Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Meet Debut Children's Author Leigh Ann Gerk on I Read Book Tours

 

 
Carpinello's Writing Pages is pleased to participate in Leigh Ann Gerk's I Read Book Tour. Leigh Ann is a Colorado (my home state) author promoting her debut non-fiction story. Tour stops are listed further down. Don't forget to enter the Giveaway!

First, here's a bit about Leigh Ann:
 
Leigh Ann Gerk MA, LPC has been in the counseling field for over eleven years. She is certified in Pet Loss & Grief Companioning and the founder and owner of Mourning to Light Pet Loss providing individual and family counseling for anyone grieving the loss of a pet. She currently offers 3 free pet loss support groups in Northern Colorado and is excited to branch out and offer more. Having grown up on a farm, Leigh Ann's childhood playmates included baby calves, horses, bunnies, dogs, and 32 cats that set up house in a boxcar that also served as her playhouse. This upbringing introduced her, at a very young age, to the human-animal bond and instilled in her a deep understanding of, and love for, this extraordinary relationship. Leigh Ann and her husband, Andy, live in Loveland, Colorado, and are the proud parents of identical twin daughters, Heather and Heidi. Their family is made complete by their first grandchild and their cherished therapy dog, Gracie.

Why did you pick to write books for Children?
 
I chose to write books for children because I love the simplicity, innocence, and gentleness that often accompanies them.  I also appreciate beautiful illustrations that complement a story. I have always had a lovely rapport with children, and I relate really well with them. I’m often told that I’m a “kid at heart” and I think that, in and of itself, has led me in this direction.  


What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

I love to read mysteries and autobiographies.  I particularly love an autobiography that shares the journey of someone who has had a difficult start in life, but through determination, hard work, and perseverance, accomplishes more than they ever dreamed possible. I am founder and owner of “Mourning to Light Pet Loss,” where I counsel grieving pet families as a licensed professional counselor. I facilitate 3 free pet loss support groups in northern Colorado.  

Tell us about Dear Brave Friend and how the story came to be.

My book, Dear Brave Friend, began long ago when I was just a little girl growing up on a farm. I have wanted to write a children’s book ever since I started playing “teacher” as a young girl. I knew my life on the farm with all the wonderful animals who became my best friends would one day be in my story; I just didn’t know how. After I started counseling grieving pet families, the “how” magically appeared.  I worked with children who didn’t understand what they were feeling. I worked with parents who were afraid and hesitant to talk with their children about really difficult subjects like pet loss, death, dying, and sadness.  From working with these grieving pet families, I realized I needed to write a book that would help children and parents maneuver through the difficult journey of pet loss, which is often a child’s first significant loss and an important time for parents to teach and role model healthy grieving. My childhood memories and feelings helped guide me to write a book that children could easily relate to and understand. A parent myself, I understood how to create windows of opportunity within the story to promote meaningful conversations between children and their parents.

Here's a peek at Dear Brave Friend:

This gentle and heartwarming story captures the love between a boy and his dog, and the sadness that follows after his cherished dog passes away. Written in the form of a letter from the dog to the boy, the letter shares relatable, real life examples of how the boy (and therefore anybody who has lost a dear pet) may be feeling and suggestions on what he can do to help himself get through this most difficult time. The letter also touches on simple acts of kindness that can follow the reader throughout his or her lifetime. The message in this story is applicable to young and old, girl or boy, and to any family pet that has stolen your heart. Story starters, drawing pages, and a place to add pictures of your own beloved pet are also included in the back of the book.

How do you go about researching for your stories?

I combined my childhood memories and experiences with my counseling skills and training to create a story that was not only easy for children to understand and relate to, but also educational.

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

Yes, I am developing two books that I plan to start writing within the next few months. Both are on pet loss and I can’t wait to get started!

What advice do you have for other authors?

