January 14, 2015

Blog Tour: Alistair Grim’s Odditorium by Gregory Funaro – Interview and Giveaway

Welcome to the Alistair Grim’s ODDITORIUM blog tour! 
This is the first book in an exciting middle grade series by Greg Funero. Published by Disney Hyperion, it’s said to be Doctor Who meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 
About The Book


By: Greg Funaro
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: January 6th, 2015
Series: Odditorium #1
Ages: 9-12
Purchase from: Amazon |B&N
Add it to Goodreads

This cinematic, action-packed middle grade fantasy adventure set in Victorian London brims with fresh magic and has the cozy feeling of a classic.

Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim’s trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.

There’s no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium’s magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.

Grubb knows he’s no hero. He’s just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

1. What was the inspiration for Odditorium?

The birth of my daughter. Mr. Grim’s right-hand man, Nigel, was originally going to be the focus of the book. Without giving too much away, I wondered what it’d be like if Frankenstein’s monster had a daughter. Somehow that daughter became Grubb, and one thing led to another until he and the Odditorium took over as the main focus and Nigel’s story became one of the ancillary plot lines. The book is ultimately about loss and longing and how we compensate for it, I think. Nearly everyone has lost or is missing something but finds hope again at the Odditorium–even Mr. Grim. Eventually.

2. Which comes first the characters or the world-building?

The characters. Always. The solidification of the Odditorium and the world therein came after Grubb was transported there. I didn’t even really know what “there” was until he arrived, and ended up revealing it to myself through his eyes. I tend to write that way–sort of like throwing the characters into a giant, mental sandbox and seeing what they do there.

3. Do you have a favorite scene or character in the book?

I think my favorite scenes–or moments, really–are the “quieter” ones, especially the moments in which Grubb is allowed to settle in with his new family. I also like the scenes in Prince Nightshade’s castle, and how all that evolves. As for characters, other than Grubb and Mr. Grim, I think Cleona is one of my favorites because, of all the Odditoria at Mr. Grim’s, she is the most complex (we learn much more about her in Book 2). And of course there is McClintock the pocket watch–but that’s mainly because I love talking in a salty Scottish brogue while writing his dialogue.

4. The battle scenes are some of the most intense and thrilling aspects of the book, did you have them planned out or did you write as ideas came to you?

The beginning and the ends of the battles are planned out, yes, but all the fun stuff in the middle evolves (forgive me) blow by blow.

5. What’s next for Grubb and the other inhabitants of the Odditorium?

The battle between Alistair Grim and Prince Nightshade continues. And while Grubb develops his skills as Mr. Grim’s apprentice, some new characters are introduced who help set our heroes off on an underwater adventure. The whole Odditorium, in fact, is transported to a far off land–but, like Grubb, you’ll have to find out exactly where that is when you get there.

6. What’s the oddest place you’ve ever been?

My house growing up as child–things could get pretty bizarre there.

7. What would be your prized possession in your own Odditorium?

The ghost of Elvis.

8. Would you prefer to have magical powers or be a mechanical genius?

Magical powers. Mechanical genius alone cannot get you the ghost of Elvis.

9. Pen and paper, Typewriter, or Computer?

Computer. How did anyone ever write before they were invented?


Don’t miss this week long tour. Each stop not only features something unique for readers, you can also enter to win a copy of the book.
The Tour

January 5- Me, Myshelf, I

Meet the Odditorium Characters Blog Post by author with book giveaway

January 6- Mundie Moms

Meet the Odditorium Characters Blog Post by author with book giveaway

January 7- Chapter by Chapter 

Q&A with author with book giveaway

January 8-  Carina Books

Fashion Accessories for the Eccentric blog post by the author with book giveaway

January 9- Ex Libris

Odd and Amazing places to visit blog post by the author with book giveaway

About The Author

Gregory Funaro grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and wrote his first story, The Ghost in the Window, in the fourth grade. He considers this to be his finest work, but unfortunately it has been lost to time. Following high school Greg majored in theatre at the University of New Hampshire, and after various acting gigs, received his AM in Theatre Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Greg teaches drama at East Carolina University, and is busy working on the next book in the Odditorium series.
Follow Greg via: his Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

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  1. YvonneJ

    This went on my TBR back in November when I first saw the cover and read about the book.

  2. shell

    looks good and would love to read it their a new author to me

  3. Carl

    Such a great-looking book. I’d be very pleased to win a copy. Thanks.

  4. Brenda

    The cover and description sound wonderful, adding it to the TBR either way. Thanks

  5. Mary G loki

    This looks awesome! I know my little brother would love this! I’m always looking out for books he and I both can read to discuss later.

  6. Kristine Hall

    This looks great and I’m sure kids are going to be storming their libraries for it.

  7. Stephanie Grant

    Sound and looks like quite an interesting book!

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