03 July, 2014

Minion Blog Tour - Guest Post by John David Anderson - Giveaway (US ends 7/11)

Welcome to the Minion Blog Tour! [Insert your best evil laugh here.]

Today we have a guest post by author John David Anderson on his top 10 favorite minions. Read about the new book, which is the sequel to last year's Sidekicked, as well as enter to win a signed copy of the book. (US only, ends 7/11). You can also check out the cool trailer! Finally, make sure you visit all the other blog tour stops as they open up for more cool content and chances to win!

About the book:

John David Anderson returns to the world of superheroes he created in Sidekicked with an entirely new cast of characters in Minion, a funny and emotional companion to his first breakout tween novel—perfect for superhero fans who also love the work of bestselling authors Rick Riordan, Louis Sachar, and Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Michael Morn might be a villain, but he's really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, known across the country as the City without a Super, there are only two kinds of people, after all: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes—special devices with mysterious abilities—which they sell to the mob at a price. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they'd never betray each other.

But then a Super comes to town, and Michael's world is thrown into disarray. The Comet could destroy everything Michael and his dad have built, the safe and secure life they've made for themselves. And now Michael and his father face a choice: to hold tight to their life or to let it unravel.

Take it away, Dave!

The Top Ten Minions

Guest Post by John David Anderson

Hey there, Read Now, Sleep Later fans. Alethea was kind enough to let me come crash her blog and share with you my personal list of top ten minions in celebration of the launch of my new novel COMPLETELY INCOINCIDENTLY titled Minion. Of course, our culture is swarming with bodacious villains, and it would be so simple to conjure up a list of ten baddies that I think have influenced my own writing, but coming up with ten minions whose work I admire is much more challenging. If you don’t see your favorite on the list (like those little banana-loving guys, or Henchmen 21 and 24), it’s not because they aren’t cool…it’s just because these lists always only go up to ten. So here goes.

10. Grover Dill: Technically a crummy little toady, Grover Dill exemplifies the need we have to attach ourselves to people we think are stronger than us. As Scott Farkus’s minion, Grover looks like some kind of strong arm thug for the little people mafia.

9. Oddjob: He wears a hat that can cut through steel and he can crush a golf ball in his hand. Plus he makes an excellent chauffeur and golf caddy. Did I mention the hat cuts through steel?

8. Lock, Shock, and Barrel: Minions can be delightfully mischievous, and these three have a playful exuberance that sugarcoats their ax-wielding, Mr. Bogeyman-feeding quest to pretty much kill Christmas.

7. Bellatrix Lestrange: The only female on the list (minions are a male-dominated group, it seems), she’s also, arguably, the most insane. If Voldemort is the pure evil ice-cream, Bellatrix is the crazy cookie crumble topping.

6. Kronk: He speaks squirrel. And, to be honest, he is the only thing I even remember about this movie. Small brain. Big heart. Excellent cook.

5. Waylan Smithers: Perhaps no minion is as loyal to his master as Smithers is to Mr. Burns. Though his conscience may occasionally get in the way, his devotion to the old man certainly borders on the obsessive.

4. Minion: A good evil sidekick is loyal, but he’s also willing to speak his mind (unlike nameless thugs who don’t even get speaking parts). Minion provides the extra heart and soul to Megamind’s often erratic, over-exuberant, Mick Jagger-esque villainy.

3. Count Rugen: The Princess Bride may ostensibly be about the power of twu wuv to conquer death, but for me it’s Inigo Montoya’s quest for the six-fingered man that ultimately gives the story its emotional climax. While Prince Humperdink is a schemer and a sleaze bucket, Rugen represents pure sadism at work. After all, “No one withstands... The Machine.”

2. The Witch King: he rides a dragon-type-thing. He has a cool spiked ball and chain swingy dealy. He grimaces menacingly without even having a face. And he can be killed by no man. When your main supervillain is basically just a big eyeball at the top of a tower, you need a hardcore right hand Nazgul to do your dirty work. Probably the coolest looking minion on my list.

1. Darth Vader: Probably at the top of several villain lists (and a hero in his own right), there is no question that, as the Emperor’s apprentice, Vader represents the most notorious and most iconic minion on the list. (Though he does kill his master in the end, which kind of negates his minion privileges.) Yes I liked him better before I met him as a teenager, but I would never say that to his face. My number one right-hand Sith Lord.

So there you have it. Of course the best minions, like many of the best villains they serve, are morally complex. Some even straddle the line between wannabe villain and antihero, causing us to root for them, even when they break the rules. Perhaps that just makes them antiheroes. Maybe that’s a top ten list for another day.

And if you didn’t see your name on the list, you might look into finding a new criminal mastermind to serve.

About the author:

John David Anderson writes novels for young people and then, occasionally, gets them published. Besides Minion, he is the author of Sidekicked and Standard Hero Behavior. He lives with his patient wife and brilliant twins in Indianapolis, Indiana, right next to a State park and a Walmart. He enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, spending time with his family, playing the piano, chocolate, making board games, chocolate, not putting away his laundry, watching movies, and chocolate. 

Those aren't his real teeth.

Find Dave on Twitter, Facebook and his website, www.johndavidanderson.org.

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to the US only.
  2. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  3. One set of entries per household please.
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here.
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks, and good luck!

Walden Pond Press

Blog Tour Schedule

June 23 Maria’s Melange
June 24 The Library Fanatic
June 25 The Next Best Book
June 26 Jean Book Nerd
June 27 Book Egg
June 28 Word Spelunking Book Blog

June 30 Ms. Yingling Reads
July 1 The Book Monsters
July 2 The Book Monsters
July 3 Read Now, Sleep Later

July 6 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
July 7 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
July 8 Candace’s Book Blog
July 9 Middle Grade Mafioso
July10 Librarian’s Quest
July 11 Unleashing Readers
July 12 Mindjacked

July 14 This Kid Reviews Books
July 16 Charlotte’s Library
July 17 Literacy Toolbox
July 18 Small Review

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