Please welcome sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press) C. L. Colyer! She’s here to talk about her new release, Friends to the End. I love the cover, don’t you? Let’s sit back, relax, and learn all about the author and her inspiration for this middle-grade story, which bestselling author Allan Woodrow has called “a compelling, gripping, nail-biting page-turner.”
Hello, Judith! Thanks for having me on your blog!
I write across genres, with most of my published titles being young adult paranormal romances/thrills. But I have always had a love for children’s fantasy. Bring on the ghosts, vampires, witches, and weird. I’ll gobble up these stories, cheering and gasping right along with the characters. It’s because I love these stories so much that I enjoy weaving together my own.
Friends to the End is the third middle-grade novel I penned, but the first to be published. The inspiration behind this story was two-fold. The adventure came first. I envisioned four friends creeping around an ancient old house, trying not to draw attention to themselves as they searched for a way out. Who they were hiding from and why they were in danger came to me quite out of the blue as I drove by a road not far from my house. Tucked between the homes on what would otherwise be a peaceful rural road is the second most haunted cemetery in Illinois. I passed this road everyday as a teen as the bus took me to school. I’d heard the stories of apparitions seen floating above graves or walking down the road. This cemetery quickly became the inspiration for my fictional town.
But Friends to the End isn’t just a ghost story. Zach, my kind-hearted and brave (even though he doesn’t realize it just yet) protagonist is dealing with the loss of his best friends. His personal jury was born by the overwhelming and heartbreaking loss of innocent lives that happen in Chicago and other cities everyday. Having lost his best friend to the violence, Zach battles the ghosts in his past as he battles the all too real ghosts in the book. He’ll need to be brave if he hopes to make it out alive.
A little more about the book:
Zach doesn’t believe in ghosts…but he should.
Twelve-year-old Zach is convinced he’ll never be happy without his best friend Jeremy by his side. But both of their lives changed with a bang five months ago, and as far as Zach’s concerned, it’s his fault Jeremy will never see his twelfth birthday.
When Zach moves with his family to a Chicago suburb, he quickly becomes friends with a group of thrill-seeking kids trying to find a disappearing haunted house. But Zach’s not worried. He doesn’t believe in ghosts, so he follows them into a wild, dangerous encounter that becomes a battle to decide what’s real and what’s not.
A peek between the pages:
We stopped a few yards from the cemetery, our mouths hanging open and our eyes wide.
“Please tell me you see that,” I whispered.
“If you mean the white lights floating above the ground,” Josh said, “we see it.”
“They’re orbs,” Morgan corrected, as if knowing the proper name for the glowing spheres made it okay to see them.
“Orbs?” Josh asked.
“Spirits of the dead,” I replied, remembering what Morgan had told me.
Dom scooted his bike closer. “Maybe we should ask them if they’ve seen the house.”
“Seriously?” Morgan asked.
Morgan shook her head, causing her ponytail to swing from side to side. “Oh, no! I learned my lesson the last time we were here. I’m not stepping one foot off the shoulder of the road.”
“Your right foot is in the grass,” Dom said, shining his flashlight on her sneaker.
Morgan scowled and repositioned herself to have both feet on concrete.
Three iridescent orbs floated over headstones. I thought about the movies that warned people to stay away from the light. Maybe they weren’t warning us about a bright beam of light, but instead small glowing balls. Maybe if one of them touched you, the spirit would take over your body. Maybe they were waiting for someone to be stupid enough to come closer. I suddenly wondered if I’d met anyone who’d been possessed by a spirit and immediately thought of Olivia and her strange habits.
Then I told myself I was being ridiculous.
Or was I? Think about it. How would anyone know if a ghost hitched a ride with the person in front of him or her?
Buy the book:
More about the author:
C.L. Colyer found her love for writing in first grade when her class was sent to the library and asked to find a book for their first book report. While she doesn’t still have this book report, she’s very proud to say she got an A on it. Her favorite thing about the book was that it had no words. That’s right, not one! That gave her the freedom to interpret the pictures in any way she wanted and write her own story.
This sparked her love for writing essays. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she sat down and penned her first novel. This story has a special place in her heart because it’s the story that helped her discover her passion for writing. She has since written several books, many of which may never see the light of day, but all of which helped her learn to combine her passion for writing with her fascination with all things mythical. You’ll find examples of this in her novels.
She lives in Illinois with her family.
Where to find her:
Thanks so much for joining us today, Cherie. Wishing you all the best with Friends to the End!