Monday, May 2, 2011

Halloween Kentucky Style

I am pleased to be part of a blog tour for Diversion Press. Today, I am reviewing Halloween Kentucky Style, by children’s author, Charles Suddeth.

About Halloween Kentucky Style: What’s scarier than a haunted house and a graveyard on Halloween? For Mike and Tommy, a couple of mischievous eleven year old boys, who feel they are getting a little old for trick or treat, it is the perfect setting to scare a couple of girl cousins. However, their carefully laid out plan turns on them as they find more than their accomplice haunting the old mansion.

This 42-page soft cover book for readers from 9-12 is filled with goosebumps and Halloween fun.

About Charles Suddeth: Although he was born in Indiana and grew up in Michigan, he has spent most of his life in Kentucky. He lives in Louisville with his two cats, Wendy and Binks. He is a graduate of Michigan State University. He has also done graduate work at MSU, Spalding University, and the University of Louisville. He is a member of Green River Writers of Louisville, a PAL member of I Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators (SCBW), and is active in the Midsouth division (Kentucky and Tennessee).
A few questions for you Charles:

Is Halloween Kentucky Style your first published children’s book?

CS: Yes, and it was published in October 2010 by Diversion Press.

I loved your characters, especially Danny. Where do you get ideas for your characters? 

CS: Thank you, but I don’t know where my characters come from. I’ve heard that writers put bits and pieces of themselves in their characters. The subconscious? Danny is the underdog—younger, left out of the fun, and subject to Mike’s tricks. I think most people like underdogs.

Are there any lessons to be learned from Halloween Kentucky Style?

CS: I wrote this so the reader could enjoy an adventure, but lessons always worm their way into my stories. I believe that’s true for most writers. Telling the truth, admitting you’re wrong, and coping with the unknown come to mind for me. But the lesson I really want kids to learn is that reading is FUN.

When did you know you wanted to write for kids?

CS: Originally I just wrote children’s books for my enjoyment—and my family’s too. I thought adult fiction was “real” writing. A children’s librarian explained to me that “Halloween Kentucky Style” was middle reader’s fiction, so I started learning about children’s writing. I also learned that writing for children was just as enjoyable as writing for adults, and it was just as important. I want boys to become book readers. Most girls already do read books, but I made sure girls were in the story, because I want just as many girls to enjoy it.

What writing organizations do you find the most helpful and why?

CS: The SCBWI (society for children’s books writers and illustrators) is a world-wide organization that is essential for children’s writers. I also belong to Green River Writers. They have over 300 members, and they taught me much about writing in general.

Do you have more books coming out soon?

CS: None soon. But I am waiting to hear from my editor about a sequel. I also have a publisher who has expressed interest in one of my picture books.

What advice do you have for new writers?

CS: There is only one reason to write—you love to write. If you are serious about writing, get help—books, other writers, writing organizations. And be patient—writing, editing, and getting published takes time and energy.

Would you like to close with a question for our visitors?

CS: Do you remember the first book (or series) that you read by yourself when you were a child? One that you really got excited about? Or is hard to narrow it down to one?

Thank you for taking the time to visit with us, and commenting. Please come back on Wednesday when I will be featuring Ellabug, also with Diversion Press. See more books by Diversion Press at:

For a copy of this book see Diversion Press or Amazon


Virginia Anderson said...

Hi, Chuck,

I really enjoyed reading your interview! Hope the blog tour is going well. What a great idea!

My favorites as a kid were the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy books, as well as all the Walter Farley books about horses (The Black Stallion, The Island Stallion, etc.). I think the first "adult" book I read by myself was about the Cheyenne Indians, because I loved that TV series back in the '50s.

Your GRW buddy, Virginia

KC Frantzen said...

Thanks for introducing us to your work. Looks like a spooky fun read!

SO agree with your idea of letting kids know reading is FUN!!! :)

Charles said...

The first novels I remember as a kid were about a collie named Lad.(not Lassie!)They took place around 1900 and were written by Douglas Terhune. Does anyone else recall Lad? I think I read every book about Lad that was in the library.

Evelyn said...

I enjoyed hearing more about your book and about you, Chuck. Best wishes on your writing and on your potential future publications.

Similar to Virginia, the books that first hooked me on reading (and I was really late learning that joy) were the Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mysteries.

Charles said...

Thank you Evelyn. You and Virginia liked girl books and I liked boy books. The important thing is that you read what you enjoyed and you learned to read well.

Rita Monette, Writer said...

I'd like to thank everyone that visited my blog and said hi to Chuck.

Thanks to Diversion Press and Chuck for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

Charles said...

Rita, thank you for hosting me. I loved being on your blog. I liked your Cajun culture too, since I have always liked Cajun music.

Gail said...

Great interview! And an excellent question. I suppose, like a lot of girls, the first books I remember devouring (and reading more than once) were Nancy Drew books. And the Little House series. Those are also the books I'm most excited to pass down to my daughter.