Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Good News & Meet the Grandfather & Granddaughter Writing Team

I want to share with you the Good News about my latest book and the final book in my Guinevere trilogy: Guinevere: The Legend. Since being released in late December/early January 2020, the book has been honored with the following awards: From: Colorado Independent Pubishers’ Association 1st Place EVVY in Fantasy/Folklore/Mythology; 2nd Place EVVY in Juvenile Fiction Middle Grade; Readers' Favorite Silver Medal in Children's Mythology/Fairy Tale; and the NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winter 2020.

Finishing my middle grade trilogy of this amazing young lady and her loyal friend was a highlight of my writing career. Back in 2007, when I first conceived the idea of introducing young readers to this girl/queen, I never imagined that she and Cedwyn would soar to such heights. Throughout the trilogy, readers have experienced the two's highs and lows. While their decisions weren't always the best, each made those decisions with the best of intentions. And didn't (and don't) we all do that growing up? I won't tell you how their stories end, but I will tell you that you will be on the edge of your seat wringing your hands and wiping your tears.


 And Now,
Please welcome to Carpinello's Writing Pages,
Oliver Eade and Lara Eade.


Carpinello's Writing Pages is excited to bring you this unique interview with Oliver Eade, author, and his 9-year-old granddaughter Lara Isabelle Ruiz Eade, illustrator. Oliver is a fellow author at Silver Quill Publishing and a very prolific writer. I've posted the interviews together, so we get a better idea of how these two work together. Let's get to know these two!

Here's a bit about Oliver:


I was born a Londoner, but am now an adopted Scot. I retired in 2003 from a career in hospital medicine spanning England, Vermont, and Scotland. After waking up one night with a ghost story in my head, I took to writing adult short stories and joined the Society of Medical Writers (SOMW) and a local writers’ group, The Borders Writers Forum.

I fell in love with a Chinese girl at the age of 19 (we played piano duets together till the piano got in the way) and have never fallen out of love with her. We have a son and daughter and four beautiful granddaughters, two in Texas and two in Switzerland.

 

And here's Lara:


Illustrator Lara Isabelle Ruiz Eade, aged 9 years.

I am Lara Isabelle Ruiz Eade. I am 9 years old. I live in Leysin in Switzerland. I like tennis, running, skiing, dancing drawing, reading. My favorite subject in school is French.

 

 

 

Oliver: Why did you pick to write books for MG?

Although my ‘default’ is to write for adults, having throughout my medical career focused on difficult correspondence about illness, and academic medical writing, I find that writing for young readers inspires me to look at this puzzling world we live in afresh as if through the eyes of a child. I do believe the children that we once were are still there, somewhere within each and every one of us.

Although not confined to any particular genre, I probably feel most comfortable in that magical space between reality and fantasy; the space into and out of which children slip so easily in their play; the place of dreams and myths and legends and deeply ingrained in many cultures across the globe. 

Lara: How long have you been drawing? Who or what got you interested in drawing?

Ever since I remember I like drawing. My mummy and my elder sister taught me to draw. 

Oliver: What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

I mostly read adult real-life fiction nowadays. Not a great fan of crime or sci-fi, although I was hooked on these genres as a youngster. I am a great admirer of Isabel Allende’s writing. Each of her novels explores human experience in a way that makes me think very deeply about her characters, what they do and why. Perhaps this is because of my medical background. She suffered a lot of tragedy in her life, and I do believe that true life experience shows through in great writing.

My other passion is photography. I took a diploma in photography in 2005 and love street photography. With COVID-19 this is no longer possible, so I am focusing on close-up work… e.g. insects and plants… and local landscapes. I also try to keep fit with gardening, and my wife and I do ballroom dancing in the kitchen! Plus I still play the piano, sometimes accompanying a violinist. 

Lara: What was your process for completing the drawings?

I did the pictures softly in pencil at first, starting with the animals. Then I added the background before painting the picture with acrylic paints.

