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THE CAT’S MAW

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TIMELINE:  Nov 2014 – Current

PLATFORM: Paperback, eBook, and enhanced audiobook

GENRE:  Fantasy / Mystery / Horror (10-14yrs)

My prose fiction debut ‘for brave young readers and cat lovers of all ages‘ was released during the 2014 holiday season to a flood of reader raves and critical acclaim. I was especially pleased when random folks described the story and style as ‘Stephen King meets Neil Gaiman…meets CATS!’ 

And then, flying in the face of all sober and modest expectations, it began to climb up the Amazon sales charts in the Spring of 2015 and by the end of the year, snagged some serious literary kudos!

  • BEST YA MYSTERY 2015 (Gelett Burgess Children’s Award)
  • JUNIOR FICTION MEDALIST 2015 (Moonbeam Children’s Award)
  • TOP SHELF HONOREE 2015 (VOYA Magazine)
  • ‘TOP 100 CHILDREN’S BOOKS TO READ IN A LIFETIME’ (Goodreads.com)
  • AMAZON UK #1 eBook / AMAZON US #4 (Children’s Fantasy — March 2015)
  • WATTPAD FEATURED STORY (Wattpad.com)

REVIEW TRAILER – The Guardian, KIRKUS, Midwest Book Review, and more!

AUDIOBOOK  – feat. DAVID KAYE (Transformers, Ratchet and Clank, John Oliver)

A SILVER MEDAL (just in time for the holidays!)

November 23, 2015

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Got a lovely surprise in the post today – a silver medal for my debut from the 2015 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards!

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I’m sure that for most of you following this blog, it’s been a bit of a drag getting ‘spammed’ with book stuff over the past year. I totally get it, and appreciate those who have resisted clicking ‘Unfollow’ up ’til now. The support is honestly priceless.

But what you may not know is that The Cat’s Maw is an extremely personal story (some would dare say autobiographical) that uses the power of fiction to trace and uncover the first seeds of a troubled child’s spiritual awakening — a modern ‘Buddhist Narnia’, if you will.

 

So now, with the year coming to a close, I thought it high time to address you all:

To those that donated to my publishing campaign…

To those that gave thoughtful beta reader feedback…

To those who hunted down an eBook or paperback for themselves…

To those that took the time to actually read and review the story…

And to those finding a spot under the tree for it this Xmas…

Thank you. All of you. Truly.

And now…Volume II awaits…in the Shadowland. :D

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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The Cat’s Maw turns 1!!!

October 5, 2015

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The Cat’s Maw gives middle graders a good, creepy story!

May 19, 2015

brookeburgess

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The annual meditation/detox retreat is officially complete, and this lovely post was there to greet me upon entering the ‘real world’ =)))

Mom Read It

catsmawThe Cat’s Maw, by Brooke Burgess (2015, CreateSpace), $10.99, ISBN: 9781500971656

Recommended for ages 10-16

Billy Brahms has luck, all right – it’s all bad. He’s an accident looking for a place to happen, and an easy target for bullies. His parents don’t know what to do with him, but they don’t seem to try too hard to connect with him, either. When he’s struck by a car and risks losing his leg, they’re all at the end of their respective ropes. One day, though, Billy wakes up to discover a cat has adopted him – he just shows up at Billy’ bedside. His mother puts up a fuss, but the neighborhood cat lady manages to talk her into letting Billy and the cat have some time together to bond, saying it will be good for poor Billy, who’s stuck in a cast all summer.

That’s when the dreams…

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On Napster, the Creative Class, and the Future of FREE…

April 29, 2015

brookeburgess

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(Note: listen to this featured chapter sample first and then, if you smell what we’re cooking, read on for the related transmedia insights)

Dear Friends, Fans, and Feline-aficionados,

I was catching up on eps of Silicon Valley the other day. I love the show. My tech and venture capital pals assure me that the portrayal is pretty much an accurate one. And, as I watched the latest, I was reminded of something I used to ponder often.  Specifically, when the douchey, monied bro’ below spouted the following:

‘I put Radio…on the Internet.’

Yes. That happened. And not just on the show.

Napster changed everything. But was it for the ‘better’? I can’t help but feel some days that they were singlehandedly responsible for planting the grotesque, rarely-before-thought perception in the minds of a generation of consumers — that they hand-birthed the reality where music (and, by association, nearly ALL creative output) should be free.

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THE REVIEWS ARE IN!!!

November 4, 2014

brookeburgess

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From the old guard of children’s literary journalism and reviews…

To mature readers yearning for the shadowy corners of childhood…

To young cubs getting their first taste of dark mystery and adventure…

It turns out that THE CAT’S MAW hit the haunting Halloween sweet spot!!

Adam CMaw

 

Burgess leaves readers clawing for the sequel.  Kids will enjoy it; adults will love it.”

~ KIRKUS Reviews

Bri and Me

If you (enjoy) being the first to know about something important, it’s high time you read this. Because this is important.’  ~ THE GUARDIAN (UK)

Cheryl Son


FIVE STARS
 a haunting fantasy not for the faint of heart.’

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

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Cinematic…lyrical…and often extraordinary.”