My advice to other authors is to keep on going even when you feel discouraged or feel like giving up. There will be many bumps along the way to writing and publishing your book, but the reward of completing a book that contains your heart and soul, your words, your thoughts, and your dedication is worth every single bump. The feeling you get when you physically see your book for the very first time, feel the cover, smell the newness, and see your name on the front – is a very gratifying feeling. And to think people will want to purchase a book that contains so much of who you are is very humbling. For me, knowing that Dear Brave Friend can help grieving pet families brings me a huge sense of satisfaction and peace, and makes me forget I had any bumps at all.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Yes, thank you for asking! I would like to share with readers that Dear Brave Friend won an International Book Award last year through the Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The INDIE Book Awards is the largest international awards program for independent authors and publishers.  I was so honored that Dear Brave Friend won in the category of Children’s/Juvenile (Non-Fiction) and placed as a finalist in the Animals/Pets category.  Receiving this amazing award has given me a wonderful opportunity to reach out and help more grieving pet families, which is where my passion lies.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Find more information about me, Dear Brave Friend, and pet loss:
 
 
Dear Brave Friend is available for purchase on Amazon.



Tour Schedule:

Jan 18 – Nighttime Reading Center – book review / giveaway
Jan 19 – Book World Reviews – book review / author interview
Jan 19 - Laura's Interests – book review / guest post / giveaway
Jan 20 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
Jan 20 - Carpinello's Writing Pages - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Jan 21 – Rockin' Book Reviews – book review / guest post/ giveaway
Jan 22 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / giveaway
Jan 25 – I'd Rather Be At The Beach – book review / giveaway
Jan 26 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Jan 26 - The Momma Spot - book review
Jan 27 – Reading is My Passion – book review
Jan 27  - Reading Authors Networkbook review / giveaway
Jan 28 – Bound 4 Escape – book review / giveaway
Jan 29 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 1 –Books, Tea, Healthy Me – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Feb 1 - Welcome To MLM Opinion’s Reviews  - book review
Feb 2 – Splashes of Joy – book review / guest post / giveaway
Feb 2 - Library of Clean Reads – book review / giveaway
Feb 2 - Lisa's Reading – book review / giveaway
Feb 3 – Adventures of a Traveler’s Wife – book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 3 - Pick a Good Book - book review / author interview / giveaway
Feb 4 – Pawesome Wisdom – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 4 - I'm Into Books – book review / giveaway
Feb 4 - Deborah-Zenha Adams - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Feb 5 – Stephanie Jane – book spotlight / giveaway
Feb 5 - The Pen and Muse Book Reviews  - book review / giveaway
Feb 5 - Because I said so and other adventures in Parentingbook review / giveaway

Rafflecopter Giveaway:
 
$25 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of the author of DEAR BRAVE FRIEND (1 winner) (open to Amazon.com customers) (ends Feb 12)


 

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veteran's Day Salute & Meet MG Author A. M. Luzzader

Welcome to Carpinello's Writing Pages.

Today is Veteran's Day.

Before getting to our feature author interview, I want to take time to thank all the veterans and serving military for their service to our country.

In my family, my father and my younger brother both served.

My father in the Navy in WWII.

Donald James Woodward (1925-1975)

 My brother in the Marines during the Gulf War Crisis.

Timothy Louis Woodward (1968-)


Thank you all again.



And now,

Carpinello's Writing Pages

Welcomes MG Author A.M. Luzzader

  

Here's a bit about A.M. Luzzader:

A.M. Luzzader is the author of the middle-grade series A Mermaid in Middle Grade and other books. She is first and foremost a mother to her two energetic and intelligent sons, and from this role she draws much of her writing inspiration. Amanda was awarded the Writer of the Year award for 2019–2020 by the League of Utah Writers. She is a devout cat person.

Why did you pick to write books for MG? 

I’ve written books for an adult readership, and I’m very proud of that work. However, I’ve felt for a long time—maybe not even consciously—that I should direct my writing toward a younger audience. As I said, I’m a mom. Also, I worked for a long time at a nonprofit organization that helps families. So, with this acute interest in and a passion for the well-being of young people, I recently switched writing markets. Now I write stories and characters meant to resonate with the middle-grade age group. It’s been a lot of fun. I can be outlandish and even silly but still make meaningful points and write compelling stories. Every author has to find a genre and form that is challenging, fun, rewarding—for me, that’s middle-grade.

What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

I read anything and everything—by design. Non-fiction, literary fiction, science fiction, young-adult fiction. I read inside my comfort zone and areas of interest, but then I purposely wander across those boundaries. Earlier this year I read One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, both very cerebral and dark. Then I read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman—a little bit less-serious. This year I also read a lot of Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling and Lucy Maud Montgomery. I love books on self-improvement books—books on how to be more creative, successful, and organized, though I don’t always take their advice.

