Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Meet Children's Author Gloria Repp

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Gloria Repp, author of the children's adventure series Tales of Friendship Bog.

First, a bit about Gloria:

Adventure, mystery, and wild creatures all play a part in Gloria Repp's many books. She grew up in the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Northwest, and it was there she learned a love for wilderness that pervades her stories. Over the years, experiences gained from raising three children, teaching school, and editing have made useful contributions to her work.

She takes frequent trips to explore the New Jersey Pine Barrens and to collect website photographs and research material for her books. The lovely pine woods, tumbled ruins, and gleaming dark streams of the Barrens have provided both inspiration and setting for her children’s books such as the Tales of Friendship Bog series, and for her Christian novels.

Why did you choose to write books for children?

I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing stories. When I was growing up, I wrote stories for myself, but it wasn’t until I taught school that I discovered the richness and complexity of children’s books. Later, as I read to my own children, I realized that when a child experiences a good book, his horizons broaden, and he grows in awareness. Those books, I told myself, are the kind I want to write.

What types of books do you like to read?

I’m an omnivorous reader, but these days I’m reading mostly fiction and non-fiction centered on New Jersey during the Colonial period. Sometimes I will relax with a mystery or something from another world entirely, like one of Aleksander Solzhenitsyn’s books. Above all, I don't care for books with a sad ending, no matter how beautifully written.

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

I read every chance I get, and I also enjoy baking, gardening, photography, and traveling to research my books.

Tell us about Pibbin the Small and how the story came to be.

One spring while I was in New Jersey, I heard the Pine Barrens Treefrogs singing, wonk-wonk-wonk, and I held one of the beautiful little creatures in my hand. I asked myself, “Could anything so tiny also be brave? What adventures might he have?”

The idea grew. I decided to write about the adventures of Pibbin, a Pine Barrens Treefrog who lived in a bog I had visited near the near the ruins of a town named Friendship. Although no bigger than my thumb, he would be brave, a frog who dared anything on behalf of his friends.

Drawing on my experience as a teacher, I wrote Pibbin the Small, Pibbin’s first adventure, with simple words and sentences so that children who were beginning to read could enjoy it.

Here's a peek at Pibbin the Small:

Pibbin is desperate to help Sheera, his injured turtle friend. It’s a long journey to the doctor’s house, and the other frogs tell him he’s too small to go. “You'll run into snakes and that giant bullfrog,” they say. “Black Snapping Crabs might eat you.”

But Sheera’s leg is still bleeding! Pibbin finds a pal, and they hurry off on the dangerous trip, hoping to return before she gets worse. No one knew to warn them about a crazy toad-driver, or stolen leaves, or a terrible, misted swamp. . . . The two pals end up in more trouble than anyone ever expected.


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

Inevitably, other adventures for Pibbin came to mind. I decided to call them the Tales of Friendship Bog. I have just finished the seventh and last book in the series. My hope for the Tales series is twofold. First, I would like children, especially reluctant readers, to simply enjoy a good story. Second, I would like the children to understand a little about how a true friend might act.

Before beginning the Tales of Friendship Bog series, I wrote twelve other books for children of varying ages, plus a biography of missionary Isobel Khun, whom I greatly admired. Also, between the Pibbin books, I wrote two Christian novels.

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

Always! I am working on two different projects, but the New Jersey research for them both seems to be dovetailing, so it might not be as difficult as it sounds. The first project is writing a sequel or two for my middle-grade mystery, Trouble at Silver Pines Inn. The second project is plotting the next book in the Dumont Chronicles. It will follow The Forever Stone and Deep Focus, my two Christian novels. I’m planning to segue from those three into several historical novels, still centered on the Dumont family. And, I will admit, I’m still in the discovery stage, wondering whether it will work out the way I hope.

What advice do you have for other authors?

I don’t feel qualified to advise anyone right now (see above!) except to say, “Make sure your current book is the very best you can do, with excellent plotting, characters, writing, editing, cover art, and blurbs. Then send it out with confidence and get on with the next one.”

