Thursday, December 16, 2010

Guest Author Jan Markley:

I’d like to welcome my guest author Jan Markley. Jan has two middle grade mystery books that sure look like a fun read for your children or grandchildren, hay, why not pick them up and read them yourselves? Here’s a little about Jan.

Jan Markley is a Canadian children's author. She has written two funny mystery novels for middle grade readers (aged 8-12). She blogs at Three Dead Moths in my mailbox ... where writing meets life ... or life meets writing. Check out her blog - it offers tips on writing and a funny take on the life of a writer.

Her debut novel is Dead Frog on the Porch (Gumboot Books 2009) the first in the Megabyte Mystery series. Twin sisters Cyd and Jane are propelled into an international plot involving evil scientists and giant, genetically stretched frogs. Will the twins win this hilarious race to save the frog kingdom?

Her books have been called: Nancy Drew for the ipod generation. The characters use old fashioned curiosity and new technology to solve the mysteries. The books are funny, fast paced and full of suspense.

Her second novel, which was released this fall, is Dead Bird through the Cat Door (Gumboot Books 2010).

Once again, Cyd and her animal loving twin Jane are up to their bird beaks in intrigue cracking the latest Megabyte Mystery. Dead Birds? Stolen cats? C’est what? When Cyd and Jane’s cat Yin gets kidnapped – that’s when it gets personal. The director of the bird sanctuary, Aviary Finch, is stealing cats to kill birds. But why?

The twins use the latest technology and Shakespeare’s Macbeth to help crack the case. Methinks the culprits doth protest too much! Will Cyd and Jane save the sanctuary, free the birds, and return the cats to their natural habitat of their owners’ laps? It’s predator eats predator when evil meets crazy!

If you can imagine what would happen if Nancy Drew met Lady Macbeth - then you'll have a sense of what the second novel is like!

Here are the Amazon links:

Dead Frog on the Porch
Dead Bird through the Cat Door

Amazon UK

Dead Frog on the Porch
Dead Bird through the Cat Door

Thank you for visiting with us today Jan. If you have questions for Jan please ask, she’ll be here off and on throughout the day.

Tomorrow, Marian Allen and Eel's Reverence.


N. R. Williams said...

Thank you for thinking of me on your blog book tour Jan. I hope you find great success.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

She sure likes killing her animals!

Joanne said...

I love how Jan uses technology to solve her mysteries. As much as we might resist it, the younger set is sooo into technology, these stories are sure to be a big hit!

Beth said...

These mysteries sound cute.

N. R. Williams said...

LOL Alex, I guess it's because a crime must be solved.

I thought the same thing Joanne.

I agree Beth.
Thank you all for dropping over and leaving a comment.

Golden Eagle said...

I love the sound of her mysteries! The combination of technology, but old technique, is an intriguing idea.

Dominic de Mattos said...

These sound great fun!

I knew having grand children was good for something! Oh wait! I don't have grand children. Rats. Perhaps I could borrow some for the day?

Here is a question for Jan. When you write for Middle Grade how do you choose the vocabulary that you use? Is it instinctive, or do you have a crib sheet of words 12 year olds are meant to know? Do you believe on stretching youngsters vocab through their reading, or do you think that it is better to get them into reading by using words they know and with which they are comfortable?

Mayra Calvani said...

These MG mysteries sound like a lot of fun! I'm going to check them out. :-)

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Golden for stopping in and leaving a comment.

Those are great comments Dom, thank you for asking.

They do sound like fun Mayra.
Thank you all for stopping in and leaving a comment.

Southpaw said...

Thanks for introducing these books they both look great. And how can you go wrong with those titles?

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy, these stories sound unique. Great post.

BTW I put my Cindy story up as it is doubling as my #fridayflash fiction story this week - wasn't doing two! Thx for stopping by my flashquake blog my dear!

N. R. Williams said...

I agree Holly, the title is great.

You're welcome L'Aussie and I sure don't blame you. Your story is fantastic.

Thank you both for dropping by and leaving a comment.

Jan Markley said...

Thanks Nancy for hosting me today! Hi everyone. Thanks for dropping by with all your great comments and questions.

Alex, Joanne, Beth and the Golden Eagle. The deaths are not graphic and they are the jumping off points for the stories (which ultimately explore our connection with the environment). DFOTP started as a writing exercise based on a childhood incident where I accidentally killed my friend's frog (the original dead frog on the porch). Then the mystery emerges from there. Technology and kids is a natural fit for kids today, but they still have to use their smarts to solve the mystery.

Good question Dominic. I go on instinct and then I run the manuscript by my young readers group (5 kids btwn 9-12 years) and they let me know which words and expressions are 'lame' and where they felt the characters were speaking from an adult pov. I don't shy away from using a word they might have to look up.

Thanks Holly & L'Aussie - I hope the books are a new twist on the old favourite mystery genre.

Jemi Fraser said...

These sound like terrific additions for my classroom! THanks for the links :)

N. R. Williams said...

I agree Jemi, they do sound great.

Good night all. Thank you Jan for stopping by and answering everyone's questions.

Dominic de Mattos said...

Thanks Jan, that honest no holds barred critique by others is so important isn't it?

Hope the books are a huge success

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks for dropping back in Dom.