Silver Lightning Q&A with @AuthorWDarling

wendy-darling-star-trekRW: Wendy . . . dahling, where are you from?

WENDY: I grew up in a tiny little caravan (trailer) in the south of England. My family migrated to South Africa when I was 12 and we lived there until I was 17 when we returned to England. When I was 30 and married with 2 wonderful daughters, my husband was ‘headhunted’ by a company in Chatsworth, California and we moved to the US in 1988.

RW: You’ve seriously gotten around. I moved around a lot as well, and I think that had a huge impact on who I am. Were you extroverted and a trying-to-fit-in type of kid?

WENDY: I was one of those quiet, shy kids who tried never to draw any attention to herself but my love of reading helped make me a sponge when it came to school – masses of free books to read about so many interesting subjects! Needless to say, English was my favourite subject and I was always the first in class to finish reading assignments!

RW: Okay, so we’re sounding a lot alike here. What got you into the Lit World as we know it here on LWI?

WENDY: My grandmother used to bring me bags of books from the Oxford University Press, where she worked. Reading became my lifeline and I started reading aloud to my two younger sisters at an early age. I often read until I was hoarse because they kept clamouring for ‘just one more chapter!’

The years went by and I read everything I could lay my hands on, wrote poetry and stories; often illustrating them too, read to my kids and tried to make a living. At that time of my life, I had decided I wanted to be a graphic designer or an actor so I started on a Theatre degree and took acting and voice lessons but finally decided to go with graphic design. As I love to read, write, and research, I also got a Paralegal Studies degree.

Life changed, as it has a habit of doing and what I’ve gone though over the last several years (I could write a library) finally took its toll. I moved in with my oldest daughter’s family where my amazingly patient son-in-law told me that maybe it was time to ‘regroup’ and work out exactly what I needed to do to be happy… and I knew exactly what that was. I needed to write. I needed to read. I needed to draw, and I needed to become independent.


5.0 out of 5 stars Silver Lightning is a about a fifteen year old boy … November 15, 2014

By GiftofReading

Silver Lightning is a about a fifteen year old boy that finds a magic motorcycle. He becomes a hero of sorts, saving lives and stopping thieves in action. He has to be careful though. Only someone worthy can keep the bike. Plus, he has other teenage worries to sort out along the way.
I can see a young reader liking this book right away. I believe the three year rule applies to book. Since the hero is a fifteen year old, the targeted reader could be around twelve, give or take a couple of years.


RW: Let’s move into why you’re here for a little bit. What inspired your debut novel Silver Lightning?Wendy Anne Darling

WENDY: Much like my character, Alex, I had a dream. I woke up one morning and the book was in my head, vivid and real, as if I’d been there and seen it all. Over the years of trying to just live and make a living Alex and the bike would occasionally pop into my head and say “Is it time to write our story yet?” and I would say “One day.” Until I finally woke up one morning and whispered “It’s time, guys.”

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

WENDY: Silver Lightning is either a book about a boy who finds a rather unusual motorbike OR it’s about a rather unusual motorbike who finds a boy. A boy it has been looking for for a very long time. Of course, it could be both. Yes… probably both.

RW: Silver Lightning falls into the Middle Grade Fantasy genre, why do you write in this particular genre?

WENDY: I’m actually a sci-fi/fantasy nerd. I love new worlds, futuristic tech, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and dragons (Ooh… LOVE dragons!). My long-term goal is to write an entirely new world like The Lord of the Rings or a world-within-a world, like Harry Potter. My thoughts on this subject haven’t really coalesced yet though so I may end up genre hopping or combining a bit while I settle down. Do hope that doesn’t confuse readers too much!

RW: With that bit of information, who are your favorite authors?

WENDY: I love Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and just about any sci-fi or fantasy writer who ever wrote anything, ever. I particularly like writers like Douglas Adams as I have a pretty weird sense of humour, as anyone who sees my Facebook posts can probably tell you!

RW: Anyone else afraid? Now tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will make them connect to readers.

