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Friends to the End-Interview with author C. L. Colyer

Today I'm here with author C. L. Colyer as she gives us some insight into her book, Friends to the End. I was given the opportunity to read this fantastic middle-grade story, and I believe my review speaks for itself...

5 Stars!!! Friends to the end really tugged at my heartstrings while keeping me on the edge of my seat until the very end. When tween, Zach moves to a new town from Chicago, he feels like his entire life has imploded. He misses his best friend, Jeremy, terribly but is able to find a new group of kiddos to hang with at his new school. However, fear that they will find out his secret keeps him from truly connecting with them…being an almost teenager is tough. When the friends go on a wild ghost chase, they find more than they bargained for, and Zach will have to come to grips with his past. Can he form new friendships and relinquish his past, or will the guilt and some spooky ghosts swallow him whole? Highly recommend!!

If that isn't enough to entice you in this wild, tweenage ghost story, then maybe I could sway you with a blurb: Twelve-year-old Zach is convinced he'll never be happy without his best friend Jeremy by his side. But both of their lives changed with a bang five months ago, and as far as Zach's concerned, it's his fault Jeremy will never see his twelfth birthday.

When Zach moves with his family to a Chicago suburb, he quickly becomes friends with a group of thrill-seeking kids trying to find a disappearing haunted house. But Zach's not worried. He doesn't believe in ghosts, so he follows them into a wild, dangerous encounter that becomes a battle to decide what's real and what's not.

Still unsure? Okay,'s an excerpt to give you that last little nudge.

Excerpt: My bewildered gaze slithered from Dom to Josh, finally coming to a stop on Morgan as I tried to decide if they were crazy.

“If the house is invisible, how do you expect to find it?” I asked.

Morgan sat on the stoop next to me. “It’s not always invisible. My brothers saw it once. They said it’s a big house with a long porch. It vanished before they could set foot on the first step, and I’m glad, too.”

“Why? What would have happened if they were on the steps?” I asked. Not because I believed an old ghost story had any truth to it, but I was curious to know what she’d say.

Morgan had to pick her jaw up from the walkway before she could answer, and when she did her voice came out in a high-pitched squeak. “If they had been on the porch or worse—” she swallowed loudly “—inside, they would have disappeared with it.”

Author Interview:

1. How did you come up with the idea for Friends to the End?

The inspiration behind this story was two-fold. The adventure came first. I envisioned four friends creeping around an ancient old house, trying not to draw attention to themselves as they searched for a way out. Who they were hiding from and why they were in danger came to me quite out of the blue as I drove by a road not far from my house. Tucked between the homes on what would otherwise be a peaceful rural road is the second most haunted cemetery in Illinois. I passed this road every day as a teen as the bus took me to school. I’d heard the stories of apparitions seen floating above graves or walking down the road. This cemetery quickly became the inspiration for my fictional town.

But Friends to the End isn’t just a ghost story. Zach, my kind-hearted and brave (even though he doesn’t realize it just yet) protagonist is dealing with the loss of his best friends. His personal journey was born by the overwhelming and heartbreaking loss of innocent lives that happen in Chicago and other cities every day. Having lost his best friend to the violence, Zach battles the ghosts in his past as he battles the all too real ghosts in the book. He’ll need to be brave if he hopes to make it out alive.

2. You kept a big secret for almost the entire book and the suspense was killing me. Was it always your plan to reveal Zach’s big secret at the end?

It was. I enjoy books that slowly reveal secrets, and it made sense for Friends to the End to do the same.

3. Will there be a sequel to Friends to the End? I’m curious to see if Zach keeps his promise to the ghost girl…wink, wink.

I have some ideas for a sequel, but I haven’t started writing it. But I can tell you Zach does indeed keep his promise.

4. Zach’s teacher, Mrs. Harper was kind of a grump…was she modeled after a teacher you had in school?

Funny you should ask! I did have a teacher who would groan when he saw my best friend and me in his class. He even tried to have us separated, but that didn’t work out like he had hoped. He wasn’t all bad, though. And there was a teacher at the school who would make her students iron their homework. Thank goodness I wasn’t in her class.

5. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m more of a pantser. I’ve tried plotting, but I do better when I know the ending and inciting incidence and just write.

Author Bio: C.L. Colyer found her love for writing in first grade when her class was sent to the library and asked to find a book for their first book report. While she doesn’t still have this book report, she’s very proud to say she got an A on it. Her favorite thing about the book was that it had no words. That’s right, not one! That gave her the freedom to interpret the pictures in any way she wanted and write her own story.

This sparked her love for writing essays. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she sat down and penned her first novel. This story has a special place in her heart because it’s the story that helped her discover her passion for writing. She has since written several books, many of which may never see the light of day, but all of which helped her learn to combine her passion for writing with her fascination with all things mythical. You’ll find examples of this in her novels.

Buy, Friends to the End here!!

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