Spotlight on Dan Unmasked (Chris Negron), Guest Post, Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)

52917965._SX318_SY475_

Today we're excited to spotlight Dan Unmasked by Chris Negron.

 Read on for more about Chris and his book, an guest post, plus an giveaway! 

 

 

 

Meet Chris Negron!

   

Chris Negron spent a huge chunk of his childhood collecting comic books and loving sports and not much has really changed. He writes his stories from his home in Atlanta, Georgia, where he lives with his wife. Dan Unmasked is his debut novel.

  

 Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

 


 

 

Meet Dan Unmasked!

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and an ABA 2020 Summer / Fall Indies Introduce pick.

Whether they’re on the baseball field or in Nate’s basement, devouring the newest issue of their favorite comic book, Dan and Nate are always talking. Until they’re not.

After an accident at baseball practice—an accident that Dan is certain he caused—Nate’s stuck in a coma. Usually, Dan can rely on his and Nate’s superpower—the secret language that only they know, a language of raised eyebrows and subtle nose taps.

Now, if Dan ever wants to see Nate tap his nose again, he’s got to figure out a way to wake him up. But for all the time he’s spent reading about the adventures of Captain Nexus, Dan knows he’s no superhero. Heroes have powers—and without Nate, all Dan has is a closet stuffed with comics and a best-friend shaped hole in his heart. There’s no way a regular kid can save the day all on his own. Right?

 

 

AmazonB & N * Indiebound

 

 

 

 

~ Guest Post ~

  

 

                                   

Young Adult (and Kids!) Books Central “List of 5” - Chris Negron

Five Interesting Things I Learned While Writing Dan Unmasked

Dan Unmasked was a lot of fun to write. There were so many facets and angles to the story. Among the best parts of the writing process were the many interesting things I learned while writing this book. Here are five examples.

 

 

  1. F.A.S.T. Coma Study

In Dan Unmasked, Dan’s best friend Nate suffers an accident at baseball practice (one Dan blames himself for) and falls into a coma. I’ve never experienced a coma close up before (thank goodness), so I needed to find out what sort of treatments are utilized for such patients. I uncovered many, but the one that struck me the most was a study done at Northwestern University called F.A.S.T.

F.A.S.T. stands for Familiar Auditory Sensory Training. It involves allowing coma patients to hear familiar stories repeated by family members, in person or more commonly in recordings, over a period of time. The results of the study seem to indicate that these coma patients have a tendency to recover faster when undergoing this type of auditory stimulation.

These results fascinated me because a big part of Dan Unmasked is a meditation on the healing power of art and stories, and so the idea that hard evidence exists that these family stories might help real coma patients seemed ready made for my book. I ended up reading everything I could get my hands on about it.

  1. Tools Comic Book Artists Use

In one scene of Dan Unmasked, several of the kids get to visit the studio where their idol creates the comic book they’re obsessed with. I knew one of the characters in particular, Ollie Templeton, would be completely overwhelmed by seeing the actual tools employed by his favorite comic creator, but one thing was missing: what tools do such artists use?

Even though I’ve been a huge fan and collector of comics for many years, I wasn’t sure, so it was great to research this topic. I learned a Wacom is a digital tablet many comic artists use to draw on, not just paper. I discovered there are special pens called rapidographs that a lot of artists ink with. I looked up the specific kinds of brushes these talented people might choose from, how light boxes look and work, as well as tons of different pencils and other tools like French curves and T-squares.

Particularly cool was the time I spent watching videos of some of my favorite artists drawing cool characters, narrating along the way the reasons they were making choices about lines or shapes.

  1. The Secret Life of a County Food inspector

When I gave Dan’s mother a career as a county food inspector, I must admit it was mostly for comedic relief. It gave me the opportunity to include all sorts of grody (gosh, does anyone say “grody” anymore?), a.k.a. disgusting, descriptions of food inspection results in the book, and little jokes dropped at just the right time. Like the moment when, after making sure the kids never, ever eat at Luigi’s Meatball Emporium, Dan’s mom finds out his dad has been letting his office colleagues take him there every once in a while, and she’s horrified.

It was so interesting to research this profession and uncover all kinds of hidden aspects I never realized. Like how the inspections are unannounced (at one point I even describe the “uniform” Dan’s mom wears – plain clothes so the restaurants don’t see her coming). Or how the ice machine is one of the scariest parts of the inspection (who would have thought it’s such a source of mold?). Or how they don’t like to eat at the places they inspect (this is particularly true of Dan’s mom, who’s constantly warning Dan about this place or that one, so much so that Dan has a rule that she’s not allowed to talk about his favorites, so she doesn’t ruin them for him).

Any writers out there should consider making the professions you choose for your characters, even the side ones, interesting and unique. It can be a great source of humor, and certainly makes the writing and research process a whole lot more fun!

  1. Real-life Shared Art Studio Spaces

When Dan and his friends get to visit their idol’s art studio, they find it housed in an old industrial space that’s been retrofitted to become shared art studios. Besides fascinating Dan’s architect father when he takes the kids there, and being the stage for one of the subplots of the book, I did this because I knew of a similar, real life place near my home that has always been a wonder to me.

The “Art Coop” in Dan Unmasked – with its crazy and funny resident, free range chickens – is loosely based on The Goat Farm here in Atlanta. Besides having live-in chickens just like my “coop,” the real Goat Farm has been home to other animals, such as (you guessed it!) goats.

I’ve visited The Goat Farm a few times in the past because my wife is a painter and she’s taken some classes there. I even had my author photo shoot there, including the one I’ve provided for this post (credit: photographer Bobbi Jo Brooks). The distressed and sometimes crumbling buildings of the facility are so cool and unique, they’ve served at times as a set for the TV show The Walking Dead. It was really fun to revisit it back when I was writing those scenes – both in person as well as through extra research.

It’s hard to make money as an artist –any artis –and these types of shared spaces can be really vital for artists who are trying to find a location to have a studio to progress in their work without having lots of income to spend on rent. If you have one in your area, I humbly suggest finding ways to support it.

  1. Comics that Inspired me Most

Dan Summers is an “old school” comic book fan. He loves the classics as much as his favorite new series, the fictional Captain Nexus and the Nexus Five he and all his friends obsess over. Dan’s constantly trying to “educate” his friends on the best comics from the past, which gave me plenty of opportunity to reference a bunch of comics from my youth, and spend some time thinking about what they’ve meant to me and how they’ve inspired me.

Alpha Flight #12 came out when I was Dan’s same age, way back in 1984. That story had an ending so shocking to my thirteen-year-old self, it has stuck with me right to this day. Probably not surprisingly from someone who created a team called “The Nexus Five”, the Fantastic Four was also one of my long-time favorites growing up. There’s a particular issue, #262 – ominously, “The Trial of Reed Richards” – that I keep framed on my desk. At one point in its many revisions, Dan Unmasked even had a plot point where Captain Nexus was subjected to a trial. It didn’t make the final cut, but it definitely informed some of my other choices in the book.

I could go on and on about the comics I rediscovered while writing Dan Unmasked. In general what I found is that it’s great to re-read something you remember a certain way from long ago. Sometimes whole new aspects of it are revealed!

 

 

 

 

 

Dan Unmasked

By: Chris Negron

Publisher: Harpercollins

Release Date: July 28th, 2020

 

 

 

 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS*

Three winners will receive a copy of Dan Unmasked (Chris Negron) ~ (US Only)

 

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*   

 

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Of The Week: Chat with Sara Raash & Kristen...
Featured Review: Glass Kingdom (M Lynn)

Related Posts

 

Comments 5

Already Registered? Login Here
Zachary Snyder on Thursday, 30 July 2020 17:03

Book looks great, look forward to reading it!

0
Book looks great, look forward to reading it!
Danielle Hammelef on Monday, 17 August 2020 14:35

I love the illustrated cover. This book sounds fun and emotional.

0
I love the illustrated cover. This book sounds fun and emotional.
Penny Olson on Monday, 24 August 2020 22:03

The cover is dramatic. The story sounds important.

0
The cover is dramatic. The story sounds important.
Dan Denman on Sunday, 30 August 2020 13:47

I like the images in the book cover. This sounds like a good story about friendship and life.

0
I like the images in the book cover. This sounds like a good story about friendship and life.
Heena Cruzl on Tuesday, 20 October 2020 03:54

I accidentally read your article, it's very good
vex 3

0
I accidentally read your article, it's very good [url=http://vex3game.com/]vex 3[/url]

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Warriors of Wing and Flame, the spellbinding sequel...
Corona Daze: Eva's time at home during Covid-19
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
"Angel's artwork is an inspirational blend of photographic images and...
Fae's Prisoner (Crimes of the Fae)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Griffin O’Shea is a traitor. It’s what those outside...
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and...
Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Maggie Stiefvater (the...
Launch (Rise of the Anointed #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In the biblical stories, Samson had great strength. The prophet...
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From the New York Times and USA Today bestselling team...
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The perfect story to encourage children to treat others as...
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Follow Rosa and her friends as they prepare pizzas! Each...
The Other Side of Midnight
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The sense of foreboding came out of nowhere. It was...

Latest Member Reviews

Swamp Thing: Twin Branches
 
4.3
"SWAMP THING: TWIN BRANCHES is a graphic novel about finding yourself, remembering history, and forging your own path forward. Alec..."
The Mirror: Broken Wish (The Mirror, #1)
 
5.0
"BROKEN WISH is a beautifully composed fairytale. The book begins with the story of Mathilda and Agnes, neighbors who have..."
How to Catch a Yeti
 
5.0
"HOW TO CATCH A YETI is a delightful picture book about a group of children who, as the title implies,..."
Along Came a Fox
 
4.0
"ALONG CAME A FOX is the story of Bramble, who is excited to find some fireflies. Her friends tell her..."
Rosa's Big Pizza Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
5.0
"ROSA'S BIG PIZZA EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book about the process to make a pizza, beginning with the flour,..."
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
"THE GILDED WOLVES is a fantastic YA fantasy. Although given a year in the 1800s and a historical setting, the..."
The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)
 
4.3
"That ending!!! THE SILVERED SERPENTS is an engaging YA historical fantasy that picks up after the first book ended, and..."
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
"Ashley Poston has crafted a new fairy tale for the ages! Among the Beasts and Briars may very well be..."
Warriors of Wing and Flame (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #2)
 
4.0
"WARRIORS OF WING AND FLAME is an intriguing conclusion to a YA fantasy duology about sisterhood. This book picks up..."
Sisters of Shadow and Light (Sisters of Shadow and Light, #1)
 
3.7
"SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT is an intriguing YA fantasy that focuses on the love between sisters. Zuhra has lived..."
Rosa's Big Sunflower Experiment (Rosa's Workshop)
 
4.0
"ROSA'S BIG SUNFLOWER EXPERIMENT is a cute picture book that brings science and plant facts to young children. Rosa and..."
That Dog!
 
4.5
"THAT DOG! is a silly fun picture book about animal similarities and light crime solving. Penny is a dognapper, and..."
I'm a Zcary Vampire
 
3.5
"I'M A ZCARY VAMPIRE is an overall cute picture book read that is great for the lead up to Halloween...."
Heroes Level Up (Homerooms & Hall Passes #2)
 
5.0
"Albiorix and his crew are having a great time being back in Bríandalör, successfully completing a lot of quests, but..."
Last: The Story of a White Rhino
 
4.5
"LAST: THE STORY OF A WHITE RHINO tells the story of the real rhino, Sudan, who is one of the..."
When Pumpkins Fly
 
3.5
"WHEN PUMPKINS FLY is about the arrival of pumpkins via plane that are then taken to the classroom where children..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
5.0
"FORESHADOW is a fantastic collection of short stories with a focus on discussion and writing. Each story is undeniably well-composed..."
Space Maps
 
5.0
"SPACE MAPS is a seriously cool oversized book with tons of information about the universe, planets, stars, our exploration, and..."
Owl Always Love You
 
5.0
"OWL ALWAYS LOVE YOU is a sweet board book that is made for bedtime. It is a sweet poem about..."
Twins
 
4.0
"Francine and Maureen feel differently about starting middle school; Francine is reinventing herself, going by "Fran"and rocking a hat an..."