Girlgoyle is a Manga-illustrated book for younger readers that tells the story of Tiffany Noboru, a fourteen-year-old girl who wakes in the magical realm of the Hollow Mountain, a gargoyle city dedicated to training young cadets in the art of hunting ghosts. As its newest, and most unexpected recruit, Tiffany is assigned to a retired ghost hunter named Franklin for mentoring and training. The problem with this is his only concern seems to be getting revenge on the ghost who brought Tiffany here in the first place. When the ghost manages to find a way into the Hollow Mountain and threatens the gargoyle world, it is up to Tiffany to stop the very thing that she couldn’t face before.
Targeted Age Group:: Tweens
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
The Hollow Mountain Butterfly series is a manga experience in novel format, which is to say that it is not a manga book, but captures the innocence and richness of a manga telling in a full-length novel. As a writer, I tend to push the boundaries of genre in my books by revising old tropes with original and fresh concepts. Many ghost stories pit the living against powerful beings from the afterlife, but rarely do you see books about the living becoming something in the realm of the dead in order to fight them. And when I was younger, I had a fascination with gargoyles and how they adorned old world buildings to ward off evils, so what better place could there be to start such an adventure than inside the walls of their secret city.
Not everyone believes in ghosts. Tiffany Noboru didn’t. She may have had a few frightening nights when she was younger, caused by her own dreams—manifestations that felt real for the briefest time after waking up screaming in terror in the dark, yanking a blanket to her chin instead of lunging for the light switch. It accounted for probably ten or fifteen seconds of honest fear, with her heart thumping against the wall of her chest, beating so hard she heard it like an echo all around her that wouldn’t fade.
There may have been other sounds, like the raking of fingers against the window pane even though there was no wind and the tree branch had been pruned last week, the hissing of the radiator even though it was a summer night, or the heebie-jeebies—as her mother called them—from feeling some quick spider race over her forehead. Things that went bump in the night, but didn’t really exist, banished the moment Mom or Dad turned on the light, fragmented remnants of her nightmarish dreams that dashed to the shadows. Mom’s hugs made things right. Dad’s vigil at the window and closet did the trick.
Tiffany didn’t believe in ghosts because, over time, the nightmares went away and she grew bigger and stronger, and the things Dad gave her for her room seemed to push them all back beyond the reach they once had. No rattling in her closet after he put the vacuum cleaner there, an end to the clicking and hissing from the radiator thanks to a pair of reading glasses missing one lens tucked under the base, no rumbling of the bed or tickety-tack of little clawed feet under the bed thanks to a Hula Hoop, and an end to any scratching against the window thanks to the statue of a gargoyle.
But they were always watching her, and she didn’t know it until the summer she died.
Links to Author’s Social Media:
Better Hero Army is the (really cool) pen name of American author Evan Ramspott. Under the Better Hero Army name, Evan writes about zombies, gargoyles, fairies, aliens, and pretty much anything that doesn't belong in the mainstream (i.e., he writes about cool stuff). He has a really cool website at www.betterheroarmy.com, he sometimes posts on Twitter @BetterHeroArmy, and he tries to drop pictures of cool things that inspire him over on Pinterest.
Evan's other (not so cool) works of fiction are mainstream stories about social inequities and hardships (and are real downers by comparison).
When Evan isn't being a (cool) writer, he has a family and a day job and enjoys all three equally. Oh, and he likes the beach because what's not to love about beaches?