Oliver: Tell us about The Zookeeper's Daughter and how the story came to be.

The Zookeeper’s Daughter was ‘commissioned’ by my youngest, 9-year-old, Swiss granddaughter, Lara. Her elder sister had illustrated my collection of Short Stories for Children aged 7 to 77 years, and Lara asked if she could also illustrate one of my books. We sat together and discussed an idea I had. I knew she loved animals, and that she also had moments of frustration with rules and regulations, so I suggested to her that the zookeeper’s daughter, Isabelle (Lara’s second name), might magically escape from the tedium of parental control and live free like the wild cousins of the animals in their zoo. Lara decided on the names of the characters and the connection between Scotland and Switzerland. Then COVID-19 happened. I had to get on and write the story, and quickly, for being elderly, I feared I might succumb to coronavirus. Also, the pandemic encouraged me to focus on humans failing to respect our wonderful world, thereby endangering so many species. Lara agreed that we should use her novel to think about animals endangered because of what humans are doing to our planet.

Lara: Why did you want to illustrate The Zookeeper’s Daughter?

I wanted to illustrate a book because my sister had done one. Also, I love drawing animals.

Here's a peek at The Zookeeper's Daughter:


 

 

Isabelle Scott is devastated to learn she won’t be staying with her beloved Swiss ‘mamie’ (granny) that summer because Old Jamie who works in her daddy’s zoo in Scotland, where she lives, is ill in hospital and her ‘maman’ (mummy) will be too busy in the zoo to take her.

Summer vacation with Grumpy Gramps and her annoying little brother, Joe will be unbearable. But things change after a spider emerges from a white chamois, a present from mamie, and connects Isabelle via a magical golden web to the worlds of endangered wild animals in a book specially written for her by Jamie.

                                                 

 

 Excerpt: The Bald Eagle that Isn’t Bald

Joe began to cry. At least, an adult jaguar would have called it crying, although to a human it would have sounded very strange. Isabelle licked him, as their mother had done before she got shot, and he seemed to get comfort from this.

“What are we going to do, Isabelle?” Joe asked.

“Florence won’t let us down. I know it.”

Far from going down, they began to float upwards. Together. If Isabelle had hands instead of paws, she would have held onto her little brother. Soon she realised she didn’t even have paws. She had wings instead. An angel? Had she and Joe been shot, without knowing, and turned into angels?

Up and up they went until they broke out above the forest canopy, spreading their magnificent dark wings. No fur, no spots… and no longer jaguars. Then Isabelle remembered the next chapter in Jamie’s book. The North American bald eagle, also sacred to Native Americans.


Never had Joe looked so happy as, soaring over the Chiapas jungle, with his wings spread wide, he sailed north like a big black kite, away from the forest-covered hills, and with his elder sister at his side.
He called out to her. She looked huge. Because of this, he assumed the sound he would make with his own yellow hooked beak might be loud and strong, but it came out high-pitched and squeaky like the twittering of a small bird.

“Where are we going?” he twittered. At least Isabelle understood.

“North,” she chirped. “We shouldn’t be here, so far south. Not as bald eagles, anyway.”

 

Oliver: How do you go about researching for your stories?

Mostly by searching the internet, although I also buy books relevant to the topic, e.g. ‘The Story of Roman Britain’ for my next time travel YA novel about Scotland under the yoke of Roman occupation. Sometimes, I simply ask an expert.

Lara: Do you have a favorite illustration from the book and why it is your favorite.

The American Bald Eagle. Because they can fly free in the air.

Oliver: Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

I have published over 50 short stories, many which appear in the collection Walls of Words.

My young readers’ books are Moon Rabbit, a magical journey to mythological China and the sequel, Monkey King’s Revenge; Northwards a dark fantasy set in Texas and the Arctic; and Rainbow Animal, a fun spoof on war also set in the US.

