Friday, March 12, 2010

The Stuff of Dreams--or not ~~ by Shari Barr

If you think writing for a middle-grade fiction series is the stuff of dreams, think again. You can break in with a major publisher if you’re willing to write as work-for-hire. In fact, I got my first fiction gig this way. And if I can land one of these opportunities of a lifetime, so can you.
Not only was it great fun, but I also learned tons about the publishing world. But best of all—I will walk away with four books to my credit.
I first learned about Barbour Publishing’s new Camp Club Girls mystery series through a Christian newsletter I receive. After contacting the editor, I was invited to submit a sample chapter and subsequently contracted, along with five other authors, to write the 24-book series.
Each writer was then assigned one of the six main characters in the series. My four books were all written from the viewpoint of McKenzie Phillips, a witty, thirteen-year-old from Montana. Since I’m a farm girl and see the need for more farm related stories in children’s literature, I created McKenzie’s character to fit the mold of today’s farm kids. Of course, a few plot elements were inspired by some of my most memorable childhood stunts, except I made her a lot more fun.

The girls in the series are ages 9-14 and meet while sharing a cabin at church camp. In book one the roomies use their individual skills to solve a mystery they’ve encountered at camp. In each of the following books, two girls meet at various locations around the country. The remaining four girls help sleuth by keeping in contact through cell phones and computers. Oh, and I must also give credit to Biscuit, the wonder dog, who often uses his canine skills to provide clues in solving the mysteries—a must for every good detective.

At first the project seemed a bit daunting since we were only allowed a few months to write each book. However, a looming deadline with a paycheck waiting at the finish line makes for great motivation. (And did I mention four books with my name on the cover will soon grace the bookshelves?)
Since the series was written as work-for-hire, each author was given a basic plot outline for each book, but we were allowed plenty of room to make the books our own and let our voice shine through. In the early stages of writing, each author made a character sketch of her “girl” to provide guidelines for the other writers to help keep the characters consistent throughout the series.
Barbour began releasing the first two books of the series on January 1 and plans to release two more books ever other month until all twenty-four books are released by the end of next year.

My first book of the Camp Club Girls series, “McKenzie’s Montana Mystery”, which released March 1, involves the disappearance of a prize-winning horse from Sunshine Stables prior to a major rodeo. Shady characters and a mysterious ghost rider provide suspense as McKenzie and her friend Bailey try to nab the horse thieves. I could tell you whodunit, but then I’d have to kill you.

My second book in the series, “McKenzie’s Oregon Operation” will release on November 1 while “McKenzie’s Branson Brainteaser” and “McKenzie’s Iowa History Mystery” will release in 2011.
If you’re still waiting for your big break in the book publishing world, consider looking beyond a royalty paying publisher. Sometimes that great opportunity is lurking where you least expect it.
To learn more about the Camp Club Girls for the young girl in your life,
check out Camp Club Girls
To purchase “McKenzie’s Montana Mystery”, take a peek at my website
And click on the links on the “My Books” page or go to Amazon or to Barbour Books.
To get your name in the drawing for an autographed copy of “McKenzie’s Montana Mystery”, leave a comment and tell me the name of your favorite childhood mystery novel.


Kav said...

I'm excited and fascinated to read about your experience publishing in the juvenile market. I work in a school board central library so I'm always on the look out for fresh new reading material and mysteries are always in demand. I've always wondered how multi-authored series came about and now I know!

I loved reading mysteries as a kid. My favourite mystery series was Trixie Belden and one of my favourite Trixie mysteries was The Mystery at Happy Valley Farm was set on a sheep ranch in Iowa!

Recent mysteries I've enjoyed (and purchased for the school board) are:

The Mystery of the Martello Tower by Jennifer Lanthier. She is a Canadian author and this was her first book and filled with page-turning suspense.

The Herculeah Jones series are good as well. I've read Dead Letter Mystery and The Black Tower Myetery. They are written by Betsy Byars who is an incredibly versatile children's author.

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd is a more complex mystery for older kids and a great one for trying to solve the mystery as you read.

Then there's Wanted by Caroline Cooney. Pretty chilling suspense for teens. She's another prolific author. I recently read Diamonds in the Shadows and couldn't put it down. An interesting combination of inspirational, social justice and mystery. Definitely for teens though as it does get gritty in places.

