Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Sharon Skretting, author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest series. Sharon is also a fellow educator.
First, a bit about Sharon:
Sharon Skretting is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru and the founder of Quest Teaching. She has been teaching elementary school for twenty years and lives with her husband and a cat named Scat! Now that her three children have grown, she is spreading her wings into the realm of professional writing. Being able to use her love of writing to excite her students about learning is a dream come true for Sharon. Her goal is to write fast-paced, excellent literature —filled with interesting characters, intrigue, danger, and intricate plots—that will hook readers aged 9 – 99 and make them want to read more!
Why did you pick to write books for Middle Grade readers?
They say that necessity breeds ingenuity. There is truth in that. I was terribly bored when the whole idea of teaching the curriculum through the narrative hit me. As the drone of the “professional development” presenter faded into the background of my thoughts, I started to wish that I had chosen a different session. Suddenly, I realized that I often do the same thing to my students. I bore them. If I wanted to learn from this session, then I needed it to be relevant, engaging, and connected to my teaching practice. That got me thinking: what if this presenter were presenting me with the same information, but it was presented through a story. Then I would be interested. Suddenly, there it was; the entire concept for Quest Teaching. What if…I could craft a story that would connect many curriculum concepts throughout the narrative, for my students?
What types of books do you like to read?
I like a real variety of books. Thrillers, true-life stories, and historical fiction rank high with me, but I love fantasy, too! Basically, I am pretty eclectic in my reading tastes. Any book that makes me think about things in a new way will be a hit with me!
When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I enjoy a lot of things. In the summer I golf, and in the winter I curl. During the day I’m a teacher so most of my writing is done in the evening hours or during vacation time. I also like blogging, building my website, and adding cool teaching resources to it that might help other teachers. The artwork is all mine, too, with the exception of the characters of Black Stan and Alistair. I created my own log, the chest, the coins, and all the other characters. Such fun. I love creating!
Tell us about The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru and how the story came to be.
Look up the name Faramund and you will find that it means “journey.” That’s how I got the name of my young main character for The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru. It suited my idea of leading my students on a journey of learning as they were lost in a story. I wanted a young character to lead readers on an incredible journey of intrigue, mystery, danger, and adventure. Though fictional, his character has many of the same qualities, fears, and traits that many twelve-year-old boys would have. The name suits him perfectly as the story opens with him finding out that his parents and ship crew have vanished! While searching the ship for clues as to their whereabouts, he finds an enchanted treasure chest that “chooses him as its captain” and leads him on a journey to find them and the Ultimate Treasure! As Christopher sets sail as the captain on his father’s ship, the Discovery, he and his crew of orphaned stowaways must face their fears and venture into the unknown. Who knows where they will end up, but I’m sure they will learn a lot along the way!
Here's a peek at The Jewel of Peru:
Their ship is here, but the crew and his parents are gone! What happened to them? The Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking young Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher’s missing parents.
After his father’s ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents or will all be lost forever?
What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?
I’m working on the sequel to The Jewel of Peru now and hope to have it released later this year. Everybody has been asking for it and I have to get it out there! I’ve also worked on a couple of shorter books that I might put out next year.
What advice do you have for other authors?
At this point I’m mostly trying to get advice and don’t feel all that qualified to give it, but I guess I would say, just enjoy the writing process! Write because you love it and want to share it with others! That way you will be excited about each new project. If even one person out there reads your books and appreciates what you’ve done, it is worth it. Share your gift.
Anything else you want readers to know?
The reason I write is to give them a great experience reading so I would love to hear from them on my website. Just come and leave me a comment or drop me an email using the gold envelope at the top! I promise I will reply! http://questteaching.com/wordpress/
Where can readers find you and your books?
Here’s my amazon author page: Sharon's Amazon Author Page