My debut adult novel A Single Petal is set in Tang Dynasty China. It explores personal loss for the main character and his journey towards spiritual enlightenment. Voices, about family love, intrigue, and deceit is set in London, whilst the dark futuristic novel The Parth Path is set in a post-apocalyptic Scotland run by women for women. The premise here is that when women abandon their true nature and try to become just like men, then they become as bad as men.

My young adult novel The Terminus is set in a London changed beyond recognition from the drab post-World War II era and which, in a post-apocalyptic world, gives humankind a second chance. My YA trilogy From Beast to God (From Beast to God, The Golden Jaguar of the Sun, and The Merging and Revelation) follows a Texan boy and Mexican girl, blending European and Native spiritual beliefs. The Kelpie’s Eyes was inspired by a visit to the famous Scottish waterfall, the Grey Mare’s Tale, and weaves Scottish mythology into a tale of sisterly love. Number Twenty-four is a coming of age romance about an unconfident Scots boy and a Chinese girl who end up together in Dogtopia, a land where dogs rule and humans are their pets.

Having a profound love of live drama, I also write plays. The Gap is about the coming together of a dysfunctional family following a natural disaster, inspired by being caught up in the Great Sichuan Earthquake (Richter 8, China) of 2008. The Other Cat is a darkly humorous take on Schrödinger’s famous feline.

Lara: Do you think that you will keep on drawing? Would you like to be an artist when you grow up?

I would like to keep on drawing but probably not be an artist for a living?

Oliver: What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story? 

Together with my eldest Texan granddaughter, Lucia, who also wants to become a doctor, I am writing an experimental book on the history of medicine. Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, In the Blink of an Eye follows the events that led to a teenager called Larry being on life support with COVID-19 and re-incarnations of the same character over 7000 years, each highlighting a major medical advance. I have also written the The Fire Hills, a YA coming of age novel linking a futuristic Scotland, denied independence by a far-right UK government, to Scotland nearly two thousand years ago under the brutal control of the Romans.

Oliver: What advice do you have for other authors?

Write from experience and from the heart. Do not be put off. Write your own story, not a ‘me-too’ book!

Oliver: Anything else you want readers to know?

Our world has reached a turning point because of climate change. If humanity refuses to see the writing on the wall, civilisation and future of Planet Earth are under threat. I’m a scientist and believe what over 99% of climate scientists are telling us. Perhaps 100% now with the latest data from the Arctic.

Oliver and Lara: Where can readers find you and your books?

My website (https://www.olivereadebooks.org)

Silver Quill Publishing 

Amazon author page

The Zookeeper's Daughter 

Amazon UK

Amazon US


 



Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Writer's Tip and Meet YA Author Jess Frankel

Welcome to Carpinello's Writing Pages. This week brings more writing tips from our authors in addition to introducing a new author this week. You be amazed at where this author has spent the last 30+ years! But first, our writing tips. As always, be sure to leave your favorite tip in the comments for our readers/writers.

Writing isn't easy! It takes time and dedication, sometimes pushing you to the very edge. Keep working and find something that helps keep your mind in the writing zone so you don't get off track.  For me, it's different types of music or just speaking to my sister so I can bounce my ideas off of her...Alica Rivoli, author of the MG fantasy Mere Enchantment.

I think the most important thing is to make writing fun. You must enjoy what you’re doing to do it well. So take a subject you adore and write about it. Every day. Until you know it’s right. On days I don’t feel like writing, I read over the last few chapters and immediate I start to edit and rewrite; since I’m a bit of a perfectionist, that always gets me in the proper mood...J.C. Whyte, author of Karmac.

It helps to have a very thick skin and learn not to take rejection personally.

Also, write for the correct reasons. You need to write because it is your passion, not because you think it is a path to riches.


Make sure that your book is ready before jumping into the publishing process. Self-published books need to be professionally edited and of very high quality if you wish to compete with the mainstream books on the market. The book market has been flooded with masses of books in recent years and you really need to deliver a good quality product if you hope to achieve commercial success...Louise Lintvelt, author of Diary of a Dancing Drama Queen.



