Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Meet MG Author Matt Harry

Welcome to Carpinello's Writing Pages where I introduce you to new authors, famous authors, and old friends! Today we have middle grade author Matt Harry, no stranger to writing and entertainment, with his second book in the Codex Arcanum series which was just released Nov. 5th. I've just started book one Sorcery for Beginners and am excited to get into it
 
Here's a bit about Matt:

I've been writing since I was a middle grader. I learned to make movies at the University of Southern California, which was the closest I could get to attending Hogwarts in the real world. Since then I worked as an editor, screenwriter, director, producer, and college professor. I live in Los Angeles with my wife and two sons, all of whom (thankfully) like to read.

Why did you pick to write books for MG?


First off, I find that middle grade stories are the ones I like reading best. MG protagonists are at such a crucial stage in life: trying to figure out what kind of people they want to be, but not quite yet burdened with all the social issues teenagers face (and which I find trying to write about). Secondly, I love engaging with middle grade readers. They’re so excited about books and magic and adventure — all things I like to write about.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love reading MG but I also have a preference for grounded sci-fi and fantasy. Anything too alien or macho is hard for me to relate to, but give me a wise-cracking, ordinary schmo who discovers some bit of magic/futuristic tech, and I’m on board. Some recent favorites include the Brilliance trilogy, The Library at Mount Char, and All the Birds in the Sky.

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

I love food, whether it’s going out to eat or cooking something interesting at home. One of the best parts of living in Los Angeles is that there’s so much amazing cuisine to try, from taco trucks to Michelin-starred sushi restaurants. I’ve lived here for 20 years, and I still haven’t tried them all! What we’re having for the next meal is a frequent discussion in our house, often times while we’re enjoying the current meal. But since I can’t eat all the time, I also like playing video games, watching movies, and hiking.

Tell us about Cryptozoology for Beginners and how the story came to be.

Cryptozoology is the sequel to Sorcery for Beginners, in which a group of middle schoolers find a help guide for magic, then have to keep it from being stolen by bad guys. In this book, I wanted to explore another magical element from the beginner’s perspective. I considered Magical Places, Magical Artifacts, and Time Travel before settling on Cryptozoology, the study of undiscovered (and in my books, magical) creatures.

I knew I didn’t want the main character from Sorcery to be the protagonist again, so this time the story centers on Trish Kim, a tough 13 year-old who’s trying to figure out how to tell her friends and family that she’s gay. It was fun to write within the same group of characters, but from a different perspective. It’s something I plan to continue in future books.

I also wanted to focus on issues surrounding animal conservation and whether or not people can be trusted to do the right thing. And like Sorcery, there are boxes that offer up lots of side information on magic, history, and magical creatures. So there’s a lot going on in this book!

Here's a peek at Cryptozoology for Beginners:

Only six weeks after a handful of teenage sorcerers defeated a team of anti-magic mercenaries called the Euclideans, Trish, Owen, and Perry are called back into action when they discover that the world’s cryptids (aka magical creatures) are disappearing. They’re partnered with brusque team leader Jacinda Greyeyes and their former nemesis Bryan Ferretti in a mission to travel all over North America, collecting famous cryptids like the jackalope, the chupacabra, and the altamaha-ha.

But when another team of teenage sorcerers suddenly vanishes, the spell casters set out for Germany, Egypt, and the Seychelles to uncover why the Euclideans have been abducting and experimenting on magical creatures like the unicorn and the sphinx. The secrets they uncover threaten to divide them, and reveal a truth that will permanently upend the way the world sees sorcery.


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

Sorcery for Beginners was my first published novel. Booklist called it a “clever, often hilarious adventure” and Publishers Weekly said “it’s a charming package and a drily funny adventure.” It’s also being developed as a TV show. But my favorite part of publishing the first book was seeing kids react to it. We even had a few kids dress as characters from the books!

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

I just finished a draft of an adult novel about a cynical spiritual investigator who can see people’s souls. After that, if things go well with Cryptozoology, I hope to start on the third book in the Codex Arcanum series.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Keep writing. It’s so easy to get discouraged, but I’ve found that writing is like exercise — it’s hard to do when you’re out of practice. So I make it a habit to write at least five days a week, to write even when I’m not feeling it, and to always be working on something.

Also, get comfortable with social media. I’m amazed how many people all the world have discovered my books through Facebook and Instagram.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I will be appearing at book events around the country over the next few months, but I really like doing school visits. If you have a school that you’d like me to come visit, reach out to me on Facebook and hopefully we can work something out!

Where can readers find you and your books?

Indiebound is a great way to find copies at your local bookstore.
Amazon
Barnes & Noble

If you order through my publisher Inkshares, I’ll send you a FREE 60 page short story that connects Books I and II!




Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Meet Middle Grade Author Flavia Labre



Today we welcome Flavia Labre currently residing in Malaysia. Flavia is a first-time middle grade author. As you will read, she shares my love of Ancient Egypt.

