Mascot Blog

Celebrating National Author’s Day

It’s National Author’s Day, and we’re showcasing some of our outstanding #mascotauthors! From adult financial and self-help titles to whimsical and humorous children’s books, our eclectic mix of genres and authors have something for every reader.

We’re kicking off this blog with our adult title authors, who’s wise words and impressive achievements are rippling through the book industry. 

Josh Bernoff, Co-Author of The Age of Intent and Marketing to the Entitled Consumer

About Josh

Josh has worked with authors on more than 30 non-fiction books. His contributions include developing ideas and titles, coaching, editing, and ghostwriting.

Prior to becoming an author, Josh was an analyst and vice president at Forrester Research for 20 years. He created the company’s Technographics segmentation, a classification of consumers according to how they approach technology, which is still in use more than 15 years later.

Josh is frequently quoted in publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and has keynoted major conferences on television, music, marketing, and technology in Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Cannes, London, New York, Rome, Tokyo, São Paulo, and Seoul.

Books

The Age of Intent and Marketing to the Entitled Consumer are available for purchase at the Mascot Bookstore. 

Kim Campbell, Author of The Triple Crown Trilogy

About Kim

Kim Campbell’s love for horses and the horse racing industry began when she was a child, growing up just outside Monmouth Racetrack in New Jersey. Over the years, Kim has owned several off-the-track Thoroughbreds, her inspiration for Storm and Sarge. The involvement with her retired Thoroughbreds and her love of racing led Kim to write the Triple Crown Trilogy, not only as a work of fiction for readers to enjoy, but also to enlighten and educate them to the exciting world of horse racing. Kim’s enthusiasm behind the research of her books has led her to get more personally involved in the racing industry which she chronicles in her blog The View Behind the Starting Gate and on her Facebook page TripleCrownDreams. Kim lives in Mason Neck, Virginia with her husband and three children.

Books

The Calm Before the Storm and The Eye of the Storm are available for purchase at the Mascot Bookstore. The third book in Campbell’s trilogy, The Height of the Storm, will be released on December 3, 2019. 

Ruby Silvious, Author of 363 Days of Tea and Reclaimed Canvas

About Ruby

Artist Ruby Silvious is internationally recognized for her miniature paintings and collages, with used tea bags as her canvas. She is the author of 363 Days of Tea: A Visual Journal on Used Tea Bags. Her paintings—some inspired by her travels around the world—have been featured in numerous publications and on multiple media channels, including CNN Travel, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Good Morning America, Headline News, and the internationally syndicated Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Books

363 Days of Tea and Reclaimed Canvas are available for purchase at the Mascot Bookstore. 

Todd Civin, Co-Author of Line Change and Beyond the Finish


About Todd

Todd Civin is a husband, father of five children, and grandfather to three grandchildren with a fourth on the way. His family is his reason for being and he devotes every day of his life to their happiness. He is the founder and owner of Civin Media Relations (CMR), a self-publishing company that assists authors in sharing their stories with the world. CMR focuses primarily on the publishing of stories by and about people with physical or emotional differences. Todd has written six biographies and eight children’s books to date, and he co-wrote Line Change and Beyond the Finish.

Books

Line Change and Beyond the Finish are available for purchase at the Mascot Bookstore.

Merril Hoge, Author of Brainwashed

About Merril

Merril Hoge is a former NFL running back who worked as an analyst at ESPN for twenty-one years, helping launch ESPN2, NFL Live, and Fantasy Football.

Hoge is chairman of the board of the Highmark Caring Foundation and on the board of the Chuck Noll Foundation for Brain Injury Research. Active in concussion research and in the prevention and treatment of brain injuries, Hoge testified at a congressional hearing on football head injuries in 2009 and was appointed to the NFL Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee in 2010.

In 2018, Hoge helped launch Your Call Football and is the author of Find a Way: Three Words That Changed My Life. He has another book in the works with Mascot. He lives in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.

Books

Brainwashed is available for purchase on the Mascot Bookstore.

Whiskey Emerson, Author of West of Hell

About Whiskey

Years ago, Whiskey sat drinking a glass of scotch on her back porch when the idea for her first novel, West of Hell, sparked. As things sometimes go with personal projects, it started very small and developed to such a degree, Whiskey found that she had dreamed up an incredible story that needed to be told. And thus, the trilogy of West of Hell was born.

