I’ve been asked to talk a bit about my series of children’s books, so this post will be a brief hiatus from the states research.
When I first conceived the idea for my Dirkle Smat series I thought they were going to be picture books. It quickly became obvious that my stories didn’t lend themselves to the 32 page picture book format, so they gradually morphed into beginner chapter books.
I had two concrete thoughts early on: I wanted each story to be a fanciful adventure that would draw in young readers and encourage them to enjoy the other worlds that books can create. And I wanted my characters to have goofy names.
The goofy names were a hook. I hoped that they would cause delight in my target audience (4 to 10 years old), and make the stories memorable so they would come back to the books and keep reading the series. From the feedback I’ve gotten doing author visits I can tell that kids get a kick out of Dirkle Smat, Toonie Oobles, Fiddy Bublob, Bean Lumley and Quid Smat.
Three books are currently published and available (http://tinyurl.com/43roovy) and the fourth is awaiting cover artwork from the illustrator. The stories include a discovery deep inside a tunnel, a fantasy flight on a statue that has come to life, an adventure in a submarine to search for a long lost artifact, and an encounter with a time traveler who takes the Explorers back in time to uncover an old town mystery. More stories to follow soon! If you have a child in your life who would love a little mystery with fun characters and high adventure I would be happy to arrange to have a personalized copy sent to you or them.