First, a bit about Flavia:

Flavia Labre was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She's graduated in Languages and Literature and has a master's degree in Brazilian folk tales. Flavia left Rio de Janeiro many years ago and since then, has lived in many other countries around the globe with her Italian husband,  two incredible kids, two lazy cats and dozens of beautiful freshwater fish. “The Eighth Chamber” is her first middle grade book published in 2019.

Why did you pick to write books for MG readers?

There were many books that I read in my childhood that I never forgot and helped shape the person I'm today. Middle grade readers are a challenging group to write for, but they are also very honest and it's incredibly satisfying when they show how much they loved a book. It's a responsibility and a pleasure to be able to impact the way the kids see the world through the stories I write. 

What types of books do you like to read?I love to read, and I can read almost every genre, although my favorite are mysteries, thrillers, and middle grade adventure books.

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

I'm an avid reader, so when I'm not writing most of the time I'm reading. Another hobby that I recently fell in love with is gardening. Usually, when I'm stuck on a difficult chapter, I take a break to take care of my plants and I've found it has been really helpful to get new ideas and solutions for plot problems.

Tell us about The Eighth Chamber and how the story came to be.

The Eighth Chamber is my first middle grade book and inspiration came from different places. When I was a child I loved to read adventure books, like The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

My goal was to write a book that I'd love to read, full of adventure, a hint of mystery and brave characters. The idea to have elements of ancient Egypt history came from the years I lived as an expat in Egypt and how amazed I was when I visited all the ancient sites and fell in love with this incredible civilization.

The first character I've created was Oscar. I love cats and I had clearly in my mind this brave black cat very close to his beloved human. He follows Amy everywhere and, in a way, is the superhero of the story.

Here's a peek at The Eighth Chamber:

For Amy Spark, her family is what she treasures the most. On her father’s birthday, her mother, archeologist Catherine Spark, disappears without a trace. The mystery of her mother's disappearance deepens when Nick Jones, a boy she never met before, turns up claiming his brother and Amy's mother were working secretly on the search for an ancient temple and now they are both missing.

Time is running fast and even not believing in him, he’s the only hope she has. With her inseparable cat, Oscar, Amy joins Nick on a search deep into the forests of Mau Island, where the police have found a single evidence: her mother’s shoe.

Thrown together by chance, Amy and Nick will have to join forces to face the dangers and obstacles in their way on a thrilling journey with unexpected surprises.
What they discover will change everything. But they will soon find out they are not alone in this search.



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

I've written two children illustration books in Portuguese when I still lived in Brasil. Both books are about birds and focus on ecology and the preservation of species.

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

I'm on the final stages of the first draft of other adventure featuring the same trio of “The Eighth Chamber”, Amy, Nick, and the cat Oscar. I'm also plotting a mystery novel for YA readers and, as usual, brainstorming other ideas. There are still lots of stories waiting to be told. :)

What advice do you have for other authors?

Read a lot in your genre. Also, keep writing and finish your first draft. Even on the days that you will feel discouraged, just take a deep breath and don't give up.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Readers can find me on these social media sites to keep updated on next releases, giveaways and weekly news from the books world.

Facebook

Instagram

My debut book The Eighth Chamber is available on

Amazon

Online bookstores

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Meet MG Author Sarah Sanchez

Greetings from Carpinello's Writing Pages!

It's always amazing how life can get in the way of schedules! I love introducing new authors to my you and keeping you up to date on new books from establishing authors. These last couple of years have been a struggle to do that. So here at Carpinello's Writing Pages, we are starting a new page with a plan to post interviews with new and not-so-new authors for children, pre-teens, teens, and young adults.

Today I'm pleased to introduce Middle Grade author Sarah Sanchez. Read on to see what two countries she calls home!

Here's a bit about Sarah:

I was born in Dallas, Texas. I love Texas. The weather is crazy, but the people are friendly. I graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA in Spanish. Mexico is my second home. My husband is from Mexico, and I have family down there. I love the culture, the people, and of course the food. I have three wonderful children and I love hiking and spending time outdoors when I am not writing.
    Fantasy is my preferred genre to write in. There are no limits in fantasy beyond my own imagination.  Anything can happen. Sunwalker is my debut novel. It is a YA Vampire novel. The first in a trilogy. Nightwalker, book 2, was just released in May 2018.  My first MG Fantasy novel entitled the Portal Keeper, is going to be released Oct. 2nd. Darkwalker the third and final installment of The Sunwalker Trilogy is set to be released in December of 2019.



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


My first book series The Sunwalker Trilogy is actually YA but my younger kids thought the books were too scary. My son asked me to write a story with dragons. So that’s how The Portal Keeper came about. It is the first book in The Keeper Archives, which is looking like it will be 4 books in total.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love to read young adult and middle grade. I am typically drawn to fantasy and dystopian novels. I like pretty much anything, although I don’t read a lot of nonfiction.


When you are not writing, what do you like to do?
I enjoy hiking, although living in Texas I don’t have a lot of opportunities. I also love food, and enjoy trying out new restaurants and different types of food. I will try pretty much anything, but I don’t want to know what’s in it until after I have tried it.


