Thursday, June 1, 2017

Writing for Kids

Kids love mysteries.  I always did.  Loved Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I grew up reading mysteries and it's no surprise, that when I decided to write fiction, I would gravitate to mysteries. Truth is, it's not easy for me to write a novel without the element of mystery.

I began my career as a mystery writer by creating the award-winning, Jennie McGrady Mysteries with Bethany House Publishers.  You can imagine my surprise when the second book in the series, Silent Witness, won the Silver Angel for excellence in media and was nominated for an Edgar Allen Poe Award by Mystery Writers of America.    

I love writing for kids and take the responsibility very seriously. I want to produce books that not only entertain but enable and encourage young people to be the best they can be and to have confidence in themselves.  Children today are exposed to so much negative and destructive behavior.  My goal is to provide a safe place where I can tell a story and maybe impart wisdom to make good choices.

The Max & Me Mysteries

Meet Jessie Miller

Being a fiction writer is a great way to meet new people--even if those people don't actually exist outside the confines of your own mind. That's how Jessie, the main character in my Max & Me Mystery series, came to be. Jessie arrived in my head as a twelve-year-old girl with leukemia urging me to write her story. So I did.

The series takes place in Washington State in a small tourist town that sits on the edge of a large lake in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Chenoa Lake. 

You'll enjoy meeting Jessie and Max, who form a deep, but unlikely friendship. Jessie is thin and frail and has leukemia. Max is wild and adventurous, with spiked hair that changes color from day to day depending on her mood. Jesse has no real friends until Max comes along. She sees Max as being very brave and tries to keep Max out of trouble. Then Jesse discovers Max's dark secrets and must lead her friend into danger in order to set her free,

The Trouble with Max  (Book 1)

Max Hunter and Jessie Miller, two sixth-grade girls living near the Cascade moun­tains, make an unlikely pair: Jessie has leukemia and is bald. Max dresses in thrift-store grunge and acts tough in school. But their friendship holds life together when everything else falls apart. Then one day Jessie discovers Max’s best-kept secret. Jessie wants to help her, but doing so means risking their friendship and possibly her life.

 Danger at Lakeside Farm  (Book 2)

Jessie is thin and frail, Max is brave and adventurous, but together they’re a great team. Following their first adventure in book one, Max has moved in with an eld­erly neighbor, Amelia, at Lakeside Farm. Soon strange things start happening at the farm, and Max and Jess wonder if someone wants Amelia out.

Secrets of Ghost Island  (Book 3)

Max and Jess discover a family of orphans trying to avoid deportation. The girls decide to help them when the town is hit by a rash of burglaries. The authorities are blaming their friends, and Jesse, Max, and Cooper set out to prove their innocence.  Clues, unfortunately, lead to the one place no one wants to go—Ghost Island.  Stormy weather, unexpected thieves and a cougar have them wondering if they’ll ever get off the island alive.  

 Look for the Max & Mysteries soon on Amazon.

Writing Out of Love

It may seem strange to some that I would choose heroes like Jessie and Max Hunter—one with leukemia and the other living with an abusive aunt and uncle. I suppose it’s because I have cared for children who have suffered and even died from life-threatening illnesses and I have worked with children tormented with emo­tional and physical pain at the hands of abusive adults.
These children were so often brave and resilient and able to overcome great adversity. They showed me what being a hero is all about. As a pediatric nurse and then a counselor, I have always had a heart for children and a desire to help them in any way I can. My earlier nonfiction books Have You Hugged Your Teenager Today? and What Kids Need Most in a Mom, were written to help and encourage parents in their endeavor to better care for their chil­dren. It Shouldn’t Hurt to be a Kid helps parents, teachers, and caregivers to recognize abuse and to help bring healing to broken children.
Several years ago, I began writing The Jennie McGrady Mysteries for kids because I love a good mystery and according to the fan mail I receive, so do kids. My goal has been to provide great, excit­ing, and adventurous stories, but also to empower kids to rise above the problems they may encounter in life. Jessie and Max do this very well. I hope my readers and fans will enjoy their adven­tures as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Blessings, Patricia Rushford