Thursday, August 4, 2011

Book Review Thursday--Janitors

Janitors by Tyler Whitesides is a very creative, fun book to read. It is perfect for any age and anyone with an imagination. Who would have every thought a school janitor would make such a wonderful character. I have to admit that I had my doubts when I first picked up the book, but once I began I couldn't put it down. I loved the imagery, character development, and the way Whitesides recreated a school. The idea was ingenious. This is definitely a :):):):):). Take a look at the Janitors website and the writing contest they have going on. Here's a blurb about it and some interview questions I asked Tyler. Let me know what you think!

Have you ever fallen asleep during math class? Are you easily distracted while listening to your English teacher? Do you find yourself completely uninterested in geography? Well, it may not be your fault. The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it’s draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve year-old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy “Gullible” Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. Who can Spencer and Daisy trust and how will they protect their school and possibly the world? Janitors is book 1 in a new children’s fantasy series by debut novelist Tyler Whitesides. You’ll never look at a mop the same way again.

1. What made you decide to become a writer?
Writing a book has been a lifelong dream of mine. I've written stories since I was a little boy. Before I learned to type I remember doing extra house work for my mom. In exchange, she would typeset my stories. Seeing the published version of Janitors has truly been a fulfillment of a my childhood goals and dreams.

2. Who inspires you?
Kids are really inspiring to me. I love spending time with my nieces and nephews. My wife is a 3rd grade teacher and I enjoy visiting her students. I like to see how they behave, hear what they say, and watch how they interact with each other. Kids inspire me, and I hope that Janitors will be a fun story for them.

3. What would you like your readers to get out of your writing?
Of course, I hope that the story will entertain my readers. I want it to be a fun, imaginative ride. But more than that, my readers will take away some important life lessons; standing up for what's right, trusting family and friends. And I think it's time for school janitors to get more positive press!

4. Where did this idea come from?
I got the idea for Janitors while I was working at a middle school as a part-time janitor. The time it took to sweep the floors and take out the trash was valuable daily brainstorming for me. It was there that I realized that the janitors are the unsung heroes of the school. I wanted to develop a story that would showcase them in a fun and creative way.

5. Who was your favorite character to develop?
I really loved developing my two main characters, Spencer and Daisy. It was fun to figure out how their personalities would work together. Spencer is a germaphobic 12 year old. He has a lot of responsibly that causes him to be quite mature. Daisy is inherently gullible, which leads to a lot of laughs. She is steady and thoughtful and, as long as she doesn't get tricked, she usually does what is right.

6. Any advice for aspiring authors?
Read. Make sure to read books in your genre. If you want to write young adult books, you should read young adult books. It's important to familiarize yourself with your genre. Find out what works for you and what doesn't. Then write on... and keep writing. Don't give up!

7. Where can we purchase your book?
Janitors can be purchased almost everywhere books are sold. You can order it on or stop by Walmart, Costco, Barnes&Noble, Deseret Book, or Seagull Book. I'm excited to get the story out there and share it with everyone! I hope you enjoy Janitors!

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