Happy Book Birthday to
On the Bright Side!
On the Bright Side is a hilarious road to guardian angeldom paved with so much drama and due-paying that it makes middle school look painless.
As if the devil’s food cake at her wake and the white fat pants she’s stuck wearing for eternity weren’t bad enough, fourteen year-old Gabby is quick to discover that Cirrus, the main rung of Heaven, is a far cry from the Pearly Gates. Here, Skyphones and InnerNets are all the rage. Until Gabby finds out she has to protect Angela, her school nemesis, in order to move up through the training levels of heaven. Problem is, Angela is now hitting on Gabby's should-have-been boyfriend. (awkward!)
Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (like tripping is a sin?) at the hopes of cooling off the new couple. At first, they seem harmless until the school dance sabotage gets completely out of control. Then, her Celestial Sky Agent, who happens to have anger management issues of his own, puts Gabby on probation, threatening her eternal future.
Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death.
Praises for On The Bright SideClever and charming, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is the story of a reluctant guardian angel, her still-breathing crush, and the frenemy she’s assigned to protect. A great read! -Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicket (6/12), and The Program (2013)"
"With a smart, snappy heroine and a heart-warming crush, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is a page-turning new take on guardian angels that left me begging for a sequel!" - Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess and Ten (9/12) (Balzar + Bray)
S.R. Johannes delivers a cute paranormal thrill ride for middle graders! Even in death there is a BRIGHT SIDE!" - Addison Moore, author of the bestselling Celestra series and soon to be TV show
“ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is both hilarious and heart-warming – a tale that’ll have you hoping that there really *are* spunky and determined angels like Gabby who’ve got our backs.” - Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, author of Selling Hope & The 13th Sign (2013) (Feiwel & Friends)
Where did you get the idea for writing On the Bright Side?
I have always been kind of obsessed with death and the after life. After I reading Lisa Schroeder’s I Haunt You…, I found myself wondering more about Jackson’s world. Where was he? Was it so bad, he needed to stay on Earth? I used to watch shows on those people who die for a few minutes and come back. They always talk about how wonderful the OTHER SIDE is. So I started writing a funny book about a great afterlife. The lighter it got, the younger it got and eventually went from being YA to tween.
What can we expect from On the Bright Side?
It is a funny book about death. It looks at a brighter side of The After Life where SKYfones and InnerNets are all the rage. Where you can dress in dolce and Nirvana and eat at The Sacred Chow. But it is also a book about friendship, loss, and acceptance.
Tell us something about Gabby that we won't learn from reading the book.
She almost failed home ec class due to her lack of sewing button. But luckily she can cook a mean grilled cheese sandwich. Gabby walks dogs in her neighborhood for extra money. Though she’s petrified of sheepdogs due to being dragged by one down the street by one. In front of Michael no less. Nasty scabs on 3/4s of your body is not cute.
Is there any of you in Gabby or any of the other characters?
I think there is some of me in ALL my characters. Gabby is like me at that age. She is snarky always slightly moody. I was that way especially in middle school. But I am also extremely loyal (probably too loyal) and I can somehow find humor in the strangest of situations. But I am not very mischievous like Gabby.
If you could have one wish for Gabby, no questions, what would it be?
For her to accept her fate and let go of the past. I think she will be happier.
What's next for you?
I am in a Valentine’s Day Anthology full of Indie authors called In His Eyes. It is filled with short stories from the hot boys in our books and how they feel about girls and love.