Every author loves getting fan art of characters from their books! At some point, I plan to put up a few gallery posts. In the meantime, I recently saw these amazing Night Gardener concept drawings by a Thai art student named Thithipun Supampon. "Fan art" isn't quite the right word for this--Thithipun is a freelance illustrator and these drawings are part of a thesis project. You can see more of their work here
Woke up this morning to find that The Night Gardener had made the NYT Bestseller list!!!
Hello friends! The announcements came through the trades today--DISNEY JUST OPTIONED NIGHT GARDENER! From Variety:
It will be developed by Sean Bailey’s Disney live-action group with Auxier adapting the script. Jim Whitaker will produce.
The book is Auxier’s follow-up to his widely popular “Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes,” with this story following two orphan siblings who travel to work as servants at the creepy, crumbling Windsor estate, but neither the house nor its inhabitants are quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious specter and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.
Disney has had quite the success lately of remaking their animated classics such as “Cinderella,” which just passed the $500 million mark at the worldwide box office, and “Maleficent,” but this acquisition shows they are still interested in developing original IPs.
Obviously this is still very far from being an actual movie, but thrilling nonetheless!
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 ...
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!
The Internet is full of great advice about how to sell a book, but what about after the sale? When my first book came out, I found it was surprisingly hard to find answers to some basic questions. Like most authors, I learned most of the answers through trial and error. And so in anticipation of the launch of my new novel, The Night Gardener, I’ve decided to write down everything I learned so I don’t make the same mistakes twice!
AFTER THE BOOK DEAL is a month-long blog series detailing the twenty things I wish someone had told me before entering the exciting world of children’s publishing. Each weekday from now until MAY 20, I will be posting an article on a different blog. Many of these sites will also be doing Night Gardener giveaways, so please follow along and spread the word!
WEEK ONE: Before Your Book Comes Out 4/21 - Finding Your Tribe: entering the publishing community 4/22 - Do I Really Need a Headshot?: crafting your public persona 4/23 - I Hate Networking: surviving social media 4/24 - A Night at the Movies: the ins and outs of book trailers 4/25 - Giveaways! ... are they worth it?
WEEK TWO: Your Book Launch 4/28 - Can I have Your Autograph?: 5 things to do before your first signing 4/29 - Cinderella at the Ball: planning a successful book launch 5/1 - Being Heard in the Crowd: conferences and festivals 5/2 - The Loneliest Writer in the World: surviving no-show events
WEEK THREE: The Business of Being an Author 5/5 - Handling Reviews ... the Good and the Bad! 5/6 - Back to the Grindstone: writing your next book 5/7 - The Root of All Evil: some thoughts on money 5/8 - The Green-Eyed Monster: some thoughts on professional jealousy
WEEK FOUR: Ongoing Promotion 5/12 - Death by 1000 Cuts: Keeping ahead of busywork 5/13 - Can You Hear Me Now? Tips for Skype visits 5/14 - School Days: crafting an effective school program 5/15 - This Part is Awkward: navigating appearance fees 5/16 - The Time Has Come: last words
The time has finally come to unveil the cover of my new book! The Night Gardener will be hitting stores in Spring '14. The cover was drawn by the brilliant Patrick Arrasmith and designed by Chad Beckerman:
From the jacket flap:
This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.
If you are a reviewer, bookseller, or librarian who wants an ARC, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org