Thursday, September 19, 2013

Story Behind the Story: The Rainbow Ghost Bus by Sue Perkins

Let's give a big Girls Succeed welcome to our guest author today, Sue Perkins! 

She is sharing her story behind the story of The Rainbow Ghost Bus. Let me tell you a little bit about this multi-genre author.

Sue Perkins grew up in Devon, England and emigrated to New Zealand with her family.
Sue and her husband live on a three acre property at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Her interests include writing, reading, genealogy and aqua aerobics.
Her first romance novel was released in May 2007, quickly followed by a fantasy trilogy, more romance books, young adult and middle grade novels. 

Her aim is to write a full length epic fantasy novel. The outline is complete, and Sue hopes to finish the first draft by mid 2014.

Connect with Sue at her author website and Sue's blog 
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The Story Behind the Story of the Rainbow Ghost Bus by Sue Perkins

In 2011 I visited my family in England and my fascination with the old buildings returned, especially those in London. A glimmer of an idea for a Middle Grade book came to mind. The old bus depots were huge to me when I was a child, so my story combines childhood memories with the my genre of fantasy and developed into The Rainbow Ghost Bus.
MG Fantasy: Jack and his sister travel on the ghost bus through lands of rainbows,
leprechauns and dryads to solve the mystery surrounding the bus company owners. 
The name of the young hero came from my niece's son as he asked for an adventure book. As I'd written the book partly at his request, it seemed only natural to give the young hero Jack's name.

I love writing books for Middle Grade children. Boys or girls, I try to make them attractive to both. They are usually fantas books with a touch of magic and mystery in each. I try to keep things moving reasonably fast as I remember as a child I'd be engrossed in a book only to find a long explanation interrupted the flow. This would really annoy me and I often skipped parts of the book due to the interruptions.

Here is a little sample of The Rainbow Ghost Bus. Enjoy.

Back of the Book
Jack and his family renovate and move into an old Victorian bus depot, but soon the ghost of the Number 13 bus comes to visit. Jack and his sister get caught up in the search for the parts of The Rainbow Bus Company logo and hopefully solve the mystery of the disappearance of the owners, which happened many years before.

The driver's seat was not part of the inside of the bus. The poor man would have to sit outside in all weathers as he drove his passengers through the busy streets. This was a double decker bus, with an upstairs open to the air. The stairs wound up the back of the bus, again on the outside. Jack and Kate peered in the window along the side and saw wooden seats lined up with the backs toward them.
"Do you think it's safe, Kate? Look it's got the number thirteen on the front. Do you think it's the route number?"
Before she could answer a beam of yellow light curved down from the metal clad window above them. The nearer it got to the ground, the wider it became. It took a few curves on the way down and stopped at the front of the bus.
"Hey, that looks like a road." Jack peered intently at the yellow strip.
The bus revved its engine, moved forward a few feet to the base of the road, and then stopped again.
"I think we're being asked to go for a ride." Jack jumped on the rear platform. His sister reached out to grab him but he evaded her hands. Kate followed as he slipped inside the downstairs section, safely out of her reach.
Jack bounced up and down on one of the wooden seats. He saw Kate open her mouth to tell him off in her usual bossy way, but the bus jerked into motion throwing her off balance and she fell into the seat facing Jack.
"It is a road." Jack peered out the window and Kate joined him.
The bus trudged slowly up the slope.
"Come on, it's not going fast, we can still get off." Kate stood and turned to face the platform and Jack reluctantly joined her. He blinked in surprise. Only a yellow mist showed behind the bus. Jack grinned and sat down again.
Behind the driver's area a window allowed them to see forward. Between this window and the one looking out over the engine, a blackboard was attached to the inside wall. Chalky white words swirled across the dark surface.
The last bus of the Rainbow Bus Company ran on Friday 13th June 1913. The reason for the company's collapse is shrouded in mystery.
"Wow, Kate. Perhaps we can solve the mystery."
"Hold on. We have no idea where we're going, or how we're going to get home. What do you think Mum and Dad will say?" Kate peered out the window of the bus, but the yellow mist covered everything.
"Perhaps the bus wants us to solve the mystery. When it stops we'll be in a strange place and have to find clues." Jack grinned at his sister, glad she couldn't force him to return home.
The bus slowly crawled up the yellow road to the top and as the incline leveled out, the yellow fog thinned.
"Look. An archway." Jack pointed to the end of the road.
"It's not an arch." Kate joined him. "It's the frame around one section of the round window. We must have shrunk as we came up the yellow road."


Now available at a sale price of $2.99 from MuseItUp Publishing


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me to the Girl's Succeed blog. I think this is a great idea for a blog - girls succeeding at their chosen goal.

  2. Thanks, Sue, for being my guest today. The book cover for Rainbow Ghost is certainly eye-catching. Looking forward to a fun Friday.

  3. What an imagination you have, Sue! I love the magic, the mystery, and the adventure in this excerpt. How lucky Jack is to have his great aunt write a book for him! I hope lots and lots of kids his age enjoy The Rainbow Ghost Bus.

    1. You nailed it, Pat--magic. mystery, adventure.

  4. I enjoyed the story behind the story. Sounds like an interesting book.

    1. Hi Susanne, I too like the story. Interesting to read how authors are inspired to write.

  5. Oh, it sounds like such a lovely read, Sue. And I bet your 'Jack' is thrilled as well.

    1. Lorrie, wouldn't it be fun to go to school and tell all your friends about a hero in a book being named after you?? Cool.

  6. I expect the real Jack has told everyone at school. His mum says he's thrilled that he has his name at the beginning of the book. It's fun to write something for someone you know. Thanks for the lovely comments.