Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The New Newbridge Academy/Among The Ghosts

So, I've been getting a lot of queries about the middle grade book I've been working on - lots of people wanting to know if I'm working on two books becuase they keep seeing interviews mentioning The New Newbridge Academy and then they see articles taking about Among The Ghosts, all of which is very confusing.

I am here now to set the record straight.

Yes, I am working on two middle grade books at once.

Uhm, I'm a liar.

The book was originally called 'The New Newbridge Academy' because that's the name of the boarding school my protagonist, Noh, attends. After I turned the book in to my awesome editor Liesa Abrams,over at Aladdin/Simon and Schuster, we decided that the book needed a catchier title. There was a lot of bandying new titles around - I think we went through pages ad pages of the damn things - but it was actually the Aladdin team who came up with the winner, 'Among The Ghosts'.

I loved it immediately. It had all the nuance of a Philip Pullman title ('His Dark Materials' anyone?), plus it gave you a just the tiniest of tastes as to what the plot had in store for you.

Basically, the book is a spooky Boarding School/cool girl heroine/ghost story and the title and book cover let you know it!

There are some coolio illustrationsan too, that my friend, Sina Grace, did especially for the book. He and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what Noh and her friends would look like, how spooky the school should be, whether or not ghosts should look normal or if they should be shadowy and creepy (we went for a combo of both)!

I have to say that Diana Wynne Jones is a HUGE inspiration, as are John Bellairs and Lemony Snicket. I get lost in those books, totally engrossed in their worlds - which are totally like my own, yet utterly different in so many ways.

(By the way, this is my first mobile blogpost and I have to say it's hard to be coherent when you can only read a few chunks of what you're writing as you work and you're sweating like a pig out in the desert getting harrassed by flies...)

Anywho, this post is to clear things up - which I hope I have done. As we get closer to the 'Among The Ghosts' publising date (Late August - two months away!) I will put up some of the first chapter -and maybe some illustrations, too - here for you all to peruse!

Sayanora for now from the Post-Apocalyptic desert that is my home for the next month!


  1. Among The Ghosts seems so nice. I can't wait to read it...

    (And I love His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman, and Lemony Snicket's books.)

  2. What desert are you in? I'll be heading to the deserts of Arizona next week...I'm not all that excited haha.

    You've got me excited for a new book from you! Your writing style is just so refreshing. You do a phenomenal job of making me feel like I'm actually in the settings of the book.

  3. Joe aka AmberAddictJune 16, 2010 at 12:10 PM

    Thanks fot clearing that up for me! I did wonder why when I pre-ordered it from it was listed as The New Newbridge Academy but the accompaning artwork said Among The Ghosts.

    I realise that the book is aimed at a much younger audience however I three reasons why that doesn't matter.

    1) I'm a big kid!
    2) I'm huge fan and I want support you and your work any way I can.
    3) Regardless of that fact it's amied at the younger reader I have no doubt it will be very entertaining and I don't want to miss out!

    As for blogging on the move this was very well written as usual. I hope filming goes well and you have fun dispte the desert.

    Cake take,


  4. This sounds like a great book Amber. I look forward to checking it out in August.
    Cheers for the update :-)

  5. Please oh please tell me that you got the Newbridge name from "The Best Show on WFMU" -- (see paragraph 2).

    That would make me oh so happy.

  6. You know, i'm 35 and as all your fans, i will read your new book. I always thought that a good child book can be read by readers of all ages (remember Peter Pan and the Wizard of Oz)!
    Can't wait to order it and to read it!
    Et Bonne chance for your new movie!Hope we will see it in France!

  7. Hey, Amber Benson Wrote this really? Wow, I'm euphoric, really. When I was 6 (now I am 15) I was a "little" fan of Amber, now I know that Amber "wrote this" and I don't know what to say ... Oh, God, only that I can say is: Amber, so much luck for you and your brilliant future. We are with you!
    Love: Tania. xxx

  8. I agree with Joe I'm a big kid to and can't wait to read this book as well.

  9. Love that new title! Your ghostly middle grade sounds great. :)

  10. Absolutely LOVED Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy. I did a reasearch paper on The Golden Compass for an Adolescent Lit class. And I'm absolutely loving that you're writing more books for me to read! Is it a bad thing that I was reading Cat's Claw for the second time in church last Sunday?

  11. If these books sell in Australia and around my parts I will be buying it for sure. May be for middle school but I am a huge fan of you so I don't mind buying it for support. I am actually hoping one day to write a book and publish it as well but haven't gotten there yet.

  12. Fabulous. I will still read the books no matter what. I don't care what age group it's aimed for: if it sounds interesting, I will read it. Good luck, Amber :)

  13. Looking forward to reading anything you wrote! I loved you in Buffy. Huge fan! Question (completely unrelated to this blog): Was that you in a WalMart commercial that recently aired? If it's not, watch for it, because there is an actress on there who looks just like you. It's the commercial with the oil changing products.

  14. This is probably something you've mentioned on the blog before and I'm just being a total ditz, but I've just (finally) started reading Cat's Claw (my local indie bookstore which I try to support whenever I can took a while to get more copies in), and -- well, holy crap, that's Callie's school! Since this is aimed at a middle school audience, I'm guessing it won't tie directly into the Calliope Reaper-Jones novels, but is it actually in the same universe? Or was the reference in Cat's Claw just a shout out?

  15., I really am a ditz. Just finished Cat's Claw and Noh is Callie's best friend! Silly me.

  16. Hi Amber, I just, I can´t believe this, my hands are shaking and my heart is pounding so crazy. I´ll hope to be able to found your books, ´cause i really admire you, (apologize my english, I´m from Argentina)and is very hard to get them around. I believe I don´t need to say to you to keep been so freaking amazing. love and the best of wishes, you are a godess! Romi

  17. Very cool that you consider John Bellairs an inspiration, Amber. I'm in my 30's and still read my copies of his books that I've had since I was 10. Thats all the incentive I need to go buy a copy of "Among the Ghosts".

  18. this book is awsome it made me want to rad it twelve times in a row. this book is my fav!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!