Today, I welcome Christine Verstraete who enjoys writing mysteries, children’s fiction and short stories. Yes, I know Wednesday is supposed to be food day, but Chris has a weiner dog in her book, and that’s close enough.
Besides writing her children’s book, Searching For A Starry Night, (just released for Kindle!), Christine has had short fiction published in various anthologies including Timeshares and the upcoming Steampunk’d from DAW Books, plus in Dragons Composed and The Bitter End: Nautical Tales of Terror. Her latest spooky stories in eBook include “Motherly Love” and “The Killer Valentine Ball” (coming in October.)
In Searching for a Starry Night, A Miniature Art Mystery, Sam, her Bff Lita, and a mischievous Dachshund named Petey, face a cranky housekeeper, a dog-hating gardener, and an ancient family curse as they search for a missing miniature replica of Van Gogh’s famous painting, “Starry Night.”
Samantha Ann Carlton would rather spend her summer vacation anywhere but a spooky old house in Wisconsin… like Lake Geneva! Somehow Sam knows it’s going to take more than a couple days to find a missing painting no bigger than her hand.
Maybe things won’t be so bad, she thinks, since she gets to take a friend’s lovable but mischievous Dachshund, Petey, and her best friend Lita. If they’re lucky, the three of them can find the miniature replica of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and help Sam’s mother get it to the museum where it belongs.
It’s not going to be easy, Sam realizes, when she meets the crabby housekeeper, a dog-hating gardener, and discovers her own family has some spooky secrets. Then Petey digs up an ancient curse, and Sam fears her friendship with Lita is doomed…
Will they find the miniature masterpiece in time? Will Sam and Lita go home friends — or enemies? – a fun mystery for ages 9 and up.
Q: What inspired this book?
A: As I collect and create dollhouse miniatures, it seemed a perfect extension to write a story having two young sleuths hunt for a missing miniature painting. See, who says hobbies don’t pay off? Ha!
Q: How did you handle writing adults as secondary or minor characters and children as main characters, or was it no trouble for you?
A: Some readers believe an adult should have a barely visible presence in a kid’s or YA book, but what’s wrong with showing a good relationship between a child and parent without the parent overpowering the story? Sam and Lita still make their own decisions; some good, some bad and some with consequences.
Q: Is this the first in a series?
A: Kind of… I have a set of short you-solve-it mystery stories featuring the two girls that I am sending out.
Q: What’s your favorite type of writing?
A: The project I just finished? Ha. Even better when it gets published and has a paycheck attached!
Marian, Thanks for letting me meet your blog visitors! Anyone have any specific hobby or writing questions?
**CONTEST: Anyone commenting on any of the blog stops on the tour can win:
* One person who comments on any of the blog tour stops will win a free Kindle copy of Searching for a Starry Night. (You can download Kindle for PC free here.)
** To celebrate the revised Searching for a Starry Night, one person will win a copy of the new print version when it is available.
Blog Tour Schedule:
Thurs, 7/22: Acme Authors Link – Real vs. Fictional Friends
Mon, 7/26: Morgan Mandel’s Double M blog = Dogs and Such
Tues, 7/27: Killer Hobbies with Camille Minichino – Crafts and Writing, what comes first?
Weds, 7/28: Marian Allen’s fiction site – Talking about Writing
Thurs, 7/29: Helen Ginger, Straight from Hel – Getting Kindleized
Fri, 7/30: J.E. Taylor’s blog – Writer’s Quiz and Other Stuff
Mon, 8/2: Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers – craft how to with Anastasia Pollack – Writing and Crafts: Make Easy Miniature Cloth Decorations
Tues, 8/3: L. Diane Wolfe, “Spunk on a Stick” – Making the Switch from Nonfiction to Fiction