Thursday, March 27, 2014


I have been a fan of DJ MacHale since 1991. To put that into perspective, his first book was published in 2002. Don't worry, you're not terrible at math…well okay you could be, I don't know you – but in this case the math isn't your fault.

How can I have been his fan for 11 years before he published? Well, he's the mastermind behind one of my all-time favorite TV shows, Are You Afraid Of The Dark which aired on Nickelodeon from 1991 to 2000 – that's how! Now I have countless more reasons to love him, between his Pendragon Series, The Morpheus Road Series and The SYLO Series.

Needless to say when my favorite indie bookshop, Red Balloon, secured him for a signing, I was the first in line to be there. Okay, according to my autograph ticket, I was the 6th – but why spilt hairs?

newsflash_logoRed Balloon is the most fantastic shop, located on beautiful Grand Ave in St.Paul Minnesota, if you've never been there you really need to make it a priority to pop in. They focus on children's books, but there is a shelf tucked in the back with Adult Fiction too. Check out Red Balloon's website and sign up for their newsletter while you're there!

DJ was their guest on March 25th, I brought my 10 year old with and she surprised me at every turn. See, the thing is I don't have much in common with my 10 year old. She is her father's daughter. She loves sports, and more to the point she's good at them. As for me, I don't know how many points you get when you make a touchdown in basketball. So when something reading related comes up, which happens to be the one thing we share a love for, I jump at it and take her out. She eagerly monopolized the Q&A session asking questions I didn't even know she had in her. I was a proud mama! One of the things she asked him was if he was afraid of the dark. He said no, but he is scared of clowns!



As you can (almost) see in this picture above, DJ is a big fan of Me,My Shelf and I and Book Nerd Tours. (dang the lighting!) Don't mind my face – this was take 4 of the photo since the ones on my phone were blurry and, well, I'm just generally a goofy person.  Luckily the people in line behind me didn't try to kill me for taking up too much of his time!

If you have a chance to meet DJ in your town, don't let it slip by. He's an incredible and engaging speaker. And despite his continued reference to this in his talk – he is not "An Old Guy".

Things I learned about DJ:

  • He is scared of Clowns.
  • The original name of Are You Afraid of the Dark was "Creepy Tales, but Nickelodeon wanted something more Nickelodeon-ish so he had to come up with something new.
  • Before he made kids TV, he made informational videos used mostly by large corporations for their employees and also the instructional videos used in schools.
  • When BLACK WATER, the 5th Pendragon book came out, it debuted #1 on The New York Times bestsellers list. Under him were two Harry Potter Books! He has a copy of that, laminated.
  • He loves the epic villain, much like the kind you might see in a  James Bond book/movie and lovs putting them in his novels.
  • He is neither a "plotter" nor a "pantser" – he is both. He will very loosely outline his books, but almost never looks at it again during the process of writing, unless he's written himself into a corner. And on the occasions that he does go back and look at the outline (a word he said he had to use, because it's not really an outline) he will see he's veered well off the original path. But the reminder of the original ideas helps him get unstick from writing.
  • He prides himself on writing books for people who read a lot. Wanting to give them something new, and totally unlike what they have already read.

STORM, the second book in the SYLO series came out the night of his author appearance at Red Balloon, and because I'm ALWAYS thinking of you, my lovely readers – I got a signed copy to give away! I'll just wait while you all jump up and down, cheering….take your time.




One lucky winner will get:
1 - Signed Hardcover of STORM (The SYLO Chronicles #2)
1 - SYLO Dog Tags
2-  SYLO Chronicles Bookmarks

Iif the giveaway reaches 1000 + entries I'll add another winner who will get:
1 – Signed ARC of SYLO
2 – SYLO Chronicles Bookmarks.


Must be 13 + To enter – Ships in US only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway




  1. Ahhh it's only for US residents. Ah well!

    I love his Pendragon books..So underrated! Hate clowns too..*ick*

  2. (This is Darith L.)

    I've never read any of his books! So hopefully I win so I can start.

    1. That is a great reason to enter! Ever collection has to start somewhere! Good Luck!

  3. I'm really looking forward to reading Storm, the ending of SYLO was crazy! I've read all of his published books so far, he's definitely one of my favorite authors. Unfortunately I only own a copy of The Light :( But he's brilliant! Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. This is amazing! He seems like a really great person, I hope to be able to meet him in person myself soon. Loving your blog, I'm glad I found it! Really good reviews that don't give too much away and awesome giveaways! Even if I don't win STORM is next on my ToBuy List :) Good Luck everyone!

  5. Admittedly, I'm entering for the dogtags. You have no idea how much I want the dog tags.


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