Guest Post: Renee Hand, Author of The Crypto Capers

I’d like to welcome Renee Hand, author of The Crypto-Capers, to Savvy Verse & Wit to talk about her writing process.

Her latest book The Case of the Missing Sock, for ages 9-12, is a story of two siblings, Max and Mia Holmes, and their good friend Morris and their flamboyant Granny Holmes as they unravel crimes by solving cryptograms left by criminals. Mia is the expert puzzle solver, and Max has great deduction and reasoning skills. Morris happens to be a computer genius, and granny is the “muscle” of the group. In this caper, the group heads to Florida and are hired by Mr. Delacomb, and readers have a chance to help these detectives solve the case through cryptograms and puzzles.

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

“FIVE MINUTES! JUST FIVE MORE MINUTES,” said Max Holmes quietly as he surveyed the dark room in front of him.

This should be the last place to reach, the highest test of his skills. He switched off his flashlight. He faced a rugged stone wall. From somewhere far above him, a crack let in a single, narrow beam of sunshine. It hit about the middle of the wall, barely lighting up a recess, an indention shaped into a rectangle, slightly taller than wide. A box could fit in there, Max thought, and he grew just a little nervous.

“Did I come here for nothing?” he asked in frustration as he glanced more intently at the wall. “Did I pick the wrong way?” For just a moment, he reviewed his route to this stone box of a room. No, he had made each choice carefully. “This has to be the right place. It has to be here!”

Without further ado, here is Renee and her writing process:

My writing process is interesting. I really just let my ideas come to me. I have a favorite tool that I use in my writing. I have what I call “an idea wall.” Whenever I get an idea I write it down and stick in on my wall for future consideration, as well as to remind me of things that I want to make sure I incorporate into my stories. In writing a series, there is so much that I have to remember, so I use my idea wall to help me remember these things. I also use it to help me when I get stuck on an idea. There are times when I am not sure where to go with an idea so I write it on my idea wall and refer back to it throughout the day as I am doing something else. This is a tremendous help to me and my idea wall has not failed me yet. I use it for many things in my writing.

My stories usually develop on the fly, which works great for me and my creativity. I write at my own pace the way that I want to write. If I felt that I was being pressured to write a certain way or at a specific time every day, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much. I make writing as fun and enjoyable as possible because I love to do it.

When developing my stories, I usually know what I want to have happen; all I have to do is find a great way to get there. I do a lot of revision and editing but when I begin a story I first just concentrate on getting my ideas down on paper. I don’t beat myself up if everything is not perfect. I just get my ideas down all the way to the end of the story. Once I have a base, which I must have, then I will go back and fine tune and develop the story better. I will do lots of research along the way to add more detail and description, or I will take a vacation somewhere to help aid in the experience and relate it in my story. What I start with usually always changes and becomes ten times better by the time I finish it. I will lay out certain ideas in a specific order at times, depending on the scene in my story and where I want it to go or what I need to have happen. So, certain ideas in my story are planned out to be in a certain way, but after that I let my creativity take me where I need to go.

By the time I am finished with my story it is in the best shape I can possibly make it. I am finding that with each story I write, I become a better writer. I am always improving and I can see it with each book that gets published. I have 4 to my credit, two of which have won awards.

Thanks, Renee for stopping by Savvy Verse & Wit and taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your writing process with us.

Check out Renee’s site, here. And if you’re interested in these capers for your kids, check out The Case of the Missing Sock, here, and The Case of Red Rock Canyon, here.

About the Author:

Since my first novel has been published I have done over 70 events. I have been on radio, TV, and have been in over 40 newspapers. I have experience talking in classrooms about writing. I have presented at various libraries, have
done several booksignings and many other venues with more going on in the future.

My family has encouraged my talents and creativity and I couldn’t have gotten this far without their support and love. Having Magic Hearts published really was a dream come true and I am thankful to God for all of the blessings in my life.

I have also received an award for Magic Hearts for Best 2006 Fantasy Romance. I am thrilled. My second novel Seduction of the Lonely Heart has won a National Literary Award for Best Romance of 2007. I am thankful for these two awards.

I have also ventured in writing other genres. I have a new children’s detective series that will be coming out. The first book of the series, The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock, is currently released. This story is filled with adventure and heart. With relateable characters and you, as the reader, are apart of the story, helping the detectives solve the case. Book 2 The Case of Red Rock Canyon, is also currently available. Book 3 will be out in the fall.

Don’t forget my current giveaways:

2-year Blogiversary, here and here.