Thursday, November 6, 2014

"DeadGirl" by B.C. Johnson: SPOTLIGHT, GUEST POST, & REVIEW

DeadGirl, by B.C. Johnson

Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy/paranormal-romance

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: November 6, 2014


Dead is such a strong word …

Lucy Day, 15 years old, is murdered on her very first date. Not one to take that kind of thing lying down, she awakens a day later with a seemingly human body and more than a little confusion. Lucy tries to return to her normal life, but the afterlife keeps getting in the way.

Zack, her crush-maybe-boyfriend, isn’t exactly excited that she ditched him on their first date. Oh, and Abraham, Lucy’s personal Grim Reaper, begins hunting her, dead-set on righting the error that dropped her back into the spongy flesh of a living girl. Lucy must put her mangled life back together, escape re-death, and learn to control her burgeoning powers while staying one step ahead of Abraham.

But when she learns the devastating price of coming back from the dead, Lucy is forced to make the hardest decision of her re-life — can she really sacrifice her loved ones to stay out of the grave?


About B.C. Johnson: 

Born in Southern California, B.C. Johnson has been writing since he realized it was one of the few socially acceptable ways to tell people a bunch of stuff you just made up off the top of your head. He attended Savanna High School in Anaheim, and an undisclosed amount of college before deciding that weird odd jobs were a far greater career path. 

This lead him to such exciting professions as: aluminum recovery machinist, lighting designer, construction demo, sound mixer, receptionist, theater stage hand, wedding security, high school custodian, museum events manager, webmaster, IT guy, copywriter, and one memorable night as the bouncer at a nightclub. He is trying very hard to add “vampire hunter” and “spaceship captain” to that list. 

He currently lives in Garden Grove with his supernal wife Gina, his half-corgi, half-muppet dog Luna, and his new half-grayhound, half-living-tornado-of-destruction Kaylee. He also spends time with his two brothers, his parents, and his close friends, whose primary pursuit are usually healthy debates about movie minutiea. When he’s not working or writing, he’s been to known to pursue all conceivable geeky avenues of interest including but not limited to video games, the sort of TV shows/movies Benedict Cumberbatch might star in, graphic novels, podcasts, funny gifs, the whole thing. 

He’s also been known to apply his special brand of hyperbole and mania to pop-culture humor essays for various websites that can be found on his homepage, B.C. also has a high school noir short story called “The Lancer” available on Kindle. 

Deadgirl is his first novel.

Find B.C. Johnson Online:

Becoming a Teen Girl - Signed, a Dude
So I'm a nearly 30-year-old guy, and the protagonist of my first book is a 15-year-old girl.
I never had to buy a prom dress, I've never been catcalled, and as a 6'1, 260+ lbs guy I've never had to worry about walking down a dark alley. Well, I worry anyway because I'm a crazy person and I'm scared of werewolves, but you get the gist. Basically, why the choice of first-person protagonists?
It's funny, because the idea to have Deadgirl star a teen girl was actually a self-imposed challenge to try to make myself a better writer. I'd written dozens of short stories and a full book before I wrote Deadgirl, and they'd all featured male protagonists. Some of the stories didn't even have girls in them! It's not because I was afraid of or didn't like girls – quite the opposite. I liked girls quite a bit, even if their feelings for me were more subdued, and maybe I was only a tiny bit scared of them.
For the most part, I hadn't even realized that my stories were complete and utter sausage-fests until my girlfriend-now-wife finally pointed it out to me.
"You know there are two genders on the planet, right?" she asked me, possibly sarcastically.
Turns out I did know that, and when she asked me why I didn't write about girls, the best, totally lame excuse I could offer was something like this: "What do I know about girls?"
"Well, they're people, for starters," she told me, and her words hit me like a zen koan made of bricks attached to a space rocket.
People,” I said, muttering to myself, possibly wandering out of the house and walking the earth for awhile. When my senses came back to me, I knew I wanted to write a story not only with a girl, but with a teenage girl, from her own point of view.
I had an idea, an idea I thought might be a bad idea. So I went to my girlfriend-now-wife,  and asked her “Would you mind letting me read all of those diaries you used to keep in highschool?” I expected a hearty laugh and maybe some karate kicks, but instead she seemed to actually consider the idea.
A few days later, she dumped five tattered composition books of various eye-scorching colors onto my desk. Then she handed me a piece of paper that annotated exactly which pages, in which books, I was allowed to read. We were both around our mid-twenties at the time, and I could see the hint of fear blossoming in her eyes.
I was fourteen-to-sixteen, okay,” she told me.  “You knew me back then, but I didn’t realize how emo I was until just now.”
She didn’t say “please don’t judge me,” but the words were written on her face and in her thorough notes of her own teen journals.
I spent the next week or so pouring through the books, respectfully respecting her wishes on where to read and where I must never, ever venture. And despite all her worry, and all my trepidation, I learned some extremely valuable insight into the human condition: Her teen thoughts were exactly the same as mine.
She was afraid of what I was afraid of (the opposite sex, older teens, sex), and she was excited about what I had been excited about (freedom, a wide open future, sex), and she ate the same bad food and wrote the same bad poetry and thought the same dumb, smart, wise, confusing, silly, awesome things I’d thought when my brain had been stewing in its own hormonal juices. Sure the pronouns were different about who she thought was dreamy, and she mentioned shoes more often than I did, but wonder-of-wonders, I found out that girls are people.
For a boy, that’s a startling revelation. It helped me write a book, and that’s great and everything, but the tools it gave me to live my life were by far the greater contribution. Girls aren’t mysterious puzzles waiting to be solved, they’re just humans with different bits and pieces that have the same entire suite of emotions, fears, flaws, and strengths as dudes. Okay, they’re better at pattern recognition and slightly worse at spatial awareness, and they look way more fetching in tights than I do, but otherwise it’s really a wash.
And that, if you’re wondering, is how I’m occasionally a teenage girl.  Just, like, on weekends.  
-B.C. Johnson

* * * * *
Sister Sinister's Review of DEAD GIRL
* * * * *

Having had the opportunity to read DEAD GIRL as part of the book's blog tour, I was delighted to find it was as enjoyable as I had hoped. And it didn't even occur to me that the book was written by a guy. Which I dare say, impresses me; not every guy can pull off writing for a female protagonist without making them look like caricatures of the female species. So, score one for the team!

DEAD GIRL starts off with a literal bang before taking us back a few days prior to the event, as teenage Lucy hangs with her friends and thinks about boys. Life seems pretty ordinary for Lucy until she loses it. And then things get really strange.

This book was awesome in my very humble opinion and I highly recommend it to lovers of the YA and supernatural genres.

1 comment:

  1. I am actually very impressed. A thirty year guy able to put himself in the shoes of a fifteen year old girl? Very impressive. And written in such a way that you didn't even notice the author was male! I think I might have to try this just to see what it's like in style of writing and all that ^^