Sunday Spotlight: Christine Keleny, Author of Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Sunday Spotlight is a weekly scheme I am running to bring publicity to lesser known authors who, in the book blogging community, it is important to support. If you are an author and you wish to be considered for it please email me at emily.confessionsofa with 'Author Spotlight' in the subject line.

I know it's not Sunday, don't worry, but I am now caught up from my very busy period earlier this month.

Visiting with us today is Christine Keleny, author of Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up.

About Christine:

Christine Keleny
I am a writer, reader, author, editor, book designer and publisher. I am a mother of two, mostly grown, children and a wife. I like working with my hands, so when the need or desire arises, I crochet, sew, tile, paint, cross stitch, frame pictures, stain furniture, cut and split fire wood, x-country ski, train and ride horses…

But my main loves are writing and helping others publish the book of their dreams. I started writing in college (a while ago!) and haven't stopped since. I'm having the time of my life!

Find out more on Goodreads | Amazon | Website


Hi there Christine!
Tell us about your book, ‘Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up’.
Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym for some 28 writers of Nancy Drew, though there were three primary writers. But who really created Nancy is a significant controversy in the Nancy Drew world, so that is what my story is about, the three primary characters of Nancy and how she came into being.

What inspired you to write a Nancy Drew rewrite of sorts?
My book is not a mystery, but it is fiction. It tells of the lives of the three primary creators of Nancy and shows what influences they all had in writing her story.

Which of the characters is your favourite and why?
I think I like Nancy’s first creator, Edward Stratemeyer, the best. He sounds like he was a very interesting and pleasant man. He was very creative and a prolific children’s writer. He really made writing for children a thing. He wrote the Hardy Boys, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift and many many more.

Tell us about your other works.
My first three books are what I call my Rose series (Rosebloom, A Burnished Rose, Rose From the Ashes). They are three books about a young farm girl in Wisconsin in 1936 who runs away from home to get a job on a Mississippi riverboat. Book I is about her time on and along the river, Book II is when she becomes a nurse in WWII and book III is when she comes home.
Then there is “Living in the House of Drugs.” That is a memoir I wrote for a recovering addict and alcoholic that grew up in the Chicago projects.
“The Red Velvet Box” is a book I only have as an ebook. I want to illustrate that book so have not put it in print yet. It is set in 1951 and is about a young girl and her relationship to her grandmother, who is getting forgetful. She connects with and helps her grandmother through a box of old Christmas ornaments.

What authors would you say influenced your work the most?
I write mostly historical fiction because I love history and I think it’s a great way for people to learn about our past. I’m not sure there is any one author, but the king of historical fiction in my eyes is Gore Vidal.

I read that you also help struggling writers get published, tell us about that.
My day job (which is my second career) is my indie publishing company: CKBooks Publishing
I offer editing – all types - print book formatting, ebook formatting, simple cover design and book publishing. Or I can just answer any questions a writer might have. Whether you are self-publishing or going the traditional route, there is a lot of information out there and it can be confusing, so I like to help authors by answering any questions they might have about the process. I was a new author once myself, so I like to help when I can.

What advice would you give to writers who are just starting out?
Read a lot, especially in the genre that you’re writing in, but really any good writing is helpful to read, and of course, write a lot. Don’t worry if it’s any good, just write. Computers make it so easy to change things after the fact.

I read that you have won an award for your work; did you ever imagine you’d get so far?
It’s nice to feel like others think you are doing well with your writing, but that is really just a marketing thing when a writer puts their book into a writing contest. What readers I really want to impress are the ones I meet at book events or online.

What other upcoming books should we look for from you?
When you asked about writers who influenced me, one I have really resonated with lately is Alan Bradley. He has written the Flavia de Luse mystery series. So I am going to attempt to write my first middle-grade mystery about a 12 year old girl by the name of Agnes Kelly. Agnes is a precocious girl in 1961, who is taken under her grandmother’s wing after her father dies. Grandma thinks there is something fishy about her son’s death and Agnes gets drawn into the mystery. But in the style of Alan Bradley and JK Rowling, I’d like my book to transcend age limits. We’ll see!

Is there anything else you want the readers of Confessions of a Bookaholic to know?
As a promoter of indie authors, I would like to remind readers that no matter who you read, please leave reviews of what you’ve read. It is so important to any writer, but especially writers who don’t have a large publishing company to back them up. It also helps other readers. There are so many books out there to choose from and your opinion does matter!

Thank you for joining us at Confessions of a Bookaholic!
Thanks for having me! And happy reading!

About Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up:

Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up
If you always wondered how the plucky, intelligent, resourceful, and famous girl sleuth we affectionately call Nancy came into being, “Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up” will give you insights into the lives of the three primary creators of Nancy and her pals and the controversy that still rages today about who really created the Nancy that millions of readers across the globe have come to know and love.

"Will the Real Carolyn Keene Please Stand Up is a fresh take on one of America’s most popular characters—Nancy Drew. Keleny offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at the dedicated and determined creators of the series. She also reveals the competing—and often conflicting—visions each author had for Nancy. This novel is entertaining, smart, and exceptionally well researched. It is certain to interest anyone who is curious about the surprising mystery behind the Nancy Drew mysteries." ~ Jenna Nelson, PhD

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