When I’m not writing or reading, you can probably catch me watching a movie or binge-watching a TV series, especially now, during the pandemic. Just before the pandemic I took up knitting—that seems fortuitous now. I love to travel, and I’m very fond of tea, so wherever I go I’m eager to check out local tea shops and do tea-tastings or ceremonies.

Tell us about A Mermaid in Middle Grade and how the story came to be.

The conception of this book series was somewhat unusual. It started when I saw this really interesting book cover for sale online. It was created by a cover design artist that I like. It was this cute little mermaid against a backdrop of coral and shafts of sunlight filtering down through the blue-green water. And it completely captured my imagination. Nothing like this had really ever happened to me. I looked at this book cover and the story of this mermaid in sixth grade began forming in my head. I thought of scenarios with real-life middle-grade issues and friend politics, but it also had this undersea, mer-magical aspect to it.

So, I bought that book cover, and that made it real—now I had to write at least one book about this sixth-grade mermaid with lavender hair and aquamarine scales. So, the story really began with the imagery on that unsold book cover. A lot of the stories are based on things I struggled with when I was her age—self-confidence, jealousy, working through problems with friends and family. All merfolk in these books have magical abilities, which they use to help the ocean and sea creatures, and Brynn learns about that in her school classes, but it’s a little like calculus class or chemistry—it doesn’t come easy for everyone.

The Mermaid in Middle Grade series is a fantasy adventure and coming of age book series appropriate for preteens and all who enjoy middle grade books.  Educational topics: Ocean and marine life, environmental conservation, honesty, friendship, mindfulness, middle school, and interpersonal skills.

Here's a peek at A Mermaid in Middle School - The Talisman of Lostland:

A young mermaid. A sea witch out for revenge. 

Can Brynn Finley become a sea guardian and help humans in danger when she just barely started the sixth grade? 

Brynn Finley is the only mermaid in class who hasn't been able to learn mer-magic. Without it, she can't be a guardian of the sea with her parents and friends. On her quest for answers, Brynn encounters a loveable sea turtle, a pair of selkie sisters, and Phaedra, the great and terrible sea witch. 

Soon Brynn is over her head in trouble, and she must learn to ask for help if she's going to follow the merfolk oath to be a protector of the ocean and a guardian of the sea.

How do you go about researching for your stories?

When I worked at a nonprofit whose mission was to protect children, I received lots of training about childhood development and childhood trauma, and I put a lot of that to use in my books. For example, the merfolk in the books can do magic, but their abilities work best when they’re feeling calm and mindful. So, they practice mindfulness and certain meditation techniques to make their magic effective. Well, mindfulness is of course something that kids can practice in real life, to help them do well on a test or even manage tricky situations on the playground.

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

Before I began writing middle grade books, I was writing books for adults. Those are under the name Amanda Luzzader. I wrote a post-apocalyptic trilogy called Among These Bones, and I had written it long before COVID-19 came along, but, coincidentally, the series is also about a global pandemic. The one in my book wipes out most of the Earth’s human population. A cure is found, but it has to be taken once a year, and unfortunately, it also wipes out your memory. So, you have this population of survivors who are under the control of a medical agency with a cure that leaves you with only one year of memory at a time. The main character is a mother whose teenage son goes missing. If she can’t find him before it’s time to take the treatment again, she’ll forget she has a son.

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

I’m in the editing stage Voices of Harmony, the third book in the Mermaid in Middle Grade series, but that should be wrapped up pretty soon. I’m also working on a new story called Hannah Saves the World, which is another middle grade book that should be pretty fun. Then, I’ll be back to finishing the rest of the Mermaid in Middle Grade books.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Being an author can be discouraging sometimes. It can be very challenging to reach readers to even let them know your book exists. My advice would be to not get caught up checking the numbers. Authors can spend the entire day checking what their book ranks are or how many books they’ve sold, but that isn’t productive. Focus instead on the work—do the writing and don’t worry about the numbers. Eventually the numbers will reflect the work you’ve done.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I love interacting with readers!

If readers write to me, I promise to write back! They can send a letter to:

Knowledge Forest Press
P.O. Box 6331
Logan, Utah 84341

They can also email me at: Contact@amandaluzzader.com

Where can readers find you and your books?