When not writing or researching her next work, she is typically out hiking with her basset hound, Jolene, or in the yoga studio. She is also a world traveler, motorcycle enthusiast, skier, equestrian, and pianist. These are often the inspiration behind her blog posts, which follow both her travels and her hobbies.

Whiskey currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband. Follow her on Instagram @whiskeyemerson or check out her Facebook page, Whiskey Emerson, for the latest updates.

Books

West of Hell is available for purchase on the Mascot Bookstore. East of Hell, Emerson’s sequel, is coming soon!

Melissa Agnes, Author of Crisis Ready


About Melissa

Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis management and preparedness. Agnes is a coveted speaker, commentator, and adviser to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks.

As a strategic adviser and keynote speaker, Agnes has worked with NATO, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, global non-profits, universities, and many others, helping them understand risk and build invincible brands that can withstand even the most devastating of events.

She is the editor of the Crisis Ready Blog, a contributor to Forbes, and a go-to source for the press, with recent coverage including the Wall Street Journal, VIBE Magazine, USA Today, and many others. In 2015, Agnes gave a TEDx talk in Los Angeles where she discussed the secret to successful crisis management in the 21st century.

As a university guest lecturer, Agnes teaches crisis management in university courses around the world, including at NYU and McGill.

Books
Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World is available for purchase on the Mascot Bookstore.

George Kroustalis, Author of Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass


About George

George Kroustalis has been managing money and helping clients secure their futures since 1997. He is a senior vice president, financial advisor at CAPTRUST, in Charlotte, N.C., where he provides comprehensive wealth investment advisory services to high net worth families, private foundations, corporate executives and business owners.

Books

Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass is available on the Mascot Bookstore. 

A percentage of all sales of Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass go to Project 10.10, a nonprofit George founded, that provides young people with access to basic financial education, including personal budgeting, saving and investing.

Kris Drewry, Author of Breakup Positive: Turn Your Heartbreak Into Happiness


About Kris

Kris grew up on a farm in Southeastern Virginia. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2005 with a degree in fashion marketing, she moved to New York City, where she began a career in fashion PR. After a few years in the industry, she realized fashion wasn’t the right path for her. So around 2010, she started filming online cooking and entertaining segments. These led to a television career. She has been featured on Today, Access Hollywood Live, Inside Edition, and Dr. Oz as a lifestyle contributor. She is also passionate about fitness, health, and wellness, which she documents on her blog The Fit Butler, and hopes that her experiences will inspire others to take control of their lives in a positive way.

Kris lives in Los Angeles, California, where she is currently pursuing a career in writing, television, and motivational speaking. She spends her free time reading as many books as she can, working out, and traveling to new places.

Books

Breakup Positive: Turn Your Heartbreak Into Happiness is available for purchase on the Mascot Bookstore.


While Mascot has evolved to become a multi-genre publisher, our beginnings were in children’s books. There is no better way to highlight this than to showcase our children’s authors that have found multiple success through their books.

We chatted with some of our children’s book series authors about their inspiration behind their books and their tips for authors who are thinking about writing a book series of their own.

Nadine Haruni, Author of the Freeda the Frog Series

About Nadine

Nadine Haruni is the author of the Freeda the Frog™ series of books and mother of five kids in a blended family. Nadine wrote this series to help young children cope with difficult changes in life, recognize that they are not alone and that families come in all colors, shapes and sizes.

Q&A

  1. What was your inspiration behind this book series?
    The inspiration behind the series was my mom, Frieda (spelled differently than the Freeda in my book, whose name is spelled that way to have a connotation of kids being ‘FREE’ to express their feelings, thoughts and concerns).  While taking a course on writing & illustrating children’s books at a local college, I wrote the original draft of the first book of the series, “Freeda the Frog Gets a Divorce” when my own mom was getting a divorce (in an effort to cheer her up).  I didn’t move forward to trying to get it published until after I went through my own divorce, and then each of the subsequent books have been somewhat loosely based upon my own personal situation. My own children inspired me to get the books published since I felt that if they were going through all of the mixed emotions that came about with each of the topics I wrote about, there were plenty of other children who were & could be helped by these books as well.
  2. How far apart did you release the books in your series?
    Approximately one year apart.
  3. What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about writing a book series?
    It really helps if you can write from the heart –about a topic that inspires you or that you can draw from personal experience upon.  The words seem to just flow on the paper more easily when it’s something that is relatable & sort of ‘hits a nerve’ with you.

