Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Meet MG Author Heather Brainerd

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Heather Brainerd, author of MG and YA stories. Heather is a fellow MuseItUp author.

First, a bit about Heather:

Heather Fraser Brainerd is a renaissance woman. After earning a degree in Anthropology, she embarked on an incongruous career as a workers' compensation insurance adjuster. She rapidly climbed the claims-handling ladder before surprising her colleagues by leaving the high-powered world of lumbar strains and carpal tunnel syndrome to run a child care center. Thousands of dirty diapers and gallons of strained peas later, she decided that maybe the insurance industry wasn't quite as bad as she remembered. Unfortunately, it was. Then, a few years later, she was swept off her feet by the most wonderful man in the world. Now a stay-home mom to three amazing boys, she is able, at long last, to focus on her writing. Heather lives in New York with her family and their crazy pug/terrier.

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

When I started writing my first book, I happened to be reading a lot of YA paranormal and YA fantasy. I really loved both genres and wanted to try my hand at something along those lines. Later, when my kids started reaching the middle grade years, I co-wrote my first MG book with my brother, David Fraser. He also has kids in that age range, and we wanted to write something that they would enjoy.

What types of books do you like to read?

I’m most likely to pick up a mystery, fantasy, or sweet romance. However, I’ll give just about anything a try.

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

I LOVE Disney World and am constantly concocting some sort of excuse to try to get myself there. To tide me over between trips, I have a Disney blog.

Tell us about Shadows of New York and how the story came to be.

This book is MG paranormal, but more importantly, it’s a story about friendship, acceptance, and doing what is right. That makes the book sound kind of preachy. It’s not, though. There’s a lot of humor in it. As for how it came about… well, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but let’s just say I had a dream that set me on the path to this novel.

Here a peek at Shadows of New York:

What do you do when your view of the world gets turned on its head? Eleven-year-old Josh Cooper is surprised when his new nanny ends up being a dude, but that pales in comparison to how he feels when he learns the nanny, Aiden, is also a werewolf. Aiden teaches Josh about the Imaginary World, even introducing him to his friends Larry Fancypants (a suave-yet-goofy vampire) and Steve Lickerman (a tall-yet-meek leprechaun). This fascinating world seems harmless, until Josh learns of the shadowy wraith that’s stalking New York, attacking creatures and stealing their powers. As werewolves are ideally suited for fighting wraiths, Aiden is called upon to help capture the elusive Mr. Midnight, unintentionally drawing Josh even deeper into the strange and mysterious.

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

My YA paranormal romance, Dream Shade, is the story of a teenaged girl who is being haunted. She has to figure out how to help the spirits in order to put them back to rest. Also, she’s crushing on the cutest guy in school, who actually seems to notice her. My José Picada, PI series, co-written with my brother Dave, is a paranormal mystery series with a somewhat slapdash female lead character, Josie Cates. She’s really fun to write!

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

Dave and I are working on the third and fourth installments of the José Picada, PI series. Big things are coming Josie’s way! After that, we’re planning a sequel for Shadows of New York.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Write what you know, what you love, and what intrigues you.

Where can readers find you and your books?

My links:

Facebook author page

My books:

MuseItUp Publishing
Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Meet MG Author R. M. Clark

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes R. M.  Clark author of MG mysteries. His reading favorites fit right in with ours!

First, a bit about R. M.:

I am a computer scientist with the Department of Navy and a children’s mystery writer. After graduating from the University of Idaho, I moved from the Gem State to northeastern Alberta to Southern California before settling into a cozy town in Southeastern Massachusetts, where I live today with my wife and two sons.

Why did you pick to write books for middle grade?

My first two books were written for an adult audience, but more than one agent noted that my voice was better suited for the younger crowd (not an insult—just a true observation). From that point on I channeled my inner ‘tween and wrote seven middle grade novels. I guess those agents were right!

What types of books do you like to read?

I mostly read adult thrillers and mysteries by stalwarts like John Grisham, Michael Crichton, and David Baldacci, but I venture into middle grade and some lower YA books to “keep up” with the genres.

