AUTHOR: Connie Kingrey Anderson
BOOK TITLE: Haunted Cattle Drive, Creepers Mysteries, Book 1
GENRE: Middle grade mystery
PUBLISHER: Movies for the Ear, LLC
GIVEAWAY: If you would like a copy of Haunted Cattle Drive, please leave your contact information so you may be considered in the drawing.
Please tell us about yourself.
I began my career at Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta, then moved to Los Angeles to run an independent film and video company for a group of investors. Among the projects I produced was Murder Mystery Video Party Game: Murder at the Guild Inn, which was a nominee and finalist for an American Video Award presented by Billboard Magazine and the American Film Institute. I also produced an independent film that won the Saturn Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. After working on these two projects, I hatched the idea of creating a mystery series that was creepy – for kids. I moved back to my native Minnesota and began producing “audio movies.” They had actors, spine-tingling sound effects and a musical score by an award winning film composer. What made them especially appealing to kids was their rich, creepy sound effects, like mysterious footsteps on the stairs, slowly creaking doors and thunderous storms. The Haunted Cattle Drive audio movie won the 1999 Audie Award for Best Original Production from the Audio Publishers Association.
Please tell us your latest news.
This year I’ve reintroduced Creepers Mysteries in written form. Haunted Cattle Drive is Creepers Mysteries, Book 1. Kids enjoy reading the book in the front. Then they can star in their own Movie for the Ear using the script in the back. They read the lines the way the characters would say them. They have fun creating creepy sound effects. They can even add spooky music. So instead of just listening to an audio, they are reading and creating.
When and why did you begin writing?
In college I was an acting major, and I saw the same audition pieces used over and over again. When I couldn’t find anything new and original that a director hadn’t seen a thousand times, I started writing my own audition pieces. I always seemed to get cast when I used my material.
What genre do you write in and why?
Middle grade mysteries – because I like those kinds of books. And of course scripts, because I have my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Theatre.
Is this your first published children’s work? What other types of writing have you done? I’ve written the second book in the series, Toadies, Creepers Mysteries Book 2. Also, Creepers Mystery Party Game: Screams at Maybe Mansion. I’ve published children’s short stories and plays, movie scripts, magazine articles, promotional writing, and for the past 14 years, I’ve been the editor of an industry magazine.
What is your experience working or being around children or teens?
I’ve taught or presented at many, many schools and afterschool programs, Community Ed, libraries, bookstores, etc. Once I was doing my Creepers Mystery Party Game at an elementary school. At the end of the game, I went through all the clues and then said (very convincingly I guess) “Hmmm... I wonder who did it?” A boy looked at me and said, “Don’t you know? I thought you wrote this.”
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I’m thinking about book promotion and spreading the word through book stores, libraries, and social media.
Did you learn anything from writing your book, and what was it?
I learned that dialogue is everything. It accomplishes so much in so many ways. I’ve read adult books that have very little dialogue and it drives me crazy.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently promoting Haunted Cattle Drive, Creepers Mysteries, Book 1, and
Toadies, Creepers Mysteries, Book 2.
I’m working on the third book in the series, Superstition Alley, although I probably shouldn’t talk about it, it could be bad luck.
How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc.?
Any other news you’d like to share?
Just that Creepers Mysteries are appealing to reluctant readers because they’re short books with an added fun factor – kids get to act and create sound effects. By rehearsing the script, kids learn new words and pronunciations, proper intonations, comprehension, and how to speak and respond to others.
“It’s the series that has everyone talking.”
SYNOPSIS THE HAUNTED CATTLE DRIVE:
Have you ever gathered around a cowboy’s campfire on a pitch black night, and felt like someone was standing beside you in the dark? Have you ever heard scratching on the side of your tent, and hoped it was only a tumbleweed?
There are TWO ways to have fun with Creepers Mysteries. Enjoy reading the BOOK (in the front). Star in your own Movie for the Ear® using the SCRIPT (in the back). You’ll have a blast!
Harry, Gillian and Arvin visit Smokey Joe’s Ranch and go on an authentic cattle drive. They find out just how authentic when they land in the middle of a century-old mystery between a bandit and a bounty hunter from the Old West.