"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. " Matthew 7:7
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~OUT AND ABOUT~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My 3rd poetry chapbook, titled KALEIDOSCOPE, is almost ready to print, and X MEANS TEN ON THE FACE OF BIG BEN is doing the rounds of publishers. I am also working my way through a directory of literary agents. RIDDLE OF THE SAMOVAR, a sequel to SECRET OF THE SEVENTH GATE, still simmers on the back burner. Challenged by fellow writer Cherilyn Hearn, I kept a blog from A to Z, with each post addressing one aspect of my work-in-progress.
It's amazing how much time can be freed up when you give up Facebook for Lent. Today I caught up on this month's Prairie Writers assignment - prompted by Groundhog Day - an obscure place with a big claim to fame. I chose Pudding Lane, where the Great Fire of London started in 1666. It's in the form of a picture book with repetition along the lines of the House That Jack Built. DONE! Ready to print copies for tomorrow's meeting.
It has been fun this week to work with 2nd graders on their own animal stories, Eric Carle style. Let's hope I never lose the joy of creating that I see in these young authors.
THURSDAY, MARCH 19: Sedan Book Club will meet 6:30 pm at the library, to discuss
THE SCENT OF RAIN AND LIGHTNING (set in small-town Kansas) by Nancy Pickard.
SATURDAY, MARCH 21: The PRAIRIE WRITERS group will meet at 11:00 am on the 2nd floor of Independence Library for encouragement and sharing tips.
SPRING 2015: Pen and Cup Book Tour with authors Cherilyn Hearn and Pamela Black.
ARROWHEAD'S LOST HOARD continues to gain readership with its theme of blended families. Join Craig, Tony, Kim and Fiona in their hunt for Roman treasure on a fictional British island. To order a signed copy for $10.00, plus $2.00 S/H, go to CONTACT page at top.
SECRET OF THE SEVENTH GATE, a Persian adventure, is available from Royal Fireworks Press, one of the Quick Links in the right-hand column. To view the rest of this site, click on MY WORKS...BIO...and BLOG at top of page. Both of my middle-grade mysteries may be purchased at: The RED BUFFALO store in Sedan, KS; MAGNOLIA HEALTH & HOME in Independence, KS; HASTINGS BOOKS in Bartlesville, OK; the BRITISH EMPORIUM in Grapevine, TX; and will soon be sold at RUTH'S CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE in Bartlesville, OK.
MAGNOLIA HEALTH & HOME
An author-friendly store! All 4 books may be purchased here. Click link above for details.
MORE TITLES UP MY SLEEVE:
Uncle Pat's Amazing Apps
Mevagissey and Friends
Madame Archelon's Art Room Mysteries
Gretchen and Butterscotch
Broke Spoke and Humby Umby
Jake's Magic Skateboard
The Spellbound Pond
Mystery of Moonshine Cave
Summer of the Seven Aunts
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!