I’m excited to feature author/agent Ammi-Joan Paquette’s latest releases: PARADOX, a post-apocalyptic story with a twist, and RULES FOR GHOSTING, a middle-grade ghost mystery.
Ana only knows her name because of the tag she finds pinned to her jumpsuit. Waking in the featureless compartment of a rocket ship, she opens the hatch to discover that she has landed on a barren alien world. Instructions in her pocket tell her to observe and to survive, no doubt with help from the wicked-looking knives she carries on her belt. But to what purpose?
Meeting up with three other teens–one boy seems strangely familiar–Ana treks across the inhospitable landscape, occasionally encountering odd twists of light that carry glimpses of people back on Earth. They’re working on some sort of problem, and the situation is critical. What is the connection between Ana’s mission on this planet and the crisis back on Earth, and how is she supposed to figure out the answer when she can’t remember anything?
Twelve-year-old Dahlia has always lived at Silverton Manor-having spent fifty years as its resident ghost. When Oliver Day and his family show up as house-sitters the day Mrs. Tibbs, a Liberator sent by the Spectral Investigative Council, arrives to teach Dahlia the proper rules for ghosting, Dahlia can’t wait to make new friends. But the unscrupulous ghost hunter, Rank Wiley, and the crooked town councilman, Jock Rutabartle, plan to rid Silverton Manor of its ghosts and sell it to the highest bidder. With her home and friendships at stake Dahlia may have to break the rules of ghosting as quickly as she learns them to solve the mystery of her death and save the manor. Equal parts charming and eerie, this ghostly caper hits all the right notes for the middle-grade audience.
Your website states that you are an agent as well as an author. What led to this, and what advice do you have for people balancing more than one career?
In this case, the character came first—the flash of an image of a girl waking up in a rocket, on an alien planet, with no memory of who she was or why she was there. This was the starting point for me, and everything from that point on became a process of uncovering the mystery of Ana’s past, and what exactly she was sent to that planet to do. As far as takeaway value—first and foremost I hope they will find this a fast-paced, exciting read. But beyond this, I think there are a lot of big questions about facing fears head-on and how far you would go to rid yourself of the past… how this would shape your life and, ultimately, would you be better off for it in the end?
There are pros and cons, I suppose. The worry in having several releases close together is that of overwhelming friends and acquaintances, of coming on too strong with the “look at my book!” The advantage, though, is being able to combine promotional efforts—having an event geared toward more than one book, etc. Also, for those of us who are weaker on the promotional side, having several books out at once is a definite motivator, moving book promotion from a “nice thing to do” to a genuine necessity!