Oops -- too much information, right? It's the librarian in me. :-)

Pepper Basham said...

Wow, Shari - I don't think I've ever heard about 'work for hire' before. I mean, in publishing :-)
Sounds like PRN kinds of work in my profession. :-)

Congrats on your books! Wow, what a great honor.

What do you do? Look at the market and find publishers who are 'looking' for authors to fill a specific need? Do they list things like this?

Pepper Basham said...

And Kav,
We love librarians around here :-)

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Librarians rock.

I brought coffee. Lots of coffee.

And food from the Greek diner at the corner of Flynn and Latta. Great breakfast combos! Hop up to the counter and Kim will help you out!

Shari, I love this and I love kid fiction. Isn't that what snared most of us? Well-written books that touched our heart, our soul?

So very cool that you did this!!!! I want to know more. Lots more.

Grab some coffee or tea and tell us more about it, pretty please.

Ruthy (please note absence of snark in this comment)

Pepper Basham said...

Did the internet go out in upstate NY again. Who are you, and what have you done with snarky Ruthy?


Brought donuts to add to the pseudo-Ruthy's Greek.

Leigh said...

Good morning, Shari, and thanks for the info on the Camp Club Girls! My daughter is 8 and loves to read, but it's hard to find good things for her since she's reading way above grade level. We'll be checking these out!

I'm used to work-for-hire writing projects since I'm a freelancer, but haven't thought about this kind of series project. I'd love to learn more so will be interested in the answers to Pepper's questions.

I read all the Nancy Drew books but agree with Kav -- Trixie Belden was my favorite.

I'm adding some of my kids' favorite breakfast things to Ruthy and Pepper's contributions -- apple fritters, waffles and a lovely assortment of Pop Tarts (hey, some of them even have fruit inside, so doesn't that count?). :-)

leigh at leighdelozier dot com

Sandra Leesmith said...

Morning Shari, Thanks for joining us here in Seekerville. I love the idea of the series. Having taught Junior High reading, I'm like Kav and always interested in great reads for teens. Your series sound fun. And the cover is terrific.

Pepper the donuts hit the spot today. yum and thanks

destrella said...

What a great stroy and what an honor to be included in this series. I'm glad you were able to bring your country-girl surroundings to the story.

I loved Trixie Belden as a youth and even tried to write to her at her publishing company. I got a kind response back that she was not real and various authors wrote her as well. :O)

estrella8888 at roadrunner dot com

Pamela Mason said...

Good Morning Shari!
Yes please, more information.I love how you and others work together on the different characters for this series. And the extremely intelligent way you've broken into the lady. And since I'm just on my first cup this morning I have no intelligent questions to add to Pepper's and Ruthy's.
But Trixie Belden was my fav back then as well. I thought Honey was such a pretty name for her friend, and I wanted a happy big family that ran up the stairs to the kitchen where Mom made flapjacks. But I don't remember the mysteries!! Because they were my sister's books, so I could only sneak a little at a time before she yelled.
My sons loved the Artemis Fowl (sp?)series.I read one, but too much artillery for me.
Thanks for your information. I'm interested in hearing more. Right after more caffeine & sugar, thanks.

Glynna Kaye said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Shari! Your books sound wonderful! I loved reading at the age you're targeting. In fact, I'm going to track down some of your books as I think they're something our local Christian women & kids shelter might like to have in their library!

Audra Harders said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Shari and thanks for sharing your adventure...well, yours and McKenzie's : )

I, too, started loving books in this age bracket. I loved the adventure and lived vicariously through the kids on the pages.

Much like I do now through Inspy romances : ) Some things never change.

When contests are looking for judges, I always judge the YA category. It's fresh and new, and I love seeing the stories that will mold the readers of tomorrow!!

Happy Friday, everyone!! Coffee, must have coffee : )

Julie Lessman said...

Good morning, Shari, and welcome to Seekerville!

And, WOW, I had NO idea there was even an option like "write for hire," so this is really fun to hear about!

Do you ever get to meet the other writers in the series, connect and brainstorm? I realize you are given a structural plot, but even so, since this a teamwork situation, do you and the other writers in the series get a chance to connect and bond?

Nancy Drew was my favorite growing up (and Victoria Holt, although, I know she was not a "middle grade" fiction writer), and the impact they had on me as a reader is huge.


