by Bryna Butler
When the dearly departed of Point Pleasant start walking and talking, the Men in Black mark Mothman as suspect number one. A fun read, Wrong Side of the Grave is a fast-action Teen Sci-Fi Mystery with a paranormal twist.
Parent Approved: Contains no profanity or sexual content.
Pre-order your Paperback edition directly from the author:
Warner—that’s Agent Carey Warner—picks it up and pats the stool. At least it’s him and not his partner.
“Sit,” he says in a voice so low I’m sure I’m the only one who can hear it.
I saddle up to the bar beside Warner. He tips a flask into his mug before taking a long gulp.
“Wanna swig?” he offers.
My eyes survey his polished dress shoes and pressed, white shirt with sleeves messily rolled up to his elbows. He pulls at his tie, which has already been loosened from the unbuttoned collar. His rich-boy haircut is somewhat ruffled reminding me more of a frat boy than of one of the Men in Black.
“I’m too young,” I smirk.
He lets out a genuine chuckle at that.
“You wouldn’t believe,” Warner answers with a lift of his brow. “Well, maybe you would. How ’bout you? Anything out of the ordinary?”
“Same old,” I reply, trying to keep my facial expression in check. Surely they’re trained to read that kind of thing. “Where’s the spider?”
Warner’s eyes flash on me, and the dimple in his cheek sinks. Bridget swoons over that look and calls it mischievous or whatever. Sometimes she forgets what he does for a living. She forgets what his duty will require if I step across the Men in Black’s invisible, moving line between right and wrong.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Bryna Butler is a journalism-trained writer having authored dozens of articles and financial publications before taking the leap into fiction in 2011. Her first book, Of Sun & Moon, skyrocketed to number one on Kindle top free charts in the categories of Teen/YA Supernatural Mystery, Teen/YA Romantic Mystery, and Teen/YA Time Travel in the U.S. and U.K. when the title went to free status in 2014. Butler’s work is free of profanity and sexual content making them safe reads for pre-teen as well as teen readers.
In developing the character of Eric Jansen, an ancient alien masquerading as a teenager, a love of music seemed like a natural fit for him.
So this is how my warped mind works. On Earth, music is one of most loved and oldest forms of communication. Math, which in itself is referred to as a universal language, is at its core. Beat by beat. Measure by measure. Though music has changed over time, some form of it is always in fashion, and we will likely never live in a world without music. Why wouldn’t a long-lived alien latch onto it?
Eric’s love for music led him to learn how to play. He likes simple things, so he plays the drums. Not because it’s a simple instrument to play; it’s not. It’s just that he finds comfort in the simplicity of the beat. It’s true. Genuine. Music at it’s simplest form.
As for his preference to rock, well, that was just me. Though my hubby takes great pleasure in leaving the radio in my car set to the country station, I change it back to rock every time.
As I wrote Wrong Side of the Grave, I listened to a lot of music which is something I don’t typically do while writing. And as I listened, an idea formed on how to take this book to the next level.
I decided to make a playlist for the book. I’ve seen authors post playlists with music that inspired them to write the story, but I wanted this to be something different. What I wanted was a playlist that would enhance the experience of the story. One track for each chapter to convey the emotion behind the story.
I started with classic rock bands because I knew Eric would love that (yes, in my mind he’s real). Some chapters feature songs from U2, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Who, The Eagles, Metallica, and The Rolling Stones. I then sprinkled in some of my favorite songs from the soundtracks of movies that were created from YA books such as Vampire Academy and City of Bones. I added Lenny Kravitz because–let’s face it–the guy practically drips cool. And Lindsey Stirling because her music has this eerie quality where you can practically hear the emotion behind it. Finally, I finished it off with some modern rock favorites like Paramore, Coldplay, and Nickelback.
You’ll find the finished playlist at Spotify where you can listen for free: Wrong Side of the Grave
If you share this post or the playlist, be sure to use the hashtag #mothmanrocks
Take a listen and let me know what you think. Once you get the book start with track number one when you start chapter one and move to track two with chapter two and so on. Succumb to the experience.
Only one legendary creature ROCKS out LOUD!
In my last “Art Behind” post, we took an in-depth look at the BRAND and the development of Eric’s alien tattoo in the series. In this post, we’ll look at the icing on the cake, the book cover.
As I mentioned before, I’ve used stock photography in the past for my covers, but I wanted something special for this new series. Fortunately, Joshua Labello of Envy Ink was up for the task. I remember having the initial conversation with Josh. I didn’t have an exact idea for the cover, and even if I did, I’m not sure if I would have shared it with him. I hated the idea of limiting his artistic process.
So, instead, I told him about the book and its characters. We talked about genre and YA covers that I liked. He also asked me about marketing and what items from the book might stand out. I told him about Bridget’s red umbrella and how I thought that the red would be a nice splash of color for the cover.
From the initial discussion, Josh started sketching and came up with these two images.
Loved the idea of setting it in the graveyard. The book is about the dead rising and much of it takes place in the cemetery so it only seemed fitting. Also, loved the idea of Eric and Bridget together and Bridget behind Eric. I thought that was important symbolically as she always backs him up.
I looked these two over for a long time before responding. Then, I decided that the first one looked a little too much like a Fabio cover to me. Not that that’s a bad thing, just not what I was looking for in a cover for a clean YA. The second image, however, seemed right on the money, except for one thing.
I had described Eric’s hair as long. Which I realized right away was way too vague. I see how a rocker with long hair would look like this; however, Eric Jansen in my mind looked more like Chace Crawford and less like Bret Michaels. I asked Josh to think more surfer and less 80s hair band.
So, the next round of sketches looked like this.
Eric was shaping up nicely, but Bridget seemed off. Eric often refers to her as a “tiny thing”. I had pictured her as the petite, flat-chested girl next door. I think I described her to Josh as average, but pretty. She’s a good foot shorter than Eric. In this version of the cover, Bridget seemed much younger than Eric. I knew they should appear to be around the same age.
So Josh went to work on Bridget. He needed some reference, so I sent him a pic of Bella Thorne in her Disney days.
And then I didn’t hear back about Bridget for a while. Instead, he kept her under wraps and went to work finalizing the tattoo and “dressing” Eric.
Then one day I got this, and I couldn’t believe how close Bridget looked to how I had pictured her.
Painting time! What color are his eyes again?
Finally, Josh called me into his studio where we had a two-hour session to finalize the cover. He had already sketched the wooded cemetery background.
I watched as he blurred in fog around the tombstones and put in the finishing touches like adjusting the shade of Bridget’s shirt.
Can you spot the differences? Josh couldn’t get it out of his head. So, a little while later, I received a new version that had a few more tweaks: white reflection in the eyes, a little more fog at Eric’s chest, rain bouncing off the umbrella and texture on the black clothing.
Finally, I set the text and we had a cover!
Next time, we’ll look at the music behind the Mothman Mysteries. If you missed my post on the development of the artwork for Eric’s tattoo, you’ll find it here. There’s also a post on Mothman here. Stay up to the minute on Mothman Mysteries news. Now available for ebook preorder at all major online bookstores. Wrong Side of the Grave lands March 3, 2015.
a Rafflecopter giveawayBryna will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour