Gabby is a disgruntled tween angel who has just been assigned to protect her school nemesis and ex-beffie. Problem is her ex-beffie is dating Gabby’s longtime crush. Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (since when is sticking toilet paper to her shoe or spinach in her teeth a sin?) Soon, Gabby gets out of control and is put on probation by her SKYAgent, who has anger management issues of his own. Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.
It was Dec 08 at Christmas time. I had just finished reading Cynthia Leitich Smith's Eternal and Lisa Schroeder’s I Heart You, You Haunt Me. I was subbing Untraceable to agents and needed to pass the time. I happened to sit down and watch one of those "Near Death Experience" shows. The man was talking about his "near death experience" and how he felt totally peaceful and happy when he crossed over. He didn't want to come back. I wanted to play with that. What if when we die - we are happy and we aren't sad? What if all those negative feelings end - no matter who you leave behind or what happened in your life. I wondered if I could do a book about death in a humorous way and get away with it.
The question became “what if a disgruntled angel is the only one who isn't happy. What if she is forced to protect someone she doesn’t like?" Brought back all the times I wished I could be a fly on the wall, listening to my crush and eavesdropping on my frenemies. Then I thought about the opposite of death. What if a girl didn't want to be a cool angel? What if she just wanted to be human again?
That became much more interesting. I knew if I was going to do a middle grade, I needed it to be less heavy and more fun and light and hip. Something more like Meg Cabot or Ally Carter.
On the Bright Side is funny and light even though death, loss, forgiveness, and the fear of moving on are at its core.
I tend to do mostly YA Thrillers so this one came out of left field. I didn't decide on tween - I guess it just found me. I got this idea for an angel story - to show the dead side. Most books seemed to show the hot angel or the person the angel was going after. I wanted to explore death form a dead person's perspective.It started out as a heavier YA. But the voice sounded funny, which made Gabby sound younger. Trust me, I tried to make it YA. Even tried taking it down to MG. Especially because of all the hoopla about tween not being a shelf at B&N and a hard sell. Editors asked me to age up or down but I couldn't. Gabby was just 14. I must say, it was fun to write and Gabby makes me laugh :) That was nice after Untraceable, which is much heavier and not happy.
The Indelible's have an Anthology, "In His Eyes" coming out Feb 14th, all short stories from the perspective of hot guys. Mo, from Untraceable, makes an encore as he talks about meeting Grace.
Beyond that, all I see right now is Uncontrollable, the sequel to Untraceable. And I can't wait to get back on it. It's scheduled for some time in the summer.
Oh, I've heard about that anthology, *wink*. On the Bright Side sounds so cute. Can't wait to read it.