Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." ~ ISAIAH 30:21 (NIV)
OUT AND ABOUT
My sequel to SECRET OF THE SEVENTH GATE might be resurrected after ll. Stay tuned. :) I'm also starting illustrations for X MEANS TEN ON THE FACE OF BIG BEN, and working my way through a directory of literary agents.
In JUNE, I led Creative Writing activities for high school kids at Weir Baptist Camp, near Pittsburg, KS. They did a great job of presenting their pieces on family night. Also in JUNE, I enjoyed networking with other local authors at the ASTRA ARTS FESTIVAL Book Fair in Independence, Kansas. On August 9, I read my true story AN AVALANCHE OF SKELETONS at the Astra writing contest winners' reception.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14: PRAIRIE WRITERS will meet, 2:00 pm at INDEPENDENCE LIBRARY, for mutual support and marketing tips. All are welcome.
AUGUST 18, Sedan Book Club will meet, 6:30pm at the library to discuss UNBROKEN, a biography of Louis Zamperini by LAURA HILLENBRAND.
My 2nd novel, ARROWHEAD'S LOST HOARD, is gaining readership with its theme of blended families. Join Craig, Tony, Kim and Fiona in their hunt for Roman treasure on a British island. To order a signed copy for $10.00, plus $2.00 S/H, go to CONTACT page.
SECRET OF THE SEVENTH GATE, a Persian adventure, is available on Amazon, or from Royal Fireworks Press, one of the Quick Links in the right-hand column. Both middle-grade mysteries may be purchased at: MAGNOLIA HEALTH & HOME in Independence, KS; the BRITISH EMPORIUM in Grapevine, TX; and available soon at RUTH'S CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE in Bartlesville, OK.
My mother's autobiographical novel, RAINBOWS THROUGH THE RAIN, has been reprinted. My sister and I are giving copies to any family/friends who express an interest.
MORE TITLES UP MY SLEEVE:
1. A Teddy Bear Never Forgets
2. Broke Spoke and Humby Umby
3. Gretchen and Butterscotch
4. Jake's Magic Skateboard
5. Legend of Pudding Lane
6. Madame Archelon's Art Room Mysteries
7. Madame Archelon's Art Tips and Tricks
8. Mevagissey and Friends
9. Moonshine Cave Mystery
10. Selection Box
11. Summer of the Seven Aunts
12. The Secret Life of Dolls
13. The Spellbound Pond
14. Turnabout: Mini Bible Bios for Kids
15. Uncle Pat's Amazing Apps
INTERVIEW by FRIENDLY READERS critique group
Q: The main character in ARROWHEAD'S LOST HOARD is a 12-year-old boy. How did you decide whose viewpoint to use for this story?
A: My first book had a 13-year-old girl protagonist, so getting into a boy's head made a change for me. I hoped the adventure and conflict between Craig and Tony would pull in boy readers. They both have sisters, so girls will appreciate the book too.
Q: Is there really an Arrowhead Island in Britain?
A: No, but the setting is similar to my childhood home on the Isle of Wight, a short ferry ride from Portsmouth or Southampton. Arrowhead is smaller, and no visitors' cars are allowed.
Q: Is it still possible to find buried Roman treasure?
A: Yes. A valuable hoard was found in 2009, and another in 2010! You need a metal detector, the landowner's permission, and lots of patience.
Q: Your first children's novel, SECRET OF THE SEVENTH GATE, takes place in 1970s Iran. What gave you the idea of setting a story in that time and place?
A: When I worked in Iran, the Shah’s throne seemed secure and expatriates prospered. But in 1978, mobs demanded his overthrow. I wondered how American kids would cope with secret tapes, hostile calls, suspicious fires, and local residents acting strangely. Would their school, parents’ jobs, and friendships with Iranians survive?
Q: Did you do any special research?
A: Yes. I spent a year there, but needed to know more about the history of Iran. I read about 20 books, studied news magazines on microfilm, and talked to Brits & Americans who fled Iran during the revolution. I present all viewpoints, showing the unique qualities of this land and its people.
Q: Who would read SECRET OF THE SEVENTH GATE?
A: Mystery-loving kids aged 9-13 will enjoy figuring out what's going on in the kids' neighborhood. They'll find humor in the rehearsals for Ali Baba, and a car chase propels the story toward a rapid conclusion. Parents who lived in the Middle East, plus teachers looking for a curriculum tie-in, might be prompted to open up a discussion about the triumph of faith and friendship over fear and prejudice.
Q: How did you become a writer?
A: Growing up, I had an abundance of paper and pencils. My parents held a writing circle in our home, and teachers nurtured my love of words. Dad typed my manuscripts for publication, but it wasn't until the 1980s that I submitted regularly, after joining a writers' group in Texas. Put on your armadillo armor as protection from rejection slips! Each one feels like an arrow, but think of it as a red badge of courage.
Q: What else have you written?
A: I've had more than 60 poems, puzzles, articles, and stories printed in magazines. Two poetry collections came out in 2004 and 2006. I want to find homes for my picture books, ONZO AND THE LONG SLEEP and L IS FOR LONDON. My longer, ongoing project is a memoir titled BUGSY, SLUG, THE BEATLES AND ME.
Q: What advice would you give young writers?
A: Read. Look. Listen. Keep a journal. Get together with friends who write, and help each other make your work the best it can be. Enter contests. Send poems and stories to your favorite magazines. Hold on to your dream. There’s a place for us all out there!