Website

Facebook

A Mermaid in Middle Grade

Amazon

My paperback and hardback books are available at most book retailers. If you don’t see it, just ask and it can probably be ordered in.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Exciting News, Writing Tips, and Meet MG Author Roslyn Muir

Before moving on to our tips and interview, I want to share my exciting news. My Guinevere trilogy (soon to be an eBook) received Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Bronze medal for Best Book Series-Chapter Book. Unexpected, I'm thrilled to receive this prestigious honor. The books in the trilogy are Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, and Guinevere: The Legend.

And Onward:

This month, Carpinello's Writing Pages introduces readers to two new authors. Both of the authors have Middle Grade books releasing in October 2020. It's always exciting publishing a new book, especially a first book. Please offer your support to each writer by congratulating them in the comments and maybe even visiting their websites and clicking on the buy link. Remember the holidays are fast approaching and few gifts are sweeter than a book. But, first, here's our writing tips from our authors:

Very simple:  write, write, and write. And don’t be too hard on yourself in the beginning. Writing is a craft that you get better at with practice!Joe Gazzam, YA author of Uncaged

Don't let rejections detract you from your goal. Practice makes perfect and try to always work with a good editor who will really give you the honest truth. Not a friend but a business associateRanda Handler, children's author of The Boy Who Spoke to God.

 

And now,

Carpinello's Writing Pages

Welcomes MG author Roslyn Muir.

 

Here's a bit about Roslyn Muir:

Roslyn Muir is new to middle grade fiction fantasy but feels she comes by it honestly—“I still feel like a ten year old making up elaborate adventure stories in my head.” Born in Scotland and now living in Vancouver, Canada, she often uses the similar landscapes of both countries in her stories. Roslyn has another life as an award winning screenwriter who writes YA stories, family drama and thrillers. She was a writer on the Global/CBS one-hour drama Ransom created by Frank Spotnitz (Man in the High Castle). Roslyn has also written several movies that have aired on TV around the world: Washed Away, Stranger in the House, and Reluctant Witness to name a few. Roslyn also wrote and produced the dramatic feature film The Birdwatcher directed by Siobhan Devine. Her half-hour YA comedy, The Tutors, is in development with the CBC.

Why did you pick to write books for MG?


I’ve been writing TV & film for many years—drama and thrillers mostly. But I love to watch fantasy and sci-fi. My own middle grade years had a big impact on me as a reader: I discovered fantasy stories and started writing them in my head. The main character, Kyra, came to me as a middle grade girl so I ran with it. The great thing about middle grade books is that they really transcend age.

What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

I’m actually a big thriller/detective story buff. I love female protagonist thrillers where the main character has to solve their own dilemmas. And plot twists. I’m a plot driven writer so I appreciate stories where I can’t figure out the end. I love to be surprised!

Tell us about The Chimera’s Apprentice and how the story came to be.

This story really started with the character Kyra. She was in my mind for quite some time, and I just kept developing her and the world. Then I was flipping through a book on Greek myths that I bought at a yard sale and came across the chimera. I was really intrigued by it—myths are stories that some writer made up thousands of years ago! So I was impressed by the variety of monsters that existed in the Ancient Greek psyche and decided to incorporate the chimera into my story.

Here's a peek at The Chimera's Apprentice:


The laundry room was eerily quiet. It was a small room: washers on one side, dryers on the other, and a gleaming white wall in the back. A creepy feeling overcame me like someone was watching me. I held my breath, threw the clothes in the washer, and shoved the coins in. To heck with the soap. Something went through me—a feeling, a shiver, like I knew I was in danger.

That’s when it happened. The craziest, weirdest thing ever.

I dropped the laundry basket and let out a squeak. At the door was a little man, but it wasn’t really a man, even though “it” was standing on two legs. He had a thick snout like a dog and long, long whiskers. His black nose was shiny and wet; a limp pink tongue hung out of his panting mouth. Goggles covered a worn leather flight cap, and he wore a too-tight army uniform with mismatched brass buttons about to pop open. A furry little paw with long, sharp black claws held up a smooth, milky-looking stone. Was it a weapon? 

“Kyra of Murch, I’ve come to take you home.” And then he laughed, an evil, maniacal laugh like the bad guys in the movies. 

“Uh, I’m not Kyra Murch. You have the wrong person,” I lied. I was talking to a RAT. A walking, talking rat-man. Impossible. But soooo amazing!