WENDY: Alex is 15 years old when the story starts. He is a little like me; quiet and shy but with a lot of loud thinking going on under the surface. He is not a hero but has dreams of being one. Unbeknownst to him, there is a magical force out there who has been patiently waiting to help him become the type of hero he always wanted to be, deep down. Silver Lightning is a character in, and of, himself and I can’t say any more than that with a spoiler alert.

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK that took me back to my childhood where … October 11, 2014


I have written 3reviews and they ended in cyberspace. GREAT BOOK that took me back to my childhood where magic was real and to adulthood where the REAL IS MAGIC


RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

WENDY: I learned that I can do whatever I have the passion to do! I’ve learned to quit wishing and keep working and I’ve learned that I’m nowhere near as good at it as I hoped I might be but also nowhere near as good at it as I’m going to be.

RW: That may be the most honest answer I’ve ever had. Well they have all been honest but this one just really laid it out there. Now for the tough one, describe your book in one word.

WENDY: If I MUST boil it down to one, single word it would probably be ‘compassion.’

RW: Where can we get your book now?

 You can find it on Amazon in ebook and physical form at



I still need to get ‘Silver Lightning’ ready for audio but, if there’s one thing stranger than hearing your own voice reading someone else’s book aloud it’s your own voice reading your own book! It’s proving a challenge but I promise to share a section with you all when I have faced those demons. Maybe I’ll have to set my dragons on them.

RW: Let’s get into my oddball questions.

RW: Okay, you continent cavorting . . . hmm, need a c word here? Ahh, creator. There we go. What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

WENDY: Once upon a time it would have been red wine. Or margaritas. Or something else with alcohol in it. Now, it’s good, old-fashioned water. (Yes, I could write a book about that too!)

RW: All that build up I gave her and she gives me water? Not even flavored water, bottled water or like rain water? Water. Okay then. Dare I ask what is your getaway from writing? Will she say pencil making?

WENDY: Reading or… no, that’s it. Reading. Oh, and Netflix.

RW: I bet she puts the captions on so she can read the dialogue of the movie. What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

WENDY: Build your presence AHEAD of time! I didn’t. ‘Nuff said. LOL!

RW: What book are you  closed captioning at this time?

WENDY: I am trying to help out as many new or newer authors as I can by writing reviews. I just took a break from that and read J.S. Frankel’s YA ‘Catnip.’ Loved it and will be posting a review soon.

RW: Okay, had to go look at that one. Interesting premise. Like the cover and the title design. What other projects do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

WENDY: I am working concurrently on the second Silver Lightning book and also an adult sci-fi murder mystery. You’ll all know about it when they come out! LOL!

RW: Okay, before you answer further, there is another cool reason I have you here today and that is you do audio books. What do you have out there people might want to check out at the moment?

WENDY: I have 3 audio books completed with Amazon as well and 3 more in the pipeline which include Silver Lightning and the third and fourth in Nicolette Pierce’s ‘Nadia Wolf’ series. The third of the completed books is ‘Blood and Bane’ by CJ McKee and is a sci-fi fantasy about dragons!

If you’d like to hear some of my narration, here are the audios out now or in the next couple of weeks; you can click on the ‘Listen’ link below the product picture.

Narration: The Big Blind by Nicolette Pierce (1st in a series of 4):

Narration: High Stakes by Nicolette Pierce (2nd in series of 4):

Narration: Blood and Bane The Dragon Sage series by C.J. McKee (1st in series): Currently in Amazon QC phase and out soon.

RW: And while we are doing all the links, how do people connect with you through all forms of social media?




LinkedIn: Just search for Wendy Anne Darling. (or click her name)

If you would like to hear how Wendy sounds, click here to listen to a brief excerpt from Silver Lightning recorded just for this interview.

Why the long links? I know it doesn’t look professional but some people just won’t click a link they can’t see. So, I sometimes include the actual link.

Jesse Frankel‘s review Jan 09, 15

4 of 5 stars

Gee whiz, Batman, what are we gonna do now?

Alex Bascolme is your typical fifteen year old who worries about life, moving around the country, and making friends. When he moves from Colorado out to the West Coast and he and his newfound friend Logan find a motorcycle that magically repairs itself and turns out to be more than a little magic, well, that’s when the story takes off.

