Debut MG author Scott Neumyer lives in New Jersey with his wife and daughter. He's not only a writer, but also a publicist and a photographer. He also worked as a Media Buyer for a major national film distributor. Scott has appeared in Wanted Undead or Alive: Vampire Hunters and Other Kick-Ass Enemies of Evil (Citadel Press August 2010), and has been published online and in print in such magazines such as McSweeney's Internet Tendency, Pindeldyboz, and Hobart Pulp.
You can read more about Scott on his website, on the Jimmy Stone website, on twitter, and on facebook.
For Jimmy Stone, life in "Boredsylvania" has been pretty tough. His mom's died, his dad's completely checked out, and he spends his days running from the Coogan Boys, the local bullies. It isn't long, however, before "Boredsylvania" gets a lot more exciting. With his new friend, David and his dog, Trex, by his side, Jimmy discovers that the woods beyond his backyard hold the key to a world he could never even imagine. Soon, he ends up in Ghost Town, where he’s greeted by his ghost guide, Gasp, and receives an ominous prophecy.
One thing for each day.
Seven things you must find.
Or else they all will pay!"
“Ghost towns are fraught with danger, but Neumyer makes them irresistibly appealing."—Lara Zielin, author of DONUT DAYS and THE IMPLOSION OF AGGIE WINCHESTER
What inspired you to write Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town?
I've told this story before, but I think it's a really good so I'll tell it again. Jimmy Stone’s Ghost Town really grew out of my desire to write something that I would have wanted to read as a young boy in 5th or 6th grade. I wanted to write a story that Jimmy himself would dig. I was inspired by so many of the books that I read and loved at that age. Things like Hatchet, My Side of the Mountain, The Never Ending Story, and How To Eat Fried Worms. I haven’t found a lot of stories like that for young boys and girls in the past few years, so I set out to maybe write something that could appeal to that group. When it really comes down to it, I wanted the book to be a fun, quick adventure with some actual emotion. I hope that’s what I’ve created anyway.
Have you ever been targeted by bullies?
I think we all have at some point, right? Maybe not by a group of bullies like The Coogan Boys (in the book), but at least by one or two individuals at various times in your youth. I was lucky, though. I had a great experience in school and I really enjoyed it. Sure, there were a few times where I was bullied and I got in a few fights but it was all your typical grade-school stuff. I was pretty popular and well-liked so it wasn't too bad. I think we can all agree, however, that bullies suck. Do you hear me bullies? Cut it out! Grow up! :)
Are you superstitious in any way?
Oh, definitely! I'm not sure if it's more superstition or OCD though. I am about as OCD as they come. I have to put on my shoes in a certain order. I have to put on my coat over a specific arm first. In college, I actually remember drawing lines on my desk around my keyboard so I would know exactly where it goes if it got moved. In high school, playing sports, I had all kinds of superstitions that involved haircuts and hats and all different weird things. Thankfully, my wife has done a pretty good job of breaking me of my major OCD habits, but I'm still hanging onto a few.
Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
I think it changes for just about every writing project, but for Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town it was very specific. When I wasn't sneaking in some moments writing in my notebook with a pen, it was always writing at night with a hot mug of Organic Rooibos Tea. I know there were plenty of times I literally fell asleep with the laptop on my lap. That's why we must all revise. Ha!
What's one thing most people don't know about you?
Most people might know that not only am I a writer, but I'm also a photographer and publicist! I've been doing photography forever (I have the first camera my father ever gave me tattooed on my right wrist), and my day job is in online publicity. I'm a Publicist at Click Communications and it's just about the best job you could ever ask for. People always ask me "if you make it big will you quit your day job?" And I always say "Nooooo! I love my day job!"
What are you working on now?
The first question I usually get when people get the end of Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town is "when do I get to read the next one?" so, of course, I'm hard at work on the next Jimmy Stone book. I'm also working on a YA that I've had percolating for ages. Oh, and chasing my two-year-old around everywhere is pretty much another full time job.
If Jimmy Stone's Ghost Town were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Jimmy? David? How about Gasp?
Great question! I think, for Jimmy, I'd love to see Zachary Gordon from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie play the part. I assume you mean current actors. In my head though, I really see Jimmy as a young Wil Wheaton. Think Stand By Me. David would be played by Freddie Highmore. Mostly because I love his work in The Spiderwick Chronicles adaptation and he could play slightly older and more confident than Jimmy. Gasp is a tough one, but I think it would be cool to see a motion-capture version of the character (think Zemeckis style animation like in The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol) with the voice acted by Peter Coyote (only with a little more youth in it). Haha!
What kind of chocolate best describes you?
Well, I'd say White Chocolate because I love it, but apparently that's not even real chocolate. So I'm going to say good old Milk Chocolate. I mean, who doesn't love milk chocolate?
To be entered to win an e-copy of JIMMY STONE'S GHOST TOWN, leave a message below, telling us... do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not? This drawing will remain open until Wednesday, January 26th.