“I’d recognize a Murch anywhere,” he sniffed the air, advancing towards me. “I can’t believe my luck. You’re here! Ha! I’ve succeeded!”

This wasn’t happening. I was talking to a rat. It was real. And I was seriously trapped. He was smaller than me, about the size of a ten-year-old. I could do some moves on him. I’d seen Karate Kid. But I wasn’t much of a fighter; in fact, I hated seeing people get hurt.

“Are you going to throw that little rock at me, rat face?” I bluffed.

The rat-man was stunned. “Er, this is an ancient weapon. You can’t insult the Adularia. There are only two in existence, and the Raturro have protected them for eons. The Adularia is, er, all-powerful.” He held the weapon out towards me as if to show me. 

“I’m warning you,” I stood as tall as I could. “This is your last chance!”

The rat-man’s eyes went wide. He was scared of me!

“So shoot me! Get it over with already!” I bellowed, gaining some momentum.

“I-I’m not here to shoot you.” He lowered his weapon. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m Shale of the Deep Nestling Raturro.” He held out one of his paws for me to shake, then changed his mind. “I’ve come to save you. You’re in grave danger.”

“Deep what?”

“They’re coming for you.”

“They?” I asked, curious. “Who? There’s more of you?”

But he didn’t answer me. He only choked out a tiny squeak. Something on the wall behind me caught his attention.

“It’s the m-monster—” he stammered. “Run!”

How do you research your stories? 

I read a few books about rats, and I’m already obsessed with crows so it was a no-brainer to add them to the story. I do some general research but nothing too in depth. I like to use my imagination as much as possible and just make stuff up!

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

I’m a screenwriter of film and TV and have written several thrillers and dramas that have screened internationally. The Chimera’s Apprentice is my debut novel. It is a trilogy, so there are more on the way.

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

I’m currently writing Book Two of The Chimera’s Apprentice.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Your main job is to get better as a writer and, really, that’s the only thing that’s in your control. The only way to improve is to write. Every day. Even if you can only carve out half an hour, write something. Form a habit. I find it harder to not write than to sit down at my desk and work. When I was starting out as a writer I read as many books on writing as I could find. I think they’re helpful and inspiring.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Check out my website and join my newsletter:

Join me on social media:

Goodreads
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest

Amazon

 


Exciting News, Writing Tips, and Meet MG Author M. L. Tarpley

Before moving on to our tips and interview, I want to share my exciting news. My Guinevere trilogy (soon to be an eBook) received Moonbeam Children's Book Awards Bronze medal for Best Book Series-Chapter Book. Unexpected, I'm thrilled to receive this prestigious honor. The books in the trilogy are Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend, Guinevere: At the Dawn of Legend, and Guinevere: The Legend.

And Onward:

This month, Carpinello's Writing Pages introduces readers to two new authors. Both of the authors have Middle Grade books releasing in October 2020. It's always exciting publishing a new book, especially a first book. Please offer your support to each writer by congratulating them in the comments and maybe even visiting their websites and clicking on the buy link. Remember the holidays are fast approaching and few gifts are sweeter than a book. But, first, here's our writing tips from our authors:

If you plan to publish, allow yourself to have big dreams. Writing is an incredibly difficult field in which to get noticed and most authors experience dozens of knock backs before getting anywhere. The skill is not in avoiding rejection, but bouncing back from it. Have a goal in mind and keep working at it. Big dreams will help you keep goingRosen Trevithick, children's author of The Trolls series.

Never give up and stick to your ideas. When I first wrote Fledgling Jason Steed (Book 1), I self- published it, and I had a huge success with it. An agent and publisher picked me up. They edited the novel, cut out 23,000 words and changed how an aircraft with damaged undercarriage landed. I had email after email of complaints regarding the aircraft landing and why it was changed. Many reviewers had actually mentioned the landing in the first edition. This is the largest regret I have. Never again will anyone tell me what to write. The editor ruined a good ending to a story, but when you are new and you get picked up by a big publisher, you think they know best. My advice would be stick to your gunsMark A. Cooper, author of the YA series Jason Steed.

 

And Now, Carpinello's Writing Pages 

Presents MG author M. L. Tarpley

 

Here's a bit about M. L. Tarpley:

Author M.L. Tarpley writes stories of adventure, friendship, and fun that transport kids to amazing places across the world. She is also an award-winning journalist and world traveler. Maylie and the Maze is her debut middle grade novel. She has also written Young Writer’s Kit, a non-fiction book that teaches kids how to write fiction. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and son.

