Whenever I start a new book, I try to put together a soundtrack that makes me feel the way I want the story to make me feel. It’s a valuable tool, because at some point I become sick of my own book, and the songs help remind me what I’m aiming for. Screenwriter John August puts it well: “A good playlist helps you get started. A great playlist helps you finish.”
I thought I’d share some of the songs that helped me finish The Night Gardener. According to iTunes, I listened to these and a few other tracks more than 300 times …
As many of you know, last week was “Children’s Book Week.” Authors were asked to submit 1 min videos talking about books they love. I knew that wasn’t enough time, so I instead made my video into a sort of flashcard challenge:
I got a number of emails from people wanting to know all the book titles, so here’s the master list:
The Little Prince - Alice in Wonderland - The Golden Compass - A Little Princess - Darth Paper - Pinocchio - Rutabaga Stories - Mary Poppins - Bud, not Buddy - The Chocolate War - The White Mountains - The Witch of Blackbird Pond - The One and Only Ivan - Matilda - The High king - Holes - The Higher Power of Lucky - The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles - Five Children and It - The Mysterious Journey of Edward Tulane - Book of the Dun Cow - Howl’s Moving Castle - Peter and Wendy - The Twenty-One Balloons - Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - A Wrinkle in Time - Little Women - The Princess Academy - The Graveyard Book - Charlotte’s Web - Dominic - Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The Phantom Tollbooth - My Father’s Dragon - The Neddiad - Anne of Green Gables - Redwall - The Man in the Ceiling - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Winnie the Pooh - Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
After nine long years, The Night Gardener is finally out in the world. I am overjoyed with the support that this book has already found among both readers and reviewers.
If you are so inclined, here are some super easy things to do that will go a long way toward spreading the word:
- Buy the Book! Either for yourself or for a young reader in your life. Early sales go a long way toward helping a new book break out from the pack! If you’ve read and enjoyed the book, loan it to a friend—the more people that know about The Night Gardener the better!
- Come to an event! I’ll be having a launch party at the CC Mellor Library in Pittsburgh on Sat, May 31 from 2-4pm–children are welcome! Also, if you’re a bookstore, library, or school in the Pittsburgh area, feel free to contact me about setting up an event!
- Write a Review! If you read and enjoyed the book, please, please, please take a few minutes to write a review on Amazon and Goodreads—that kind of feedback goes a long way to help get the word out!
- Ask Your Local Bookseller for the Book. With so many books out this spring, a lot of smaller bookstores won’t necessarily have a copy in stock—and that’s why it is SO IMPORTANT to let stores know that you want to see The Night Gardener on the shelf! Don’t know where your nearest bookstore is? Click here!
- Request The Night Gardener at your Library. Same as above, libraries won’t carry a book unless they know that people will check it out. This has the added advantage of letting you read the book for free! And who doesn’t like free?
- Spread the word online! Post a link to the book on your Facebook page or blog. Or you can tweet this announcement.
First the book was a Junior Library Guild selection!
Then it was named a Editor’s Pick Best Book by Amazon!
Then it was named a Top-Ten Pick for the American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next list!
And that’s not all. Here are just a few reviews for the book so far:
“Lots of creepiness, memorable characters, a worthy message … make this cautionary tale one readers will not soon forget.” - Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
“Auxier gives readers a spooky story with depth and dimension.” - School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
“The eerie setting, the pacing of the plot and the cast of characters … makes this an ideal family read-aloud and a vacation pleasure.” – Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW
“an Excellent ghost story for middle grade readers.” - VOYA, “perfect ten” review
“Historical fiction and horror intertwine in this absolutely gripping story … The Night Gardener is the stuff of nightmares.” - Shelf Employed
“Auxier delivers the goods with his precise descriptions of the gothic setting and teasing hints of mystery and suspense” - Horn Book Review
“Auxier achieves an ideal mix of adventure and horror, offering all of it in elegant, atmospheric language that forces the reader to slow down a bit and revel in both the high-quality plot and the storytelling itself.” - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
And finally, a review from Betsy Bird’s Fuse #8 blog with perhaps my favorite line ever:
“It is almost as if Mr. Auxier took his whimsy, pulled out a long sharp stick, and stabbed it repeatedly in the heart and left it to die in the snow so as to give us a sublimely horrific little novel.”
Click image for details:
I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be having a Night Gardener launch party on Saturday, May 31 from 2-4pm. The event will be hosted by the historic CC Mellor Library in Regent Square. There will be snacks and activities for children of all ages–so bring the whole family! The folk from Mystery Lovers Bookshop will be on hand to sell copies of both Peter Nimble and The Night Gardener for signing. Please help spread the word by clicking this link–I’d love to see as many people there as possible!