Thursday, November 10, 2016

Meet English Author G. L. Wilson

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes English Middle Grade author Geoff Warwick. He writes for kids as G. L. Wilson. Geoff is one of my favorite type of authors to interview because he's also an educator.

First, a bit about Geoff:

I’m a playwright and author. I’m also an English and Drama teacher. When I was younger I took some time out and worked in theatre, TV and radio. I live with my family in a chocolate box little village just outside the City of Cambridge where I’ve set most of the action in my MG series The Campion Quartet. I studied Italian and that got me travelling. Since then I’ve been all over the world and only have a China and Russia left on my wish list. Before and during College, to pay my way, I had all kinds of crazy jobs, the worst being in a factory where they cut up animals and skinned them. I had to hang up the skins.Yuk. The best job was running a disco in Florence. Very cool.

Why did you pick to write Middle Grade books?

I first started writing for children when I was teaching. I wrote plays for kids and adults. Later I had one idea that I tried out with my pupils and was lucky enough to find that an agency that liked the writing. I stayed with that agency for a few years but then went off to write adult novels. However, a couple of years ago I came back to Campion’s Choice, something I’d worked on with publishers but never got round to fully developing. Writing for an MG readership means that I can focus on storytelling. I hope I’ve managed to come up with a fast paced, funny, original, series. I hope your readers think so too!


What types of books do you like to read?

Everything. I did an English degree and then taught English so books have been my life. We had a motto, ‘To give children words is to give them the World’.  Books have given me many different worlds! I’ve have always been mad about books from Just William stories, through to Tolkien, on to Jane Austen and Shakespeare, with Terry Pratchett and JK Rowling thrown in for good measure. I like different books for different times – good stories for beach reads, thoughtful writing for the winter.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Traveling, cooking, growing vegetables, watching films, going to the theatre, visiting galleries, attending concerts, angrily shouting at soccer matches on the TV. There’s always something new and exciting (and frustrating) just around the corner to enrich my life.

Tell us about Campion’s Choice and how the story came to be.

It all started out with a blurry photograph. I looked at it and pieces seemed to be moving. I thought then that it looked like time passing had been captured. That gave me the idea for ‘How to take a picture of the future’ – a kid finds that, when he takes a photo, he can use it to look at the past or look into the future. To begin with my main character was going to be a teen detective, but that idea had already been taken so Campion’s Choice went its own way. Before I knew it, I was writing about aliens living in thatched cottages and being in charge of a famous Cambridge College.

Here's a peek at Campion's Choice:

After the Dadster’s accident Jack didn’t have any choice. He had to be good; he had to help out; he had to keep hope alive.

After the coins arrived everything changed.

When the universe turns upside down, when the world goes crazy, when you never know who are the bad guys and who are your friends life is suddenly full of tough choices.

If you had to save your father or save the planet what would you choose?

This is Jack Campion’s choice.




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

My children’s books were all part of a collaborative series that schools used. My adult books were very different and that’s why I went for the pen name G L Wilson.

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

I’m putting the finishing touches to Campion’s Change – Book Two in the Campion Quartet. I guarantee you will never guess what the change is. I’m also making notes for a new adult novel set in 1975 about a boy who is bullied by a teacher and decides to take revenge.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Enjoy writing. Accept that it’s something very, very important to you, something you love doing. Don’t write to be successful or famous. You spend a lot of time, on your own, when you are writing, and you should only do it if it makes you really happy. Otherwise you can waste an awful lot of your life, being alone and feeling miserable.

Anything else you want readers to know?

It’s been great to talk to you. When you’ve read Campion’s Choice please get in touch with your views. I’m running a competition for a local school, and the kids there are coming up with brilliant 140 word tweets and character sketches. I’d love to see anything like that and promise I will post them on my website. It’s here - www.takethecoins.com
Thanks again for having me, now get back to reading a good book.

Where can readers find you and your books?

MG readers can find the ebook/paperback versions of Campion’s Choice on Amazon
My website also has my books.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Meet Children's Author Marti Dumas

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes from the Big Easy children's author Marti Dumas.

First, a bit about Marti:

Marti Dumas is a native New Orleanian with a passion for storytelling. When she is not teaching or parenting, she is reading or writing. She prefers to do some combination of the above within view of ancient oak trees or the banks of the river. Or both.

Why did you pick to write books for children?