Books

Freeda the Frog Gets a Divorce, Freeda the Frog and Her New Blue Family, Freeda the Frog is on the Move, and Freeda the Frog Says Farewell to Her Fish are all available in a bundle on the Mascot Bookstore. 

Bob Cameron, Author of the Tuckey the Nantucket Whale Series

About Bob

Robert Cameron and his wife owned a summer home on Nantucket Island for over two decades. He and his family love this special island. Early on in his career, Robert was a ships captain traveling all around the world. He had the opportunity to see numerous whales from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, and the California Coast. But none were as spectacular as the ones in the Nantucket waters especially Tuckey, Nantuckets friendly whale.

Q&A
  1. What was your inspiration behind this book series?
    Firstly, I wanted to help keep my mind active, as I struggle and deal with a very serious medical issue dealing with my brain. This issue causes hardened blood on my brain that shuts down my complete nervous system and my short term memory. Secondly, I wanted to take my grandkids and kids all over away from iPads and electronics and provide them with interesting and fun stories about a whale- Tuckey the Nantucket Whale. 
  2. How far apart did you release the books in your series?
    My first release was 2015 “A Day with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale”. And each year after, wrote a new Tuckey book:
    2016- “Kiteboarding with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale”
    2017- “All the Colors of the Rainbow with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale”
    2018- “Tuckey the Nantucket Whale Travels the World”
    2019- “Flag Football with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale”
  3. What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about writing their own series?
    My advice would be to draft the outlines for books 5 and 6 in the series first. Secondly, establish yourself with a great publisher & team. Naren & the Mascot Books team will help guide you through the process. It is a very rewarding undertaking….seeing it all come together in a super finished product! Each new book is a super thrill!  So much joy and happiness seeing your new children’s book series being read & loved by so many. 

Books

A Day with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale, Tuckey the Nantucket Whale Travels the World, All the Colors of the Rainbow with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale, and Kiteboarding with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale are all available on the Mascot Bookstore. Flag Football with Tuckey the Nantucket Whale is coming soon! 

Marnie Schneider, Author of the Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog Series

About Marnie

A Philadelphia native now living in the Carolinas, Marnie’s life has been driven by sports. Her grandfather, Leonard Tose, was a longtime member of the “club” as the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. He was also the founder of the Ronald McDonald House and helped build NFL Films. From him, Marnie learned the importance of family, sports, and charity. Her series, Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog is her way of giving back to the many great football communities across the nation.

Q&A 

  1. What was your inspiration behind your book series?
    Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog Game Day is the story of my life me growing up with a Grandfather who owned a pro football team and my mom who ran the team
    Life on the road learning about different cities and history and traditions and of course football
  2. How far apart did you release the books in your series?
    I’ve written 6 Football Freddie books in 2 years. I’m doing everything football city, then I’m moving on to:
    Baseball Billie and Bunt 
    Basketball Bobbie and buzzer 
    Soccer Sammie and Score
    Hockey Henrie and Hanson
  3. What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about writing their own series?
    If you’re thinking of writing then just do it!!!

Books

Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog: Gameday in Chicago, Gameday in Pittsburgh, Gameday in Atlanta, Gameday in the Carolinas, and Gameday in Philadelphia are all available for purchase on the Mascot Bookstore. (link)

Howard Eisenberg, Author of the Guess Who and WRITE YOUR OWN ENDING Series

About Howard

Howard Eisenberg now 93, began his writing career at 18. It was in a US-occupied SS barracks at the end of WWII as editor of his unit’s mimeographed Company K Rifleman.  Over the years he has written six books, a musical, and hundreds of major magazine articles, often with his late wife, Arlene, who later co-wrote What to Expect When You’re Expecting. More recently he has turned to children’s books and has been working on the Guess Who Series and the WRITE YOUR OWN ENDING series with Mascot. Asked why, he explains: “It keeps me young.”

Q&A

  1. What inspired your two series?  
    I’m the lucky guy who married the late Arlene Eisenberg. She and I shared magazine bylines for 45 years, but then our daughter, Heidi Murkoff, became pregnant, and Arlene was kidnapped to co-author the original What to Expect When You’re Expecting — that as well as several books in the series that followed. (I’ve done pretty well on my own, but nowhere near the 00 million books in 00 languages Expect books have continued to dance off bookstore shelves since.) 

    In our 50 wonderful years together, my late wife and I co-authored hundreds of magazine articles, a half-dozen books, and, one might say, six grandchildren. But it was observing Arlene read poetry to —  and with — them that inspired my Guess Who light verse series — Guess Who Zoo, Farm, and Neighborhood.

    Arlene was a born teacher. She would read a verse and stop just before the end to let our kids guess the final rhyme. Presto! I researched a bunch of animals for Guess Who Zoo, injected a clue into every line, and left the last word blank for young readers to shout out the animal’s name.  

    In a way (I think of it as kind of a gift from Heaven) Arlene helped inspire my newest series:  Write Your Own Ending books. In The Amazing Adventures of Super Dreidel, young readers are invited to press their Imagination Buttons and, yes, become my co-authors — writing their own endings on two blank pages Mascot bound into the book near the denouement.  They’ll be offered the same opportunity with The Dinosaur in the Elevator which debuts in March. In most books, That’s a little more advanced than filling in one word at the end of a Guess Who book, but of course these books are for older readers. In both books as well, the Write Your Own Ending concept proudly wears some of Arlene’s gone-but-not-forgotten DNA. I’m proud that it’s there.
  2. How far apart did you release your series books?
    We simply released Guess Who Books as I wrote them —  when they were ready.  It was easy to pick a date for the first Write Your Own Ending book. The Amazing Adventures of Super Dreidel was written for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. That usually falls near Christmas, so the choice of December was pre-ordained. The choice of March for The Dinosaur in the Elevator was simple. My editor, Daniel Wheatley, who knows more about such things than I do, chose it for me.
  3. What advice would you give authors who are thinking about writing their own series? 
    Most series share “stars” — characters who continue appearing book after book — and that makes sense. My two series choose to feature a style or technique instead. Readers can choose direct interaction with the author. In effect, they become co-authors themselves. They helping me solve problems their way.  How? By filling in my blanks — with single words in Guess Who books and entire pages of their own  in Dinosaur and Super Dreidel.

Books

Guess Who Zoo, Guess Who Farm, and Guess Who Neighborhood are available in a bundle on the Mascot Bookstore. The Amazing Adventures of Super Dreidel (a WRITE YOUR OWN ENDING book), and Adorable Scoundrels are also available for purchase. 

Katie Porterfield, Author of the A to Z Series

About Katie

A writer based in Nashville, Tennessee, Katie Hines Porterfield holds a B.A. in American Studies from the University of the South and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Alabama. Her first book, Sewanee A to Z, which was published in 2014, launched her business, A to Z Children’s Books. Today, her growing brand of books includes Find Your Heart in Lake Martin: An A to Z Book, The Homestead A to Z, and The Sewanee Night Before Christmas. She and her husband, Forrest, are the proud parents of twin boys, Hines and Shep, who inspire her everyday.

Q&A
  1. What was your inspiration behind your book series?
    My A to Z book series started a bit by accident. I graduated from Sewanee: The University of The South, a small school in Tennessee. My cousin also attended Sewanee, and shortly after he and his wife had their first child, they recognized the need for a children’s book about the college we all loved so much. They told me I could run with their idea, and so I did, writing Sewanee A to Z, a rhyming book about the buildings, events and traditions that make Sewanee so special to its alumni.

    By the time I found an illustrator and Mascot Books, which published Sewanee A to Z  in 2014, I had 4-year-old twin boys. I felt compelled to continue to write books for them about the places that are special to my husband Forrest and me. I wrote the next A to Z book about Alabama’s Lake Martin, where I grew up going every summer and where Forrest and I got married, and the next one about Virginia’s Omni Homestead Resort, where Forrest spent time as a child and where we got engaged. Then, something really cool happened— someone saw my Lake Martin book and approached me about writing a book about their special place, and Smith Lake A to Z  was born. I have several potential books in the pipeline, both on paper and in my head, and some, like Cape Charles A to Z (which is currently being printed), are about other people’s special places, and others, like Seaside A to Z (which is being illustrated), are about places that are becoming special to my boys as they get older.

  2. How far apart did you release the books in your series?As I mentioned, Sewanee A to Z was released in 2014. I didn’t release my second book, Find Your Heart in Lake Martin: An A to Z Book, until 2016. The Homestead A to Z and Smith Lake A to Z came out in 2018. Cape Charles A to Z  will come out in 2019, and Seaside A to Z will be released in 2020. So, although release dates were all over the place in the beginning, I’ve worked hard since 2018 to publish at least one book a year.

  3. What advice would you give authors who are thinking about writing their own series?
    If you’ve found a formula or character you love, stick with it! And if possible, try to find something that distinguishes your series or “brand” from others. Although there are countless A to Z books out there, my brand is different because 1. I write about small, niche markets, rather than large universities, cities or states. 2. I find an illustrator for each book that is either local or has a strong connection to the place about which I’m writing, which gives each book a style that’s as unique as the place itself. 3. All my books rhyme, which isn’t necessarily unique, but it’s part of that “formula” and gives the books a little extra “oomph.” Finally, I’d advise authors to work with Mascot to find a release schedule that works for their brand and genre. Since my books are about different places and aren’t a continuation of a story, it’s not vital that I stick to a schedule. But in other genres, a well-thought out release plan can impact the success of the series.

Books

Sewanee A to Z, Find Your Heart in Lake Martin: An A to Z Book, The Homestead A to Z, and the Sewanee Night Before Christmas are available for purchase on the Mascot Bookstore. 

Alysson Bourque, Author of the Alycat Series

About Alysson

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the Rhyme or Reason Travel series and the multi-award-winning Alycat series. Alysson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a Juris Doctor degree from the Southern University Law Center.

After practicing law for six years, she traded in writing trial briefs for writing children’s books. Alysson enjoys public speaking opportunities at schools, conferences, and festivals nationwide. She hopes to inspire people of all ages to follow their dreams and believe in themselves wholeheartedly.

Q&A

  1. What was your inspiration behind your book series?
    I was inspired to write the Alycat series after taking a year off of practicing law. One evening, after reading our children a bedtime story, my children started begging for more books for our overflowing bookshelf. There wasn’t any room on the bookshelf for more books, so I simply told them that I would write a story for tomorrow night’s reading. They were excited and cheered. Because they believed in me, I believed in me. Funny how children can inspire us with big things.

    I wrote and wrote that evening and the next day as the story unfolded. Unfinished and unedited, I read it to the kids before bedtime. They loved it!  The laughs, squeals, and bouncing on the bed at the end of the story made my heart full. It was then that I knew that this was a journey that I needed to take in my life. Writing.

    The Alycat series is a week-based series that has a different Alycat adventure each day of the week. The purpose of the series is to teach children that they can fix any problem that they encounter using imagination, creativity, and their friendships. I use cats as the characters because they are unpredictable, fearless, hasty, and resourceful— like most kids. As a child, I would daydream during class lessons and one teacher yelled, “Alycat, focus and come back to Earth.” I was inspired to call the cat character, Alycat, as, to me, that name represented someone who is a big dreamer and has a vivid imagination.

  2. How far apart did you release the books in your series?
    My goal with the Alycat series is to release a new Alycat book every 1-2 years. Alycat and the Thursday Dessert Day was released in 2016, Alycat and the Monday Blues was released in 2017, Alycat and the Friendship Friday was released in 2018, and Alycat and the Tournament Tuesday will be released March 17, 2020.
  3. What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about writing their own series?
    My advice to those authors wanting to write a series is to think long-term. Everything you do with the first book affects the subsequent books. The key to having a successful series is to develop a lasting relationship with the main character and reader and keep the personality and traits of the main character consistent throughout the stories. Readers should feel comfortable with the main character—like he/she is family.
Books

Alycat and the Friendship Friday, Alycat and the Monday Blues, Alycat and the Monday Blues Plush Toy, Alycat and the Thursday Dessert Day, and Alycat and the Thursday Dessert Day Plush Toy are available on the Mascot Bookstore. 

Trace Wilson, Author of the Uniquely Series

About Trace

Trace Wilson is a children’s author who has made it his mission to help children understand, accept, and love their unique differences. Having been born without a right hand, Trace struggled with his disability throughout his childhood. Over the years, with the support of loving individuals and organizations like The Ability Experience and Lucky Fin Project, he has come to love his differences and now seeks to help children do the same. Trace wrote the Uniquely series with the hope that it will help not only those with disabilities but any child who worries about being different.
Q&A

  1. What was the inspiration behind this book series?
    My books are written to help kids with disabilities learn to love their unique differences. I was born with one hand, and when I was growing up I worried a lot about being different. I wrote my books to help others overcome some of the same challenges I faced when I was younger!
  2. How far apart did you release the books in your series?
    My books were released about a year and a half apart, and it has been two years since my second book was released. I am hoping to continue the series over the next few years!
  3. What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about writing their own series?
    My advice would be to focus first on the theme or what you want your readers to take away from the story you plan to tell. That will make it much easier to decide how you can break that theme into different pieces that will translate into a series. Writing with that goal in mind will allow you to better organize your thoughts and the different parts of your story!
Books

Uniquely Me and Uniquely Brave are available for purchase on the Mascot Bookstore. 

Scott McBride and Rodger Thompson, Authors of The Adventures of Connor and the Courageous Cutter Series

About Rod and Scott

Rod Thompson is a Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy. Beyond mind melding with Scott to create Connor the Cutter and his pals in Serendipity Sound, Rod is an award-winning screenwriter and public speaker. His greatest loves in life are the God who never fails him, the wife who continually lifts him up, and the sons who remind him that being a great dad is the pinnacle of success.

#FaithHumilityHardWork A native of McLean, Virginia, Scott McBride became inspired to write children’s books while attending graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a husband and father of two boys, he felt called to share fun and exciting morality-based stories with positive messages to both adults and children. His stories focus on things he truly loves: the Lord, boats, and the sea. He hopes both kids and parents alike find joy and happiness as they share in the adventures that wait for Connor and his friends in Serendipity Sound. Scott is a 1998 graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and holds a masters degree in mass communication from the UNC School of Media and Journalism. Scott is a Navy veteran and currently serves on active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard. Welcome aboard!

Q&A 

  1. What was your inspiration behind this book series?
    Honestly, life lessons. There are so many books out there that teach kids manners, or good citizenship – and they’re all great books in their own right. We just wanted to offer children a smooth look at some of the obstacles they may be forced to deal with in their lives, and offer a lesson on how to respond to those events.
    Both of us are active-duty military dads with sons named Connor. We wanted to share children’s stories that teach important moral lessons, while bringing a little joy to this world. The idea for a character named “Connor the Cutter” came to Scott after a fateful conversation with a professor during grad school, and a few years later he met Rod, who was a film major with a focus on screenwriting.

    We quickly outlined the first book, and understood that we weren’t going for a “one and done.” There were so many great lessons that we could build stories upon, and the outlook for a series seemed never-ending. Honestly, it still does! After all, Scott is in the Coast Guard and Rod is in the Navy, so writing stories about boats and the sea is right up our channel (seafaring pun), plus we both love the Ward Cleaver “teach life through lessons” aspect of raising our children.
    Thus the heart of our books lie within the lessons and morals we infuse into every page. C.S. Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest,” and we never write a story without that quote in mind. At every book store signing or school event, we’ll have parents or teachers who pull us aside and emote to us how much they relate to one of our characters, or one of our themes, and it’s humbling to know that we’re hitting those marks that we aimed for when we first started this journey.
  2. How far apart did you release the books in your series?
    Our initial aim was one book a year, but we have spaced them to an average of eighteen months. This gives families time to enjoy each book, and for us to do promotional events with a little bit of lag time between releases. That’s not to say that we’re not always cooking up the next adventure!
  3. What advice would you give to authors who are thinking about writing their own series?
    Just write it! Don’t wait. Don’t make excuses or prioritize writing below everything else in your life. If you have time to eat a sandwich at lunch, you have time to crush a few hundred words. Everyone, and we mean everyone, has a story rattling around in their head, and we always hear friends, family, and fans say, “One day I’m going to write it,” but few ever do. Louis L’Amour said, “Start writing no matter what. The water doesn’t flow until the faucet is turned on.”

    Specifically for series writers, first and foremost, decide if your story is going to be serial or a collection of standalone stories in the same world. Connor the Courageous Cutter is a blend of the two, but we’d still say that our series falls into the standalone category. In our series, Connor has a separate adventure in each book, but there is an overall character growth that comes with the lessons learned in each book. So in each book, Connor is a little wiser and braver than before, but the books don’t connect from one story to the next. Conversely, if you look at Harry Potter, that’s one long serial storyline with a steady momentum and arcs that lead towards an eventual end. Knowing the pathway for your characters right out the gate will help in planning the future of your series.
    Again, most importantly – just write it!

Books

The Adventures of Connor the Courageous Cutter: Saving Sarah, Caution at Calamity Canal, and Mystery of the Baffling Blackout are all available on the Mascot Bookstore. 

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