Monday, 17 December 2018

Paper Bag Mask By Brock Heasley

Title: Paper Bag Mask
Author: Brock Heasley
Publisher: Pen Name Publishing
Published: October 23rd
Pages: 252

At the same moment he catches his teacher giving illegal drugs to a student, Redmond Fairweather loses his friggin’ mind and steals Mr. Street’s prized possession—a stupid wooden sword with round edges that will never, ever cut through anything—“The Whomper.”

Redmond has no idea why he stole the Whomper. He guesses his extreme dislike (okay, hate… so much hate) of the school’s most popular teacher probably has something to do with it. To his surprise and delight, the hottest girl in school, Elodia Cruz, hates him too.

Soon, Redmond’s small band of misfit friends joins up with Elodia and the most popular kids on campus to hold the Whomper for ransom, pull off an elaborate, broad daylight heist to steal something even bigger from Mr. Street, and expose their teacher for the scumbag he really is.

About the Author

Brock Heasley is a writer and artist who, to the shock of absolutely no one visiting this site, was a member of such prestigious high school organizations as “The Nerd Herd,” “Last Picked for Teams,” and “They Who Eat Alone.” He is a graduate of California State University Fresno, the creator of the online comic The SuperFogeys, and the award-winning filmmaker behind The Shift.

Brock lives with his wife and three daughters in California where they enjoy Pixar movies, dancing in the living room, and eating breakfast for dinner.

Guest Post by Brock Heasley:

The first book that made you realize reading means a lot to you
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” - Frank Herbert, Dune

“Fear is the mind-killer.” I can’t think of five words in fiction that have resonated so immediately and strongly with me than those. Maybe only “With great power comes great responsibility” (Stan Lee, Spider-Man) even comes close. As an insecure teenager just entering high school, Frank Herbert’s Dune hit my still-developing brain with all the world-expansive force of the in-universe, mind-altering spice so much of the plot revolves around.

When I was younger, I didn’t feel exactly “desired” in any real sense. Not by the girls whose attentions I longed for, sure, but I also didn’t imagine that the guys in my P.E. class or in church youth group wanted to hang out with me. I felt unwanted and like I didn’t have anything to offer that anyone would ever take. I was pretty sure everyone was making fun of me, all the time.

And most of that was in my head.

I know that now, but back then I couldn’t find my way around those insecure feelings, and they crippled me. They made me fearful of every social interaction. The first time a girl asked me to dance, I told her “No” for two reasons:

1)Because I figured she must be asking me on a dare and didn’t really want to dance with me. Because who would?

2)I was worried she wasn’t pretty enough and what friends I did have would make fun of me.

Again, this was all in my head. And, on some level, I knew that. It was just fear, taking over my brain and convincing me of things, that especially now looking back, simply weren’t true.

When I read Frank Herbert’s words about fear being the “mind-killer” and his recipe for dismissing it, it was an empowering moment. It became something I repeated to myself and used to calm my anxieties and rise above my insecurities. And it was just words; only words.

Not only was Dune a great book I would revisit again and again, but I learned through the character of Paul Muad’dib just how powerful words could be and how much they could mean to me. Reading became, in those long moments of struggle against myself, not just entertainment but a lifeline and a force for change.

12/17   YA/NA Book Divas   Excerpt
12/17   Just Books   Guest Post
12/18   The Page Unbound   Review
12/19   All the Ups and Downs   Interview
12/19   Blunt Book Blog   Review
12/20   Unbound Book Tours   Interview
12/20   Rebecca R. Cahill   Guest Post
12/21   A Striking Viper, Caught in a Tangled Web   Excerpt
12/21   Oh Hey! Books.   Guest Post

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