Melanie Dickerson said...

Hi, Shari! I loved a good mystery when I was a kid. I read almost all the Nancy Drew books.

Please put me in the drawing. I have two daughters who would love to read your book! Thanks!
melaniedickerson at knology dot net

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Shari! The YA series and your McKenzie books sound like great fun! I didn't realize opportunities exist like this to work for hire. Seems like I learn something new every day in Seekerville.

Breakfast was great! Thanks Ruthy for setting it up for us.


Rose said...

Hi Shari,

Congratulations on your "work for hire" series. I write for children also and my non-fiction book is also a work for hire. I had a wonderful experience working with a book packager on that project. But I did have a very tight deadline. I think that's the norm with work for hire books.

I can't remember the name of the mystery book I loved a preteen and I will DATE myself but I bought it through the Scholastic Book club and it was a Patridge Family Mystery. They were trapped in what was thought to be a haunted house. I did read a lot of Nancy Drew too.

(Who's off to get ready to meet Mary Connealy and Erica Vetch for lunch in Sioux Falls)

RRossZediker at yahoo dot com

Shari Barr said...

Good morning, everyone. It's good to see so many comments and questions. I'm honored. I'll try to answer your questions, but if I don't make myself clear, keep asking.

Pepper, I found out about the Camp Club Girls when the director of the Christian organization that I belong to mentioned in the newsletter that she'd been hired to edit this new series. I then emailed her and asked if she knew if Barbour would be hiring new writers since it was a new series. She gave me the name of the Sr. Editor to contact. I did that, and this editor said "yes" they would need new writers and asked to me write a sample chapter. A couple of months later, I was offered a contract.

Some publishers, however, list in the market books if they do work-for-hire. But, sometimes, you can write and inquire, then let them know you're interested. Be sure to send a resume at this point. Also, conferences are a great way to meet editors and ask about their needs.

The six writers of the series have never met, but we emailed quite a bit in the beginning. We had to have our character sketches pretty much done before we began writing the books so everyone would have the same info about the characters. If we added a new character trait to "our girl" we let the others know. For example, I stated McKenzie's fears as being afraid of public speaking.
This clarified things to the other writers so one author wouldn't have her scared of heights in one book, while another writer has her jumping out of a plane in another book.

None of the authors read the other books while they were being written, so these character sheets were very important.

Sweatheart39 said...

I am so excited for you about this venture! Your book is on my list to get, and I will get an extra one if the library in town does not have it.

This type of series gives the rest of us Middle Grade writers hope.

Hubby brought home mini chocolate covered cakes to share. Several flavors, and I'm willing to share.
Dawn Ford

Shari Barr said...

I'm thinking I need to meet you guys for brunch somewhere. It's usually dry cereal around here, though I did make pancakes this morning.

This good conversation is brightening up this drizzly Iowa morning.

KC Frantzen said...

Yippitty doo dah!

Congratulations Shari! This is so exciting!!

(those were for emphasis since I'm told we're NOT to overuse !!!! in our writing. Cretins.)

Who knew?

Looking forward to hearing more about it and your work. Perhaps some of the other authors would share their perspectives today as well.

Would Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'engle count? It's still one of my all time faves.

Please enter me: ksf895 at citlink dot net

I'm polishing a MG adventure right now and truly am thrilled to see such an interest in this genre.

What?! I'm not the Lone Ranger in spotting a dearth of good, interesting stories for kiddoes?

We recently watched a YouTube clip of Johnny Carson and Jack Webb - the Copper Clapper Caper if you have seen it. WHAT a delight it was to LOL over alliteration. Nothing dirty about it, just good fun.


Cara Lynn James said...

Thanks for all the info on work for hire. It sounds like fun, but also challenging. My favorite mystery as a kid was Trixie Belden's The Gatehouse Mystery. I also loved Nancy Drew. Thanks to them I'm still a big mystery fan.

Lindsey Parker said...

Hey Mrs. Shari I really enjoyed your post today!:)
Please enter me in the drawing for your book I know my little siter would absolutely love it, she's getting to where she loves mysteries!
And my favorite mystery books when I was kid was Nancy Drew!
I would probably still pick up one now and read it:)

Shari Barr said...

I forgot to mention that the Camp Club Girls are having a monthly contest where young girls can enter their name in a drawing for some really cool prizes from "Kate the Gadget Girl". You can find out more info on the website.