Anything else you want readers to know?

I’m grateful for the opportunity to visit today, Cheryl. I appreciate the way you support children’s books and their authors, and I enjoy reading your blog. Your work is an important contribution to our children and their future.

Where can readers find you and your books?





Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tips from Writers and the Kid Lit Blog Hop #58

More writing tips from successful authors. Let us know if this is helpful. This post showcases the authors interviewed in May and June of 2014 and shares their advice for writers.

Start writing. There is only one guarantee with writing stories: if you never start, you will never finish. Don’t expect your first draft to sound fabulous. Just write. Fabulous comes with revision. You have to get your ideas on paper in order to rework them. Next, rework, rework, rework. Did we mention that it is vital to rework your story? The number of reworks required depends on your writing skill and experience. Once you have your best work, let someone that isn’t afraid to tell you the truth critic it.J.S. Jaeger, author of Scrolls of Zndaria.

The hardest part of writing is finishing that first draft. Once that’s done, you’ve accomplished more than most aspiring writers will ever do. I never edit anything during the first draft. I wait until I’ve finished the last page, which can take anywhere from three months to a year, before I go back and start revising.—Laurisa White Reyes, author of The Celestine Chronicles.

The one thing that has always annoyed me when listening to anyone who has success is their fatuous advice. All I can say to any artist anywhere is that if you give up, you are lost, and just because you give your whole life to your art, you are not guaranteed recognition of any kind. This is the life you choose, that is the chance you take.—Daniel Nanavati, author of Midrak Earthshaker

Have fun! If writing’s not fun, why torture yourself?— Angelina C. Hansen, author of Julius Caesar Brown and The Green Gas Mystery.

I have learned several tricks during my ten year career of writing professionally.

First: It takes a lot of work to get a book written and published. While the publishing process is arduous, you can’t even begin that process until your manuscript is finished. Most people don’t discipline themselves enough to get the book done in the first place. So, if you want to write a book, you will have to set aside the time, daily, to write. Write the whole book and don’t look back! Once the book is done, set it aside for a while. Give it a rest! Then, go back and reread it. Do you like it? Hate it? Are you willing to make changes and revisions? Now is the time to make edits and revisions, not as you are writing initially.

Second: If you are interrupted during your writing time, or your allotted time is up, NEVER stop at the end of a chapter. Stop in the middle of a paragraph or even in the middle of a sentence. That way, when you come back, you already have a start!
Margi Evans, author of North Mystic. 

Write. That’s it. That’s the number one activity all of us must do. No excuses, no doubts, and no quitting. Because to get better, there is only one way, and that is to keep putting words on paper until we’re good at it. For some of us this might take years, but we really have no choice.

Most writers’ lives are a mess. Going in a dozen directions, overwhelmed by family and work, and trying to snatch a few minutes to write. This doesn’t work. You have to claim writing time. Make it a priority even if it’s only fifteen minutes a day. And find a method that works for you. I get away during the day to a coffee shop that doesn’t mind me lingering. Maybe once a month, I’ll go to a nearby state park, get a cheap room, and stay for a couple of nights. Whatever works.
Ben Woodard, author of A Stairway to Danger.

It would be the same as what they hear from everyone: write, write, write! Keep sending out query letters. If you want to self-publish, just be sure to do it absolutely professionally. Hire an editor. Pay a designer to make your cover. It's not about just putting something you love on Amazon and hoping it sells. Self-publishing is a serious business, and you become the publisher and have to take on all of those jobs. Meg Dendler, author of Why Kimba Saved the World.

Find a writer's group and a critique group. If they don't have one in your town, join an on-line group. They are so important for feedback and encouragement.Jacci Turner, author of Bending Willow.


Welcome to the 58th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists.

On this Hop, Carpinello's Writing Pages interviews
Children's author Gloria Repp

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! This week, we are excited to be including a Twitter Linky Party to be held in conjunction with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. These linky parties are designed to give you the opportunity to connect with and grow your network of fellow kid lit bloggers, authors, and parents through your various social media platforms.  


Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger

Stacking Books


Pragmatic Mom

Reading Authors

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Spark and Pook

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Kid Lit Blog Hop & Linky Party Rules *Please Read*

1. LINKY PARTY: Add the link to your Twitter profile page in the Twitter Linky Party list below. Be sure to visit at least the two links directly before yours, say hello and retweet a post and follow folks as per your interests. If you do not have a Twitter profile, you are welcome to link up a different social media profile (Pinterest, Facebook, etc.). 2. KID LIT BLOG HOP: Link up any Kid Lit related post in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
3. KID LIT BLOG HOP: Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS from the Kid Lit Blog Hop directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you! 4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links! 5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Happy Hopping!



(***Please do not link a blog post here - see below for the Kid Lit Blog Hop***)


Meet YA Author Dr. Tara Fairfield

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Tara Fairfield, author of the YA series River of Truth.

First, a bit about Tara:

Dr. Tara Fairfield is a licensed psychologist who loves to write! She’s committed to helping others and making some small difference in the world. Last spring she accompanied her youngest daughter to Manila to work with street children and those suffering from the aftermath of the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

Her faith and relationship with Christ is the foundation of her life. This permeates everything she does, including her writing and strong commitment to support good stewardship of the ocean. She believes it’s never too late to follow your dreams and hopes to inspire others to take a risk and have a positive impact on the world around you!

Why did you pick to write books for YA?

I just wrote the story in my heart, and it turned out to be for young adults. I hope that means I’m still young at heart. LOL. Seriously though, I’ve worked with youth and families in many settings and do want to offer a positive reading alternative to young adults that imparts messages I’d want my own children to learn.

What types of books do you like to read?

I’m a huge fantasy buff. I love stories that transport me to new and adventurous places! One of my favorite books growing up was the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. He was the first author to teach me the power of using your imagination to impart important messages about life. The intersection of creativity with lessons on human morality and integrity can be a powerful vehicle for imparting wisdom to youth without losing any entertainment value.

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

My family is very important to me, and I spend much of my free time with them, but I also enjoy traveling, kayaking, and playing with my dogs. Wherever I am, there is almost always a book or Kindle in my hand. I can’t remember how I coped before Kindle. It’s wonderful to be able to carry a virtual library with me wherever I go.

Tell us about When My Lion Calls: River of Truth Series Book 1 and how the story came to be.

When My Lion Calls is a novella launching my new series: River of Truth. The idea of the book was sparked by a dream I had of a pride of lions and after writing down the dream…..the story started to flow. It’s strange because at the time I was editing Makai King, the second book in my Makai Series and not really ready to start something new.

When My Lion Calls takes place in the aftermath of worldwide plagues, which wipe out the entire adult population. Teens band together in clans for survival. When a magnificent lion calls out to a young girl, his words ignite a thirst in her heart for truth and launch a journey that might save her clan.

Here's a peek at When My Lion Calls:

In a world decimated by death and disease, evil threatens to descend upon the small clan of survivors Elle calls family. Things are not what they seem and dark forces are at work. When a bear savagely attacks her friend, rumors suggest the incident might be more than coincidence. Nobody is safe. Armed with a sense of determination, Elle joins forces with a young lion keeper to save those she loves. Together, they embark on a quest to journey to the City of Light and seek the protection of King Elohim. Will this king have the answers they seek? Every choice has a consequence. Will Elle choose to embrace the truth? The future depends upon her decision.

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

I’ve written two novels released in my Makai Series: Makai Queen and Makai King. The Makai Series introduces readers to the whimsical underwater world of Moku-ola where nothing’s as it seems! Makai Queen is about a young woman who is kidnapped and taken to a mysterious underwater world where she eventually becomes queen. In Makai King, the queen faces her biggest challenge yet as an evil prince who controls the sharks threatens her kingdom.

