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The Mysteries of Whisper Bay: A new children's mystery series.
Because once upon a time, books weren't so set on stealing your child's innocence.
We didn’t have a television in the house for much of my childhood, so we read books. A lot of books.
My mom was careful about what we were allowed to read, though as I got into junior high and high school, she had less control over what I checked out of the library.
I don’t want to be blamed for wearing rose-colored glasses, but even the books my mom didn’t want me to read (um, Christopher Pike anyone) were nothing like what we see today.
If you have the stomach for it, here’s a video that shows in great detail a sample of the books filling your kids’ school library and reading lists:
I’ve never been a fan of banning or burning books, but at this point...🔥
I was in shock after watching that video. I guess I didn’t realize how awful some of the books were. Not only is it bad writing, but it’s just pure filth. It’s sick. It’s not about helping kids be aware of information they need to know, but opening up their minds and pouring in garbage no one needs to know but especially not kids.
There’s no way kids should be reading that, and you can’t blame parents all the time because some schools aren’t happy to give parents an opportunity to see what students have access to.
After I shared that video with my family in our private family Telegram group, a discussion grew to the point that I created a list of books I’d recommend my grandnieces and nephews to read, either Christian or clean non-Christian in nature, and sources to buy such books.
Funny thing was, though, God must have already started me on this path.
Nearly a year ago—long before my family had this discussion—I had already decided I wanted to write kids’ mystery books like the ones I had growing up because I felt that there was a need for fun books for kids that weren’t disgusting, books that were based in reality instead of fantasy.
No weird occult or witchcraft. No superheroes or magic powers. No fantasy realms that weren’t anything like real life. No woke ideology about gender or sexuality. No low-brow writing with dumbed-down words and structure, but instead, introducing words and ideas the reader might not have encountered in their reading yet.
I wanted books featuring kids capable of thinking. Kids who were outside instead of staring at screens. Kids who could solve mysteries using creativity and hard work. Kids who relied on their Christian faith as a normal part of life, not some awkward tacked-on thing. Kids who modeled behavior (and consequences) in what they did. Kids who built friendships and learned how to maintain them.
Even in the Christian bookstore, nearly all of the children’s stories are fantasy.
That’s fine, until it isn’t.
Kids who only read fantasy books quickly learn that they have to leave real life to have excitement. I think we’ve raised enough kids on escapism, kids who have grown into adults playing video and escapist board games because jobs, relationships, and the “drudgery” of life is too much to bear. They need to learn to live in the here and now, and that there can be joy in that.
Perhaps it is just me, but having read mostly reality-based stories growing up, subsisting fully on fantasy is a weary thing. Once in a while, it is a delight, but over time, it’s a burden to tell kids that they have to have magical powers or exist in an imaginary realm if they want to accomplish anything great, that they have to fight dragons and fly and go to different planets in order to be a hero.
So, I decided to take a leap forward and write the thing I wanted to see, calling the series The Mysteries of Whisper Bay, which you can find at mysteriesofwhisperbay.com.
But oh boy has it taken me a long time to get one simple book done.
First of all, writing fiction isn’t my forte. Stories and character arcs are beyond me.
Second, just as I’m about to start diving into my own writing project rush client work inevitably pops up on the radar and that’s how months go by. I peck away at my own projects in bits and pieces and give all my energy and best writing to client projects (the great catch-22 of writers).
Third, it’s not just about writing the book. There’s all kinds of peripheral content I’m creating (maps, casebooks, drawings, downloads, products for online stores) for each book and for the series and they take up a lot of time.
Fourth, trying to find a market for the book sometimes involves rejection, including at your local bookstore.
Nevertheless, the first book is done, and I’m working on the second. I’m making the peripheral content. I have 18 possible story ideas in my notes. And this blog post is me simply announcing this officially to the world. If you’re curious, visit The Mysteries of Whisper Bay and find out more.