Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Secret of Bald Rock (Book #1 Kare Kids Adventures series) by Charles Salter [Meet the author & Giveaway]

ISBN: 978-1478770848
ABOUT THE BOOK:  Years ago, Kelcie's father disappeared at sea. Now that she's ten, Kelcie wants some answers. With the help of her father's lifelong best friend, Mr. Bartleby, Kelcie crosses the island in search of clues to what may have happened the night her father disappeared which seem strangely linked with the legend of The Bald Rock Monster. From learning how lobstering works to understanding Mr. Bartleby's past, Kelcie pieces together the mystery and thinks she knows where she can find the ultimate answers: the forbidden area of the island, Bald Rock.


Interview with Charles A. Salter author of The Secret of Bald Rock Island (Kare Kids Adventures #1)


1. What inspired you to create this series? 

A: For the past few years I have become increasingly concerned about the trend in our society to infantilize young people and make them dependent on the ‘nanny state’ rather than independent and mature adults who can help lead our society into the future.I hope my series will help young people realize they do possess heroic qualities and can make a difference by standing for what they believe and seeking to help others.

2. What is your writing process like? Did you plot the entire story of The Secret of Bald Rock Island before you began writing or did you come up with it as you wrote? 

A: I know some people like to outline their entire novel before starting to write, but I like to begin by dreaming up imaginative new characters and putting them into an exciting new situation or crisis. They soon begin to take on a life of their own and seem almost real to me, and they’ ll tell me how they want to resolve the problem. Early on they will tell me what the ending is, but it is always an exciting adventure for us to discover together how they will get there. 

3. Who inspired the character of Kelcie? 

A: Kelcie is a composite of my two daughters. Out of the entire series so far, volume #1 is the only one set in the past—about one generation ago. At that time, my now-adult daughters were children and we often went to Maine (the location for this novel). We saw and experienced the kinds of places described in the book! 

4. What independent traits does Kelcie demonstrate that you would like young children to emulate?

A: Kelcie may be only ten years old, but she knows how to think for herself and decide how she can best help others. She is a true “ Kare Kid” who not only has a caring attitude towards family, friends, animals, and the environment, but she translates that concern into real action to accomplish her goals. In the surprise ending of the book—when she finally confronts the mysterious island creature face to face—her beliefs and principles about life and nature lead her to suggest an amazing solution to the adults on the scene.

5. What do you hope both your young readers and the parents of those readers take away from the books?

A: Family and friends in this series clearly cherish and care for each other. I would hope these stories would encourage both parents and young readers to do the same. I would hope that young readers would learn the importance of going beyond having a good attitude about others and translating that into real action to help when needed. And I hope parents will learn the wisdom of sometimes stepping back and letting kids work through their own solutions to life’ s problems and issues...yet also be available when those kids ask for help.

6. Independence is a huge theme in Kare Kids Adventures. To what extent did you or did you not experience independence as a child?

A: My parents were absolute models for fostering independence in me and my siblings...often to a degree which would be considered illegal these days! I had my first paying job when I was about age 5—babysitting the infant of neighbors who lived in the same apartment building where we did. My mother was in a nearby apartment in case a real problem developed, but I sat with this wonderful kid and read books and took care of him otherwise. Later that year I took sole care of my baby brother (about age three) when both my parents worked. I dressed and fed and entertained him when I was only 6 and my mother was at work for three hours each morning. A few years later, on non-school days I and my brother or friends would be on our own all day, playing in the woods or riding bikes or playing sports. No cell phones in those days, and we were on our own until meal times. By age 19, I went to England for my college junior-year-abroad and toured all of western Europe with just my friends. During that year I experienced the amazing adventure in Norway which lies at the heart of book #4—THE TRAVEL TWINS AND THE LOST SECRET OF THE VIKINGS.

7. How did your experience as a parent and grandparent influence The Secret of Bald Rock Island?

A: I have always tried to encourage my own children and grandchildren to become independent and make their own decisions about which sports, activities, and careers to choose. I taught them to stand up for what they believe. And this is exactly what Kelcie’ s mother and dear family friend, Mr. Bartleby, do for her in this book. As Kelcie comes to grips with the loss of her father years earlier, both adults encourage and help her to work through that process in a mature way.

