Tag Archives: Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

February Farmer’s Market by @MLaSarre

I’d like to start this, my inaugural blog post for Lit World Interviews, by expressing my gratitude for my Monica LaSarrefriend Ronovan and his invitation to share a wee bit of my perspective on reading and writing as part of his beautiful, Indy author-supporting website and blog. Ronovan does a fantastic job of keeping things lively and focused on a cause near and dear to our hearts: applauding and supporting Indy authors and making sure that we do all that we can to connect readers with great books and new authors. I’m so pleased to be a part of this mission.

As a new children’s author I find myself asking the kids I meet in my life a simple question at every opportunity (I call it market research, for free!). To the friends that sleep over with my kids, to those I meet at the elementary school during my volunteer hours as a reading helper, to the kids I’m shoulder-to-shoulder with on the floor of the kids’ book section at the local library, I ask: What’s your favorite book? I started noticing a pattern in their responses and an idea for this series of blog posts was born.

You see, as an Indy author, we all know how hard it is to compete with the steady stream of titles churned out daily by big publishing houses. As a children’s Indy author, I find it uniquely challenging to market my children’s books because social media – an Indy author’s best friend – is geared towards adults and keeps children just out of my reach. Kids read what they see in stores, on the shelves at Barnes and Noble and Costco, or the books they see in the Scholastic catalogs sent home from school, the books with intriguing cover art that catch their attention and prompt them to beg their adult to buy these books for them. And if you’ve ever tried, as I have, to get a teensy bit of shelf space at Barnes and Noble or Costco or get in Scholastic’s catalog, you know how hard that is. So, it’s no surprise to me anymore when the kids in my world tell me their favorite books are Diary of a Wimpy Kid, any number of Rick Riordan’s books, or the Warriors series. These are the books in front of them, so these are the books they read.

I am thrilled for the authors of successful kids books, I truly am. I’m a fan of Rick Riordan, he is brilliant. My only problem with the fact that kids only read what they see is that I believe kids are missing out on the breadth of creativity that is afforded to them in the world of Indy children’s books. Let me put this into grown up terms for you to illustrate.

Are you a foodie, like me? Sure, we buy our food staples at the local grocery store, but what we really love is the farmers markets. Only in a farmers market can we find the small batch goat cheese from a local farm, local and raw honey carefully crafted by the beekeeper up the highway, the jams that were lovingly jarred from sun-kissed strawberries in the tiny garden of a widower with a big heart. You don’t find those things in the local chain grocery store, but you love those wonderful products just the same. In fact, your palette would be woefully underwhelmed if you didn’t have those artisan-crafted treats to keep things fun and new and exciting.

Books are the same way, I think. Kids don’t know what they’re missing when they read books they see in the big stores. They don’t know that they’re missing out on the small-batch, carefully crafted words of an author who hasn’t made a big name for herself and probably never will. It’s up to the grownups in the world to bring their kids to the farmers market and show them what they’re missing. So, it is my heartfelt passion to be part of the group of grownups that highlights the books kids are missing out on. Your job as grownups is to help unite kids with the wonderful books of no-name authors who don’t have big house publishing contracts.

Starting with this post, I invite you to take a stroll down the lanes of this kids-book-loving farmers market I’ve prepared for you. The authors I highlight here have not compensated me in any way for mentioning their books and I bought their books myself.

This month, I’ve read three books by Indy authors that I think kids will love (I’m a kid at heart, and I loved these books!).

For Dr. Seuss Fans: Go Baby, Go! (Author and Illustrator: Beth Davis)

Go Baby, Go!From a talented author and illustrator comes this super-fun book, perfect for new readers or parents/guardians/teachers reading aloud to young children, ages 4-6. The author’s illustrations are as colorful as the rhyming tale of a baby carriage on the loose. I laughed out loud in many spots and was completely entertained by the witty encounters the runaway baby has with the police, artists, old men and even a band, to name a few. Very clever, very fun, I completely enjoyed this book.

Amazon Link: Go Baby, Go!

For Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables Fans: Through the Fields to School, My Life in Montana (Author: Maxine Albro Pogreba)

A heart-warming and poignant story of a woman growing up on a large Montana ranch, this book was every bit as Through the Fields to Schoolcomforting as sitting down with my grandma and hearing stories of the “old days.” Through short vignettes, the author tells the story of running through the fields to school, her large family of nine kids, and some of the stories she recalls from childhood. I particularly loved that this isn’t a long book and it’s written in a simple style that an elementary school-age child would appreciate. This would be a read aloud friendly book for bedtime or classroom story time, maybe as part of a history curriculum. I love giving kids the opportunity to see the truth of what simpler times were like – it’s great for their imaginations to recall that, not too long ago, families didn’t have so many of the luxuries we have to today. This is a priceless perspective that goes a long way towards instilling an appreciation for today’s modern conveniences. This is a well-written, delightful read.

