Special treat on the Mixed Up Files today! We are interviewing… a ghost. Yep. Derek the Ghost, author of the scary and laugh out loud funny SCARY SCHOOL. It’s not very often we get to do this, so without further ado, let’s begin.
We’ll start with a little bit about the book that Derek wrote, SCARY SCHOOL.
You think your school’s scary?
Get a load of these teachers:
Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire
Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess
Mr. Snakeskin—science class is so much more fun when it’s taught by someone who’s half zombie
Mrs. T—break the rules and spend your detention with a hungry Tyrannosaurus rex!
Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein’s monster on the loose
The world’s most frighteningly delicious school lunch
The narrator’s an eleven-year-old ghost!
Join Charles “New Kid” Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends—including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf—and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky!
About the Author
Derek the Ghost is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School writing down all the spine-tingling, often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn’t work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on Earth.
Derek, glad you were the one to tell this story. I think your youth gave you a fearlessness in your telling that I know kids will appreciate. Do you agree with that? Did you have trouble convincing the adults to let you just tell the story because let’s face it there are some pretty situations and scary teachers at that school (thinking here of Miss Fangs…OOPS! sorry, Miss Fang, man, hope she didn’t hear me).
Yes, I guess I’m pretty fearless. Not quite as fearless as Fred the Boy Without Fear, but when you’re a ghost you don’t have to worry about getting eaten or dismembered anymore, so not a whole lot rattles me. Luckily, all the adults at Scary School are very supportive of my telling their stories. Personally, I think they just want the chance to become famous. And look! It seems to be working for Ms. Fangs already!
Were you the class clown? I only ask because I see you are an aspiring ninja master, not a comedy writer. You really did have me laughing out loud (when you weren’t scaring the pants off me, that is). It’s not easy writing humour, you’ve got some talent there, so you might want to consider that as another career to aspire to. If no on the class clown, how’d you do it? Be so funny, I mean.
Yes, I was a bit of a class clown. I loved making my friends laugh, so since that’s what I seemed to be good at, I figured why not just keep trying to make kids laugh with my writing and try to make a career of it? When I wrote Scary School, it was my goal to make kids laugh at least three times every page, and I hope I was successful!
Have to admit I’m a little curious about this person called Derek T. Kent. Seems he’s somehow involved in this book as his name pops up here and there. Could you tell us a little bit about him? Or maybe if he’s around you could get him to tell us? Interesting you both have the same first name.
As it turns out, Dereks can communicate from the beyond with other living Dereks. Unfortunately, normal folks out in the real world can’t often see or hear us ghosts, so Derek Taylor Kent is my connection with all of you. I didn’t have a lot of options when I needed to find someone to connect to the living world, so I can of just ended up with that guy. He’s very weird. Just google his full name “Derek Taylor Kent” and you’ll see lots of weird stuff he’s done!
SCARY SCHOOL crazy cool website which everyone seriously needs to check out. Did you have much input on that? Do you have a favorite part, something you for sure want kids to check out?
Thanks so much. Myself and the amazing team at Jett Media put together the website – ScarySchool.com. Most of the features were my ideas that I wanted in there, like the fun locker game, the super-brain prize, and of course the tours of the school where you can check out the students, teachers, and cool school locations. But you have to make sure to take Ms. Fangs’ Quiz after you finish reading Scary School, because that will unlock the secret chapter, which is an essential read before starting on Book 2 which comes out on June 26, 2012. And then Book 3 comes out the June after that!
Next week, I’ll be back with a list of titles similar to the book you wrote, you know, in case kids want to make a pile a great scary funny reads for the holidays. Anything you’d recommend?
Yes, some of my recent favorites have been School for the Insanely Gifted by Dan Elish, My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody, The Beyonders by Brandon Mull, Jacob Wonderbar by Nathan Bransford, My Life as a Stuntboy by Janet Tashjian, and Shark Wars by EJ Altbacker.
So what are your future plans? More books in the works?
Yes, many more books in the works. There will be AT LEAST three Scary School books and probably many more. There could also be some fun spin-offs of other school you hear about in the text – like Adventure School and Future School. I also have some other cool books I’ve already written that you can check out and purchase through the website here – http://www.scaryschool.com/bookstore.html – Rudy and the Beast – My Homework Ate My Dog! is a really fun Harry Potter-type series about a kid who learns he has special powers and has to use them to rescue his kidnapped dog.
Before I let you go, I noticed on your website that we can actually send you questions there, as well. Any questions you haven’t got yet that you are dying (oh sorry, I guess you can’t really be dying) to answer but haven’t been asked yet? If so, what is it and feel free to go ahead and answer it right here. Not sure if the other Derek ever gets questions there?
I’ve gotten lots and lots of great questions, and also lots of amazing comments from kids all over the world who are reading and loving the book. Thanks so much for writing, kids! Every note warms my ghostly heart more than words can say. I’m happy to answer any questions, and I’ve gotten some weird ones, but no questions pop out that need answering. A lot of kids write to me wanting some hints about what happens in Book 2. if you contact me, I just might have those hints for you!
Thanks for doing this. Hope to see you around sometime. You don’t, like, jump out and scare people do you? If you do, maybe we should hold off on the seeing you around.
Sure thing. Oh and by the way, turn around. BOO!!! Did I scare you?
Well, yes yes, you kind of did. But not so scared that I’m not going to be reading some more scary books over the holidays! Back with what I read next week.
Derek the Ghost and his publisher have kindly offered a book for giveaway! Just leave a comment and we will announce a winner tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by and if you happen to know of some good scary funny or just plains scary reads do let us know!