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—Teresa R. Funke, author of the MG historical Home-Front Heroes.
Just write and don’t let anyone else decide what success means—William Stuart, author of the MG/YA fantasy series The Gemstone Chronicles.
Do it. For years I hid my writing away and did not share it with anyone. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that other people, not just my friends and family, also enjoyed my stories—Gail Truax, children's author of Greymalkin the Queen's Cat.
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:
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?
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.