And Now,
Please welcome YA author Jess Frankel
to Carpinello's Writing Pages



Here's a bit about Jess Frankel:

I was born in Toronto, Canada, a long time ago, and after graduating university with a BA (double major) in political science and English literature, I worked for a bus company for three years and then somehow ended up in Japan where I’ve lived for the past thirty-something years! I married a lovely lady from Osaka, we have two children, and I make my living by teaching ESL and writing at night. Some of my best known novels are the Catnip series, The Titans of Ardana, The Auctioneer, and Apocalyptia.


Why did you pick to write books for Young Adults?

I write both MG as well as YA, but stick to YA for the most part. I find that the genre itself is a very fast-moving one, something fresh and immediate, and it’s exciting. I can let my mind go free and travel anywhere. That kind of genre is practically limitless in what you can write about.


What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I watch movies—big superhero fan—and listen to various kinds of music to relax. That’s about it.

Tell us about Apocalyptia and how the story came to be.

Apocalyptia is a YA thriller about the discovery of a computer code that could trigger Armageddon. I wrote it because these days, everything is done by computer, and while they don’t control our lives, they play an integral part in them. Cyber warfare is nothing new, and taken to extremes, it can spell disaster. That’s what I wanted to explore.

Here's a peek at Apocalyptia:

An unreadable code. A secret too big to keep. An idea people will kill for.

Ed Sawyer, seventeen, is one of those ignored types at his school. A nerd hopelessly obsessed with all things cinematic, he lives for his next flick. He’s matched by Linda Usher, a classmate who is also into movies, as well as computer coding and hacking.

On the last day of school before summer vacation, Ed is given a flash drive by a dying man. He sees a code on it, and Linda, for all her genius, can’t decipher it, either. They are soon pursued by not only domestic terrorists—ex-members of the Department of Defense—but also by Russian agents who are after the same thing.

It seems that the creator of the program, Harry Haskins, devised it as the ultimate smart bomb, the ultimate tool for controlling the internet and every single computer program around, including those of defense.

It’s a secret that the wrong people will kill for, and Ed and Linda have to go on the run from those who would capture and kill them—and that includes citizens as well!

Only Linda has the knowledge to prevent such a catastrophe from happening. The only question is whether the duo can remain alive long enough to deliver the goods to the right people.

How do you go about researching for your stories?

I read a lot of different articles on the Internet, and then, if I don’t know, I ask those who do. For fantasy, I rely on my own imagination, but for real-world things such as computer programs, medicine, certain diseases and their symptoms, research is integral. I’ve found that readers will forgive you for certain lapses in narrative or inconsistencies in plot, but if you make a mistake on something technical, they’ll definitely call you on it!


Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

I’ve written about thirty-five other novels. Many of them deal with aliens, alien worlds, have lots of action and some romance. I don’t see why a writer can’t combine action and romance in a story and do both aspects well.

Some of novels, as mentioned above, are Catnip, which deals with transgenics, monsters, mad scientists, and so on.
 Master Fantastic is all about elemental magic. The Associate, its sequels, The Sindicate, and Stand-In, are all about superheroes, but not written in a conventional way. A little twist here and there makes them special! Check ‘em out, please!


What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

Right now, I’m working on a story about a young man going blind who develops psychometric powers—the ability to ‘read’ impressions from objects he touches. I finished it the other day, and since it’s just the first draft, it’s all very rough, but I’m having fun with it.

What advice do you have for other authors?

As trite as it sounds, I’d say write with your heart, edit without one, and be as objective as possible. Also, don’t let rejection get you down. I was rejected over a hundred times before someone took a chance on me. I’m not famous or wealthy—darn—but I am productive, and I have hopes that my books will increase in their popularity.


Anything else you want readers to know?

