WHOSE STORY IS IT ANYWAY?
When Characters Speak Out
Um…hi! My name is Tyler Trent and doing this scares me to death. I’m only twelve, well almost thirteen, but you know, I’ve never done something like this before. My mother, the English Lit professor is probably going to freak out when she reads this, but here goes.
I’m a character in a fantasy adventure series written by this cool author, Fran Orenstein. She has a really scary mind, and dreams up these strange stories for me and Zack. There’s this really weird dude, Bartholomew B. Beadlesberry, and he owns this disappearing bookstore. He has this book with no stories, just titles called The Book of Mysteries. I’m not telling you any more, you’ll just have to read the books. Just don’t tell anybody, but I still have nightmares about dragons chasing me through the streets of New York. And those gargoyles, man, I hate going out at night. It might be cool to have a unicorn and ride it through Central Park.
It seems like everybody in my family, well just the guys went on these adventures through this Book of Mysteries. My dad, my uncle, my grandfather, probably my great, great, great grandfather going back to the first Trent, whoever he was, met Beadlesberry. The old guy must be a thousand years old, and he looks like it, too.
I come from a really strange family, and I mean weird. Dad is an archeologist and a professor. No he’s not Indiana Jones, but my Uncle Tad, now he’s another story. He’s an adventurer. He goes on these dangerous trips all around the world exploring sunken wrecks, climbing mountains, hacking through snake infested jungles, and once he went to the North Pole. Dad says he a biologist…it’s a kind of scientist, but sometimes I wonder about my Uncle Tad. It’s like he enjoys the adventure more than the science.
We live in a tall apartment house in New York City. My best friend Zack Vander lives down the hall. Zack’s dad is a ‘very important attorney’ who knows everybody, including the mayor. His mom is cool, she’s a photographer. Her photos are in magazines and newspapers, so I guess she’s pretty famous. He has this obnoxious little sister Carrie who thinks I’m the bomb. Yuck! Then there’s Scarlett, she’s gorgeous, except she’s a dog.
Zack and me, sorry Mom, Zack and I have been on two adventures so far. My creator says she’s working on the third adventure, with all kinds of mythical creatures. It sounds scary, but I have to survive because I’m the hero, right? RIGHT?
Check us out in The Wizard of Balalac and The Gargoyles of Blackthorne, from Sleepytown Press. We’re on Amazon.com and other on-line bookstores. Oh, and Fran Orenstein says to check out her website for more information, www.franorenstein.weebly.com
Here’s a teaser from The Wizard of Balalac:
As soon as he stepped off the bus, Tyler knew this was a big mistake. Black clouds threatened overhead. Cold fingers of electric-tinged air tickled the back of his neck. He shuddered and rubbed his skin as he waited for Zack to catch up. They walked north and turned the corner. The bookstore was visible today. Tyler shook his head. That was stupid. A store was either there or not there. It didn’t just come and go whenever it felt like it. From where he stood, he could see the wooden sign swinging in the increasing wind, BEADLESBERRY’S RARE BOOKS. An eerie glow spread beneath the dark clouds. Thunder rumbled in the distance.
Zack poked a finger in his back. “I guess that’s the bookstore.”
Zack laughed. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
Tyler said, “You didn’t scare me.” He looked back the way they had come. There was still time to change his mind. “Maybe we should come back Monday, after school.”
“No way,” Zack said, taking off down the street. Tyler clenched his fists and hurried after him. It was always easier to be brave with your best friend. Maybe they could still beat the storm if the book he wanted was on the shelf.
The boys stopped short in front of the shop. A hand-lettered sign hung in the glass-fronted door. “WE CLOSE FOR STORMS.” The lights were out inside the shop.
Tyler cupped his hands along his face and peered in the window. He couldn’t see anything in the blackness. Suddenly a candle flickered and a white oval appeared an inch from his eye. Tyler jumped back, the beat a bass guitar thumping in his chest. “Did you see that?” he yelled. An entire heavy metal rock band was where his heart should have been. The banging rose to his head and down to his toes.
“See what?” Zack asked, putting his face against the door. A crack of thunder masked the click of the door. A claw snaked out and snared his wrist, pulling him through the doorway. Zack yelped, struggling to free his wrist. Another cold claw pulled Tyler inside, and the door slammed shut behind them…