Apr 7, 2012

Guest Post: Renee Pawlish (The Emerald Quest)

Do you ever find that sometimes you stumble into something that you didn’t plan, but all the pieces seem to fall into place? I’ve found that with the publication of my latest novel, The Emerald Quest. This book is the first in the Noah Winter adventure series for kids. But here’s the thing: I never set out to write books for young readers. I write mysteries and some supernatural thrillers. I didn’t know if I could write a book for young readers.



But then something cool and unusual happened. I got an idea for a book about a kid sea explorer. How fun would it be to have the protagonist be a boy who scuba dives and is a treasure hunter. It was like nothing I’d heard about. So I asked my nephews and talked to bookstores and no one seemed to know of this type of book. Light-bulb moment: I need to write this story myself. And so I did.

And here’s where more stumbling happened. This past year I’ve volunteered at a middle school, helping transcribe an 1856 captain’s journal from a whaling ship. The teacher who runs this program read The Emerald Quest. Not only did he love the story, but he said that right now it’s difficult the find good stories for middle-grade boys. I had no idea this was the case. So my book now may be used in the school’s curriculum. How exciting.

Then another stumbling moment. I just started a new job and a co-worker and I started talking about this niche of middle-grade books for boys, and the need to get good quality books into the hands of young people. I’m now working to create a program that will recommend new authors to young readers. I’ve got readers and a rating system so only the best books will be on the list.

And some of the coolest things about all this? First, I’ve had a ball writing about Noah Winter and his family, and I can’t wait to start his next adventure. It’s also been so rewarding to get positive feedback about the book. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed talking to young readers as well, and hearing what they like to read and learn about.

I hope you all have some stumbling moments too, and when it happens, ride that wave. You won’t regret it.


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From the time she was ten and tried to write her own detective series in the fashion of the Hardy Boys, Renée Pawlish has been developing her craft. Along with creative writing classes, Renée studied great writers like Dashiell Hammett, Rex Stout, Stephen King, Sue Grafton and many more. Once Renée graduated from college, she began her first novel. Now, all these years later, she has penned numerous books in a variety of genres.

A long-lost emerald, a missing treasure map, and a wealthy villain combine for an action-packed adventure!

Thirteen-year-old Noah Winter, the son of sea-exploring treasure hunters, dives the San Isabel shipwreck with his parents in search of a mysterious treasure map lost in the murky depths off the Florida Keys over a century ago. The map reveals the hiding place of the priceless De La Rosa emerald. But before the Winters can find the map, a wealthy treasure-hunting rival kidnaps Noah’s parents. Now Noah must match wits with a dangerous adversary, not only to discover the treasure map first, but to rescue his mom and dad before it’s too late.

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