Just that I’d like to thank you, Cheryl, for allowing me this interview. Also, I hope that readers will take a chance on someone who’s not a big name but who writes a good story that is entertaining as well as informative.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter


Amazon Author Page

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Writing Tips and Meet MG Author Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Welcome to Carpinello's Writing Pages. Before we get introduced to today's author, here are some writing tips from previous authors on my blog. As always, feel free to share your author tips in the comments.

You’re the only one with the ultimate vision of the story you’re trying to tell. Don’t let anyone talk you out of it. Join a writers' group, attend classes or workshops, and never stop reading. Exercise those writing muscles! Set goals and deadlines for yourself, and meet them. Persevere in your quest to become a published author, and enjoy the ridePat McDermott, author of the YA series Glimmer.

It is difficult to find time to write sometimes. However, you can always find the time to imagine or daydream. File those thoughts away in your mind, record yourself on a handheld tape recorder, or jot them down on a piece of paper for when you have time to writeCrystal Marcos,  author of the YA series The Cresecren Chronicles: Novus

Keep writing! If one idea doesn’t work out, go on and write the next bookMariko Layton, author of the MG multicultural story Ayumi’s Violin.




And Now,
Please welcome MG author Emily-Jane Hills Orford
to Carpinello's Writing Pages

I'm pleased to welcome Emily-Jane back to my blog. One of the greatest advantages of writing today is the opportunity to become friends with authors from all over the world. Emily-Jane is one of these friends.

Here's a bit about Emily-Jane:
 
An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, Emily-Jane used this talent to create stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As she grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories.

Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Mrs. Murray’s Ghost: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 1 (Telltale Publishing 2018) which was named finalist in the 2019 N.N. Light Book Awards, Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 2 (Telltale Publishing 2019), Mrs. Murray’s Home: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 3 (Telltale Publishing 2020), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018) which won the 2019 N.N. Light Book Awards, King Henry’s Choice (Clean Reads 2019), and several other books.

Why did you pick to write books Middle Grade?

Actually, I write in several genres, but Middle Grade is my preference. I enjoy the idea of re-visiting my childhood memories. I think some of the best books I ever read were written for the Middle Grade audience: C.S. Lewis, Mary Norton, Gene Stratton-Porter and, of course, our blog host. Plus, I’ve taught music and creative writing to this age group, so I feel most comfortable writing for this age.

What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

I like to read multiple genres (mostly the same as the genres I write): mystery, historical fiction, memoir, creative nonfiction, animal stories. When I’m not writing, I’m doing something else something equally creative: collage painting, needle art, baking, gardening, composing music and playing the piano, and, most important, reading.


Tell us about Mrs. Murray's Home and how the story came to be.


Mrs. Murray’s Home is the third book in the Piccadilly Street Series, which has been compared to Harry Potter. Home is where the heart is, or so they say. It’s also been said that a home is a person’s castle. But home is also with family and friends. Mrs. Murray longs for home, the family home, a castle an ocean away. The Brownies also crave for home, the same castle Mrs. Murray considers home. And Granny? Mary’s Granny hasn’t been home since she was Mary’s age. It’s time to visit the homeland, Scotland. Mary’s excited to tag along with Granny, Mrs. Murray and the Brownies. And then there’s the witch. The one they thought they’d killed. And the treasure. The one they had found. And it all ties together, for better or for worse.

I started this series with the idea of re-visiting my growing-up years in an old Victorian Mansion that was haunted. Some of the things I write about in these stories really happened; some are mere fragments of what my grandmother described as my “vivid imagination”. Oh! And Granny (as we called her when we were younger) is one of the main characters in this series. Basically, these books are, in some ways, personal memoirs combined with fantasy and lots of adventure. The stories are set in the 1960s, when my family first moved into the haunted house, and it includes some of my childhood friends and nemeses, including the schoolyard bully whose memory haunts me to this day (moreso than the ghost).

Here's a peek at Mrs. Murray's Home:

“No, you can’t.”

