Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Key and the Flame Blog Tour: Guest Blog with Claire M. Caterer

Today Claire M. Caterer, debut MG author of The Key and the Flame, is digging around in the hidden vault which was also locked for good measure.

Sharing Some Embarrassing Childhood Writing
First, let me say thank you so much to Gabrielle for letting me visit The Mod Podge Bookshelf on today’s blog tour stop. We thought it would be fun—and humiliating—to share some of my earliest writing genius with you!

I scribbled lots of stories from a very young age, and illustrated them too, much to the horror of anyone who’s ever drawn, well, anything.

Here’s one of my better efforts, written around age 7. To make life easier, I’ve transcribed, corrected spelling, and mercifully, summarized it for you.

In this riveting tale, a family of six goes out to dinner, leaving their pets Ruffy and Purr to guard the house. The pets apparently do a lousy job of it. Nancy and Ed are towers of strength as their kids fall apart:

But when they returned, the door was unlocked, and everything was stolen except the furniture. 

“Oh, my doll!” cried Mary (who was one of the girls).
The children began to cry. Nancy and Ed felt like crying too. “And I just got those new silver candlesticks too!” said Nancy.
“Well, what are we waiting for? If everybody cries, we’ll never get them back. Call the police!” yelled Ed.

The police arrive. As the tension mounts, Ed gets crabbier.

“Now, now, let’s get down to business. How did this happen, ma’am?” asked the police.

Ed interrupted. “Her name is Nancy!”
“He’s very sensitive,” whispered Nancy. “Well, we went out to dinner, and when we came back, everything was stolen, except the furniture,” explained Nancy.

They all went next door. Nancy, Ed, Judy, Mary, John, Robert, Julie, the police, Purr, and Ruffy. “He’s the one!” cried Nancy. “That’s my bracelet. I had my name carved in it.”
“No, Nancy,” said the man. “See? This has my name on it.”
“Well, OK. Why not come with us?”
“All right,” he said. And they went on.

A house-by-house search ensues to find the missing booty. The next day, a new wrinkle develops, and Nancy gets snarky:

Well, they started again the next morning. They wandered in the woods and were lost. Somehow or other, a ship was sailing from a jungle to where they were. A lion got caught on the ship. He wondered, [should] he go in the forest? What will they do? “Let’s sit on this log and do  something,” said Ed.

“OK,” they all said, and sat down.

“Have any ideas?” asked Nancy.
Suddenly, a roar came above their voices. “ROAR!” The lion jumped out. He looked very hungry. As he looked at them, he licked his chops. “This looks good,” he thought. But the police pulled out a piece of steak and threw [it]. The lion was after it.

Tired and forlorn, but at least not eaten by the lion, the little family has just about given up hope until this surprise twist reveals all:

Well, they went home, and the neighbor went too.
“Thank you for helping us,” said Nancy.
“It’s all right,” said the neighbor.
“Wait, police!” cried Nancy. “I think I see my name on that bracelet!”

Yes. The neighbor was the thief all along. I guess Nancy didn’t check out that bracelet very well the first time. ZING!

Images and text of The Missing Jewelry copyright by Claire M. Caterer. Good luck stealing this and getting it published. I dare ya.

An ancient key grants three children passage to an amazing world where a ruthless king seeks to obliterate magic forever. If 11-year-old Holly can unlock the magic within herself, she just might find a way to get them all home—unless the king finds her first.

Author Bio:

Claire M. Caterer was born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in the suburbs of Kansas City. A writer from the age of five, Claire has published fiction in Woman’s World magazine as well as in Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock mystery magazines. She holds a degree in French from the University of Kansas and spent several years working in New York publishing. Today she is back in the Kansas City metro area, where she writes full time and shares her home with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and a host of imaginary friends. The Key & the Flame is her first novel.

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