For those of you who like Nancy Drew, I would describe the Camp Club Girls' books as Christian Nancy Drew, though they are not preachy at all. It's mainly reference to prayer,doing what God wants them to do, etc. There's no Christian jargon and they're non-denominational. They're real life girls who get caught up in circumstances where they must learn to make the right choices.

Keep the comments coming. I'm loving it while I sip my iced wild berry green tea.

Vince said...

Hi Shari:

I’m so glad you are here today and I will read your first book.

Some of the very best books I read each year are the Newberry winners. These books are as good as anything being written today. Just read Missing May by Cynthia Rylant for a genuine work of art.

I wrote a work-for-hire book in real estate and the pay looked very good. However, the editor requested revision and revision. First because laws changed as the book was being written and then because a new editor wanted to make all the books in the line look and feel more alike.

You don’t get paid until the end and you have so much time already invested in the project as you go along that the process can be quite frustrating. In the end I think I got paid minimum wage for the time put in. So just a little caveat to work-for-hire writers. Find out what the policy is on endless revisions and changes that are not due to you making mistakes.

I am curious about three things: do you know there is a famous McKenzie Phillips, only the Mc is a Mac? She was a child star. Was this on purpose? Also, how does your heroine go from state to state so often? Finally, do the children age in the books or are they the same age in all 24 books?

I think the Nancy Drew books are exceptional. I only discovered them a few years ago and I read them with enjoyment because I like to think Nancy would be the kind of daughter I would have had.

I think you’re writing for a very important market. Thanks for posting today.


Shari said...

I will tell a little more about our writing guidelines we were given. Each book was to be 12 chapters, about 2800 words per chapter, about 34,000 words for the entire book. We were given guidelines that the girls should not talk back to adults, no little white lies, must be nice to others, and of course, no potty mouths. At first, I thought this would make the girls too nicey-nice but as I wrote I realized this wasn't the case. I could still make McKenzie fun and a little witty. Nice girls can still be fun.

The girls usually travel around the country on vacations where one other girl comes to meet her. She may have an aunt or uncle she's going to visit. And, yes, the girls remain the same age throughout the series.

The editing and revisions, so far, have been minimal. We were paid half up front and the other half on acceptance of the book. I will not get rich on this series but I would do it again in a heartbeat just to get the experience, credit for 4 books, and working for a wonderful publisher and editors. It's a great way to get my foot in the door.

I was aware of the actress MacKenzie Phillips and mentioned it to my editor before I began writing the books. They didn't think this would be an issue since young girls wouldn't know the actress of the 70's and 80's.

I'm loving everyone's comments about their favorite books, though I haven't read "The Partridge Family" books. But I did watch the show. Ooh--that David Cassidy! Did anyone watch "The Hardy Boys" with Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy? (I'm definitely showing my age.) That Sunday night line-up always interfered with my dad's "60Minutes". Those were the days of 1 TV in the house and I think I usually won. Poor Dad.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Congratulations on this project.

Sweet Valley High was a work for hire as was most of the Nancy Drew and if you look at most of the other not as well known Scholastic series' they were also.

Work for hire is a great way to get experience and bread and butter in this industry.

Often times so is working with a book packager--who will come up with idea and approach the publisher and then hire the writers.

Shari, so delighted to have you with us and share on this very neat avenue for writers.

Shari Barr said...

Another interesting little tidbit about the good-naturedness of the editors and publisher. After the assignment of the first book, the writers were asked for suggestions as to locations we'd like for settings for our remaining books. Since I'd vacationed a lot in Minnesota and Branson, I suggested those two locations plus an Iowa setting. I didn't get the Minnesota lakes setting (someone else had a Wisconsin setting, so I think it was too similar) so I got Oregon instead. I did, however, get Branson and Iowa, so those were great fun, especially the Iowa book. Though it's based on a fictitious Living History Farms, I was able to bring in a little bit of a modern farm setting, plus bring in some local history and expand on it. For example, I had one scene take place inside a 1950's school where they have those old fire escapes that look like an enclosed tunnel. I asked for a tour at a nearby school (which is now closed and serves as a museum). My tour guide showed me the fire escape from the top floor and told me I could go for a ride. "You won't go fast," he said. "It's not polished." Well, let me tell you, I shot out of that tunnel like a greased pig and landed on my hiney! Not fast, huh? Made for a realistic scene in my book, though. See why I like this series? Research alone has been a blast.