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

I’m currently writing the final book in the Makai Series and hope to have it out within the next year.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Listen to the feedback from others on how to improve your writing but don’t let anyone discourage you from following your dream to publish! Write what you love and never give up! This is a tough business and most of us are in it because we simply must write. Get involved in supportive writing communities; they are invaluable!

Anything else you want readers to know?

I want readers to know how much I appreciate their support and reviews. I love it when a reader sends me messages through social media and lets me know they enjoyed one of my books. Thank you.

Where can readers find you and your books?







When My Lion CallsAmazon

Makai QueenAmazon

Makai KingAmazon

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Meet MG Mystery Author Shannon L. Brown

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes Middle Grade author Shannon L. Brown, a lover of mysteries.

First, a bit about Shannon:

Award-winning journalist Shannon Brown released her first book, the middle grade mystery The Feather Chase, in 2014. After writing more than 600 articles about almost every imaginable subject including opera, Daniel Boone, and her specialty of jewelry, Shannon switched her focus to marketing her book and writing the next book in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, she now calls Nashville, Tennessee, home.

Why did you pick to write books for MG?

I was writing for adults, sweet romance novels that have not been published, when writing for middle grade chose me. Mysteries have been a favorite genre since I discovered them as a kid and read every one I could put my hands on. When I got the idea that turned into The Feather Chase, I knew immediately that it was for kids and something that I would have enjoyed when I was that age. I always looked forward to the next book in the series that I read, so I know readers will be happy to read the next book in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series later this year.

What types of books do you like to read?

I like to read middle grade books (I really do enjoy them), cozy mysteries, and sweet romances, mostly historical. I also enjoy reading about history, things like hundred-year-old newspapers and land deeds that most people would consider yawn-worthy.

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

When I’m not writing, you may find me alone baking something yummy (that my husband will gobble up as soon as it’s out of the oven), reading (usually in bed – it’s the perfect place to read), or hiking on a wooded path. I also enjoy doing volunteer work or watching a movie with my professor husband. My calico cat Evie manages to be part of most things at home—she’s on my lap as I answer these questions.

Tell us about The Feather Chase and how the story came to be.

I was driving along a busy interstate in the Dallas/Fort Worth area when an image of a briefcase full of feathers popped into my mind. The Feather Chase was born that day. In the book, small town Sophie and city girl Jessica haven’t seen each other in years but are spending the summer together. It isn’t going well. The twelve-year-old cousins find a briefcase full of feathers in the woods and have to solve the mystery. They’re quickly in the middle of a mystery and have to learn to work together to bring the bad guys to justice.

Here's a peek at The Feather Chase:

They start chasing a mystery—then it chases them!

Twelve-year-old cousins Sophie and Jessica don’t have much in common. Sophie loves hiking and her small town. Jessica would rather be shopping in a city. The only mystery is how they’ll be able to spend the summer together.

Then they find a briefcase in the forest with a surprise inside. When they hear footsteps behind them and bad guys run after them, they have no choice but to work together to solve the mystery of The Feather Chase.

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

As I mentioned earlier, I've written hundreds of articles on a multitude of topics, but this is my first published book.

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

I’m writing the next book in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series which begins when Sophie and Jessica find a gift wrapped package on Sophie’s front porch with a clue inside that sends them on a hunt for missing treasure.

What advice do you have for other authors?

Learn your craft. Read in your genre.

Anything else you want readers to know?

My website has a lot of fun things for kids:
An online puzzle of the book cover
Customizable printable bookplates that kids can type their name into
Word puzzles

I've also created a lapbook, something homeschoolers will be familiar with. This downloadable lapbook kit (.pdf) has three parts, all tying back to the The Feather Chase:
Part One: the reader learns more about what they just read, such as details about London and tunnels.
Part Two: Using The Feather Chase, the reader learns about the parts of a novel and mystery.
Part Three: The reader writes his or her own mystery, incorporating  what they learned in Part Two.

Where can readers find you and your books?


The Feather Chase is available in print online at Barnes & Noble or Amazon, or can be ordered from any bookseller. The ebook is currently on Amazon.