“I can too.”

“Leave her alone.”

“Let her sleep.”
 
“Quiet!” Mary covered her ears, forcing her eyes to open. She shrieked when she did and slid backwards to the headboard of the bed, curling her legs in front of her, in a feeble attempt to protect herself.

“Now you’ve done it.”

“I have not.”

“She’s awake, isn’t she?”

“Should have let her sleep.”

“Who are you?” Mary looked around the room, crammed full of, what? Ghosts? No. It couldn’t be. Gathering her wits about her, she asked the only question that came to mind. “Where’s Mrs. Murray?” She was one ghost Mary trusted and with whom she felt safe.

“Here.” Came the chorus of ethereal voices. “We’re all Mrs. Murray.”

“No!” Mary shook her head vehemently. “It can’t be. If so, where is my Mrs. Murray?”

The response was so loud, Mary was forced to cover her ears. “Stop!” she shrieked. “One at a time. Didn’t anyone teach you some manners?”

How do you go about researching for your stories?

When research is needed, I make use of the internet. There are a lot of resources available at the tip of our fingers. I also read a lot of nonfiction and possess a huge collection of books. (When we last moved ten years ago, the movers complained about the 500+ boxes of books. I’m sure it’s more now.) I used to frequent the public archives, but with most of the resources now available online, I find it much more convenient, especially with lockdown restrictions still in place for accessing public spaces.


Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.


I have written a lot. My genres include: historical fiction/fantasy (Queen Mary’s Daughter and King Henry’s Choice), creative nonfiction (It Happened in Canada Books 1, 2, & 3, Personal Notes, The Whistling Bishop, F-Stop: A Life in Pictures”, Ukulele Yukon, Amazingly Extra-Ordinary Women, and To Be a Duke), mystery (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter), and, of course, Middle Grade and Young Adult, which includes this series, as well as Gerlinda (another childhood memory story). I also have several unpublished books in each of these genres looking for a publisher, including, surprisingly for me, a couple of dystopian novels.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

Always. Another dystopian novel – must be the lockdown, Corona virus conspiracy theories getting to me and affecting my creative output.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Write. Don’t procrastinate. Just write. Even bad writing is better than no writing, and it’s a step in the right direction as the more we write, the more we improve.


Anything else you want readers to know?


Support an author by posting a review. We all depend on our readers and their opinions (both good and not-so-good).

Where can readers find you and your books?

Author Links:
 
Website
Facebook
Twitter  
Goodreads


Purchase Links:



Amazon



 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Writing Tips & Meet MG Author S. N. Bronstein

Welcome back to Carpinello's Writing Pages! I've been busy transferring my Arthurian Legend books over to Silver Quill Publishing, my author co-op. Just finished this last week. Now I'm working on publishing my Guinevere trilogy in an eBook collection. So far, it's time consuming, but no major problems. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Before I introduce us to our author, hear are some writing tips from our archives. The key is that writing tips don't go out of style. Please leave your tip(s) in the comments. All my readers would appreciate the share.

Succeeding in the field of writing comes down to three things: Practice, Patience, and Persistence. Without those, you’ll never make it. As writers, we never stop learning, and we never stop practicing our craft and trying to improve. We learn early on to be patient with ourselves and our stories and this crazy business of writing and publishing. We also learn to be persistent and to never give up on the projects we care about, even if that means multiple rewrites, multiple submissions, a radically different approach to publishing or marketing, etc. We are strong people, we writers, and we love what we do. We’re lucky

Just write and don’t let anyone else decide what success meansWilliam Stuart, author of



And now,
Please welcome Middle Grade author fellow educator S. N. Bronstein to Carpinello's Writing Pages


First, here's a bit about S. N. Bronstein:

I worked 34 years in a large metropolitan area school system. During those years I was a teacher, crisis counselor, investigator of student at risk cases, and Regional Supervisor.  Following my retirement I began writing and publishing novels for both adults and children.I still live in Florida with my wife and our cat Nugget. You'll see why I mention Nugget when you read on.