Amazon Link: Through the Fields to School

Harry Potter Meets Game of Thrones: Son of a Dark Wizard – The Dark Wizard Chronicles Book 1 (Author: Sean Patrick Hannifin)

Son of a Dark WizardThis newly published first book in a promising new series caught my eye because of its stellar cover. It intrigued me and I simply couldn’t resist reading the first page…which led to finishing this book in one sitting. Prince Sorren is the son of a dark wizard who has recently been killed by a boy believed to be the Chosen One of prophecy. Intent on avenging his father’s death and retaining his right to the throne, he sets out in search of the Chosen One and prepares for an epic battle. With an array of interesting characters, this book was remarkably well-written, well-rounded, and a page turner. So many times I have seen fantasy books become completely distracted by intricate back story and overly-detailed descriptions of setting, but not this book. For readers aged 9-13, this will be a riveting adventure that leaves them rooting for an unlikely hero. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

Amazon Link: Son of a Dark Wizard

I’m so pleased that I found these wonderful new Indy children’s books to share with you, especially because I enjoyed reading them immensely! I look forward to updating you again soon with more books your kids are missing out on! Until then, remember, take your kids to the farmer’s market from time-to-time so they too can experience bounty by reading non-mainstream, excellent children’s literature.

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpgAbout the author: Monica LaSarre is a ghostwriter and the author of Jasper Penzey: jasper-penzey-book-11.jpgInternational Boy Detective, an 8-book mystery/detective chapter book series for 8-12 year olds. Read more about her on her website, http://www.monicalasarre.com. She can be reached via email at mlasarre@gmail.com

Amazon Link: Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

 

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#BookReview by @RonovanWrites of Jasper Penzey: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis by @MLaSarre

monica lasarre jasper penzey book review banner

Title: Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis
Author: Monica LaSarre  monicalasarre.com
Format: Hardcover
Price: $13.01
File Size: 5430 KB
Print Length: 144 pages
Genre: Detective, Adventure, Middle Grades, Fantasy
Simultaneous Device usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Chalfant Eckert Publishing
Published: 21 Oct 2014
Language: English
ASIN: B00OR2NFXG
ISBN-10: 1633081206
ISBN-13: 978-1633081208
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Sold by: Amazon
Barnes&Noble

Nine year old Jasper’s life changes unexpectedly when his father announces the two of them are moving to Greece because of his work. With a mysterious gift and message left for him on his windowsill Jasper begins an adventure in a new country that takes him in search of the secret to finding the Lost City of Atlantis. Does Atlantis exist? How can he find it? And who is trying to stop him?

With a 10 year old, intelligent and inquisitive son of my own I was looking forward to reading this book. The book is aimed at Middle Grade readers and I can see that through some of the word usage and the thinking processes used by Jasper. Very well done. Very much Recommended on that front. Some of he words will push a young reader just enough to make it a challenge but not take away from the enjoyment.

Being a debut novel I was surprised by the great imagery the book provided. LaSarre really does an amazing job of making you feel like you are in the various environments of the book ranging from Louisiana to Greece. Very good descriptions but not at all over done. Just the right touch.

The characters in the book are mostly believable with only a couple of actions that caused me to pause as to how and why but nothing to take away from the book. The story itself is very easy to follow and the flow is good until right near the end where a few things became slightly confusing because of the action taking place but ultimately it all came together.

For a young reader this would be a great book. It gives just enough to make for an interesting read without being loaded down with a lot of unneeded mythological or archaeological details you would find in an older reader book. My son is the next one to read it. He’s been waiting for it.

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpg
Monica LaSarre @MLaSarre MonicaLaSarre.com

Ratings
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall Enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.7/5

Review by:
Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

@RonovanWrites

RonovanWrites.WordPress.com

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How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You by @MLaSarre

How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You

Every year, thousands upon thousands of books are submitted to agents and publishers by writers who would give their eye teeth to call themselves authors. Every year, by some reports, less than 0.03 percent of all submitted manuscripts are selected for publication. That’s about three out of every 10,000
manuscripts. Of those lucky books to find publishers, big brick-and-mortar stores like Barnes and Noble only stock 1 out of every 10, relinquishing the rest to fight for readers in on-line markets.

In 2014, I conceptualized and wrote my first novel; I submitted it to agents and publishers with what I thought was a fairly targeted, concerted approach; I had my fair share of “thanks, but no thanks,” and then, the right publisher and I found one another. By October of that same year, my novel was published and in the hands of readers and, a month later, I learned my book was selected to be stocked on the shelves of brick-and-mortar giant Barnes and Noble. It has been a whirlwind year. My synopsis of the whirlwind here is not to brag. Not at all. In fact, my book is undoubtedly a statistical miracle. And I know that.

So, how does a first-time writer become a published author with a traditional publisher all in the same
year? Well, my friend Ronovan asked me to break down my experience into some lessons learned. His
question was basically, what advice do I have for aspiring authors given my experience? As I thought
about the answer, I recognized the brilliance in the question. You see, I don’t have traditional advice for
you. What I have to share here is the stuff no one tells you, the advice that worked for me and that I
found through trial and error, and the advice I’d never read anywhere else.

I promise not to duplicate anything you’ve read on any other blog or website offering tips for getting
published. I wouldn’t do that to you. I also don’t promise that following my advice will work for you,
unfortunately. But it will give you food for thought and it will set you apart from the sea of millions
attempting to get published every year.

Without further ado…

1. Trust Your Gut, Give Your Book the Care it Deserves:
I nearly fell into the trap of thinking, “It’s my first book, I don’t expect a lot in terms of publishing. I’ll take the first bite I get from a publisher no matter what the terms, or I’ll self-publish if I get antsy and tired of waiting 3-4 months for a publisher to reply.” The thing is, when you’re feeling like a newbie as an author, it’s easy to pacify your angst by setting low expectations for your book. And sure enough, I had a publisher bite on my book lure 24 hours after I submitted my query, and I read the fine print and had a sinking feeling in my gut that this publisher was a shark and would barely leave me any scraps. Not only that, this publisher wanted me to sign over all rights and opinions to my book’s cover design. I entertained the offer for a few days, letting myself get comfortable “settling” for something that was publishing, but not terms I liked. A small voice jolted me out of my “newbie” thinking; it was the voice of my main character, Jasper Penzey. He said, “Aren’t I worth more to you than someone who doesn’t care about my story, someone who doesn’t care about the cover art that will grace the front of my book?” Jasper was right. As a character, he meant more to me than a second-rate publisher who didn’t care about an awesome cover; he meant more to me than opting to self-publish rather than wait out the traditional publishing game. So, I declined the publisher and hunkered down for the long haul, ready to play the long game. What is the value of your book to you? Ask yourself this question and give your book the time, patience and care it deserves while you look for just the right publisher. Good things take time.

2. Believe In Your Book
An all-time, most-favorited tweet of mine (@MLaSarre): “1st requirement for a query letter: believe in your book. If you don’t, no one else will either. The rest is just semantics.” There are a million on-line resources instructing us on how to write a winning query letter. Read them to get the semantics, formatting and structure right. But then, red line your query letter an infinite number of times until it captures your heart, until it convinces a reader of how passionately you feel about your book. If you don’t believe in your story, if you don’t believe deeply that the world needs to read your book (be sure to answer the “why” of that in your query!), there will be no feeling conveyed in your query letter. Nothing about your query will stand out to any publisher or agent reading it. Infuse your query letter with the passion you feel for your story; add a generous dousing of positive energy and complete belief in your book to the words you write. The reader – an agent or publisher – will feel the difference.

3. Be Honest, Require Honesty
Sharing our pre-pubbed work is an exercise in nerve-wracking, jittery, edge-of-our-seats angst. It’s hard to share our work with others. What if they don’t like it? What if they say we really aren’t as good a writer as we think we are? What if they blow the lid off of our entire set of dreams and aspirations to be a great author? Stop. Tell those thoughts to go stand in the corner and stay there. Your pre-publication time is the best time to collect the feedback of beta readers. Before you submit to publishers, collect a handful of readers you know will be honest with you (your mother will not be honest – she thinks everything you do is awesome). Find readers who represent the audience you hope your book will attract. Ask the hard question: “Tell me what you like about my book and then also, tell me what I can improve on.” Swallow your pride and fear, collect those responses, use them to develop an even better manuscript, and use some of the positives in your query letters, like I did. From a query letter: “Beta readers concur, this is a ‘Dan Brown’ thriller for kids!” Even better, ask the opinion of someone in the publishing industry. Here’s a Fiverr gig I’ve used that has incredible value:  https://www.fiverr.com/kbickford . The seller is a publisher, the owner of a publishing company. She will review your manuscript with the eyes of a publisher and give you feedback. This is astoundingly valuable feedback. Asking for and accepting feedback is hard. You must do it. You must do the hard thing. You do not want a publisher to be the first person to ever have read your manuscript.

