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The Tick Tock Man by R.M. Clark,
presented by Tantrum Books / Month9Books!
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Happy Book Birthday, R.M. Clark!
When the clocks in town stop, thirteen-year-old CJ discovers an unusual "clock world" where most of the citizens are clock parts, tasked with keeping the big clocks running. But soon the seemingly peaceful world is divided between warring factions with CJ instructed to find the only person who can help: the elusive Tick Tock Man. With the aid of Fuzee, a partly-human girl, he battles gear-headed extremists and razor-sharp pendulums in order to restore order before this world of chimes, springs, and clock people dissolves into a massive time warp, taking CJ's quiet New England town with it.
The Tick Tock Man by R.M. Clark Publication Date: May 2, 2017 Publisher: Month9Books/Tantrum Books
Now it was nine o’clock. I sat up and grabbed the clock with every intention of tossing it against the back wall. What a pleasure it would have been to see it smash into a million pieces. I win!
But, this clock was a birthday present from Uncle Artie. He’d said it was “a special clock for a special kid.” I didn’t like being called “special” because that had a different meaning at school. But it was a cool clock.
Until now. I mean, what kind of noise was that? Certainly not the alarm sound I was used to.
The clock on the radio displayed 4:05. I compared it to my watch, which I had put back on before sitting at the head of the table. The time was frozen at two o’clock. How strange. My watch always worked perfectly. When Uncle Artie gave it to me, he said it was a one-of-a-kind watch that would never need winding. I decided it was best not to tell anyone.
We drove through what we called downtown Hambleton, and only a few people were on the road. It was Thanksgiving, so this was not too surprising. In fact, it was one of the reasons we went for a drive on major holidays. Most people were home, and we usually had the roads to ourselves. Dad and Grandpa liked it that way.
The next thing I felt was a blast of cold air as everything went dark. I found myself floating just above the ground and shrinking by the second. I was pressed against the glass cover of the Hoffhalder. Then, in an instant, I was inside the clock, right next to the gears and chimes and other clock parts. The clock face absorbed mine, and I couldn’t feel my nose or ears. After a few seconds, my vision finally adjusted enough for me to see out into the dining room.
I went to the spare bedroom and grabbed the box for Uncle Artie’s clocks. I replaced them one by one, starting with the crescent moon clock. After the German village cuckoo clock made its way into the box, I noticed something extra strange. All Uncle Artie’s clocks were stuck at two o’clock. How come no one else noticed this? That question troubled me as I put the box of clocks in its resting place. It was as if those clocks had something to say but couldn’t say it.
When I came back down I gave the Hoffhalder another hard look, this time from the other side of the room. As much as I tried to convince myself this was just a clock, I knew that wasn’t the case. It spoke to me, although I couldn’t completely understand it.
Things were going from strange to downright weird.
The Guest Post
My question for R.M. Clark was
The Guest Post
My question for R.M. Clark was
"If The Tick Tock Man to be a movie, which actors would be among the dream cast?"
and here is his answer:
Since this is all a dream, I’m going to cast this movie accordingly.
The main character, CJ, is thirteen, so a young Fred Savage would be the perfect mix of innocence and strength.
For Fuzee, the mostly human girl, I can picture teenaged Christina Ricci playing that part. She’s tougher than she looks and has a huge heart.
CJ’s uncle, known as Ratchet Dog, would be perfect with Liam Neeson in the role. Not even the evil gearheads can shake him.
Only one person can play The Tick Tock Man and that’s Morgan Freeman. He doesn’t fit the description of an older, white German man, but it’s my dream cast and I’m having Morgan Freeman!
Most of the other characters are clock parts, so we’ll let the voiceover folks get involved.
R.M. Clark is a computer scientist for the Dept. of Navy by day and children’s book writer by night. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons.
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