I loved to read as a child. My fondest memories are of being in some unlikely nook or cranny reading The Swiss Family Robinson or The Chronicles of Narnia and the like. As I grew up, my taste expanded but, much to my own surprise, I’ve never stopped reading or loving children’s books. So when I started writing I didn’t even think about it. Stories for children are just what come naturally from my brain.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love fantasy stories, particularly ones that feature plucky and/or bookish girls.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

When I’m not writing I love going on adventures with my children. Sometimes we’re traveling to new places. That might mean discovering a new part of the zoo together or a new part of the country (last summer we went to the Smoky Mountains—spectacular). But other times adventuring means that we’re all curled up on the sofa reading together or discovering new digital worlds in role playing video games.

Tell us about Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest and how the story came to be.

Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest is series of stories that I’m writing for my son with a character that is roughly based on him. Jaden is a kindergarten genius who uses science and ninja dancing to solve his problems. They’re pretty funny and perfectly suited for kids who are old enough to feel wiser than Jaden Toussaint, but young enough to still see where he’s coming from.

Here's a peek at Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest, Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time:

Giant Afro. Even Bigger Brain. Animal Scientist. Great Debater. Master of the art of ninja dancing. There's nothing Jaden Toussaint can't do. A 5 year-old scientist and all around cool dude, Jaden is on a mission to convince the grown-ups that he needs more SCREEN TIME. His only weapons are science, ninja dancing, and his super-powered brain power. Can Jaden Toussaint get the grown-ups to change their minds?

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

Yes! I have also written a fantasy story about a little girl who gets sucked into a mirror and becomes a wolf on the other side. It’s called Jala and the Wolves, and it’s a great starter book for young people who might be interested in fantasy.

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

Also, yes. Right now I’m co-writing a fantasy series with another writer. These stories are meant for older kids—say 8 to 13—and are filled with lot of action and cool fantasy elements. Hint: In this series humans and faeries are technically the same species.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Write because you love it. Write even when you don’t love it. And never doubt that you can make a living doing what you love.

Anything else you want readers to know?

If you sign up to my mailing list you can check out a couple of my books for free. Sign up at: http://www.martidumasbooks.com/#!meet-marti-dumas-fb/n6lh5.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Everywhere books are sold, including Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And if your local bookshop doesn’t have them in stock, please ask them to order them!

My website
Twitter
Facebook
Amazon

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Writing Tips & the 80th Kid Lit Blog Hop

Carpinello's Writing Pages is back with writing tips on this final 2016 Hop. As with many, the holidays get hectic with families. Me, as well as others writers, are also trying to finish projects before year's end. We invite you to join us and Hop with us this month. We will be back in January with familiar and new faces and a heck of a lot more energy!

But now, here are those writing tips from authors interviewed in November and December 2015. Please feel feel to leave your own advice in the comments.

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,

Welcome to the 80th Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting Hop, now monthly, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature.

 


On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews
MG author Steve Griffin

and
Children's author Marti Dumas

 

Fall is here and Halloween is in a mere two weeks...WOW! There are some really great Halloween and Autumn books out there for children. We have seen some listed already. We invite you to share some of those on our monthly hop or for that matter, any great kid's literature. We love it all!


Have you seen the Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page. This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.


This monthly hop, is designed to engage a group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!


So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to Children’s literature only and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.


Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the one or two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post. Note: Make sure you have the newest badge as the old one goes to the wrong page.

We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.


Remember our next hop will be January 18, 2017.

Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.

Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Host

The Bookshelf Gargoyle

BeachBoundBooks

Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook


Meet MG English Author Steve Griffin

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes MG author Steve Griffin from all the way across the big pond!

First, a bit about Steve:

I grew up in Warwickshire, England, and at school I used to write all the time – action adventure stories involving my friends as heroes and villains, which got passed around the class. I was sure I was going to be a writer, but somehow it all got lost during my college years in Southampton and Stirling, in Scotland. I began writing poetry in my twenties at the same time as working for environmental organisations, first in the old industrial valleys of south Wales, then in London. I was spurred on by getting poems published in poetry magazines and for schools. Then a few visits to a lovely garden in a remote part of Herefordshire gave me the idea for a new adventure / mystery series, The Secret of the Tirthas, and I began writing adventure stories again. I now work part-time for a charity in London and live in the Surrey Hills with my wife and two young boys. I write whenever I get the chance!

The City of Light, Book 1, is currently FREE on Amazon.

Why did you pick to write books for MG?

I write mainly for the older middle grade / teen audience. There’s a huge flourishing of imagination and independence at this age which makes it possible to believe in heroes who deal with things that adults and even older teens would struggle to cope with.

