This past week, my first middle-grade fantasy finally hit the marketplace. And Jim and I celebrated with a bottle of champagne from the wonderful Domaine Carneros winery in Napa, California.
The Book of Mysteries: Grimstone Mansion is the story of Charlie, Rafe, Dash, and two dogs who are mysteriously transported to Grimstone Mansion by a magical old book. Their quest is to save a young sleeping beauty from the evil old hag who controls the mansion and it's frightening inhabitants. They must overcome their fears and defeat the evil creatures of Monster Moor, traverse Ghost Hollow, escape from the web of a giant spider, and cross a lake of fire to arrive at the cell where the sleeping girl has been imprisoned for more than twenty years. Filled with adventure and humor too, The Book of Mysteries: Grimstone Mansion is a book both kids and adults can enjoy.
I'd never contemplated writing such a book even though some readers of my first book, Dog Days in Italy: How I Became an Expat Dog, had suggested I try a children's book. It wasn't until three little boys in my life asked if they were going to be in my books that I started to contemplate the idea. I must admit to using at least one of their ideas. Ghost sausages. Who ever heard of ghost sausages, Charlie? What started out as a little story for these young boys kept growing and growing and eventually became a 42,000 word book, the first in a trilogy. Book two, The Red Gemstone, is in draft form and will hopefully be out in the fall. And book three is currently being written.
I ask myself, what happens after book three? Will there be more adventures of these three young boys and the dogs? Or will I again shift gears and work on something else? I guess it depends on which way the wind blows. For more than twenty years I have had an adult mystery novel in my head. I think it is time for it to finally come out and see the light of day. So maybe that's next. Just keep watching folks. You never know where my thoughts will take me and what might appear on the page. The journey continues. I hope you'll be along for the ride.