~ SEAMUS CASHMAN

Nepali Maw
Delighted…heartbroken…terrified
~ BLOG LOUDLY
Marije
So now that the verdict is in from around our world and the depths of Shadowland? Here’s how you can help the cause, and join in the fabled feline fun:

 

BOOK 2 ‘KICKSTARTER’ IS LIVE!!!

June 19, 2014

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(by Brooke Burgess) With a personal ‘patronage drive’ around my birthday, the funding for Book 1 in the new children’s fantasy series — The Shadowland Saga — was raised in less than 10 DAYS!  Now, it’s time to sound the call beyond my walls and reach out to lovers of literature, classic children’s stories, and…CATS! Enter PUBSLUSH — the ‘Kickstarter’ for books:

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With this 40-DAY exclusive crowdfunding campaign:

  • I’ll be raising all costs (layout, illustration, editing, audio, etc) for BOOK 2, and beyond!
  • There will be more REWARDS for contributions, including $10 and $25 levels!
  • You’ll be able to contribute with SECURE VISA/MC donations!
  • 5% of every $ goes to Pubslush’s CHILDREN’S LITERACY charity!
  • See DAILY TRACKING for goals, rewards, and compaign updates!
  • ‘Stretch Goals’ for localized versions, and much, much more!
  • Easy SHARING to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and all your social media!

At the very least, please take a few minutes to check out the campaign page. It’s got fresh content — project background, an interview, even a live chapter sample! — and, by clicking ‘I’M INTERESTED!’, you help build buzz on their main hub for the project.

And…for all of you who sent such generous and supportive gifts my way already?

Here’s a sassy Q&A follow-up, just for you <3

‘SHADOWLAND’ FUNDRAISER and FAQ!!!

June 2, 2014

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(by Brooke Burgess)

Q: What’s this all ABOUT?

Like the video says – I’m seeking support for my 5-book middle grade (8-12yrs) contemporary children’s fantasy series: The Shadowland Saga.

Q: What’s the quick and dirty way to donate?

PAYPAL or INTERAC e-PAYMENT (for Canucks) to my mail:

bb@brookeburgess.com

<3

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Q: Why not a formal KICKSTARTER/Indiegogo?

Scope. The stats show that the formal crowd-funding campaigns that tend to be the most successful are related to tech, games, film/TV, and content with established brands (I’m looking at you, Reading Rainbow).  This is just a bunch of books – and the funding goal ain’t that high – so I wanted to keep the focus on close friends, industry peers, and hardcore fans of my previous work with this more personal approach.

Now…if the series takes off, and there’s a rabid audience eager to fund the launch of a full blown transmedia experience of the narrative world?  Then you’ll see Shadowland on Kickstarter in a big way. Count on it.

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ENTER THE CAT’S MAW — ON WATTPAD!!!

February 10, 2014

brookeburgess

Enter the Shadowlands...

Howdy friends!

With the first draft of my children’s book complete — and in the capable hands of a hungry team of beta readers — I’m keen to share a bit more with you. And what’s the best way to do that, you ask..?

Enter WATTPAD

This is THE social media platform for readers, writers, and anyone invested in experiencing the collision between technology and the written word.  Millions of users. Countless stories. Mind-bending genres. And it’s all being updated with new content — based on your feedback — every second, of every minute, or every goddamn day!

So take a minute to click the link above and scope the prologue and a chunk of Chapter 1. If you dig it, then please leave a ‘star’ and a comment on the site, sign up for updates, and spread the good word!

Expect more updates soon, dear friends — including release dates, illustrator news, and even audiobook talent announcements (could a voice from the past be making a collaborative return?).

Thanks…for reading :)

BB

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A Serious Question: Can Children’s Novels Explore Extreme Emotion?

December 27, 2013

brookeburgess

The Dreamer and the Dreamed

Hello friends, and happy impending 2014!

With the new year fast approaching, I find another journey is on the verge of ending; I’m about to complete the first draft of my debut novel. For better or worse, I’m trying to see the accomplishment for what it is, and release any and all expectations surrounding it. And with that? Well, I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t getting a smidgen excited. But just a smidgen…or two. ;)

I’ve been tweeting and Facebook’ing a string today about children’s stories – specifically ‘mid-grade’ novels (for 8-12 year-olds ie: Potter, Narnia, Dark Materials, Percy Jackson, etc) – and whether it’s possible for these to contain intense emotional arcs.

I’ve been reading a lot lately, and find that many of the established series limit their protagonist’s emotional range and ‘stakes’ (at least until later instalments), while choosing instead to focus on ‘world-building’, large character rosters, and causal plot triggers.

So here’s my question: do you think that issues like self-worth, abandonment, betrayal, extreme doubt/terror, and the like are exclusively an ‘adult’ domain? I ask because, with the end in sight, I’m seeing that my tale is pretty darn dense with complex emotions already — things I personally experienced as a child — and the feeling I have now is that this dynamic has entrenched itself as the bedrock of the greater (ie: 5 volume) narrative.

Without high stakes and real struggle, isn’t a story merely ‘stuff happening in an interesting place, with random people’???

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