What types of books do you like to read?

I read very widely—a lot of contemporary fiction—but I also like contemporary fantasy, things where the supernatural infringes subtly on everyday reality. A lot of the best of this is written for younger readers (The Dark Rising, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, more recently The Lie Tree).

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I live in a lovely area of rolling pine-clad hills just 25 miles south of London, so I love getting out and rambling. When I lived in Scotland I did a lot of proper hill walking, but it’s going to be a while before I can get my two small boys up a mountain! Thankfully, there’s nothing too high for them here in Surrey. I also love reading, and socializing and going to gigs with friends in London. And of course messing around with the boys…

Tell us about The Dreamer Falls and how the story came to be.

The Dreamer Falls is the third book in the adventure mystery series The Secret of the Tirthas. The series was inspired by a fabulous garden my parents-in-law used to own, deep in the Herefordshire countryside, which was made up of two dozen hedged ‘rooms’ full of curious statues, fountains, and artwork. When I stayed there, I had the idea for a story in which each ‘room’ contained a portal to a sacred place on the planet. From there it didn’t take long before I had my heroine, Lizzie Jones, a resolute and thoughtful girl who inherits the house from her great-uncle. In the first book, The City of Light—currently FREE on Amazon—with the help of her great-uncle’s little dog, Lizzie soon discovers the portal to the sacred Indian city of Kashi, where street children are being killed by the notorious ‘Pisaca of Kashi’. She comes to suspect that the killer is an intruder in her garden, using the portal to evade capture. What will she do?

Here's a peek at The Dreamer Falls:

A mysterious garden full of portals in the English countryside.

An ancient book, warning of supernatural beings preying on humankind.

A missing boy – and a girl who has seen too much.

Living with the secret of the tirthas is getting too much for Lizzie Jones. Even when her friend Xing warns her of the plans of the evil beings using the portals, she decides she’s had enough. After all, they’ve defeated all the demons, haven’t they?

Then Lizzie finds a discarded phone by an African mask in one of the gardens. The phone of local village boy Thomas Bennett, who has recently disappeared. She enlists the help of a teenage shaman and his sister to track the boy, who has been kidnapped by bandits. The adventure takes Lizzie deep into the rainforest. When she is furthest away from home she encounters one of her oldest and most deadly foes.

Once again, Lizzie must act – but what can she do?

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

Yes. Each book in The Secret of the Tirthas focuses on a new portal in the garden, which leads to a new adventure, whilst also building towards an overarching story in which a group of demons and humans intend to corrupt the power of the tirthas for their own evil ends. In the second novel, The Book of Life, Lizzie is chased by half-crazy men and boys to an isolated villa on the Louisianan bayou, where a sickly girl and her helper are trapped. There she has to solve the mystery of the house’s grisly past before she can get back home.

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

Yes, I’m working on the next book in this series, which has a working title of The Lady in the Moon-Moth Mask.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Keep going, keep learning, keep developing. Manage your expectations. Only do it if you love it and want to do the best you can.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I’ve had over fifty poems published, in magazines such as Poetry Ireland, The New Welsh Review, and Poetry Scotland. You can check some out on my website, or by searching #stevegriffinpoems on Instagram.

The City of Light, Book 1, is currently FREE on Amazon.

Where can readers find you and your books?

My website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Goodreads

Ebooks and paperbacks:
AmazonUK
AmazonUS
The ebooks are also available at most ebook retailers including Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo etc.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reluctant Readers and the 79th Kid Lit Blog Hop

Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers is proud to announce the 2nd re-release happening the end of September—should the stars be in alignment.

Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend 
 will soon be sporting this new cover and the new branding.



And now,

Welcome to the 79th Kid Lit Blog Hop! On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews:

MG/YA Author Steve Altier 

and 

MG/YA Author Michael Thal 


KLBH-Button-FINAL.jpg


We want to welcome you to the September 2016 Kid Lit Blog Hop. Fall is finally here...YAY! There are some really great Autumn books out there for children. We have seen some list already. How about you share some of those on our monthly hop or for that matter, any great kid's literature.



This exciting, monthly hop, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!



Have you seen the new Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page? This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.


So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to Children’s literature only and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.



Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the one-two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post. Note: Make sure you have the newest badge as the old one goes to the wrong page.

We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.


Our next hop will be October 19, 2016.  Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.

Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Host

Julie Grasso

BeachBoundBooks

Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

The Bookshelf Gargoyle

Meet MG/YA Author Michael Thal

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes MG/YA author Michael Thal. Michael is one of my favorite types of authors: a retired school teacher!

First, a bit about Michael:

Michael is the author of five published novels—Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura SeriesThe Legend of Koolura, Koolura and The Mystery at Camp Saddleback, and Koolura and the Mayans. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner (online) writing articles about parenting and education.

Moving from the frigid Northeast to comfy Southern California in 1973, Michael taught elementary and middle school for 28 years until a freak virus left him deafened at the age of 50. He reinvented himself as a writer composing over 80 published articles in print magazines as well as novels for middle grade and high school aged students.

Why did you pick to write books for Middle Grade and YA?

I taught elementary and middle school for almost three decades. I know how these kids think. Therefore that audience was a perfect fit for my imagination to reach out to.

What types of books do you like to read?

To keep up with what’s happening in the YA/MG community, I read a lot of books from that genre. I also like science fiction, action adventure, and legal dramas, like John Grisham’s books.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I make sure I work out at least 5 days a week. I also enjoy spending time with my daughter and my grandkids.

Tell us about Koolura and the Mayans and how the story came to be.

The roots of that story go back to when my oldest daughter was in sixth grade. She didn’t want to read. So I said, “If I write a really cool book will you read it?” To which she said, “Maybe.” So I gave it a shot. The Legend of Koolura was published seventeen years later. True to her word, Channie read it. Koolura and the Mayans was inspired by a family trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. In book two of the Koolura Series, Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback, Koolura’s dad announces his engagement to Terri Lather. Since my cousin Adam was married in Oaxaca, why couldn’t Koolura’s father? Also, throughout the series the source of Koolura’s powers keeps on popping up. In Koolura and the Mayans that alien technology is explained.

Here's a peek at Koolura and the Mayans:

Koolura is no ordinary girl. Neither is her best friend Leila. While visiting Mexico, the girls discover a device which hurtles them back in time to an early Mayan civilization. The Mayans have troubles of their own—the alien Aquari people have all but enslaved them. They need a goddess to set them free. Could Koolura be the one?

Enjoy this excerpt:

“Oh, my God!” Leila exclaimed. “This is a Mayan crypt.”

“How do you know?” Koolura asked.

Leila pointed to a wall etching. “That’s a drawing of a Mayan nobleman or king. Crypts like these were reserved for them.”

Leila stood in the room’s center and reached out. She touched the cool rugged walls with the palms of her hands. The length of the room was twice as long, and the ceiling was about twelve feet over their heads. At the apex of the ceiling shone a bright light.

Koolura pointed toward it. “What’s causing that?”

“I don’t know.”

“There’s only one way to find out.” Koolura took Leila’s hand and the girls levitated slowly to the cavern ceiling.

As Koolura got closer to the light, her face turned white as ash.

“What’s wrong?” Leila asked.

“Oh no! This can’t be!”

As Koolura edged away, Leila grabbed the plastic device hooked onto the ceiling, and they descended to the crypt floor.

Noticing the device in Leila’s hand, Koolura backed up against the stonewall, her face still white. “Be careful with that,” she gasped.

Leila studied the device. It looked like a gun used by the early North American Pilgrims, but this one emitted a steady beam of light from its barrel. Then she looked at her friend. “You know what this is?”

Koolura nodded. “It’s a Decoolerizer.”

“I thought you said you destroyed this last year in Las Vegas.”

“This must be another one!”

Koolura paced up and down the narrow room thinking as Leila examined the gun and noticed alien writing on its underside. “Look at this.”

Koolura shook her head. “I’m not going near that thing.”

“Did Neb’s Decoolerizer have writing on it?” Leila asked.

Neb, a wayward transient, had stalked Koolura and her father for years with the Decoolerizer, the device capable of absorbing all of Koolura’s psychic powers. Neb planned on stealing her psychic gifts and making them his own.

“I never got that close enough to check. When Neb came at me with that thing, I thought ‘hot sun,’ and the device melted.”

Leila studied the Mayan hieroglyphics. “I think it says, ‘Help!’”

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

Goodbye Tchaikovsky is the story of an eleven-year-old violin virtuoso who on his twelfth birthday wakes up deaf. A virus that left me deafened during the prime of my life inspired it. I was curious how a child would handle such a catastrophe. The novel takes readers through David Rothman’s middle school/high school experiences until he graduates from high school in search of a career.