Leigh said...

The Hardy Boys TV show ... oh yes, I remember that one! I never got into the books but was old enough to enjoy the show once it came out.

And one TV in the house? That's how we still are, even with kids. Well, one that's hooked up for TV shows and one downstairs that they can only use for Xbox or Wii. Helps mom and dad keep closer tabs on what they're watching -- and we push books a lot more than the TV anyway. :-)

I'm enjoying the details on how you got involved with this project and how all the authors worked together. Sounds like a different kind of challenge, but one that would be fun.

And while we're having Partridge Family and Hardy Boys flashbacks, my word verification is astro. Wasn't that the Jetson's dog? :-)

Nicole said...

I am so excited to be able to read this with my 10yr old daughter-especially since I know the author!! I have heard of writing for hire, and wanted to break into the world of being a "published writer" for some time now. I am so excited for you!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Work for hire sounds like an interesting way to get your name out there - these books sound wonderful.

Good luck and God's Blessings for your success!


Melinda Taylor said...

Congrats Shari! I'm so happy for you!
I love to 'work for hire' also.

My favorite childhood mystery novels? The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner!

Your friend and fellow writer encourager,


LaTawnia said...

How exciting! My favorites were Nancy Drew (of course) and another was Linda Carlton (I think that was her last name - she had adventures in the Florida swamps and fly a very small helicopter.)

By the way, how do you find publishers looking for "fill the need" authors? I would definitely be interested in doing something like you did.


Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but I love market books. I can sit down in the evening and go through the books sections, page by page and look at each publisher individually. Sometimes they will say if they want work-for-hire. You could also go to each publisher's website and see if it's mentioned, but for me it's much quicker to go through a market book.

One of the first assignments I ever got was for the publication "Davey and Goliath", a 64 page magazine for families. I found out about it through an entry in a market book. The publisher stated that they worked on assignment and most of their writers were teachers. Well, I was bummed because I wasn't a teacher. But then I remembered that I'd taught Sunday school, directed VBS, and subbed as a preschool aid. This must have qualified me as a teacher (plus I'd already published short devotions) because after I inquired, I was asked to write a sample, and was then offered a contract to write the 54 pages of text in the magazine.

I also learned never to underestimate myself. If you don't get positive results from a book publisher at first, consider looking for magazines that give assignments. Though I always knew I wanted to write books, I had to start with magazines before I got the book contracts.

Shari Barr said...

Oops. I must have clicked the wrong box-"anonymous" is me, in case you didn't figure that out.

nmetzler said...

I had no idea that publishers did this. How do you find out about such things?

My favorite mystery series was Adventures in the North Woods by Lois Walfrid Johnson. I read them over and over and over...

Missy Tippens said...

Shari, congratulations! This is so exciting! The series looks great. I'll have to show it to my daughter. :)

Thanks for sharing about your writing journey!

Shari Barr said...

I first heard about work-for-hire through other writers. Then I began looking at market books to see which publishers do this. I recommend it as a way to break in. Thanks for asking.

It's so good to see my friends on here! I'm having a great day and hope everyone else is, too.

Shari Barr said...

Encouragement goes a long ways when it comes to writing and I sure have had plenty from everyone today! It really helps when you're striving to do God's work. Thank you all so much.

Dawn, Nicki, and Melinda-it's so good to see you here. Your support is wonderful!

Shari said...

Mary, thanks for asking me to be your guest today. Loved it. Hope your book signing was wonderful.

Anonymous said...

i loved to read ALL of the Nancy Drew books that I could lay my hands on...great memories.


Project Journal said...

Hi Shari!
This was such a cool post : D

These books sound really fun. I bet this was a stressful, but really inspirational way to write! I'd love to be able to do something like this, but alas! I cannot write, nor am old enough, lol!

I don't think I read too much mystery when I was a kid (shocking now when I think back on it!). However, I LOVED Nancy Drew! I got all my mom's old ND books that she'd read as a kid, which made it even more special. She was such a strong, lovable character.

Nice post, Shari and welcome to Seekerville (even though it's closer to "Come again real soon!" time *wink*),
Hannah (giddy because her 18th birthday is in 3, yes that's right only 3!, days!!!!!) *heehee*

Walt M said...


