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Friday, February 27, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Author Chris Rylander and the Codename Conspiracy series - Interview + GIVEAWAY!

Hi there!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Well, you've done it.
You've made it to FRIDAY!
Sound the alarm, ring the bell, and get ready for some GREAT reading ahead.  That's right!  Just because the weekend is here doesn't mean we're slacking off on the reviews.  In fact, we're bringing you something EXTRA special today via blog tour from the great team over at Walden Pond Press.  (~waves~) The tour stars the latest release in the Codename Conspiracy series from author Chris Rylander.  Name ringing any bells for you?  Well it certainly should!  

A few weeks back, you might remember that I featured a double review of both books in this series, my thoughts on which you can read RIGHT HERE.  Some odd days later, I received an invite to participate in this very blog tour celebrating both the initial release of Countdown Zero and the paperback release of Codename Zero...seeing how I enjoyed them so much, I couldn't possibly say no?  Here's a peek at the title celebrating its book birthday this month....

Chris Rylander
Walden Pond Press

About the book...
There are people in this world who live secret lives. There are people who fight the evil that lurks in the shadows so that the rest of us can live free from tyranny and fear. There are people—perhaps the person who is sitting across from you on the bus or waiting tables at your favorite restaurant—who put it all on the line for us, every day, whose names we’ll never know.

None of these people is Carson Fender.

At least, not since he was let go by the secret agency that enlisted his services to help foil a nefarious plot perpetrated by one of their former agents. Carson is back to hanging out with his friends, pulling pranks, and not having to lie to everyone about how he’s spending his days. And that’s for the best. Isn’t it?

Of course, this was all before a note showed up in his school lunch, informing him that Agent Nineteen has three days left to live, and that there might still be someone inside the Agency working against them. Carson has always been able to rely on his friends—but what happens when there’s no one left to trust?


Sounds good, right?  But wait!  Tours usually entail a review and I had already done one (nay two!)...what to do, what to do. Ah, why yes!  I know!  So I emailed them back with my post type preference and the rest is history.  Can you guess what I chose?  Oh, I see.  You read the post title today, didn't you?  Uh-huh. Why you sneaky little reader you.  Okay, well yes, you are correct, an AUTHOR INTERVIEW was just the ticket (with a little extra fun after all is said and done....KEEP READING!).  

Ladies and gents.
Readers of all ages!
Join me now as we welcome to the virtual stage, author Chris Rylander!
*wild applause*

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Chris Rylander

1.  So, we've come out of "The Fourth Stall" and into the line of fire. Talk about a transition! No, about it, as in why the leap from middle school "godfather" to super spy?

It just seemed like a natural next step.  To take another well known genre and redo it for the middle grade audience.  So I wanted the tone to be similar as well, (somewhat) gritty, humorous, and fun.  Plus, I really became a super secret spy for an organization I can't divulge when I was in middle school, so there was a lot of source material. Basically this book is an unofficial tell-all.    

2.  Though targeted for a Kids Fiction audience, older readers certainly get their chills and thrills too.  I mean, I know I shuddered when the clown in book one was less then three ring circus funny. Were the age barrier breakers intentional or a mere lucky stroke of the pen?

Neither.  I think it's a direct byproduct of me being the most selfish writer alive.  Meaning, I always make sure that I am entertained by my own writing first and foremost.  And, as the world's oldest middle school kid, it sort of makes sense that my writing appeals to both middle school kids and adults.

3.  Alright, so the Codename series has recently expanded.  Congratulations!  Book 2, "Countdown Zero", has Carson in some pretty tight spots and dealing with some big issues. If you could guarantee readers would walk away with one message and one message alone, what would that be? 

When I first started writing, my number one goal was to write books that sent zero messages to kids (aside from the subliminal ones I implant to try and get them addicted to frosting.)  I know as a kid writer, nothing drove me more crazy than reading books that were clearly trying to pound some sort of life-changing-message into my head with a tire iron.  And so I just wanted to write books that kids would find fun to read. I wanted to make reading fun above all else. Of course there's a little bit more to my books than what I first envisioned, however, publicly I'm sticking to my original story.  So that's my message: Have Fun!  Enjoy the book! (And eat frosting with a spoon straight from the tub when reading.)

4. Last but not least, moment of truth. If YOU could be either of your lead characters, who would it be and why?

Ah!  What a hard question… I think I'd go with Mac from the Fourth Stall.  Unlike Carson Fender, aka Agent Zero, I do not like action and excitement in my life.  I much more prefer the things Mac does: good friends, video games, making money, and Cubs games.  And he's better at all of them than me.

Quid pro quo...
Favorite color?  
Favorite time of year?  Whenever it is that farmer's harvest frosting 
Favorite reading spot?  Lying in bed at night (with a bucket of frosting tucked under an arm)
What was the last book you read? Dory Fantasmagory - it was awesome!!!  Made me laugh so hard that frosting came out of my nose.
Advice to future writers?  Make sure you're always having fun while writing.  True inspiration comes from those pure moments when you're having fun.  Well, and also from, yeah, you guessed it, frosting.

Thanks so much for having me!  It was an awesome interview with questions that were surely far superior to my answers.

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About the author...

Chris Rylander is the author of the Fourth Stall Saga and the Codename Conspiracy series.  A fan of brown shipping boxes turned on their sides, dance-offs to win a girl's heart, and rice, he lives in Chicago.  You can visit him online at


Special thanks to Danielle and the whole Walden Pond Press team for the chance to bring this author front and center for all of you!  Also, my thanks to the author for the fun-tastically wonderful answers and for humoring my curiosity.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, their full catalog, the author, the other fabulous sites participating in this tour, or anything else that might suit a flight of fancy through the virtual pages, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title celebrated its book birthday earlier this month, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing.

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Now, before you's the chance you've been waiting for.
Your chance to win a SIGNED copy of Countdown Zero courtesy of Walden Pond Press!

To enter...
Simply fill in the Rafflecopter below and BAM, you're in like Carson at a circus that isn't really a circus with bad guys around every corner. (True story!)
Open for entries through March 6th, 2015 at midnight CST.  US residents only; no P.O. Boxes please.

Until next time....GOOD LUCK...and happy reading!


anne s. said...

My son and his friends loved Codename Zero. I hope to win for him this sequel, which sounds even more exciting than the first :) then, he can pass it along to his buddies!

Unknown said...

I won an ARC copy of Codename Zero. I teach struggling 7th grade readers who mostly enjoy reading graphic novels. Codename Zero is one of the only chapter books that my struggling readers have read and stuck with to the end. I would love to add a Countdown Zero to my library for them.

Unknown said...

Enjoyed reading Codename Zero and look forward to this one.

Unknown said...

Sounds mag I can't wait to read this book The story sounds like a fun journey very exciting

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