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


I still feel like I’m 10 years old a lot of the time (ha!), so it's like ideas for stories geared to kids in middle grade and younger just pop into my brain. I wouldn’t have it any other way! I also have a toddler and over a dozen nieces and nephews, so I have plenty of first hand experience with kids too.

One of my favorite things to do is settle in at a coffee shop with a composition notebook and pen and just let my imagination run free! I love to scribble away while sipping on a latte.

What types of books do you like to read, and what do you do when you are not writing?

I love to read middle grade fiction as well as chapter books and picture books. In adult fiction, I love to read split time fiction, which weaves contemporary and historical storylines together. I absolutely love history, which in turn fuels my love for researching genealogy. That’s one pastime I enjoy when I have time. I also really love to travel the world. I’m always dreaming of where I’d like to travel to next whether in person or in fiction.

Tell us about Maylie and the Maze and how the story came to be.

Maylie and the Maze is a lower middle grade realistic fiction book for grades 3-7 that will appeal to fans of the Middle School series by James Patterson, The Tapper Twins series by Geoff Rodkey, and the Melanie Martin series by Carol Weston. The book’s layout includes a variety of illustrations, doodles, and other media elements and tucked within the book are elements of creative writing, world geography, and classic literature.

It all started a few years ago with the idea of a young girl who travels around the world. Right away, I knew the first book would be set in England because the book had to feature a maze I visited there. Plus I love England! I love the countryside and manor houses and castles and the mix of modern-day and history in the city of London. My favorite place is the city of Bath.

I wrote Maylie and the Maze to show kids that you can go after your dreams no matter what roadblocks stand in your way. Throughout this series, I want kids to have a chance to travel the world through fiction and along the way learn a bit. I’ve tapped into my own first-hand experiences from traveling to over a dozen countries and filtered them through Maylie’s eyes. I also wanted to write a book that could be enjoyed by kids and grown-ups alike, especially as a fun bedtime read!

Here's a peek at Maylie and the Maze:

Will Maylie’s dream be crushed by her own imagination?    
Ten-year-old Maylie Montes’s dream is to become an author, but she has a problem. She can’t finish a story. Not a single one.

Her second problem is Camden, her annoying twin brother, who is determined to ruin their summer traveling through Europe with their famous photographer aunt and spunky grandma.

The first stop is England where a castle and maze, a new British friend, and a lot of weird words await Maylie—but the first item on her itinerary is to learn how to write, so she can finally finish a story. However, this goal may land her a one-way ticket home after her writing targets her brother in a spooky story involving a nighttime maze full of monsters. And Camden has his own plans, leaving Maylie to wonder if her imagination has actually become a reality.

How do you research your stories?

With the Maylie series, I have started with revisiting my trips to the book locations. That was the foundation of the series idea. To write about the places I had actually been. I have been to every country that will be featured in the series and the majority of the locations there. So I started with my photos and travel journal and the storyline started growing from there. I also ordered books about the locations to read up on the history as well as visited their official websites.

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

I have written a non-fiction book called Young Writer’s Kit: A Guide for Young Writers that teaches kids how to write fiction and includes a fun genre matching game, writing prompts, and more. It’s currently available for purchase on Amazon.

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

I’ve written the next book in the series and will start working with the illustrator soon on it. It will publish in Spring 2021. I am currently writing the third book, which will release Fall 2021. I am also working on a picture book series and have the idea for a chapter book series stirring in my mind.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Make sure to read the genre you are writing to get a feel for how it’s done. Also don’t talk down to kids. Tap into that kid that’s still inside of you and how you would have reacted to what you’ve written. Invest the time to learn the craft of writing. Read craft books like Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass or Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole. Do writing prompts. Practice. To do anything well we have to put in the time and effort. Writing is no different.

Anything else you want readers to know?

To my kid readers out there, I would like for you to know that you can do anything you set your mind to. And you can travel anywhere in the world (or fictional ones) from the pages of a book. Happy Travels!!

Where can readers find you and your books? 

Me:

Website 

Facebook

Goodreads

My books:

Maylie:

Amazon 

Young Writers' Kit:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble