I'm thrilled to share a fantastic new book with you by my dear writer-friend, Mackenzie Reide!
The Adventurers: Troll Creek is the first in her Middle Grade series about three kids forced together by their parents’ marriage, and the dangerous mystery they become tangled in after some local exploring. It’s an excellent, fast-paced read every kid will love.
Mackenzie and I first met at the New Jersey Renaissance Faire a few years ago (Huzzah!!) and we’ve been cheering each other on along our writing journeys, literally across the country, ever since. When Troll Creek finally released, I couldn’t wait to interview her for the blog.
|M's gorgeous author photo|
Mackenzie: I am a bit of an electic mix. I'm an engineer, outdoor enthusiast and a writer.
J: I love being outside and appreciate that the outdoors are such an element of this book. It’s a refreshing change from the current trends. What is Troll Creek about?
M: It's an adventure story set in an old abandoned mine. The main character, Dana, meets her soon-to-be stepsiblings for the first time which does not go well, and sets off a chain reaction that leads to finding a 100 year old mystery, armed theives, and the value of friendship.
(Troll Creek book trailer)
J: How long did Troll Creek take to write?
M: The idea for the first book started back when I was 8 years old. I was reading everything in sight, but getting frustrated with the lack of strong female characters. So I started writing my own stories in my head. This led to the story that I have now and all the modern complications that kids face. These are all the questions I faced while growing up. So you might say it's been an ongoing process for a long time. The actual rough draft took 3 months to write when I sat down and organized all those ideas I've played while writing as a kid.
J: Wow, 8?! How fulfilling, so many years later, to have a finished book! Who is your target reader?
M: It's geared toward 8 to 12 year old readers. It's a middle grade adventure. Like the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys or Choose Your Own Adventure books. If you loved the movie The Goonies you'll have fun with this.
J: Cool. How are you getting word out about Troll Creek?
M: Just learning that whole part of the process. Utilizing facebook, twitter, and book clubs. Got a website and a book trailer. Still lots to learn. Word of mouth will be the best way to get the word out. The biggest compliment of all is when a reader recommends the book to a friend.
J: What are your plans for the series?
M: There are five books in the series.
J: Are you working on anything now?
M: Writing book 2. It's a rough draft at the moment.
J: When does it come out?
M: Next spring!
J: Awesome, can't wait! Can you tell us about your writing process?
M: I write in scenes. Not linearly. I wrote the middle of the book first, then wrote the ending, and finally wrote the beginning. I like to jump right into a story. I have written segments of the other books that way. Sometimes a scene just comes to mind and I realize that's what I will be writing today. I can't write anything else until that scene is out of my head. Eventually it all gets linked together.
J: How long have you been writing?
M: I've been writing since I was a kid. My very first book was an illustrated picture book on dinosaurs in grade one. Won first prize for that. Still have it. Then I progressed to fiction and never looked back.
J: Congrats on first prize - dinosaurs rule! Why do you write?
M: Writing is something that comes naturally to me. I've been making up stories since I was a kid. I'm always asking the 'what if' question and my mind works out many scenerios to figure things out. Eventually these thoughts form a story.
J: What about writing do you enjoy most?
M: What I enjoy most about writing is going into my imagination and seeing what possibilities it leads to.
J: Favorite books and authors?
M: Growing up, I loved the British author Enid Blyton. She wrote hundreds of books but my favorites were an adventure series called The Famous Five and another called The Island of Adventure. I also read all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books, Choose Your Own Adventure, The Rescuers, and any other books I could get my hands on.
|M's awesome rock climbing pic|
J: I think Troll Creek is a perfect addition to the adventure genre. Lastly, can you offer any advice for aspiring authors? And what advice helped you the most?
M: Question everything. Learn as much about the business as you can and then pick your battles. The best advice I got along the way was to keep on keeping on.
J: Wise words. Mackenzie, thanks so much for doing the interview and telling us about your book and writing process. So happy the book is finally out!
You can visit Mackenzie’s website HERE