INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR DARLENE FOSTER!
Please help me welcome author Darlene Foster to Jemsbooks Blog Segment of Interview an Author.
It’s lovely to have you here Darlene. Please step up on the soap box.
Please tell us something about yourself.
I’m probably considered a late bloomer as I didn’t start writing seriously until later in life. But I have always loved to tell stories and made up tales in my head growing up on a ranch in southern Alberta. I recall pretending I was in exciting, foreign countries having an adventure. I had two wishes as a child, one was to travel the world and the other was to be a published writer one day. I have been very lucky as I have held wonderful jobs over the years, raised two amazing children, and been blessed with four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. My dreams have come true as I have travelled to interesting places and have had seven books published. Although Canada will always be my home, my husband and I enjoy our place in Spain with our adorable dog, Dot. Dreams do come true!!
jjspina: How nice that you have realized your dream even if it is later in life.
What projects are you currently working on?
I recently finished Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action which is in the hands of my publisher, Central Avenue Publishing, and will be released in 2019. In this, the seventh book in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda Ross visits Holland with her BFF Leah. They enjoy the gorgeous tulip fields, watch wooden shoes being made and learn about the cruelty of war while visiting the Anne Frank House. While in Holland, they find an abandoned puppy and run into a mysterious gardener who is hiding a secret. All the time Amanda wonders what happened to her great-uncle, a Canadian soldier who went to Holland in 1945 and never returned, reported missing in action.
I have just started writing the eighth book in the series. Amanda will be visiting the amazing country of Malta in this adventure.
jjspina: That’s amazing that you can travel to these countries and make up tales for Amana. Children will love your books!
What hobbies do you have when you are not writing?
As most writers will tell you, writing consumes you. You are either writing, researching, thinking of writing, marketing, writing articles, making notes, interviewing people or talking about writing. It doesn’t leave much time for anything else. I like to bake and cook nice meals. I love trying different recipes and entertaining guests. Of course while I’m cooking and baking, I am often thinking about the next chapter in my WIP. I also love to travel but that usually turns into research for a book or travel articles. I also like to read and take every opportunity to do so. I try not to think about writing while I read. (Not always successfully)
jjspina: This makes me chuckle, Darlene. I am the same way!
What is your target audience for your books?
My books are written for 8 to 12 year old. But having said that, you are never too old to read a children’s book. Many adult readers enjoy following Amanda’s adventures. Some even plan their holidays around Amanda’s travels. So perhaps I should say my target audience is anyone who loves to read about other countries and cultures and enjoys an adventure.
jjspina: Yes, I agree about your books. They are for any age because of the traveling aspect of them.
Please share your books with us and a synopsis of each.
Amanda Ross is an average girl living in Alberta, Canada and she is bored. On her twelfth birthday she makes a wish for travel and adventure before blowing out all her candles. The next day tickets to visit her aunt and uncle in the United Arab Emirates arrive in the mail. She has an amazing adventure in the UAE that includes a mysterious perfume flask, a beautiful princess, a loyal camel and a chase across a dangerous desert. You can read about her adventures in book number 1 of the Amanda travels series, Amanda in Arabia-The Perfume Flask.
Amanda has the travel bug and when her friend Leah invites her to come to Spain on a holiday with her, she jumps at the chance. She visits Madrid, explores a mountain town with houses hanging on the edge of cliffs, stays overnight in an old, spooky monastery, takes part in a tomato fight and discovers the amazing sights of Barcelona. A young girl, looking amazingly like a girl in a famous painting, shows up wherever Amanda and Leah happen to be. Can Amanda keep this sweet young girl, and her beloved pony, safe from the clutches of an evil horse thief without bringing harm to herself and Leah? This adventure is book number 2, Amanda in Spain-The Girl in the Painting.
Amanda travels to England to spend spring break with Leah where she has to get used to funny accents and cars driving on the opposite side of the road. The girls visit the Isle of Wight where they meet Charlie, a kind old bookseller, and his cat Rupert. They discover a vintage book is missing from a set, meet a couple of dubious teenagers and a suspicious woman. Amanda explores Hampton Court, Harrods, The Tower of London and Windsor Castle while trying to find out what happened to the missing novel and why Charlie is acting so strange. Find out more in Amanda in England-The Missing Novel, book number 3.
Amanda is delighted to show Leah around Alberta when she visits from England. They take in the Calgary Stampede, tour a ranch, go on a cattle drive, visit a buffalo jump, spend time at a dinosaur museum and explore the Hoodoos. When Amanda finds a stone with a unique mark on it, she doesn’t think it’s very important, until everyone seems to want it. Is this stone worth ruining Leah’s holiday and risking their lives? Spend time in Alberta as Amanda attempts to decipher the writing on the stone and keep it from the wrong hands in Amanda in Alberta-the Writing on the Stone, book number 4.
On an exciting river cruise down the Danube, Amanda is given a valuable violin to look after by a homeless musician. She is fascinated by the medieval castles, green valleys and charming villages of Germany, Austria and Hungary, learns about European history and enjoys the beautiful sounds of music along the way. But, she is not sure who she can trust and if the violin can be kept safe for the poor prodigy in Amanda on the Danube-The Sounds of Music, book number 5.
Book number 6 of the Amanda Travels series takes place in New Mexico where Amanda is on a school trip. One of her classmates claims she sees ghosts but Amanda has trouble believing her, until strange things start to happen. The beautiful but haunting landscape, an ancient pueblo and a haunted hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past in Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind.
All my books are available on Amazon and other sites that sell good books as well as can be ordered from most bookstores. Although they are numbered, the books do not have to be read in order.
jjspina: Wow, I am impressed over the selection of travel books you have. You must have taken a lot of fascinating trips.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I enjoy traveling and have seen a good amount of this amazing world but one place I haven’t been too and would so love to visit is Australia and New Zealand. I think Amanda would love it there too!
jjspina: I agree that Australia and New Zealand would be wonderful places to visit.
Do you have any unusual talents? What are they?
An interesting question. I’m not sure if this is a talent, but I’m able to carry on multiple conversations at the same time in the same room. I believe that comes from being raised in a large, talkative family. Not everyone can do this and many of my friends think it is quite amazing. It is a good skill to have when you are at networking events or collecting ideas for stories.
jjspina: Yes, it certainly would be ideal to be able to do that.
Please share your links and where to purchase your books.
Darlene Foster dreamt of writing, travelling the world, and meeting interesting people. She also believed in making her dreams come true. It’s no surprise she’s now the award-winning author of Amanda Travels, a children’s adventure series about a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another. A world traveller herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Costa Blanca, in Spain with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.
Thank you, Darlene, for coming today. It was a pleasure to learn more about you and your fascinating books about travel. I will be perusing them soon.
Now that you are part of Jemsbooks Blog family, please feel free to come back again to share more new adventures for Amanda. I wish you much success with these books and all the future ones to come. Happy traveling, Darlene!
Thank you, readers, for stopping by to read about this creative author. I hope you will check out her books and links and look over her amazing books.
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