I was invited to join this writing blog tour by a good friend, Shirley Corder. Shirley writes from South Africa, where she lives with her retired-minister husband. She writes and blogs about her cancer experience to help others going through the same thing. Her current work-in-progress is a study of many of the not-so-well-known women of the Bible. Follow Shirley at http://www.shirleycorder.com.
What am I working on?
I have just started working on book #6 in my Century Farm juvenile mystery series. OakTara has published the first four books in the series: Old Shack Mystery, Secret Passage Mystery, Hidden Gold Mystery, and Secret Code Mystery. Book #5, Secret Wall Mystery, will come out soon with OakTara. My new work-in-progress is Abandoned Schoolhouse Mystery, which has been requested by students in the schools I have visited. It will feature an old country schoolhouse from the mid-1800s. Clues in the abandoned school and adjoining cemetery will send 12 year-old sleuths Jo and Maggie Martin on an adventure tha
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The main characters in my stories are 12 year-old girls, which doesn’t deter boys from reading the mysteries. The characters are Christians, and prayer and discussion of scripture is woven into the plot in such a natural way that the books are acceptable in public schools.
Why do I write what I do?
As a mother, grandmother, and a retired teacher, I have spent practically my entire life teaching children at home, in school, and in church. I especially enjoy going into classrooms now to talk to children about writing. Many of the ideas in my books are child-generated. When I visit the schools and talk about the book I am currently writing, the students bubble over with ideas. I takes notes, and later when I return to that classroom with a published book I can show the students how I’ve used suggestions from their class. It isn’t unusual to hear one say, “That’s my idea!” Maybe it was, but more likely I have combined the contributions of several.
When one class of fifth-graders received an assignment to write a letter to their favorite author, I was the happy recipient of many letters. I answered each student a personal reply. One of my favorites asked, “How many studios do you have?” She may have been let down to learn I sit in in my recliner in our living room and balance my laptop on my lap. Not very glamorous to a child who was expecting multiple studios!
How does my writing process work?
I start with a basic idea and begin jotting down things that might fit. The plot might come from a newspaper clipping or a suggestion from students (or in some cases, from their teachers). With a few plot scenes in mind, I begin searching the Internet for information. The clues in my mysteries all lead to discoveries about the Civil War and slavery, so my information must be accurate for the 1800s. After I finish each chapter, I sent it to my online (KCW mentoring critique group. I save all the critiques and after completing the book, I rewrite and send the chapters to KCW again before doing my final rewrite.
t focuses on a slave bill-of-sale, a small size Confederate uniform, and the tombstones of two 13 year-olds.
Continue this writing tour by following two of my friends on their blogs May 26.
Barbara Hartzler is the debut author of The Nexis Secret, a paranormal teen novel about a girl with a supernatural power to see the unseen world of angels, coming soon from OakTara. A 2012 Genesis Semi Finalist in the Young Adult category, Barbara earned her Bachelor’s degree in Church Communication Arts from Central Bible College (now Evangel University) with an emphasis on drama and media. In college she won a National Religious Broadcasters/Focus on the Family essay scholarship and wrote and directed a successful one act play. She’s a born and raised Missouri native, an active member of ACFW, and blogs at barbarahartzler
Kathy Manning Gronau is the Author of Eat Ice Cream for Supper—a story of my life with cancer, a guide for your journey. In 2007 she lost her husband of forty-two years to colorectal cancer, and within a month was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now a survivor, she shares her experiences as a caregiver and patient. Her many insights from a nursing and counseling background will help you navigate the medical world and learn how to communicate with others, whether it be the patient or caregiver
Kathy lives in the Midwest. She is an RN/Counselor and Hospice Nurse. She blogs on her website http://www.kathymanninggronau.com about the many issues related to cancer and caregiving and on http://www.pagesfromstages.wordpress.com a blog she shares with four other writers who share experiences on a variety of topics.
Kathy is also an experienced speaker and does workshops and presentations for cancer support groups, ladies groups and professionals in her field. Kathy would love to hear from you. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org