Alex becomes a bit of a superhero, saving people on his magic bike (and no, I’m not going to give away the secret) and having a high old time. When things get rough, the ‘keepers’ of the motorcycle let him in on the deal and things get better again. Happy endings and all that, and since this is a YA book geared for young adults–I’d say in the ten to thirteen age range–maybe that’s the way to go.


RW: Let’s leave everyone with your favorite word.

WENDY: Cuddle. 

Well, there you have, Wendy Anne Darling. Fits her name, right? And she really does. She’s one of the sweetest ladies I know. Ready to buy her book? Of course you are. Click here and get it. .99 is less than a cup of coffee or a soft drink. Buy a book and help an author out. So get it now before the price goes up.







On GoodReads

On Facebook

On Google+

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by 2015

Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis @MLaSarre Now on #Kindle


LWI Author Monica LaSarre’s

Jasper Penzey

International Boy Detective

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

Now Available for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!


 Read the interview here.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Monica LaSarre Q&A The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis @MLaSarre


Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

Monica LaSarre

5 out of 5 Stars-“I literally could not put this book down from beginning to end. This may be the author’s first book, but she writes like an old pro! I especially liked that she wrote from a 9 – 13 year old’s perspective. I got lost in this adventure and that is pretty good for a woman in her 50s reading a children’s book. Greece came alive in my imagination, and the history and geography weaved into the plot was excellent. Kids will be learning without knowing it. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series.”-Amazon

5 out of 5 Stars-“Read this book with my daughter to help her with her reading- such success! We loved it and read it in a weekend! This is a fun exciting read. A BIG thumbs up. Can’t wait to read more and go on more exciting adventures with Jasper!! A must have book, we will have to own this book”-Amazon

“better than Harry Potter”-Pinterest

I like to interview Authors. I think that’s a given considering I created a site for that purpose. Having a 10 year old son of my own, today’s guest has me excited because it’s right up his alley and I am looking forward to reading it and reviewing it. I may even throw in some opinions here on the LitWorldInterview book review from my son, who I call ‘B’ on the internet. If the cover and title of the book today doesn’t tell you why I am so enthusiastic then let me get out of the way so you can meet . . .


Monica LaSarre



RW: Where are you from?

MONICA: I am originally from Houston, TX, but have lived in Colorado for the past 21 years. More specifically, I live in a very rural area, beside a creek, on the side of a mountain. It’s lovely!

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

MONICA: My favorite authors are… wow! This is a tough question. I love authors who make me think (e.g., Dan Brown), make me feel (e.g., Amy Tan, A.S. Byatt) who make me fondly recall reading their works (e.g., Diana Gabaldon, L.M. Montogmery). As a children’s author, I take great inspiration from “Lemony Snicket” (pen name for Daniel Handler) and Donald J. Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown, boy detective. Probably my all time favorites authors though are Daphne du Maurier (best known for her novel Rebecca), a master of suspense, and M.F.K. Fisher, a culinary genius when it comes to weaving fiction and history around food.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

MONICA: My husband tells me I need to drink more water and less coffee, to which I always reply, “Coffee has water in it, doesn’t it?” I drink coffee constantly. It’s my biggest regret in life.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

MONICA: I’m not the exploding type, actually. I’m pretty calm most of the time. I do find great relief personally in managing stress and angst through Reiki energy therapy and enjoying nature. I have a long dirt-road driveway and often will take a walk to clear my head and get some fresh air. I used to run quite a bit and have completed a couple of marathons, but can’t say that I run a whole lot in the more recent years. Still, it’s something I’ve enjoyed in the past.

RW: What is your favorite word?

MONICA: “Persnickety” It makes me giggle. And, it reminds me of Lemony Snicket, whose books are amongst my favorite in children’s literature, which is always a happy thought.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

MONICA: I spent 13 years working in the field of transfusion medicine and clinical laboratory science (translation: I wore a lab coat and geeked out on test tubes and biology) and one day decided it wasn’t what made me happy anymore. When I considered what did make me happy, I could only conclude one thing: I love words, I love books and I love writing things that people enjoy reading. My background in writing really is pretty minimal: I wrote as a student, grade school up through graduate school, and in my past career I wrote quite a bit in the peer-reviewed scientific journal realm. Now I write fiction as an author, and fiction and non-fiction as a ghostwriter. It comes so naturally to me and so I must conclude I’ve always been a writer, who simply would be unhappy if I stopped being one.