Why did you pick to write books for upper middle-graders?

My decision to begin writing MG books came about after publishing a number of adult crime stories called The Fairlington Lavender Detective Series.
I reasoned that if adults enjoyed crime stories, then why wouldn’t MG students enjoy age appropriate stories with the same theme? Of course the nature of the crimes and the plots would have to be altered to be consistent with the age group.  MG students can learn a great number of important life lessons from this genre. This resulted in The Private Eye Cats series being published.



What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

I enjoy reading historical non-fiction when I am not writing. I also enjoy home improvement projects.

Tell us about The Private Eye Cats series and how the stories came to be:  

The Private Eye Cats series consists of two books; The Case of the Neighborhood Burglars and The Case of the Kidnapped Dog. The plots follow two sister cats who live at home with their ‘humans’ and at one point decide to become private detectives.
 

How such an implausible challenge could be realized is revealed early in the first book. Special skills the cats possess that the readers learn of allow the two feline ladies to pull this off. Scooter and Nugget solve two separate crimes in the area of their home.

Here's a peek at The Case of the Kidnapped Dog:

I think I talked about it in our first book, but in case you don’t remember, with cats it’s all about the action. Cats have a need to find out everything about everything. It’s called curiosity and as my older cat sister Scooter taught me, it’s part of our instincts. We have no choice in the matter. Dogs can be content sitting around the house, going for a walk twice a day, and chasing after a ball and bringing it back to their humans until they pass out from the heat. Not us. We can play the ‘make the humans happy’ game like any other house pets, but our real goals are to explore, find out what’s up, and stick our noses exactly where they don’t belong.
 

It was this instinct to get into the action that got me, Nugget, and my sister Scooter into so much trouble last April. During that month I wanted to find a way to sneak out of the house once our humans, Tony and Misty, went to work. Well, I did find a way out.                      
 

I convinced Scooter to join me on a trip to the outside world. Against her better judgment, she finally agreed.
 

Scooter’s decision to join me on a tour of the real world beyond our four walls led to all kinds of mischief. Once she heard about some burglars breaking into houses on our block, she dreamed up the idea that we should help the police catch the crooks.
 

Well, we did help the police solve the case. We caught the criminals who were responsible, and we became Private Eye Cats.

How do you go about researching for your stories?

I had to do very little research for the MG books given that I had extensively researched many of the forensic details for my adult crime stories. A big positive here is that the cats are ours in real life.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them. 

The Private Eye Cats series includes two books so far: The Case of the Neighborhood Burglars and The Case of the Kidnapped Dog.


My adult series consist of four cases worked by Detective Fairlington Lavender in South Florida. The books include The Case of the Miami Philanthropist, The Case of the Miami Blackmailer, The Case of the Miami Vigilante, and The Case of the Yellow Flower Tattoo.  The WIP  and final addition to the series is The Case of the Small Town Coroner. All are fast paced thrillers where the MC faces almost insurmountable odds in bringing the antagonist to justice.


What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

Aside from the adult WIP, I am planning a third in The Private Eye Cats series.

What advice do you have for other authors?

For novice authors I advise them to follow their instincts when sitting down to write. Don’t count words, don’t count pages, and don’t write when your creative side is not in gear. Let the story flow from your mind to the page without a lot of concern for rules.  There is one rule for writing…there are no rules.
 

Of course, proper grammatical form is a must and all books have to be logical in terms of the story line moving along.
 

Writing is easy. Editing is a challenge. Getting published by a traditional house is even more of a challenge. Marketing and selling your works is the most frustrating of all. But never give up, ever.
If there is ‘a book in you’ then write it.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Keep reading regardless of whose books you decide to select.

Where can readers find you and your books?

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My books can be found on the site, sample chapters read, and books can be purchased in all formats directly from Amazon. My books are also available from most on-line book sellers.