Nice post. My favorite childhood mysteries were the "Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators" series. I read a number of those books as a kid and wished there had been more stories.


Weren't most of the early Nancy Drew books written my the daughter of the Hardy Boys author? (Granted, I remember watching the Nancy Drew mysteries on TV back when I was a pre-teen. I thought Pamela Sue Martin was cute.)


KC Frantzen said...

So who's bringing 18 candles and birthday cake for Hannah on the 15th?

I'll bring napkins and party favors!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Hannah-almost a legal adult! But you can still act like a kid.

Mary Connealy said...

Hi, Shari. Sorry not to check in all day. I was at a book signing in Sioux Falls SD and ERICA VETSCH did the book signing with me and ROSE ZEDIKER came and met us for lunch. Plus Heather and Linda were there with Erica. Plus we had a really GREAT turnout.

It was a terrific day. Now I'm home and out of the drizzling rain that will NOT stop.

I know, I just quit whining about the snow. Well, TOO BAD I'm NOT satisfied with the weather yet. It MUST TRY HARDER TO BE LOVELY OUT.

Looks like you had a terrific day, Shari. The books sound terrific.

Shari Barr said...

Happy 18th Birthday, Hannah! Blessings to you always.

Shari said...

Sounds like we both had a good day, Mary. I'm so happy for you-how fun that must have been. I'm with you, though. This weather needs to shape up or I'll go back to Cancun.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

I don't know Walt. I'll have to look that up. I personally favored Parker Stevenson.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

From Wikipedia:

Nancy Drew is a fictional young amateur detective in various mystery series for children and teens. Created by Edward Stratemeyer, founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate book packaging firm, the character first appeared in 1930. The books have been ghostwritten by a number of authors and are published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene.[1]

It was Mildred A. Wirt Benson, who breathed such a fiesty spirit into Nancy's character. Mildred wrote 23 of the original 30 Nancy Drew Mystery Stories®.

Stratemeyer accordingly hired Canadian Leslie McFarlane to ghostwrite the first volumes in the series. McFarlane would author 19 of the first 25 volumes in the series. Subsequent titles have been written by a number of different ghostwriters, all under the pseudonym Franklin W. Dixon.

Tina Russo Radcliffe said...

Thanks again Shari for opening this interesting topic!!!

KC Frantzen said...

Congratulations Mary and Erica and Rose and all who were there. Sounds just GREAT!

Lots of partying these days in Seekerville.

Which means food... and drink...


(and my word is "euten" - sounds mighty Suh-thern dudn't it?)

Mary Connealy said...

Childhood mysteries, well, no suprise here, I read like a lunatic as a child. We had no money and thanks to a library books were free.

Nancy Drew
Trixie Belden
The Hardy Boys

Did anyone read The Happy Hollisters? I don't think those were mysteries...but maybe.

I can't think of any more.

Amy said...

Hi, Shari, What an inspirational description of your book-writing experience! Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to hearing your talk at our writers meeting in April. My favorite childhood mystery was THE MYSTERY OF THE GREEN CAT by Phyllis A. Whitney. I recently reread it and it still resonates with me. Best wishes ~ Amy

Shari Barr said...

I'm with you, Tina. Parker Stevenson was hot! But Pamela Sue Martin had the best job in the whole world.

Hi, Amy. I loved Phyllis A. Whitney's books, too. Will see you next month!

jean Fischer said...

Shari, I got side-tracked with some writing projects, and I'm reading McKenzie's Montana Mystery today. I'm halfway through, and I love it.

For the past 10+ years, I've been a full-time work-for-hire author. It's a great way to work on all kinds of fun and interesting projects.

I won't share my favorite childhood mystery book, because I already have a copy of your novel, but I encourage all the readers here to jump into the contest for a chance to win Shari's book. It's an awesome read.

Ausjenny said...

Oh im so late here but read the first 2 and it took me back to when I was that age reading in summer. I use to read a Donna parker camp Councilor book and this too me back there. I love the books and even if they are for kids I love.
I am getting a copy of this book to review and to be honest I cant wait.
thanks for the background on the series.

Nishant said...

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd is a more complex mystery for older kids and a great one for trying to solve the mystery as you read.
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