RW: How did you come up with the name for your book?

MONICA: My first published fictional work is entitled, The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis and it is Volume 1 in the series called Jasper Penzey, International Boy Detective. The series is a color-coded one, covering each color of the rainbow + a pot of “gold” at the end, so red was the theme color I wanted to incorporate into the first book of this eight-book series. I wanted a touch point for kids that was color-centered (red in the case of the first book) and that immediately caused them to be intrigued (“What about the Ruby Brooch? What is that?”) As for Jasper Penzey, the main character, his name came to me while I was running a marathon on the Great Wall of China in May of 2013. I had met a fellow runner from Canada who had a son named Jasper and I immediately loved the name. Penzey seemed like a good fit for a last name.







RW: The book is about a boy detective but genre and reading age does your book fall into?

MONICA: This is a middle-reader (ages 6-11) book, in the mystery/detective genre.

RW: Why did you pick the mystery/detective genre for young people to write about?

MONICA: Kids love mysteries. In fact to them, at the young ages of 6-11, the whole world is a mystery. They’re trying to figure out things, which people to trust, what things mean and how they work. I love that inquisitiveness. In fact, in many ways, I’m still a child…always asking why and wondering why things are the way they are. My overarching desire in writing a book for children was to make it re-aloud friendly (so many kids’ books aren’t, unfortunately!) and write it in a way that would teach children about the diversity of cultures, other countries and history in a way that entertained them and wet their appetite to want to explore the world. I chose a mystery format for that, since I think that’s what kids enjoy the most.

RW: Tell us a little about Jasper and his story.

MONICA: Jasper Penzey is 9 and he’s never known his mother. His history professor father never wants to speak of her. One summer, Jasper moves from Louisiana to Greece with his father and on the eve of his move, he finds a note from his mom and an amulet. His move to Greece no longer is just about tagging along with his dad, it’s suddenly about finding his mom and solving a mystery that will change the course of history. He has never traveled before and, like many children, assumes the world is full of people just like him. His eyes are opened to a different way of life in Greece and he cleverly makes observations about the lives and cultures of people different than his norm, all the while being pulled further and further into a mystery involving the location of his mom and the lost civilization of Atlantis. It’s a lot of fun. And it has cookie recipes.

RW: What inspired the story concept and setting?

MONICA: I was able to travel to Santorini, Greece several years ago, to the exact place where this story is set. I remember being so impressed on so many levels with the geography and people of Greece and though it’s been several years since I traveled there, the landscapes and textures of the country have never left me. I wanted to write a story set in a far away land, especially since Jasper is an international detective, and knew I wanted it to take place in an area I fondly recalled. Greece was a sure fit.

RW: Tell us about Jasper and what you think will help readers connect to him.

MONICA: Jasper is precocious, like most 9-year olds. He asks big questions and is observant all the time. I think this is how most children are, at least it’s how my children are. I also think it is good as an adult to aspire to be young at heart and regain the childhood curiosity we lost along the way. Young readers will relate to Jasper because he’s fun loving, adventurous and curious; adult readers will relate to him because they remember being the same way, and perhaps wish to be the same way again.

RW: Who do you see when you think of Jasper in a movie?

MONICA: I picture Jasper looking a bit like a younger version of Dylan Sprayberry, with his spiky brown hair and big eyes. But at the same time, I love leaving the mental picture of my main character up to the reader’s imagination. I’ll never forget how I felt after reading the Twilight series and feeling like the air knocked out of me when Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward, because that’s not at all how I pictured him. And never again could I recall my own imagination’s image of Edward after that.

RW: What message do you think The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis delivers to the reader?

