What is your book about?
Thirteen year old Peter and his new friend Emily are in seventh grade. She lives a couple doors away and one day Peter decides to visit her and her grandmother. Peter has just moved in from a smaller town and into a huge lonely city. His mother is ill from being allergic to so many pollens in the air. Today she’s down resting and Peter wonders what he can do to help.
Emily’s grandmother is asleep so she decides to show Peter something “special” as long as he can be trusted to keep quiet. She leads him up to the rooftop of their apartment building where she shows him a secret garden. It’s lovely and the pumpkins that are covered are large and beautiful. Peter asks for one, hoping it might help his mother. Emily seems to think that it will as well.
Peter asks his father to help him bake it and soon after eating some, his mother appears to feel better. The next morning she is a new person and Peter is wondering, what’s going on. He decides to sneak out that night and find out what’s under the other covering in that secret garden. He finds one that grows bigger and lovelier than the speed of lightening. He’s just got to find out what’s different about this special place. When he gets there, Emily and his parents are waiting for him.
How long did it take you to write your book?
Not long at all once I had the idea down. A book usually takes me anywhere from a couple hours to several months depending on how long I want the book to be.
What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?
I can’t actually say anything has changed us personally. We are very down to earth and writing for us is like any other job. We don’t see ourselves as being anyone special.
How has your background influenced your writing?
I am a retired Elementary and Special Education Teacher. It is my years of experience that has inspired me to write for children especially knowing what they enjoy and how they work.
What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
This is a question we are asked frequently. Luckily our lifestyle affords us the opportunity to stay home and write. We don’t have a set schedule per se, we write when the muse strikes. I can write in many books at any given moment, Andrew on the other hand can write in one book at a time.
Do you have a favorite snack food or favorite beverage that you enjoy while you write?
I like to drink a nice glass of chocolate milk, tea or sometimes a glass of wine depending on what I am writing at the moment. Andrew has no preference.
What are you working on right now?
We are working on many series books for young children through young adults.
Our Halloween Town series is the largest one right now, followed by our Spooktacular and Scary Tale Theater series.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I believe we both knew we wanted to be writers. I actually knew at a very young age when I was in elementary school when I wrote my very first essay and received an A+. Writing was always easy for me. Ideas constantly flowed through me my entire life.
At what age did you discover writing?
When I was in the eighth grade I knew I was gong to become an author. I was on the school and college newspapers, then moved on to local newspapers as a columnist and in magazines.
When where you first published?
I was first published in 1989. Andrew was published late 90’s.
What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?
Writer’s block. We do our best to keep the intellectual juices flowing, but when writer’s block strikes, that’s the worst thing any author can go through.
How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?
MANY…between the children’s and young adult I’d have to say realistically 200 right now.
What do you like to read? What is your favorite genre?
My favorite author is Dianna Gabaldon and her Outlander series, all though as of late I am reading Cassandra Claire. Andrew enjoys Terry Prachette and Robert Heinlein.
What advice you would give to an aspiring author?
First study the craft. I see so many new authors who are self publishing making all the mistakes because they don’t study the craft of writing a book. Some have great story ideas, they just don’t know how to get it down on paper and make all the mistakes a publisher would reject them for. If you think you can write and want to become an author readers want to read, go to the book store and buy every single book on how to write, study it and then take your crack at it.
It takes years to become a best selling author if you do it right, and I’m not talking about EL James and 50 Shades of Grey. I am talking about a well written story, one that comes from your own imagination and not that of others. The best thing you can do for yourself is have your own story, be as unique as possible and hope for the best. Readers will respect you for it.
If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?
Well as we speak our books are being reviewed by a Producer so we will see!
Where can people learn more about your books?