Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest Blog: Jan Markley


Congratulations to Sarah Butland for winning an autographed copy of Jan Markley's latest release DEAD BIRD THROUGH THE CAT DOOR. 

Thank you to all who entered. 
I'm happy to host Alberta author, Jan Markley, who is celebrating the launch of her second book in her MegaByte series, "Dead Bird Through the Cat Door". I interviewed Jan a year or so ago when she received her first publishing contract and am excited that she's enjoying continuing success.

And yes, there is a give-away happening here again...

Take it away, Jan!

Side kicks we love
Dead Bird through the Cat Door book give-away

 My favourite side-kick was Karate from Batfink. He was the not-so-super slick side-kick to Batfink who would say things like “I ate my way out. I love caramel” to Batfinks “Your bullets can not hurt me, my wings are like a shield of steel.”

Batfink & Karate
Side-kick characters serve a number of purposes. They can make the hero look good, provide for comic relief (or be the straight man), be a companion of the hero, a counterpoint to the hero (offer a different pov) and give the hero someone to talk to. Or in the case of Todd, the side-kick to Cyd and Jane in Dead Bird through the Cat Door, they can irritate the twin detectives.

In Dead Frog on the Porch we met Todd. He was the leader of the Safari Sleepoveer at the Zoo when Cyd and Jane were in hot pursuit of the Cheese Pie Man (the culprit). Todd interrupted a near-strangulation of the twins. So he was a bit helpful.

Well he’s back as a full on side-kick character in Dead Bird through the Cat Door and his main role seems to be annoying Cyd and Jane. I love this character. He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s ambitious and he has the ear of the bad guys which comes in handy. He creates a lot of conflict between the sisters. He’s got a crush on their mom (which is gross) and one of the twins has a crush on him (though she won’t admit it). The twins need him because he has access to the bird sanctuary where some interesting goings on are happening including the kidnapping of cats to kill birds. But he’s a bit high maintenance. He’s made me really appreciate the role of the side-kick character.
You may purchase Jan's book through


Win an autographed copy of Jan's latest release: Dead Bird Through the Cat Door

Leave a comment and contact information below to be automatically entered to win. [Click on the green word "comment" below. Scroll down until you reach the place to enter your comment.]
Jan and I are suggesting you comment about your favourite side-kick character.  If you are a writer, tell us about the secondary character you created that you like most. 
To increase your chances of winning, sign up to follow my blog (click on the "Follow" button to the right of this column beneath the heading "Followers".  (Your name will be entered twice if you comment and follow)

To REALLY increase your chances to win, follow this link to Jan's blog and follow hers as well. (Your name will be entered three times if you comment and follow both my blog and Jan's).

Contest closes 6 pm Friday, 10 December 2010. 

Winner will be announced Monday 13 December 2010.
Good luck to everyone.

Eileen Schuh, Author


Eileen Schuh: said...

Thank you, Jan, for enlivening my blog. Your sense of humour and child-like wonder always brighten my day. Good luck with the launch of DEAD BIRD THROUGH THE CAT DOOR.

Shannon said...

Would love to win, its been a while since I've entered anything. :)
Favorite sidekick character that I've created as a writer was a twisted version of cupid that had a sharp sense of humour and a crossbow that caused a great deal of problems.
I follow your blog Eileen and I will go and follow Jan's blog right . . . now!

Aaron Lehman said...

In my Mystery on Dog Island series, my main character Raymond has a half brother Larry, and a friend Jack who help expose the real character of Raymond in frank and humorous dialogue. Yes the second Characters and side-kicks are important to exciting dialogue.

Aaron A. Lehman

Jan Markley said...

Thanks Eileen! Looking forward to having some of your bloggowers check out my blog!

Renita said...

I don't think I have a favourite side kick but in general my favourite sidekicks are the ones that are devote and loyal, perhaps even romantically interested in the hero even if the hero is after someone else that isn't "the right one".

Jan, I look forward to winning a copy of your book :) lol

ok gotta go, my own mini sidekick is crying... or am I his sidekick?

Sarah Butland said...

My favourite side kick is Bacon Carbonara lol...

Ok ok... I understand that was kind of bad but I was stuck and thought it would make you smile. My favourite side kick has to be Casey and Finnigan from Mr Dressup - a Canadian classic. Second best sidekick was Wordbird!

Now, because I'm a writer, I have to say my own favourite sidekick is ... Gary, from Arm Farm. He's mysterious, mischievous and a guy we love to love.

Jan Markley said...

That's funny Renita! Maybe you are side-kicks to each other. I could use a bit of your side-kick (the bacon carbonara) anytime Sarah.

Dianne Tchir said...

This sounds like an interesting story for children. I don't have a favourite side kick character, but in my children's book BEARS Bath Time, Ducky is very instrumental. Thank you Eileen for introducing Alberta authors.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a new follower here and an old follower of Jan's. One of my favourite side kicks from kid lit is the brownie in Cornelia Funke's DRAGON RIDER...what a crabby little thing she is! (er, the brownie not Ms. Funke)

And, yes on the Tod, Janet. Glad to hear he's back--he makes me giggle, and the whole crush thing on mom, lol!!

Fave from one of my wips is currently Dexter, he's a bit of a hypochondriac (a bit?) and having lotsa fun playing around with him.

Great post! Thanks you two.