Tell us about The Portal Keeper and how the story came to be.
I had been thinking about writing a story with a portal in it. One that takes you into a magical land. My son wanted a story with dragons and so I blended the two. It was actually the fastest book I have ever written. It just seemed to flow out of me.



Here's a peek at The Portal Keeper:

A mysterious portal, which opens at dawn and closes again at dusk, is located deep in the woods and kept secret from the vast majority of the people who inhabit the kingdom of Rastella. Only a few are aware of its existence and fewer understand the confusing prophecy that accompanies it.

Now, Ajax Maxwell, who is approaching his 14th birthday and has been in training for the past 2 years, is preparing to fulfill his family’s legacy by becoming the next keeper. But Ajax is afraid. He’s worried that he won’t live up to the expectations placed upon him and will let down his family, like his brother Axel did when he took over from their father and then promptly disappeared.

When the prince of Rastella comes to visit for the first time, accompanied by Ajax’s childhood friend Nivara, it doesn’t take long for things to go wrong. In an accident, the prince falls into the portal and Ajax knows that it’s up to him to go and get him back.

With the knowledge that nobody who has entered it has ever returned, Ajax and Nivara go through the portal to try to save the prince. But what Ajax finds inside, and what he discovers about the prophecy, will test him to his limits.


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

I have a YA vampire series called The Sunwalker Trilogy. It’s my take on the origin of vampires.


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

The last book in The Sunwalker Trilogy, Darkwalker, is getting edited, and I have just finished the first draft for the sequel to The Portal Keeper.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Keep persevering, write a little everyday and find people to read your books who will tell you the truth. It’s hard finding people who will point out the faults in your work.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Twitter
https://twitter.com/authorstsanchez

Blog
https://authorstsanchez.blogspot.com/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/authors.t.sanchez/

Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16847543.S_T_Sanchez

Instagram
@thekeeperarchives

Amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Portal-Keeper-Archives-Book-ebook/dp/B07XCRVCVL/

Anything else you want readers to know?

No matter if you read my book or another authors, reviews mean so much, not just to authors but to readers too.  So don’t forget to write a review. Don’t forget to check out the Portal Keeper on Amazon or other fine stores.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019



Thanks for stopping by! Take a look at this brand-new fantasy adventure story with a hint of romance by author Annie Douglass Lima. 
You can download a copy of the ebook for free between July 9th and 11th!

Book Description:
    Life as the king’s younger sister should be exciting.
   Not for Princess Kalendria. She’s sick of the dissent and of constantly having her family undermined by those who think they could rule Malorn better than King Korram.
   Hoping to lighten the mood in the palace, Kalendria plans a ball to celebrate her seventeenth birthday. It doesn’t hurt that their handsome Alasian ally King Jaymin has promised to attend, and she’s been waiting for him to notice her for as long as she can remember.
   But unfriendly forces have their own party plans. When Kalendria, Korram, and Jaymin barely survive an assassination attempt, their only recourse is to flee into the wilderness. Tracked by unknown assassins, they must figure out whom they can trust and who is behind the plot. Can Kalendria help her brother reclaim his throne – oh, and catch Jaymin’s attention while she’s at it – before they are all killed and war destroys both kingdoms?



Click here to download your copy of King of Malorn on Amazon now! 

Click here to see King of Malorn on Goodreads.

Series Information:


King of Malorn is book 5 in the Annals of Alasia. But don't worry if you haven't read the others; it will still make sense on its own. 

Each of the first four books can stand on its own as well. They each deal with events surrounding the same major political incident: the invasion of the kingdom of Alasia by the neighboring kingdom of Malorn. 

Prince of Alasia begins on the night of the Invasion and describes what happens to twelve-year-old Prince Jaymin after he is forced to flee for his life. 
In the Enemy’s Service features a girl as the protagonist and tells the story of those who were not able to escape from the Alasian palace when the enemy invaded. 
Prince of Malorn begins several months earlier and focuses on the Malornian perspective of the events leading up to the Invasion. 
The Nameless Soldier shows how a young Alasian soldier lives through the Invasion but then has to survive and make a name for himself in enemy-occupied Alasia. 

In each of the books, main characters from the others make brief appearances and interact with each other at the point where the timeframes and settings overlap. 

I also have a short ebook of “interviews” that I conducted with the characters in the other three books. Annals of Alasia: The Collected Interviews is not available on Amazon, but I send a free copy to anyone who signs up for my mailing list (to receive updates when I release new books or occasionally offer them for free).

Author Biography:

Annie Douglass Lima considers herself fortunate to have traveled in twenty different countries and lived in four of them. A fifth-grade teacher in her “other” life, she loves reading to her students and sparking their imaginations. Her books include science fiction, fantasy, YA action and adventure novels, a puppet script, anthologies of her students’ poetry, and Bible verse coloring and activity books. When she isn’t teaching or writing, Annie can often be found sipping spiced chai or pomegranate green tea in exotic locations, some of which exist in this world.

Author Contact Info:

Blog: http://anniedouglasslima.blogspot.com





Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/anniedouglasslima