MONICA: There is a universality amongst humans, regardless of what country you are from, and that diversity in cultures and people and history is what keeps life interesting. I hope my book will create in young readers an early understanding of that fact, and spark in them a lifelong curiosity that can only be satisfied by travel and experiencing history through their own eyes in far away lands across the globe.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

MONICA: I learned a very valuable lesson, actually. It’s interesting because, when I first started writing this book, I was an adult, a responsible mom, trying very hard to write a great kids’ book. Along the way, I learned that the only way I could do that was by putting myself into the mindset of a child. Now, though the book is written and published, I’ve yet to let go of the sheer joy I experience living as an adult who tries always to see the world as a child would. I laugh a lot more, I don’t over complicate things, I enjoy the wonder of each new day and get excited about goofy things right alongside my kids. It’s been an amazing, unforeseen fountain of youth for me, writing this book.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

MONICA: Enthusiastic

RW: Where can we Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis now?

MONICA: It’s available on Amazon in paperback, and for Kindle including Kindle Unlimited. It will also be available through Ingram, catalogued for order by any other online and brick-and-mortar bookstore.

RW: I imagine you are working on book 2 if not already completed it, what about your ghostwriting, anything you can share?

MONICA: At the moment, I’m all about Jasper Penzey, working very hard on his next book in the series, volume 2. I have many exciting books I could share with you that I have ghostwritten for clients around the world, but then I’d be breaking confidentiality. Suffice it to say, there are some really excellent memoirs and fictional works on the publishing horizon that I’ve ghostwritten for others. Shhhh….

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

MONICA: I use Twitter and Facebook most, but also Instagram and LinkedIn. I also respond to all messages left for me through my website and via email. On Facebook, I give away a paperback children’s book every single day to those who follow my page and Like/Share my posts. The Book-A-Day-Giveaway is a big draw for my fans to my Facebook page. Parents, teachers, librarians love it. It’s my way of giving back and increasing the reach of quality children’s literature in the world.

RW: Do you currently have agent representation?

MONICA: I actually agented for myself in seeking a publisher for my work. It never occurred to me to look for an agent, and as luck would have it, I never needed one. Had I looked for one, I would definitely have wanted someone who believed in my book as much as I did. Thankfully, I found that person in my wonderful publisher, Dr. Kitty Bickford of Chalfant Eckert Publishing. A mother, grandmother, educator and advocate for quality children’s literature, she and I see eye-to-eye on how important it is to share Jasper’s story with children of all ages (young and old).

RW: What are your plans for Jasper in the future?

MONICA: I’m working on Volume 2 of the Jasper Penzey series and with 8 books in the series, I have my work cut out for me. When I’m not writing Jasper Penzey’s books, I’m daydreaming about what I want to write next and I’m working very hard on ghostwriting projects for clients (one non-fiction, one fiction, currently).

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

MONICA: I’m reading a book called Mary Anne, by Daphne du Maurier, which I found in a used book store recently and realized I’d never read it. Over the weekend, I devoured Gone Girl in a 36 hour reading marathon. It was THAT GOOD. With my children, I’m happily re-reading a beloved classic, Charlotte’s Web.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

MONICA: Write a great query letter by doing this: believe in your book because if you don’t, no one else will either; the rest of the query letter is just semantics.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

MONICA: I wish I had written The Game of Thrones series, or Outlander. Epic fiction, the way George R. R. Martin and Diana Gabladon do it, is so beautiful to me. It’s my pie in the sky, the type of work I aspire to be capable of when my writing career is said and done.



List links to all websites you have and social networks such as Twitter.






First of all, follow Monica LaSarre everywhere you can. Then really first of all, go buy her book! Now after reading about her and her book, do you see why I was excited to share this Author with you? I know not to judge a book by its cover but when I get my hands on the book, I don’t think I will be disappointed considering the creative mind behind it and the publishing behind it. When I do review it, trust me that I will be honest. If I’m not honest then there is no point to having this site.

Now I want to thank Monica for the interview and sharing so much of herself with us. I look forward to continuing a working relationship with her as I do with all Authors who come through LWI. Again, get her book now! You will be in on the beginning of something great!

Like the interview? Like the sounds of the book? The Author? Then let us know with a comment of encouragement.

And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect










I really need to make an image that says Follow US on bloglovin’. I’ll put that on my To Do List.

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by

%d bloggers like this: