It is my pleasure to feature a book from Canadian writer and blogger, Darlene.
This is the latest in her very popular ‘Amanda’ series. This time, our heroine is in Holland.
Here is Darlene’s bio.
Darlene Foster is a Canadian author who has written the popular Amanda Travels series, featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure while learning about another culture. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in various countries. Darlene has won prizes for her short stories and a number of them have been published in anthologies. She has also written a bi-lingual book for English/Spanish readers.
Darlene grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where her love of reading inspired her to travel the world and write stories. Over the years she held wonderful jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, and wrote whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a home in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she likes to spend time with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.
Her books include: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind, and Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be released in the spring of 2021.
Hi! I’m Darlene Foster, a writer of children’s books, travel articles and short stories. I grew up on a ranch in southern Alberta, Canada where I dreamt of travelling the world and becoming a published writer. I call the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca of Spain my home these days. Dreams do come true!
When did you start writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Putting words down on paper has always been a pleasure for me. I had a story published in a local newspaper when I was twelve. It was called Stretch Your Food Dollar. The crazy thing is that it is about an amusing experience two young girls have in a department store. Little did I know, all these years later, I would publish books about two girls having adventures and amusing experiences in various countries.
What motivates you to write?
I am motivated by boredom. If I feel I might be getting bored, I start a new writing project. Then I complain I’m too busy but I actually like it that way.
What genre do you write in and what made you chose this particular genre?
For the most part, I write travel adventure stories for children. I tend to relate best with children. Some say I have never really grown up myself. Adulthood is far over rated. Tweens, kids aged eight to twelve are delightful. They are in the middle, no longer little children but not yet teenagers. There is still that sweet innocence but they are starting to question things and think for themselves. That sense of adventure kicks in and they crave more independence, at the same time like to feel safe in the familiar.
What is your goal in writing? Do you have dreams where your writing should take you?
My goal is to have many children (and adults) all over the world read and enjoy my books. My dreams are that schools will stick my books in their libraries and teachers will use them in the classroom.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block and if yes, how do you deal with it?
I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t suffer from writer’s block from time to time. Sometimes the words just won’t come. I often deal with it by going for a walk or reading a book. Chatting with a friend or family member, not even about the book, often unlocks the creative juices. Hanging around kids works as well. Once I was struggling with the ending of one of my books and getting very frustrated. My dear husband had given me a gift certificate for a massage for my birthday. While having the massage, the ending came to me as clear as could be. I raced home and typed it up! You just never know. But sitting in front of the screen doesn’t work, I have to leave it and do something different.
What advice would you like to give new, hopeful authors?
If you have a dream of becoming a published author, never give up on that dream. It may take a while and it will take a lot of hard work, but it is worth it! Also connect with other authors. The writing community is so supportive and encouraging. You can’t do it alone.
Please, tell us about your work.
My books feature Amanda Ross, a 12 year old Canadian girl who decides that the only way out of her boring existence is to travel. In Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, she makes a wish on her birthday for a chance to travel and gets an airline ticket to the United Arab Emirates to visit her Aunt the next day. She doesn’t even know where that is and has to look it up on the internet. Once there she meets Leah, an English girl, and before she knows it they are in the middle of an adventure that involves a runaway princess, bounty hunters, camels and a sand storm. She often finds herself wishing she were back home in her boring but safe life once again. Amanda travels to Spain to join Leah in Amanda in Spain – The Girl in The Painting, where they help a young girl, who looks like a girl in a famous painting, escape the clutches of a mean horse thief. She also visits Leah in Amanda in England – The Missing Novel, where they get lost in a maze, hide in an underground tunnel and ride the London Eye in search of a missing vintage novel. When Leah visits Amanda in Amanda in Alberta – The Writing on the Stone, they take in all the sights while trying to decipher the mysterious writing on a stone and keep it from getting into the wrong hands. No matter where Amanda travels, she can’t seem to stay away from danger. In the fifth book soon to be released, Amanda on the Danube – The Sounds of Music, Amanda is given a precious violin to look after as she enjoys a cruise down the Danube with Leah. Things aren’t always what they seem and Amanda is not sure who she can trust. Even Leah is acting strange.
Thank you for being my guest. It was such a pleasure to have you here!!
Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. It has been fun talking to you about my writing journey. Life is an adventure, enjoy!!