Google+ Reading Teen: Rootless Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Rootless Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway!

by Chris Howard

I love music, and it's had a huge influence on my writing… I like to get into the rhythm of the story, the tempo and flow. And songs inspired moods, scenes, even character names in my debut novel, ROOTLESS. As a celebration of the book hitting the shelves, I'd like to share with you a couple of my ROOTLESS playlists, but also some music I recorded for the book myself :)

First up, here are the playlists, to give you a sample of some of the sounds that were fueling me during the writing process:

Spotify ROOTLESS Playlist
iTunes ROOTLESS Playlist

Next, here's the track I recorded for the ROOTLESS audiobook.


I wanted an organic sound to evolve out of a more industrial noise, so I recorded acoustic guitars, then layered in the more futuristic drum breaks and synths. Listen carefully and you can also hear the sound of a hammer on steel… that's Banyan tree building! You can hear the way Scholastic Audio started to use the track by checking out the first chapter of the ROOTLESS audiobook.

Here's another tune you can check out and download… a song for Banyan, the main character of ROOTLESS. I sang an early version of the song here:

and the song evolved into this one:

I wanted the track to have a vulnerable sound, and a lonesome feel. It's written from Banyan's point-of-view, and these are the lyrics:

Banyan's Song
I watch the steel turning to rust
The words you stole are crumbled in the dust
Your hellos sound like goodbye
Still I hope you will show me some light

Red stained skin, dirt in my lungs
No shadows as evening comes
Hear the thieves sharpen their knives
Still I believe you will show me some light

So I know which way I should fall
When I can't walk no more I will crawl
And dream of standing straight and tall… In the light
Take your love and turn it up bright

The road is long, crooked and stone
Cold wind howls won't leave me alone
Big bad moon burns through the night
Still I need you to show me some light

So I know which way I should fall
When I can't walk no more I will crawl
And dream of standing straight and tall… In the light
Take your love and turn it up bright

Lastly… I recorded a hazy, spaced-out jam, inspired by a scene in Chapter 42 of the book. It's called "Bright Lights of Vega", and you can also download it for free.

Hope you enjoy the jams… and the book!



17-year-old Banyan is a tree builder. Using salvaged scrap metal, he creates forests for rich patrons who seek a reprieve from the desolate landscape. Although Banyan's never seen a real tree--they were destroyed more than a century ago--his missing father used to tell him stories about the Old World.

Everything changes when Banyan meets a mysterious woman with a strange tattoo, a map to the last living trees on earth, and he sets off across a wasteland from which few return. Those who make it past the pirates and poachers can't escape the locusts . . . the locusts that now feed on human flesh.

But Banyan isn't the only one looking for the trees, and he's running out of time. Unsure of whom to trust, he's forced to make an alliance with Alpha, an alluring, dangerous pirate with an agenda of her own. As they race towards a promised land that might only be a myth, Banyan makes shocking discoveries about his family, his past, and how far people will go to bring back the trees.


Before he wrote stories, Chris Howard wrote songs, studied natural resources management, and led wilderness adventure trips for teenagers. He currently lives in Denver, CO, and ROOTLESS is his first novel. Join him at

To follow the rest of the tour and get more chances to win ROOTLESS swag, check out


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. What a lovely song. Brings me back to my childhood and makes me want to run free in a field.

  2. Great song! I'd love to read Rootless. This is the second time I've seen your book and it sounds so interesting and unique. :)

  3. That's a great song. I love the feel of it and the lyrics. This book sounds really good too.

    1. I will specify. The song I meant was Banya's song. I do like Rootless also. It's kind of techno-ish, but not. I like the way he layered the sounds with it.

  4. Very beautiful post and thank you for the giveaway!

  5. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book.

  6. Thanks so much for providing this fun stop on the ROOTLESS Blog Tour! I was finally able to track down Phil Falco (Art Director at Scholastic) and we chatted about cover designs and ROOTLESS here: Sort of a Blog Tour Encore as this Q&A had originally been scheduled as part of the tour! I really appreciate everyone who's made this whole thing such a blast - all the bloggers and readers and the people who've commented or got in touch and asked questions. And congrats to the lucky winners of the Giveaway Prize Packs. I hope you enjoy the T-shirt my friend made and the book that I wrote! Happy reading, everyone. And thanks for all your support and enthusiasm! The FREE music downloads will stay available, and there'll be more to come :)

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