com

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Thanks to Antony for doing the interview and you for hosting it!


  15. O love the cover of this book and it sounds interesting! I'm really excited! =D Thans for the giveaway!
    dani dot prmr at hotmail dot com


  16. Great interview! The book sound interesting. Thanks for the contest!


  17. This sounds so good! I love reading anything about rock bands because I'm writing a book about them myself! Love this interview too!


  18. What a great interview! Five Flavors of Dumb is definitely on my MUST GET list. Antony John seems like a great guy, and I will definitely keep an eye out for everything he writes. tarynal@hotmail.com

  19. Awesome sounding book! Thanks for the contest!

  20. I love the premise of Five Flavours of Dumb and really like that the protagonist is different in that she's deaf. Antony's future releases sound pretty interesting too so I'm looking forward to reading his novels.

  21. I will definitely read this!!
    he sounds really awesome!!!
    I've always thought that writting from a girl's pov when you're a guy would be hard...you know...cuz we are...difficult...but this book I'm sure I'll love!

  22. Sounds interesting! Please count me in. Thank you!

  23. Loved the interview! I'm so glad I read this post and discovered a new bestselling author in the making - Five Flavours of Dumb and his upcoming releases all sound fantastic. I can't wait to read them all!

    I would love to be entered if this is open internationally :) Thanks!

    By the way - the cover art rocks!

  24. WOW. What a great story line. I have some deaf friends so I am excited to read this book and recommend it to them.

  25. Great interview, he sounds like an awesome author.

  26. Wow!!!!!! I'm soo excited to read this book! I hope I can get a copy, win it or not!!

  27. I love the original and imaginative premise of this book! The author has fabulous taste -- I adore Nirvana =)

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    thebookishtypereviews AT gmail DOT com

  28. I've read sooo many great reviews about Five Flavours of Dumb. Plus it has an extremely gorgeous cover!

    ellen DOT masquerade AT gmail DOT com

  29. I would love to win a copy of this book. Great interview!

  30. This comment has been removed by the author.

  31. This book looks amazing! I'm definitely going to read it :D
    Thank you so much for the giveaway! <3


  32. wow, great! i want so much this book.