Tag Archives: tween fiction

Interview with Beverly Stowe McClure, Author of ‘A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat’

Beverly Stowe McClure photojpg

Beverly Stowe McClure, a former teacher, is now enjoying a second career: writing. She never planned to be a writer, but in the classroom she and her students did such fun activities in art and science that she decided to write about some of them. Luckily, a few magazines liked what she sent them, and her articles have appeared in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Jr., and others. Nine of her stories have been published as books, the latest one a MG/Tween eBook: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. She also has two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.

Beverly enjoys discovering her ancestors in her genealogy research. She plays the piano. (Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice.) She takes long walks where she snaps pictures of wildlife and clouds, and of course she reads, usually two books at a time. She teaches a women’s Sunday school class. Watching baseball (Go Rangers) is another of her favorite activities. Retirement is fun.

You can learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure at http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com or her blog at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

Friend Beverly on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beverlysmcclure

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beverlymcclure

Become one of Beverly’s fans on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure

Q: Thank you for this interview, Beverly. Can you tell us what your latest book, A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat, is all about?

A:  Yes, the book is about three thirteen-year-olds that decide to help three ghosts find rest so they don’t have to wander forever between this world and the next. Along the way, they survive a hurricane, a ninety-plus-year-old lady who may not be what she seems, and a seasick pirate.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A: Erik Burks is a typical thirteen-year-old, who loves baseball, his friends, and doesn’t understand girls. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom freaks out, leaves his father, and moves Erik and herself halfway across the country, where Erik goes from being the king of the hill in Texas, to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, and no friends, except for the twins.

Starry and Stormy Knight are not your typical twins. Star can read minds. She calls them “mind dreams,” and she’s not shy about giving a person her opinion of their thoughts.

Storm is border-line genius. He’s funny and caring and tries to make Erik want to stay in SC.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?pirate-blockade-runner-cat-200x300

A: My characters are mostly from my imagination. A couple of the ghosts in this story, Major Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard, are historical characters that really lived. I researched the pirates to make their roles in the book accurate and the events that happened to them are true, with a bit of extra excitement that I added for fun.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: I usually have a general idea of the plot in mind, but it often takes twists and turns as the characters show me their ideas of what should happen. So I go with them. After all, it’s their story.

Q: Your book is set in Folly Beach, SC, and up the Carolina coast.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

A: I love the Charleston, SC, area. So much history is there. So many tales of ghostly residents living in some of the old homes. Their stories are just waiting to be told. This is my second book about SC ghosts. The idea came to me while visiting with my son and daughter-in-law, who live on James Island, SC. One morning, we went to Folly Beach to watch the sun rise. Across the inlet stands the Morris Island Lighthouse. Boy, did images appear to me that morning. A ghost had to be living in the lighthouse, right? Who was he? Why could he not rest in peace? This was the perfect setting for my next ghost novel.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

A: Yes, it does, because not only does a ghost, who turns out to be a former navigator for a blockade runner, live in the lighthouse, a phantom ship cruises the inlet, with a clear image of a pirate, wearing a tricorn hat, a cutlass at his side, on board, telling me I had a pirate ghost, as well. A big part of the novel takes place aboard the Revenge, Stede Bonnet’s ship. My ghosts made for a perfect tale. 

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

A: The teens are on Major Stede Bonnet’s ship, the Revenge, discussing Blackbeard’s fate years ago and why Bonnet wants to find Blackbeard’s wandering spirit.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: (This is from p. 69.)

Storm grinned as he described the grisly scene in more detail. “They tossed Blackbeard’s body into the water.” He chuckled. “It gets even better.”

“Umm, we’ve heard enough,” I said.

Storm grinned even wider and went on. “Legend says Blackbeard swam around for days, in search of his head. Some people believe his ghost, minus a head, can still be seen today. Searching, searching, searching.”

“Wait a sec.” A disturbing thought had occurred to me. “We have a problem.”

“You’re right,” Star said. “No head, no brain, no logical pattern of action, no mind dreams to read to help us locate his remains.”

I tried to wrap my thoughts around this new idea. A headless ghost would be a challenge. I would not give up so easily, however. “Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.”

Storm shook his head. “Doubtful. Do you know how many people and scientists have tried to find Blackbeard’s head? And treasure?”

“You and your treasures.” Star almost snapped his head off. “More important things are at stake here.”

Storm shrugged. “So what’s the plan, Ek?”

I shrugged. “I’m thinking. I’m thinking.” 

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Beverly.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for letting me talk about my latest book for tweens. It’s been fun.

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How to Light Up the Heart of a Three-Year-Old Boy by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

 Holiday Memories is a month long series of heartwarming holiday stories from authors all over the world.  We at As the Pages Turn hope you will enjoy and have a happy holiday full of good and happy memories!

 

How to Light Up the Heart of a Three-Year-Old Boy

 by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein

Parents and grandparents always wonder what will most delight their kids and grandkids.  What should they get them for Birthdays?  For the Holidays?  Should we buy what delighted us as children?  Should we really cater to their Santa or Chanukah lists?  Should we go with what is ‘in’ this year? 

These are important questions and all I can say, is listen to the kid even if it seems strange!  We did when our grandson was three.  We knew he loved to help his mother vacuum.  We had noticed that many times when we visited.  But it still surprised us when he asked for a vacuum.  A vacuum?  Who ever would want one?  I would love to give mine up if someone else would just magically appear and vacuum.  Why would a tiny kid want one?  Wouldn’t he rather have some trucks or a train set?  “No.”

All he kept asking for was a vacuum.  Did toy stores even have vacuum’s for kids? 

We decided we had no choice.  Off we went to look.  And indeed we found a vacuum that looked just like his mom’s except it was half the size. We were amazed.  It was a little pricey, but hey, he is our grandson! 

So we bought it and wrapped the box and appeared on Chanukah.  He didn’t have a clue what we were bringing. 

After lighting the candles and singing, we brought out the presents.  There were a few other presents first and of course some for his baby sister who was happy to just rip off the paper.  Finally the big box was brought out by his parents and handed to him.  I will never forget his face when he ripped off the paper and saw a picture of a stand-up vacuum on the box.  There was such joy in his eyes and his grin was as wide as could be.  He looked at us with love and recognition that said that even as a three-year-old, he realized that sometimes only grandparents, not parents can really get it right. Then the magical second passed and he ripped open the box. 

Soon the vacuum was plugged in and he was busy.  Off in a dream world of cleaning and pushing and doing what only a kid could experience.  We were so happy that we had hit it right.  We kept looking at him and loving every second of his eager pretend cleaning, even though he no longer had eyes for us. He was sweet though and did turn and look at us and smile every once in awhile.  Even the noise didn’t bother us-because of course, no good mechanical toy, is without its sound effects! 

That was a great Chanakah!

Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein is the originator of The Enchanted Self(R). She has been a positive psychologist in private practice and licensed in the states of New Jersey and Massachusetts since 1981. She is currently in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein.  

She is the author of The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy, Recipes for Enchantment, The Secret Ingredient is YOU! and There Comes A Time In Every Woman’s Life for DELIGHT.   

Her newest book, The Truth, I’m Ten, I’m Smart and I Know Everything! is another first in positive psychology. Written by a ten year old girl as a diary, Dr. Barbara has been able to imbed lots of positive truths that we all need to remember and live by, regardless of our age.  

The girl’s edition, titled: The Truth, (I’m a girl, I’m smart and I know everything) debuted February 2008 in bookstores nationwide. You can get your copy now at www.enchantedself.com.

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