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

As a family, we like to go geocaching (, a high tech treasure hunt using a GPS device, which gets us out to many different places on the weekends. As a New Englander, I’m a diehard Red Sox and Patriots fan. Of course, that means a lot of people don’t like me already!

Tell us about The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery and how the story came to be.

I spent nineteen years as a baseball coach—from T-ball to American Legion and most levels in between. From my typical place in the third-base coach's box, I imagined a baseball mystery told from the viewpoint of a modern-day bat girl (April) who happens to be a baseball savant. I wanted to include a reference to the Negro Leagues and its players because their history is so important to the game, so I created Flash Henderson, a speedy outfielder from 1941 who befriends April and her best friend, Darren. When they become entangled in a mystery involving the owner of the team, their passion for the game and its history take them (and the reader) on the journey of a lifetime.

Here's a peek at The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery:

Twelve-year-old April O'Day's summer has gotten off to a flying start. As the new bat retriever for the Harpoons, her hometown's minor-league team, she's fetching bats and doling out great advice to players and coaches alike. In a word, she's becoming indispensable. But mysterious things are happening at Haney Field, which April and her best friend—and fellow baseball enthusiast—Darren Plummer are determined to uncover. As they quickly learn, this is no ordinary season. In fact, it's a whole new ballgame!

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

I’ve written nine books since I started writing seven years ago. My first one was “practice” and lives forever in the trunk. My next adult work, Center Point, was published last year. My debut middle grade book, Dizzy Miss Lizzie, was published in 2012, but the publisher went AWOL, and I recently got the rights back for it. I have two ready for submission: The Right Hand Rule, a mystery about four science fair winners who use their project knowledge to solve a mystery.  Then there’s The Tick Tock Man, in which a boy, CJ, is thrust into an Alice In Wonderland-type world whose citizens are mostly clock parts and whose job is to keep all the great clocks in town running smoothly. Things get even stranger when CJ uncovers a centuries-old feud between neighboring clock villages. Besides those, I have a few other manuscripts in various stages of readiness.

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

I’m always writing (or re-writing) something. My latest manuscript is about Devin, a middle school boy who dreams of being a magician, but he performs badly under pressure. After opening a special magic box from a famous magician, Devin is convinced his brain is occupied by an 19th century kid magician named Ehrich, who just may be the key to Devin’s success and who just happens to be a young Harry Houdini.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Get to know the business before you get too far into your writing career. Know what agents can and can’t do for you. Know the difference between large and small presses. Never sign a contract without knowing what every paragraph means. Be aware that there are good reasons and bad reasons to self-publish. It’s a slow business, so there’s no excuse for being ill-prepared for the journey. Oh, and never forget that writers are the most important links in the publishing chain.

Anything else you want readers to know?

Thanks for having me. This is a wonderful site.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Read more about me and my books at my website,

Touching My Heart and the Kid Lit Blog Hop #50

For the Last Hop of 2014, I want to share with you those places we visited in the UK that have touched my heart. 

 Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain with all of its magic.


Kensington Palace and

Diana's Memorial Fountain

 Walking Hadrian's Wall

 The Tower of London's Tribute to the Fallen Men and Women of WWI


            Those Magnificient Elgin Marbles

And this man who is as different from me as Scotland is from England, but we still belong together and would be lost without each other.


To his sometimes dismay, he does follow me everywhere:

From the shores of Lake Nassar, Egypt

to the Seawall on Caernarfon Bay, Wales off the Irish Sea!

And now....

Welcome to the 50th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists.

This Hop Carpinello's Writing Pages brings you interviews with two MG authors:

So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors! We are pleased to be welcoming a new Permanent Hostess to the Hop. Please welcome Naila from Reading Authors, a fabulous book blog. Welcome Naila! Also, please note that for the month of December, we will only be hosting one Kid Lit Blog Hop which will be open for 2 weeks, instead of one.

  Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

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