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

My fiancĂ© died last year from cancer. Jila and I were together for 16 wonderful years. She grew up deaf and Jewish in an Islamic state. Jila’s childhood in Iran wasn’t easy, but she came out of the experience a warm-hearted and loving woman. My newest novel with the working title, Gem of Peace, will take about two years to write after interviewing Jila’s family and researching life in Tehran during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

What advice do you have for other authors?

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 up.

Anything else you want readers to know?

The Abduction of Joshua Bloom started with a dream when I was in my twenties. It finally was published 40 years later. So I strongly suggest to any budding authors out there to write down those dreams, and then flesh them out. Also, never give up on your dreams. Go through life with a smile. Even when you speak to someone on the phone, wear that smile. They can hear it in your voice. You’ll be happier with yourself, and with everyone else.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Good question. Readers can find me and my books at the following links:
Web site
Pop’s Blog
Goodbye Tchaikovsky
Amazon Author Page

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Meet MG/YA Author Steve Altier

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes author Steve Altier. Steve recently switched from writing Middle Grade stories to YA.

First,  a bit about Steve:

I was born in a small town in central Pennsylvania. I currently live in the Tampa Bay Metro area with my wife. I have four daughters and three loving cats. I enjoy writing YA and MG stories.

Why did you pick to write books for Young Adults?

I started out writing MG children’s books. This recent story is a YA. I wanted to step up and try something a little different and expand my horizons.



What types of books do you like to read?

I read paranormal stories, YA thrillers, and Dystopia. I’m a BIG science fiction nut. I just finished the 5th Wave and currently I'm reading the 2nd book, The Infinite Sea.


When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I love reading and bowling, spending time at amusement parks. I love to travel and take trips to the beach, that’s why I live in Florida.  I also enjoy spending quality time with friends and family.

Tell us about Lizardville - The Ghost Story and how the story came to be.

I grew up in a small town in central Pennsylvania; it was out in the middle of nowhere. The road I lived on was called Lizardville Road. The story contains some of my childhood memories along with many things that never happened. This story came to me one day when I was chatting with an old high school friend on Facebook. They mentioned how many people can say "they grew up in Lizardville" and the light bulb went on. I knew I had to write this story.

Here's a peek at Lizardville - The Ghost Story:

The world outside sounds menacing as loud thunderous cracks rained down on the home. In the middle of this fierce raging storm with no electricity, siblings Zack and Daniel turn to their father, John Malone. Feeling the boys are now old enough to learn the truth about his childhood, John decides to share a family secret that he’s kept locked away, a secret that changed John’s life forever.   

In a small Pennsylvania town called Lizardville, a young boy named Johnny and his friends set out on a weekend camping trip along the banks of Big Fishing Creek. On the first night, as the boys gather around the campfire, Parker shares a story that happened nearly eighty years ago, the legend of the Ax Factory murders. 

Soon after, strange, mysterious things begin to happen. Little do the boys realize they have awakened the spirit world! Jimmy, unable to sleep, comes face to face with a ghost named Annabelle. She is searching for something and knows the boys are hiding what she seeks. Could the secret lie in an old puzzle box? As this spine tingling, edge of your seat adventure unfolds, one question remains: Will they survive the weekend?

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

This is my fourth book; the first three are MG chapter books. In We Can’t Move at Christmas a family struggles with moving at Christmas. Readers meet two young children, Gabby and her younger brother, Maddox, who worry that Santa won’t find them at Christmas. They have no new address. Will Santa have to deliver their presents to a hotel, they wonder? Luckily for them, Santa’s Family Moving Department, an elite group of elves, is on the case.

I used the same characters in the second book Gabby and Maddox: Adventures in Italy. It's a story that takes our siblings back in time to the days of Ancient Rome and the great chariot races and gladiator battles.


My third MG book is called Blast Off with Gaby and Maddox, which is a space adventure where the children join the C.A.P, Children’s Astronaut Program, and travel to space and get to meet some friendly aliens.


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

I've thought about a sequel to Lizardville, but I’m not sure I want to do that at this time, but I haven’t ruled it out. I’m currently working on another YA paranormal story. I don’t have a title for it yet. The story takes place in a library where a lot of strange things continue to happen. Most of the story is about the library and the group of teens that study there.

What advice do you have for other authors?

The best advice I can give is write daily, even if it’s only a few paragraphs and read every chance you get.

Anything else you want readers to know?

A lot of work goes into writing a story. I always thought it was an easy process. Wow, was I wrong. It’s a fun experience and very gratifying when you see the finished product. The best part I enjoy is reading the reviews from the readers. Good or bad, I enjoy them all, and I learn from them.

Where can readers find you and your books?

My Website: Steve Altier

My books:
Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and other online booksellers
Also in select Barnes & Noble stores in the Florida market

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Meet Fantasy Author L. R. W. Lee

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Texas author L. R. W. Lee who writes fantasy for Middle Graders and Young Adults

First, a bit about L. R. W. Lee:

L. R. W. Lee credits her love of fantasy to C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia with The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Later on, she enjoyed the complex world of Middle Earth brought to life by J. R. R. Tolkien in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. The multiple dimensions of the worlds mixed with a layer of meaning captivated her and made her desire to invent worlds others could get lost in, but also take meaning away from. More recently, L. R. W. Lee has found inspiration from J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series as well as Brandon Mull and his best selling Fablehaven, Beyonders and Five Kingdoms series.

L. R. W. Lee writes to teach her readers principles that can transform their lives – overcoming frustration, impatience, fear and more. She also shows why responsibility, diligence and dignity are the keys to true success in life. L. R. W. Lee lives in scenic Austin, TX with her husband. Their daughter just started her first job, for Microsoft, and their son serves in the Air Force.

Why did you pick to write books for MG/YA?

I love this age, and I remember the books I read at this stage. Teens today have so many challenges facing them, seemingly more and on a grander scale than when I was growing up—I feel like I lived a relatively sheltered childhood comparatively. When I was growing up, the common notion was to work hard and keep your nose clean, and you would succeed. Today, I see culture and society lacking narratives about how to cope with the challenges teens face. There’s no story about what it really takes to succeed today. There’s no narrative about dealing with fear or impatience, let alone frustration and more. My books bring forth these narratives in a way readers can grasp and apply, all as part of the story line.

What types of books do you like to read?

I am a YA Fantasy Romance junkie.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Read. Sorry to be so boring, but I’ve traveled to worlds and times and more, in the comfort of my easy chair. It’s hardly a boring pastime.

Tell us about Vision of the Griffin's Heart and how the story came to be.

Vision of the Griffin’s Heart is the fifth book in the Andy Smithson coming-of-age, epic fantasy series.

The narrative came to be out of my desire to write a book in the fashion of my literary heroes J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling and others. In this series, I develop five layers throughout the story: 1) Andy Smithson at home in Lakehills, TX; 2) Andy Smithson in Oomaldee; 3) Imogenia, the girl who was murdered, from the afterlife. She is the one who got Andy involved to begin with; 4) Andy’s conscience; and 5) a meaning layer. 

Here's a peek at Vision of the Griffin's Heart:

Four years ago, Andy Smithson discovered he was the Chosen one to break a 500-yr-old curse plaguing the land of Oomaldee when he unexpectedly and mysteriously found himself there. To do so, he must collect ingredients for a magical potion. Thus far he has gathered the scale of a red dragon, venom from a giant serpent, a unicorn’s horn, and the tail feather of a phoenix. Now he must ask a griffin for one of its talons. There’s just one problem…humans have poached griffin treasure, causing these mythical creatures to attack on sight.

Complicating matters, the evil Abaddon, sovereign of Oomaldee’s northern neighbor, is turning more and more citizens into zolt in his ongoing campaign of terror as he sets in motion the final steps of his plan to conquer the land.




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

As I mentioned above, Griffin's Heart is the fifth book in Andy Smithson series. The other are the prequel Power of the Heir's Passion, Book 1 Blast of the Dragon's Fury, Book 2 Venom of the Serpent's Cunning, Book 3 Disgrace of the Unicorn's Honor, and Book 4 Resurrection of the Phoenix's Grace.

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

Book six is up next after I complete the re-write of book one in the series. Why am I re-writing book one, especially since it’s free? My craft has dramatically improved over the past 3-4 years, thanks in large part to my editor, and even though the book is free, it is the determining factor as to whether folks newly introduced to the series will read more of the books or not. 

What advice do you have for other authors?

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 either.


Anything else you want readers to know?

If you love YA fantasy and sci-fi, every week I host a YouTube channel called Book Nerd Paradise where I help you get to know a YA fantasy or sci-fi author as they read from their work, pose a fun book trivia question, share their favorite quote and do a giveaway! Ten minutes of your time can help you decide if you want to spend more time with an author who is new to you. Find the channel at http://bit.ly/BookNerdParadiseYouTube

Also, stop by my author blog where I’m constantly posting my reviews of YA fantasy and sci-fi books I’ve recently read. It’s also a great way discover new books. Warning, your TBR will grow! 


Where can readers find you and your books?

Amazon
B&N 
Google Play
 

Website
Blog
Twitter

Facebook1 
Facebook Book Nerd Paradise
Goodreads

Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers and the 78th Kid Lit Blog Hop

A few months back (May 2016), I wrote a post about author branding and how I was addressing that in the coming months. Well, it is now time to introduce you to my new author branding:

Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers

And the first re-release in this series : 

Young Knights of the Round Table:
The King's Ransom


I will always be, first and foremost, an educator, and my desire has, and will be, to entice young readers to read and read more. This was my motivation to start writing my stories and continues to be my inspiration.

I want to thank Kathy at Bublish for taking on the distribution of my stories. There's plenty of good news yet to come from this union as Kathy and I work on connecting with schools, librarians, teachers, and students.

And, in case you're wondering, Christopher Berge of Berge Design did the fabulous cover for Young Knights and will do all of my future covers.

Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom is now available on Amazon.

And Now,

We want to welcome you to the 78th Kid Lit Blog Hop. On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews

MG author Silke Stein

and

MG/YA author L. R. W. Lee


KLBH-Button-FINAL.jpg


It's back to school time! Some kids are already in school, some are going soon. The kids will be bringing home great books from their libraries. How about sharing some of those on our monthly hop or for that matter, any great kid's literature.

This month we welcome a new co-host Bruce from the Bookshelf Gargoyle! We welcome you aboard and so glad you are here with us!

This exciting, monthly hop, is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Have you seen the new Kid Lit Blog Hop Facebook fan page. This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.

So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to Children’s literature only and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.

Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the one-two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those. Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.

We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.

Our next hop will be September 21, 2016. Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you. Happy Hopping!


Reading Authors, Host

Julie Grasso

BeachBoundBooks

Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

Hits and Misses


Meet Author Silke Stein

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes German-born author Silke Stein. As you will find out, Silke is exploring a number of genres with her writing.

First, a bit about Silke:

I'm a graphic designer but like to write in my spare time. Trina Bell’s Humming Summer is my first novel. I love Victoria, British Columbia, where I currently live. It is a wondrous place that has inspired my story.

Why did you pick to write books for MG?

I'm still at the beginning of my writing adventure and haven't settled on a particular genre yet. Trina Bell's Humming Summer is a middle grade novel, but I have just finished a children's novella that can be enjoyed by all ages, and the book I'm currently writing is a romantic mystery for adults. Whatever audience I'm writing for, I want them to have a great emotional experience.


What types of books do you like to read?

I read a lot of contemporary literary fiction, and I love classic science fiction.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

Just like my protagonist, Trina, I love to roam the shores and parks of Victoria. Hummingbird-watching, beach-combing and hunting for sea glass are my favorite outdoor activities. Inside, I mostly have my nose in a book when I'm not play-testing a new game my partner has created.

Tell us about Trina Bell's Humming Summer and how the story came to be.

Trina Bell's Humming Summer is the story of a twelve-year-old girl who lives with her elderly aunt but longs to spend time with her father – a famous wildlife photographer who travels the globe and mostly ignores her. When she finally convinces him to take her with him to the Canadian rainforest on a hunt for the elusive spirit bear, her triumph is short-lived.

I'm from Germany, and when I started spending time in Victoria because of my Canadian partner, I fell in love with the city: its beautiful scenery (the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains) and its amazing wildlife – particularly the hummingbirds (we don't have them in Europe). I got the idea to tell my niece and nephew back home about my 'adventures' through a story. My partner suggested to make the protagonist a young girl, and so Trina was born.

Here's a peek at Trina Bell's Humming Summer:

Shooting ghost bears? Twelve-year-old Trina Bell has finally had enough. Why should she spend another dull summer watching Great-Aunt Roswinda play lawn bowling, while her father has all the fun? This year, she won’t let him get away with the usual excuses. To her surprise, she succeeds. Her dad, the famous wildlife photographer, agrees to take her to the Canadian rainforest, on a quest for the elusive Kermode bear. Trina’s triumph is short-lived, however; soon she finds herself in a city on Vancouver Island, dumped in a strange apartment building that may not be what it seems. But when she befriends Moss, the three-legged dog living across the street, and becomes involved in a mysterious case of vanishing hummingbirds, events take an astonishing turn...



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

I started out writing lyrics and short stories for children. Recently I've completed a novella about a girl who, after finding a mysterious silver violin on her bedroom rug, is faced with the scary prospect of never sleeping again. It's called Sleep, Merel, Sleep and I hope to get it published soon.

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

I'm currently working on a novel inspired by Anderson's The Little Mermaid. There will be a lot of diving but no 'real' mermaids.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Don't waste any time. I came late to writing and wish I could have started in my teens.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I'm thankful for every review and love to hear from readers how they liked Trina and her story.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Trina Bell's Humming Summer is available as ebook and paperback on Amazon and Barnes&Noble. If you would rather support local business: the paperback can be ordered with title and ISBN (9781364932923) at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore around the corner.

Silke Stein Author
Twitter
Facebook



Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Meet Canadian MG/YA Author Suzanne de Montigny

Carpinello's Writing Pages is pleased to welcome back Canadian author Suzanne de Montigny along with her newest book.

First, a bit about Suzanne:

Award winning author, Suzanne de Montigny, wrote her first novella when she was twelve. Years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with writing. She lives in Burnaby, B.C., Canada with the four loves of her life – her husband, two boys, and Buddy the dog.

Why did you pick to write books for Middle Grade/YA?

I taught elementary music for 20 years and that’s the age group I liked the best.

What types of books do you like to read?

I like a wide variety of books, but I’m not too crazy about action-packed stories. I’m more of a drama person. However, I loved Harry Potter. I was sorry when it ended.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

In the winter, we snowboard. It’s such a great escape into a winter wonderland high above the clouds. My boys and I are also heavily involved in music. Every summer, we go to a fiddling camp in Quebec. I also love hiking and cycling.

Tell us about A Town Bewitched and how the story came to be.

A Town Bewitched strangely came as a result of fiddling camp. The first time we attended a fiddling camp when my boys were nine and seven, we came back super hyped. We’d play our fiddles like fiends, walking around the house to the beat of the music. We were on fire. Then, a few months later, I thought, “Suppose what happened to us happened to an entire town, only there was something really wrong with the fiddler.” At first I giggled about it, thinking it was the dumbest idea ever, but it wouldn’t let go of me, so finally I sat down and wrote it. And I’m glad I did because it ended up winning Best Coming of Age Novel in the Dante Rossettie Competition.

Here's a peek at A Town Bewitched:





It’s tough for Kira, growing up in the small town of Hope as a child prodigy in classical violin, especially when her dad just died. And to make matters worse, Kate McDonough, the red-haired fiddler appears out of nowhere and bewitches the town with her mysterious Celtic music. Even Uncle Jack succumbs to her charms, forgetting his promise to look after Kira’s family. But when someone begins vandalizing the town leaving dead and gutted birds as a calling card, Kira knows without a doubt who’s behind it.






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

Sure have. I’ve written a series entitled: Shadow of the Unicorn. It’s a trilogy about unicorns who survive an asteroid only to be exploited for the healing power of their horns with the coming of the humans. I’ve just finished book 3, The Revenge about a unicorn who’s born with something terribly wrong about him, but is very gifted. He’s bullied so much that he attacks the herd, using his gifts against them and they can’t stop him.

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

I’m about to begin a historical romance novel about a young woman who immigrates to Canada to get married after WWI.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Write what’s close to you.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Yes. That half of all my proceeds from my Shadow of the Unicorn series is donated to the Third World Eye Care Society, a group of eye specialists who travel to third world countries delivering thousands of pairs of used eyeglasses and performing eye surgery for free.

Where can readers find you and your books?
Amazon
Kobo
Chapters Indigo
Barnes & Noble
Book Trailer

Monday, July 25, 2016

Drops of Sunshine Blog Tour




With a job as a camp counselor, sixteen-year-old Nina heads to the wilderness for summer break. With her year all she wants is an escape. But some special kids can hear her thoughts and she can't hide her head in the sand like she planned. Can Nina come to terms with all her swirling emotions? Sometimes all it takes is a drop of sunshine!















Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia and now lives in Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. Drops of Sunshine is her first young adult and paranormal work. First published in Spellbound, a YA paranormal novella collection, it has already received great reviews. Tricia’s clean new adult Being Me series includes the titles Is This Me?, If I Could Fly, and Think You Know Me. The series finale is due out September 2016. If not on the trail, you can find Tricia at triciacopeland.com or on many social media channels.