Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. In 2001 I moved to the other side of the Delaware River and settled in Marlton, NJ where I currently reside. Nevertheless, I will always be a “Philly boy” at heart.
I have actually written about 12 children’s books, of which I have published 3 so far. Most are fun and educational picture books. For example, one of my picture books is called “Seasons of the Year”. It is available on several online bookstores including Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com. It talks about the four seasons, the clothes kids wear, and the activities in which they participate during each season.
I also have a mystery series for middle grade readers. I call it the “Beach Club” series. The first two volumes “Magic Beach” and “The Haunted Lighthouse of Ocracoke Island” are on sale now and I am currently working on volume three.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“The Beach Club Volume II: The Haunted Lighthouse of Ocracoke Island was released near the end of last year. It is the second volume in the “Beach Club” trilogy.
In volume one, “Magic Beach”, the readers are introduced to a young boy named Miguel (Mikey) Sanchez. Mike is given the opportunity to spend five weeks of his summer vacation with his aunt and uncle in their new beach home on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Soon after arriving, Mikey meets two kids his age, Danni and Skip. The three kids become fast friends and nickname themselves The Beach Club. Before long, the trio find themselves tangled in a mystery that involves a rash of burglaries and a mysterious cave. Mikey’s sleuthing abilities surface for the first time as he and his friends solve the mystery and rid the town of the menacing burglar.
In the new book, “The Haunted Lighthouse of Ocracoke Island”, Mikey returns to the Outer Banks the following summer and reunites with his family and friends. After stumbling upon an important clue, he, Danni and Skip find themselves in the middle of yet another mystery. This time, the adventure involves a band of modern-day pirates and an eerie lighthouse. The three friends are able to solve the mystery, but only after surviving the most frightening night of their lives in a haunted lighthouse keeper’s home.
I had a lot of fun writing this book. I included a lot of true and interesting historical facts that add to the story and thicken the plot. If you enjoyed “Magic Beach”, you will love “The Haunted Lighthouse of Ocracoke Island”.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
People always ask me how do I get over writer’s block. Generally, I do something else to take my mind off of the project for a while and then return to it later with a clear head. Often times, that ‘something else’ is working on another book. I guess that is why I have a lot more books written than I have published.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Surprisingly, my favorite author is Stephen King. Although he writes in an entirely different genre than I do, I admire his ability to paint a vivid picture in his reader’s mind. He has the ability to pull people into the pages of his stories with his words. I always say, you don’t read a Stephen King novel, you experience it.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am working on volume three of my “Beach Club” series. I hope to have it published in 2017. After that, I will focus on publishing some of the other books I have already written.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Goodreads.com is an excellent source for getting reviews and promoting books. It is well know and often visited by thousands of people who are looking for a good book.
I also have a Facebook page that I use to connect with readers, parents and teachers. It’s also useful in promoting book signings, book fairs and other personal appearances. Click on the link below to go there.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Be patient and stay focused. Every author wants their book to be a best seller, but it can be a very long road to get there. Finding an agent is a long process and can be somewhat frustrating. If you decide to self publish, it could take some time for your book to gain traction. The business side of writing books isn’t easy.
Sometimes it is important to remember, every book isn’t best seller, but every book is an accomplishment. Every book you write is an expression of yourself. I am reminded of a song from my childhood that they used to sing on Sesame Street. The lyrics said, “Don’t matter if it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear.” Give every book you write your best effort. Write for the love of writing first. Then worry about the business side after.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write as much as you can. Just like anything else, the more you do a certain thing, the more proficient you become at it. I have written poems, short stories and even song lyrics just to practice using my vocabulary, my rhyming skills and my creativity.
What are you reading now?
Right now I am reading a book called “Gas Money” by Troy Lewis. It is a fascinating book about his life and his family. It is both heartwarming and eye-opening. What makes it even more interesting for me is the fact that his mother and my mother were schoolmates in a small town in Virginia.
What’s next for you as a writer?
As I mentioned, once I publish the third volume of my “Beach Club” trilogy, I will focus on publishing the other picture books I have written.
Beyond that, I also plan to sell the movie rights to my “Beach Club” series, as the stories are perfectly suited for the big screen.
What is your favorite book of all time?
My all time favorite book is probably “Jaws”. When I was a boy, I was too young to see the movie when it came to theaters, so I read the book instead. I was captivated. I couldn’t wait to see the movie when I got older. When I finally had the chance to see the movie, it also became a favorite of mine, and still is to this day.
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