Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Writing Tips & Meet Author Steve Resnic Tem (better known for his horror stories)

Before getting to our author interview, here are some writing tips from 2017. As always, feel free to leave your own tips in the comments.

Write what inspires you, not what others think you should write. Be yourself, have your own voice. It’s a lot of hard work but if you are sincere in your craft you’ll find there are lots of people who are happy to help you reach your goalsB. Roman, author of The Moon Singer Trilogy.

There are several things I could say but one thing that comes to mind immediately is about reviews. If you get some bad reviews, don’t let them stop you from continuing to write. Yes, it’s disappointing, but it’s just possible that some of those bad reviews might turn out to be very helpful. Try to be objective and see what you can learn from them. The reviews for my first novel, The Ezekiel Code, were nearly equally divided by 4 and 5 star reviews on the upside and 1 and 2 star reviews on the downside. It took me a long time to get over the disappointment of the negative reviews but eventually I began to see that what many of those reviewers had to say was true. I made a concerted effort to learn from them so that my future work would show a marked improvement. I’ve made a lot of headway in that respect, and I’m still working at itGary Van Tenuta, author of The Lost Dreamstone.

Always remember to have fun with what you’re doing. If you enjoy what you’re writing, then it will show in your words. This goes for promoting your books too. Be excited and have fun with all the interviews, tweets, posts, and whatever else you do to get people to give your books a chance. Positive energy brings people in. It’s also one of the hardest things to maintain because you will get negative reviews and criticism, so make sure you have a solid support system to pick you up if you stumble. This is where social media can really come in handy because the helpful hands don’t always come from family and pre-author friendsCharles

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Writing Tips & Say Hello to MG Author Teresa Funke

Before getting to our author interview, I want to share more writing tips from authors I interviewed in 2016. Hope these inspire you! Please feel free to leave your own tip(s) in the comments.

I must have sent out close to 200 queries to agents and publishers regarding The Legend of Koolura. Finally, Solstice Publishing accepted it in 2011 for publication. So my advice to other authors is to NEVER give upMichael Thal, author of MG/YA Koolura Series.

Keep going, keep learning, keep developing. Manage your expectations. Only do it if you love it and want to do the best you canSteve Griffin, author of the MG series

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Fiona Ingram's WOW! Women on Writing Tour & Review

Welcome today to Fiona Ingram and the WOW Women on Writing Tour of The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. The complete tour schedule can be found at The Muffin/WOW.

Carpinello's Writing Pages is excited to be showcasing this latest book in Fiona's series The Chronicles of the Stone. It is a wonderful adventure for all ages and is great as a read aloud for families. 

I've known Fiona for many years now, and we, along with Wendy Leighton-Porter, make up The Quest Authors. Our combined website is Adventure Quest Books. We all write adventure thriller for Middle Grade readers and even manage to hook more mature readers also! We live in different parts of the world: Cheryl (me) in the USA, Fiona in Cyprus (formerly of South Africa, and Wendy in Abu Dhabi.

Today, though, is all about Fiona, so here we go!

First, a bit about Fiona:

Fiona Ingram is a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, she was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked her new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with her mother and two young nephews. They had a great time and she thought she’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, she had changed careers. She has now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in her middle grade adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a also for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3!

Fiona also teaches online novel writing for aspiring authors and finds that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds her enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. She loves doing research for her book series. Fiona loves animals and has written two animal rescue stories. She has two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.

You can find Fiona at –




Author Site:



Quest Books:

About the Book:

A plane crash! Lost in the jungle! Hunted by their old enemy, will Adam, Justin, and Kim survive long enough to find the Third Stone of Power? With only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, the kids make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the lost city of stone gods, where the Stone of Power might be located. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

My Review:

The Chronicles of the Stone series is an adventure-filled ride for middle graders and adults. In Book 1—The Secret of the Sacred Scarab—readers travel through the land of the pharaohs and across the steamy deserts of the mysterious Egypt with Justin and Adam as they search for the first Stone and face a deadly enemy.

In Book 2—The Search for the Stone of Excalibur—readers find themselves dodging not only their enemy Dr. Khalid, but a group called the Eaters of Poison as the boys, joined by young Kim, attempt to capture the second Stone of Power.

Now, in Book 3—The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper—Fiona once again literally drops readers and her intrepid young seekers of the Stones in the jungles of exotic Mexico where they encounter a familiar enemy and attract the unwanted attention of Smoking Mirror, an enemy who may be even more deadly than Dr. Khalid. Led by one no older than they, the three flee deeper in the jungle as young Tukum vows to led them to the hidden city and possibly the third stone. Be prepared to be thrust into the little known culture of the Aztec, the Mayan, and the uncontacted people in this latest non-stop adventure!

I enjoyed catching up with this group of young adventurers. Non-stop action, danger around every turn, as well as the magic and mystery surrounding the ancient jungles and people of Mexico will be sure to keep readers turning pages. I can't wait to see where we will travel to next!

You can find The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper and all of Fiona's Chronicles of the Stones books at these and all on-line book sellers:

Amazon US


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Writing Tips & Middle Grade Author Jessie Janowitz

Welcome! Before we meet our author, here are some writing tips from authors I interviewed in August and September, 2016. As always, feel free to leave your own tips in the comments.

Don't waste any time. I came late to writing and wish I could have started in my teensSilke Stein, author of Trina Bell's Humming Summer.

Write what’s close to youSuzanne de Montigny, author of the Shadow of the Unicorn series.

Know why you write and be passionate about following your "Why", for you will encounter many times of discouragement when only your "why" will see you through. Always know, if you're not passionate about your "why" no one else will be eitherL.R.W. Lee, author of Andy Smithton: Vision of the Griffin's Heart.

The best advice I can give is write daily, even if it’s only a few paragraphs and read every chance you getSteve Altier, author of Lizardville - The Ghost Story.

And now

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Jessie Janowitz, a first time middle grade author.

First, a bit about Jessie:

Jessie Janowitz is a graduate of Princeton University’s undergraduate creative writing program and holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School. She’s currently enrolled in the Writing for Children MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. This is her debut novel. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.

Why did you pick to write books for Middle Grade readers?

Two of my kids are in middle school, and I wanted to write the kind of books that they can never get enough of: family stories with a mix of humor and heart.

What types of books do you like to read?

Almost all books for kids. Mostly realistic fiction. I love good historical fiction, particularly ones with a bit of mystery. I love Gennifer Choldenko’s middle grade books, like Al Capone Does My Shirts and Chasing Secrets.

When you are not writing, what do you do?

I’m hanging out with my kids. I have three. I listen to a LOT of audiobooks. I just listened to The Hazel Wood with my kids, and I highly recommend it. I also love to travel with my family. Our last big trip was to India. It was magical, particularly the Himalayas, where we visited Buddhist monasteries.

Tell us about The Doughnut Fix and how the story came to be.

The Doughnut Fix is the story of a 12-year-old boy’s quest to start his own doughnut business in the tiny upstate NY town to which his family has moved from NYC.

There were two real sparks that set me on the path to writing The Doughnut Fix. Strangely perhaps, neither was a doughnut.

Spark #1: Back in 2008--I incubate stories for a long time before I put pen to paper--I witnessed kids being pulled from my son's school mid-year. It was during the financial crisis, and these families' circumstances had changed so drastically and suddenly that they had to leave their homes and community. It was clear that these kids sensed something had gone terribly wrong, but they were never told the complete story. Moving can be traumatic enough, and I wondered what that experience would be like if the decision was taken suddenly, and you knew you weren't getting all the facts.

Spark #2: This sign is in the window of a small market in a very small town I drive through all the time. It always made me laugh and wonder what the story behind it might be. There was something about the store, one that had seen better days, that made me suspect that it didn’t actually have chocolate cream doughnuts, which made the sign so much better, not as a potential doughnut source, of course, but as story material. A lying sign really got my imagination going.

Here's a peek at The Doughnut Fix:

Tristan isn't Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he's always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It's like suddenly they're supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters.

His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he's tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn't made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It's possible he's bitten off more than he can chew...

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

I’m at work on the sequel to The Doughnut Fix and can’t wait to share it with readers. It will be released in the spring.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Keep going! Revision is a powerful tool, an essential one, but it can also be your enemy. Don’t try to revise until you get to the end. If you keep tinkering on your way to the end of your story, you may never get there. Embrace the flawed first draft!

Anything else you want readers to know?

Yes! I believe (and have observed) kids really responding to the sense of empowerment that my main character Tris attains through his struggle to start his own doughnut business. In fact, it’s inspired me to launch The Doughnut Fix Start-Your-Own-Business Challenge ( so they can experience a bit of that for themselves. There’s an activity kit and a chance to win a prize!

Where can readers find you and your books?

Anywhere books are sold--Barnes and Noble, Amazon, IndieBound, Bam!, etc. To find out more about me and my work, you can visit me on, Twitter, or Facebook.