Meet author M.K. SCOTT, who calls herself a "total book fiend" and horse-lover. Oh, make that dog lover, too, given her "writing partner" is a four-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback named Java.
If you didn't know, M.K.'s alter-ego Michele Scott is author of the Wine Lovers Mysteries and the Equestrian Horse Lovers Mysteries with Berkley Prime Crime.
As M.K. she'll be writing for children, beginning with her tween fantasy, ZAMORA'S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE available from QUAKE/Echelon Press.
ZAMORA'S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE...
Is the name of Mason and Carter Clover's favorite video game. But fantasy turns to reality when Zamora's evil face appears on the brothers' TV screen. Now the queen threatens to take over the soul of their kidnapped baby sister, Isabella. Zamora's plan? To use the baby as a human vessel to reach Earth and dominate the world!
The boys enter the video game and are helped by several guides in the magical land of Boysen - a sage, a quirky mermaid and a Pegasus, who flies them to subsequent levels of the game. They also face other enemies as they try to jump to the next level and rescue Isabella. Will they beat Zamora's Ultimate Challenge?
Who is M.K./Michele?
Michele, who has a degree in journalism, has been writing since childhood. She wrote her first book while taking a Writer's Digest Magazine correspondence course and caring for her premature son, who's now 17.
"It only took me 12 years later and almost as many books to get an agent and sell three books," she says.
She's made up for lost time, with books nine and book 10, the latest being ZAMORA'S ULTIMATE CHALLENGE (QUAKE/ECHELON PRESS, Feb 2009).
Her family once again played a role in her decision to delve into another genre. Being on bed rest for her third pregnancy, Michele decided to write a fantasy for her own children. She calls it a book of her heart and a book with a message.
“The morals have to do with familial love and bonds, as well as faith in one's self,” she says. “That is all so important to me because I don't think there is anything more important than your family and your belief in yourself and others. We all have gifts to share, and the book gets that across in a subtle way that I believe kids and parents will enjoy.”
About that Dog...
And Java? Call him confidant and right-hand man, er, dog. Michele spends much of the day writing until it's time to pick up her youngest at school, with the dog usually beside her.
"I write in the kitchen most of the time on a laptop and Java sleeps next to me on the kitchen sofa in the breakfast nook," she says. "Sometimes our other dog does too, and occasionally the cat as well. They all sleep all day long."
It sounds ideal but don't be fooled. With 10+ books under her belt (there are others being considered), Michele's got this writing thing down pat. Not that there aren't some moments...
"Revising a book for the 10th time," she says. "At that point I am into another book and want to move on, but know that I have to do whatever it takes to make what I have written the best that I can."
But there are good things, she says, "like creating a story with characters that I feel readers can connect to. The simple act of writing itself is by far the best part."
With the day's writing done and the kids home, Michele is then ready to spend time with her family and her horses. Wow, who says a writer's life isn't to be envied?
Did I say prizes? Yes, I did!
Now were you paying attention?? Three lucky readers will have the chance to win copies of Zamora’s Ultimate Challenge by answering this question: What creature inhabits Boysen and what’s the name of the dragon fighter? First make a comment here on something and then send the answer to Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org. (copy and paste in your mail browser)
** Read an except of Zamora’s Ultimate Challenge at Michele’s website.
* QUAKE/Echelon Press.
Follow the Rest of the Blog Tour
* Tomorrow, March 26, Michele shares the story behind Zamora's Ultimate Challenge at Cynthia's Attic
** Don't forget to stop every day at Michele's blog for a fun contest. San Diego anyone?? (Be sure to check out the cool book trailer!)
* March 27: Michele blogs about the novel project she does with middle school and junior high kids at Marta's Meanderings.
* March 30: Michele blogs about the differences between writing children's fantasy versus adult mystery at Drey's Library
* April 2: Michele talks about balancing multi-genre writing and family at Booking Mama.
* April 3: A tween's view of "Zamora's Ultimate Challenge" at Beth Fish Reads.
* April 4: Stop at Teen-Seen and maybe win some prizes!
No, writers don't lead a life of leisure. But their "helpers" do! Hope you enjoyed this stop of the tour!