4. Manage Expectations
Finding a publisher is going to take a lot of your time. Like, it’s nearly a full-time job for awhile. Don’t expect that it will be easy and don’t get frustrated. Keep the goal in view. I bought the current year’s version of the Writer’s Market, the exhaustive list of publishers open for business that year. Here’s what I worked on every day, for at least two months:

  • Highlight every publisher who will accept manuscript queries, who publishes in a genre that relates to your work (if you don’t have an agent, exclude those publishers who only accept submissions via agents). The book is as big as the Bible. All that highlighting of fine print will keep you busy for at least two days.
  • Make a spreadsheet of every publisher you highlighted. Include their name, genre, contact information, and why they stuck out to you as a good fit.
  • Open the website of every publisher on that list and differentiate them using a spreadsheet column according to whether they accept submissions via email or only via snail mail. I was low-budget in my publishing search so I thought it prudent to contact the “email accepted” list first (FREE!), knowing I’d contact the snail mail publishers later if it came to that (despite the added expense of printing and shipping and gas to get to the post office).
  • Every single day, tackle 4-5 publishers on that list. Follow their submissions requirements to the letter and be sure to customize each query according to what the publisher has already printed that makes you think your book is a good fit for them. No form letters. No generic letters.

I worked my list every day, for months. I kept notes of who I’d queried, who’d I heard back from, who I was still waiting to hear from and how long the publisher expected to take in returning a reply. I didn’t give up and I tenaciously tackled that dreaded list daily, all the time thinking, “How cool is this? Somewhere on this list is my publisher! I just have to find them!”

5. Be Grateful
I sent a query letter to a publisher I felt was so in sync with me as an author, a company that had ties to my life in more than one way, who valued the same aspects of good books as I did. I felt so positive about this publisher, that they were just the right one for me. And then they rejected me. I was crushed! I had envisioned a different outcome so clearly that my heart literally broke when I got the rejection letter. In fact, I stopped querying altogether after that. For weeks I stomped around and was furious at this publisher; I even waited for days thinking I’d receive another message from them saying, “On second thought…we actually really love your book!”  It never came. And then, in another area of my life, I received a strong reminder that we must,  must, must be grateful for all things, including the good and the bad. My first thought was  how ugly my thoughts had been about this publisher. Sometimes, not being grateful stalls our  success forward, literally keeping doors in front of us shut tight. I broke a cardinal rule of writing  then. I emailed that publisher back (you aren’t supposed to reply to rejection letters, or so I’ve  heard). I wrote back and said quite simply, “I just wanted to express my gratitude for the time  you took to review my submission. I wish your publishing house all the best and every success.”
And I meant it! The next day, my publisher and I found one another, quite accidentally. And the rest is history.

I’ll end this blog by saying I hope you have every success in your writing career. I hope you will take the
time to be patient, to keep your heart wide open as you nurse your manuscript into the book format you
can finally share with the world. I hope you will be open to critique from beta readers and allow yourself
to humbly revise your manuscript as many times as needed for it to become what others will enjoy reading (remember, writing books is not just for your enjoyment and self-expression, it’s for others to enjoy reading!). And most of all, I hope you will make being grateful a part of your daily existence, so that the doors of the path you are meant to walk will stay wide open for you. Lastly, if I can be of any assistance as a cheerleader, beta reader, or helper in any way through the publishing journey, I hope
you’ll reach out to me.

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpgAbout the Author: Monica LaSarre is a ghostwriter and the author of Jasper Penzey: International BoyJasper Penzey Book 1
Detective, an 8-book mystery/detective chapter book series for 8-12 year olds. Read more about her on
her website, www.monicalasarre.com. She can be reached via email at monicalasarre@gmail.com.
Amazon Link: Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis.

Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective #FREE today #Kindle @MLaSarre #Mystery #Adventure

I’M Reading Right Now!

Before my son gets to it!

FREE TODAY!

on KINDLE!

from Monica Lasarre

Jasper Penzey

International Boy Detective

@MLaSarre

Ruby_Brooch_Atlantis_LaSarre.jpg

 

 

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!

@MLaSarre 

 Read the interview here.

 

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

Ruby_Brooch_Atlantis_LaSarre.jpg

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

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpg

 

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.

Monica_LeSarre_Great_Wall_China_Marathon.jpgMonica_LaSarre_Great_Wall_China.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Website: www.monicalasarre.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MLaSarre

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monicalasarreauthor

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/mlasarre

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/monica-lasarre/2/aa5/826

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

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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