Paperback Writer would like to introduce our children’s author for today, Renee Hand, author of The Crypto-Capers and The Case of the Missing Sock. Renee’s visit is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion.
ABOUT THE BOOK In this is story siblings Max and Mia Holmes, along with their good friend Morris and their flamboyant Granny Holmes, are know as The Crypto-Capers. They are a group of detectives who unravel crimes by solving cryptograms that criminals leave behind. Mia is an expert puzzle solver. Max is great at deduction and reasoning. Morris is a computer genius, and Granny…well, Granny is the muscle of the group. Don’t let her size or age fool you—she is quite handy.
The Case of the Missing Sock leads the Crypto-Capers to Florida, where they are hired by a Mr. Delacomb. The mystery leads the team to different locations. Clues flourish throughout the mystery. Suspects by the handful seem to pop up at every turn, but who committed the crime? Help the detectives solve the case by solving the cryptograms and puzzles.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR My love for reading and writing started when I was a child. I always had a passion for it. I remember frequently wearing out the stone steps to the local library. When in a bookstore I would sit in the middle of an aisle perusing a novel that I was eagerly going to purchase but couldn’t wait to read. Often, when I had extra time, I would write stories that would pop into my head locking myself in my room for hours. Now that I am older my love for reading and writing has not diminished. In fact, it has only become a bigger part of me. It is because of this that I chose to share my interests with other readers who love books as much as I do.
My goal in writing is to entertain, but more importantly it is to build a connection with my readers. If I make another person feel some kind of emotion while they read my books, whether it be love, anger, or compassion, then I did my job as a writer and that makes me feel good about what I write about. Romance is something in all of us. It is something that brings passion to our lives and happiness to our hearts. It is the strength, courage and determination of when two souls find each other and their journey, that inspires me to write in this genre. It shows that love, of any kind, is not an easy path to take. You must fight everyday to keep it for it is never easily attained and can so easily be lost or forgotten.
Since my first novel has been published I have done over 50 events. I have been on radio, TV, and have been in over 30 newspapers. I have experience talking in classrooms about writing. I have presented at various libraries, have done several book signings and many other venues with more going on in the future. My family has encouraged my talents and creativity and I couldn’t have gotten this far without their support and love. Having Magic Hearts published really was a dream come true and I am thankful to God for all of the blessings in my life. I have also received an award for Magic Hearts for Best 2006 Fantasy Romance. I am thrilled. My second novel SEDUCTION OF THE LONELY HEART has won a National Literary Award for Best Romance of 2007. I am thankful for these two awards.
I have also ventured in writing other genres. I have a new children’s detective series that will be coming out. The first book of the series, The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock, is currently released. This story is filled with adventure and heart. With relatable characters and you, as the reader, are apart of the story, helping the detectives solve the case. I love being an author! Thank you for all of your support.
Welcome to Paperback Writer
Q: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?
A: There were two reasons why I wrote this book. One, I love reading mysteries. I also love to figure out cryptograms, I am a cryptogram junky. So I thought what a great idea it would be to combine the two things I love to do and make it into a story where kids could interact with it. Two, I wanted children to be involved with what they were reading. This series is fun and entertaining, always keeping the reader’s attention. Not only does the series challenge the avid reader, but also keeps the reluctant readers attention. As soon as the reader picks up the book, they have instantly joined the team as a detective. The reader will be asked to look up different things and to participate in the story on different occasions. My goal was to have kids remember what they were reading because they are learning information with value, yet having fun at the same time. I am all about having fun in my stories and the activities I create for it.
Q: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?
A: I really just let my ideas come to me. I have a favorite tool that I use in my writing. I have what I call “an idea wall.” Whenever I get an idea I write it down and stick in on my wall for future consideration, as well as to remind me of things that I want to make sure I incorporate into my story. My story usually develops on the fly, which works great for me and my creativity. I will lay out certain ideas in a specific order at times, depending on the scene in my story and where I want it to go or what I need to have happen. So, certain ideas in my story are planned out to be in a certain way, but after that I let my creativity take me where I need to go.
Q: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?
A: When writing a mystery, it is an absolute must to have an idea of what the ending of your story is going to be like from the beginning. Will it stay the same as you start writing and get to the ending? Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. By the time I develop my story and come to the ending, my ending always changes from what I originally thought it to be, and that is because as I have developed my story, I have come up with better ideas. My endings always turn out better than how I originally plan them.
Q: Do you have a process for developing your characters?
A: I develop my characters based on how I feel they should be. Only a few of my characters are based on real people, the rest are based on my imagination. Character development is very important in a story. As a writer, you are giving your characters life. You are giving them a heart and a soul. Every character in a story must have a purpose for being there. All of my stories are character driven. I want the reader to understand not only what is going on in the story and how the characters fit, but I want the reader to understand how my characters feel and to relate to them in some way. That right there is something that I am known for in everything I write. I want that connection with my readers and I get that through well developed characters with lots of description.
Q: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?
A: I am the heroine in every one of my books. The women carry a lot of my characteristics. In my children’s detective series, Mia, who is my cryptogram solver, is very much like me. She is a clever girl with strength and courage, who loves to solve cryptograms.
Q: What is your most favorite part about this book?
A: My favorite part of this book is the strength and diversity of my characters. Each character has a special talent which helps unify them as a group. The characters are relatable and interesting. Throughout the series these characters will grow and change just like children will grow and change. My characters will make mistakes, and just like life, will learn from them to help them become better people. These characters are strong, never giving up when a situation turns bad but rising above it to overcome it. At times they do have fear, but that fear is what drives them to the truth. I also like the fact that in my series, there is so much meaning and interesting things going on.
Q: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?
A: I began looking for a publisher when my book one was complete. I wanted to make sure that I had a finished manuscript just in case the publisher wanted to see it right away.
Q: What struggles have you had on the road to being published?
A: I have four books that are published. Each one of them is not without their share of headaches. My first book took me some time to get published, but once I found a publisher that liked my work, the process went quickly. When finding a publisher for my children’s series, the process was quick with very few rejections. In all honesty, I had more rejections from agents then I did from publishers. My road was smooth and easily traveled compared to most.
Q: What has been the best part about being published?
A: The best part about being published is that I get to travel around and talk about my books. I have met so many nice and interesting people along the way. From the time my first book was published until now, I have done around seventy events. I work very hard promoting and getting my books out there for the world to see. In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have, if I wasn’t out there. I have made some great connections which have propelled my career in many ways.
Q: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?
A: That you can do anything they want if they set their mind to it. No goal is too big. Whenever I write a story, no matter if it is a romance novel for adults or for my children’s series, I put a lot of heart in it. When a reader gets done with reading one of my books, they are not just going to set it down and say, “That was a good book!” and walk away. They’re going to say that my story meant something to them in some way and they will remember it. I love to have that connection with my readers.
Q: Do you have plans to write another book?
A: I have more books in the series coming out. The Crypto-Capers is a series. Book 1 is The Case of the Missing Sock. Book 2 is out and is titled, The Case of Red Rock Canyon. Book 3 will be out in the fall with two coming out every year. I should also have a new romance novel out this year. Readers can check out my website for all upcoming books. www.reneeahand.com
Q: Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?
A: The tour has been great. I have been given lots of opportunities and my book has gotten a lot of exposure. I am very thankful for finding Pump Up Your Book Promotion and being a part of such a great team.
Q: Where can readers find a copy of your book?
A: My books are available at various bookstores, as well as online at Amazon, www.amazon.com and Barnes and Nobles, www.bn.com. Please check out my website at www.reneeahand.com and e-mail me or visit my blog. Thank you again for having me.
The two books in the series available now are:
The Case of the Missing Sock ISBN# 978-0-87839-304-6
The Case of Red Rock Canyon ISBN# 978-0-87839-309-1
Q: Do you have a website for readers to go to?
A: I do! Readers can go to www.reneeahand.com to find out all about my books and the activities that I am doing for them.
Thank you, Renee for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.
Thank you so much. It was an honor and a pleasure to be here.
THE CASE OF THE MISSING SOCK VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’09 officially begin on June 1 and end on June 26. You can visit Renée’s blog stops at www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com during the month of June to find out more about this great book and talented author!
As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available.