KP Blog14 Sep 2014
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It all started when I was in my early teens. I had been reading Nancy Drew for a few years when I decided I wanted to write it. So I created my own characters, came up with an idea for a mystery, and wrote throughout high school, even after I enlisted in the army.
I got sidetracked for eight years because of several marriages, kids, and college. However, after I lost custody of my children, I returned to writing juvenile mysteries.
While I also write for adults, I enjoy writing for middle graders and young adults. The nine to twelve year olds have minds that absorb everything. They want action and adventure. By giving them a youngster a few years older than they are, you can give them a life lesson while entertaining them so they don’t even realize they have learned something new. However, in doing this, one should not preach to them.
Young adult’s minds are similar, but they are more sophisticated. The girls want romance and are willing to read books with both girls and boys as the main character. Boys are choosier. They want action adventure with a boy as the protagonist.
A coming-of-age story is the most popular for this age group. For girls, it’s the first date, first kiss, falling in love, first time wearing make-up, entering high school, or finishing high school. Boys, on the other hand, want sports or action adventure, though, if romance is a sub plot, boys can be hooked, at least those who are sixteen or seventeen.
Before a writer starts writing, they must first read the type of book they want to write like I did with the Nancy Drew books. You must like that type of book. Nothing is worse for a young person (or even an adult) to start reading a book and realize the author doesn’t really like their characters or that type of story. Disdain for that genre will burst through like a supernova, and you’re liable to lose that reader forever.
Mysteries all always popular with the middle graders. Fantasy and science fiction grab the imagination of young readers and transport them to another world or at least, another time or place in our world.
I scanned through amazon.com’s lists for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books and found they are still as popular today as in the past. While science fiction and fantasy may not dominate the MG and YA bestseller lists, they certainly hold their own against other types of books.
Writing for middle graders and teens can be a challenge, but remember you’re influencing young minds. These children are the next generation who will one day be running the big companies and governing us. So, we as writers of these developing minds, have an obligation, a responsibility, to mold them into becoming productive citizens of the future.
Karlene Price was born in New York City. She began writing over five decades ago after reading Nancy Drew mysteries. She likes to write mysteries for middle grade through adult, sometimes mixing them with science fiction and fantasy as well as writing fantasy and science fiction alone for young adults and up.
She has an associate degree in computer programming and one in general studies.
While reading science fiction, fantasy, and mystery is her favorite pastime, she enjoys watching pro and college football, figure skating, and listening to music.
She met her husband while in the army in 1979. Her three grown children are from previous marriages. Karlene has four grandchildren in their teens.
To find out more about Karlene Price follow the links below.
Leave a comment for your chance to win an Ebook copy of Karlene Prices'-"The Poisoned Pen Murders"!
Blurb of Book:
Though two murders, a week apart, seemingly had nothing to do with a break in at her office, the events thrust Kaci Barnett into the world of mobsters, deceit and jealousy. Once she found the body of her future client, PI Kaci Barnett, was threatened and beaten up by some goons looking for a white box. It seemed someone named Ro searched the late Tina’s house for this box and a set of dishes.
Add to this was Kaci’s cousin’s reputation and all she’d built these last four years was being threatened because of a collegiate indiscretion. People send her a five foot snake, cat entrails and finally a request for money.
This all bubbles up to a smoky finale when Kaci solves both mysteries.
Excerpt of book :
Jo screamed. I spun around, slamming my Prius door. What was the matter now? My gaze followed Jo’s pointed, colorless fingernail. The door to our office stood open, like a gaping maw.
I gasped. Good God! Who would want to break in? Neither of us kept any money in there overnight. And Jo’s products weren’t exactly black market material. I shook my head. The black lettering on the glass door read Barnett Building. Next line said Barnett Investigations, Kacandra Barnett, Private Investigator. That was me, but I go by Kaci or KK, though Jo was the only one who called my by that childhood name. Four lines down continued with Healing Well Massage Center and Madame Kamilla’s Psychic Readings and Shop. The latter places belonged to my cousin, Jo.
Before I got to mull that idea over, Jo sprinted past. ‘My crystals, KK.”
I managed to grab her pink blouse. “We’ll call the police first, cuz. Go sit in the car.” I pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911.
About that time, two loud meows rang from both cars. Duchess and Princess. Neither cat liked to be cooped up in the carrier cases and always let us know where it was time to get out.
“I’ll get the cats,” Jo said.
“What’s your emergency?” The 911 woman asked.
“I want to report a break and enter situation. Someone broke into the Barnett Building at 4003 Holes Avenue. No injuries, but my cousin and I haven’t been inside to find out the damage.”
“I’ll send the police out now.”
Jo handed me Duchess’ red leash. Both
White Persian cats headed for the grass to take care of business. Daffodils, pansies, and lilies bordered the building.
I didn’t get any closer lest I disturb some evidence. Duchess tugged as the leash, so I started forward, tripping over the curb.
My cousin helped me up. “Are you all right, KK?”
I took a close examination of myself. My right knee encased in blue slacks and my
Left had had smacked the cement and stung. I brushed off the pebbles. I’ll have bruises there.
“Nothing really hurt except my pride,” I groaned.
Jo tugged on Princess’ leash, urging her to finish her grooming. “You need to look where you’re going.”
I smiled. “You sound like a broken record. You and your parents have been telling me that all my life.”
“Seems like you still haven’t gotten the message.” Jo shook her head.
When Duchess moved closer to the cars, I paced back and forth across one strip of asphalt while she sniffed around the grass.
“You’re going to wear out that piece,” Jo reminded me.
I looked down at my watch for the tenth time in ten minutes. “Where are they?”
At the moment, a police car, sirens screaming and light blazing ruby red, raced into the parking lot. Two men jumped out.
“Are you ladies all right?” The tallest one asked. His nameplate read Taylor.
“We’re fine,” I said.
“I’ll put the cats back in their carriers while you show them inside,” Jo said.
I stuck my out my right hand. “Kaci Barnett, owner of the building. And that’s my cousin, Jo, who owns the shop and wellness center downstairs.”
The forensics van pulled up and emptied of people and equipment.
“We haven’t been in the building,” I said.
Another car pulled up. A brawn man, someone who should be talking the quarterback, stepped from the car. His gray gaze swept the area, lighting on me, and he limped over, a cigar hanging from
I coughed as the smoke reached me. Jo hung back to stay out of the stench coming from the cigar.
“Detective McGovern.” His deep bass drawl stretched out the words. “Robbery division.”
I introduced myself and my cousin. “We arrived here around eight and found the door open. Being a PI, I know better than to ruin possible evidence at a crime scene, so we stayed outside.
He grunted. “No idea what’s missing then.”
“Not yet.” I coughed again.
Finishing the stinky thing, he put it out and stuffed it in his brown trench coat pocket.
“Any reason for someone to break in? Any enemies? Someone hunting for evidence on a case you might be working on?”
“I’m just hunting for a lost cat. We don’t leave any in there over night, and I keep my gun locked in a hidden safe.”
“Do you have a license for that?” He raised his left eyebrow.
“Yes, sir. Just renewed last week.” I dug into my wallet and dug out a small card giving me permission to carry a concealed weapon.
He scrutinized it and handed it back. Detective McGovern looked around at my modest two story gray stone building. He stopped on wellness.
“What kind of well are you into?” His left hand fingered something inside his coat pocket.
“I’m a license massage therapist,” Jo said.
His gaze roamed over Jo, leering at her abundant figure. “And I can guess what part you massage the most.” He smirked.
Jo blushed, the crimson spread up her face. Uh-oh, I thought. He’s in for it now.
‘I give massages to the parts of the body that are not private,” she growled, putting her arms over her well-endowed bosom. “If someone wants that, I tell them to go to Ninth Avenue. I don’t provide that service. Bet you see lots of them.”
“I’m in robbery, no vice.” He straightened u to his six foot six height, more than a foot about my puny five foot two.
A member of his team walked from the building. You’ll have to go in there and see if anything’s missing. Forensics is finished.”
I shook my head. “Leaving their fingerprint powder all over the place for us to clean up.”
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