On The Bright Side Blog Tour: Guest Post

Welcome to a stop on the, On The Bright Side Blog Tour. On The Bright Side is an new tween book from author S.R.Johannes. On The Bright Side releases in Ebook January 31st and in paperback in February.


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 Gabbys 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. 

Guest Post from author S.R.Johannes: Finding The Tween Sweet Spot

There is a huge difference in writing middle grade characters from young adult.
First is the age
middle grade is usually under 12. And young adult is usually 15 and up. Tween is somewhere in between like 10-14.
Second is the insight. In MG, the character is usually worried about themselves and not the world around them as much. The conflict is not universal; it is more within their circle, parents, teachers, friends etc
In young adult, the view is more outward. In YA, the character is worried about his/her place in the world. How they fit in, how they can make a difference on a larger scale.
To me, writing tween is hard because you have to squeeze somewhere in the middle without the plot being too complicated. You have boys but not yet romance. So you focus more on crushes as opposed to love. They are also not as independent as 16 year olds so the parents still play factor.
For Gabby, my biggest struggle was putting in her snarky humour while balancing likability. There is a fine line between snarky and whiny. Finding that place is tough. It is hard to write a lovable character that is selfish in motivation but that is where a tween focuses more.
In OTBS, Gabby starts out with an internal motivation. About a girl winning a boy she wanted. About a girl taking the high road in protecting someone who she didnt like. But as the story moves along, her motive becomes about something more. In the end, her actions have larger consequences than she imagined.
So hopefully, OTBS finds that sweet spot and keeps people laughing yet teaches the core message about acceptance and moving on.

Want to get your hand on a copy of On The Bright Side by S.R.Johannes? To buy the kindle ebook, available January 31st, head to amazon or B&N . The Ebook will be 0.99 for the first month! Paperback copies are available for purchase in February!

Praises for On The Bright Side

"S.R. Johannes delivers a cute paranormal thrill ride for middle graders! Even in death there is a BRIGHT SIDE!" - Addison Moore, author of the bestselling Celestra series and soon to be TV show

Clever and charming, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is the story of a reluctant guardian angel, her still-breathing crush, and the frenemy shes assigned to protect. A great read! -Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicket (6/12), and The Program (2013)

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is both hilarious and heart-warming a tale thatll have you hoping that there really *are* spunky and determined angels like Gabby whove got our backs.” - Kristin ODonnell Tubb, author of Selling Hope & The 13th Sign (2013) (Feiwel & Friends)

"With a smart, snappy heroine and a heart-warming crush, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is a page-turning new take on guardian angels that left me begging for a sequel!" - Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess and Ten (9/12) (Balzar + Bray)

1 comment

  1. i agree that mg is a hard area to write. it's sort of the no man's land between child and teen. when it's done well though, it's pretty awesome. thanks for the guest post!