Midnight at the Barclay Hotel really started with my love for mysteries, a love that was born long ago when I was about JJ, Penny and Emma’s age. I was a very avid reader, but without a YA section (there wasn’t one at the time), I moved from kids books to the grown-up section pretty quickly. At the recommendation of a librarian, I read The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie, and I was hooked.
I may have lost my love for reading for a while, but it was my love for mysteries that eventually brought me back. So I wanted to write a mystery, for kids who (like JJ in Midnight at the Barclay Hotel) maybe don't like reading so much...
I set out to write a mystery for kids that has some of the same ingredients of Agatha Christie’s books: a good mystery, several suspects, and an interesting, closed-off setting. After visiting the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park (of the famous The Shining movie), I knew I had all the ingredients for a fun—and spooky—mystery for kids.
I grew up in the Netherlands (you can look up where that is on the map), where I spent my childhood riding my bike, catching tadpoles, and reading Pippi Longstocking and Roald Dahl books. I loved to read, and I loved to draw, too. My very favorite book was The BFG by Roald Dahl. I would read under the covers well past my bedtime, secretly hoping for the BFG to knock on my window.
But somewhere along the way (around my high school years), I sort of lost the passion for reading. It wasn’t until I was given a paperback thriller many years later that I caught the reading bug again. After reading many, many mysteries and thrillers, I decided to try my hand at writing (I was pretty bad at it at first, to be honest). It took a long time before some of my short mysteries started appearing in small press magazines, which encouraged me to keep writing.
If you have writing aspirations, don’t give up!
KT Literary Agency
Next up: more scary mystery fun! Daybreak on Raven Island is out in paperback NOW...
I'm so excited to share this new, Alcatraz-inspired story with readers. It's scary, has a murder mystery, and lots of real history folklore as its inspiration. There are even some very Hitchcock-y ravens... I hope you'll order Daybreak on Raven Island so you can start reading the book and let me know what you think.
As for me, I now live in a small town in Colorado that's just perfect for a mystery... My family, three cats and little old dog named Betty White keep me grounded and inspired.