8. Did you pull from your background in psychology when writing this series? If so, in what way?

A: As everyone knows, much of psychology focuses on mental illness and other pathological conditions. But part of the field focuses instead on fostering close and healthy relationships, particularly among parents and children. One area of thought and research in psychology which has always interested me is that about not simply telling kids what to do, but rather encouraging them to think through problems and issues so they can come up with their own insights and solutions. And that is exactly how the adults in this book handle Kelcie’s quest to solve the mysteries of Bald Rock Island. 

9. How do you think technology and the age of the helicopter parent have influenced independence in children today? 

A: Everything seems different these days compared to when my generation was growing up.Technology certainly has its advantages, but it can also isolate children from healthy and beneficial social relationships. If you’ve ever seen a bunch of kids sitting together, but with each one lost and alone in his/her own electronic device and virtual world, you can sense the downside of technology. Doing things by oneself is not the same as independence. True independence does not imply social isolation but rather the ability to think for oneself and play a leadership role in a social situation. Parents who want the best for their children will not become over-protective and smother their development by always being present and doing everything for them. Children need to mature by becoming self-reliant and capable of doing things on their own, but they can’ t accomplish that if a helicopter parent is always hovering around and making all the decisions.

10. The Secret of Bald Rock Island is the first of the Kare Kids Adventures Series. When will the next installment come out?

A: In book #2, CHARLOTTE AND THE MYSTERIOUS VANISHING PLACE, Kelcie is now grown up and her 9-year-old daughter is the star. Charlotte discovers a serious environmental danger in the woods and does everything she can to alert authorities and rescue two trapped puppies. This book is due out on July 1 of this year. In book #3, HOW THREE BROTHERS SAVED THE NAVY, Charlotte’s three cousins uncover a terrorist plot to destroy their navy father’ s ship. They show great courage and ingenuity in ferreting out the details and then thwarting the plot. That book is due out in early August. Charlotte’s twin brother and sister should be coming along some time in early fall in book #4, in THE TRAVEL TWINS AND THE LOST SECRET OF THE VIKINGS.This book’s plot unfolds on a scary (but real) train winding its way high in the beautiful mountains of Norway. Felons with mysterious motives have stolen the famed Leif Erikson Sunstone from their uncle’s Viking museum in Oslo, and the twins decide to get it back. In all of these books, the Kare Kids can’t rely on magic or super powers to solve their problems. They are realistic kids who live in the real world... BUT they know how to act independently and to translate caring from a mere attitude into genuine action to solve the problems they encounter.
GIVEAWAY
Begins June 7 and
Ends June 24 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publicist. I was not compensated for this blog post.

21 comments:

  1. Thanks, Vera, for hosting me on your blog this week! I hope your readers enjoy my new book series THE KARE KIDS ADVENTURES! My best wishes to all....

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  2. Loved this Q&A with the author. Despite Charles being my brother, I have a considerable amount of objectivity. I was an English major in college, I worked some 30 years in libraries, and I'm a published author and poet myself. Moreover, I'm a lifelong avid reader. I love children's books and part of my library work was evaluating and selecting them. This Kare Kids series is one I would have purchased for my library outlets... as well as for my own children.

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    1. Mr. Jeff Salter - Thank you so much for visiting and reading your brother's Q&A. I love helping children's author's get their work out there for the kiddies. Hopefully, this bit will be helpful. And Wow!! You certainly have the credentials for assessing. Thanks!

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    2. The first public library I in after my degree was quite small and had drifted with meager book budgets for years. During my few years there, the state began supplementing the book budgets of all 64 parish (county) library systems and we finally began to have a little money to bolster our collections. I was like a kid in a candy story, buying children's materials ... to update a collection that had received too little attention and too small a proportion of the existing book budgets.

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  3. This sounds like such a fun series! I'm really hoping I win the giveaway on this one. My kids would love the book!

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    1. Thank you for your interest and support!

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    2. Feel free to contact me directly if you would ever like to guest post about your books for our Literacy Musing Mondays Linkup. We love to hear the stories behind what inspires authors.

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  4. All types of books are important and contribute to a child's development. I do believe that children should be encouraged to experience independence a a child. A lot of times they can do this through reading, as it helps them develop their critical thinking skills.

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    1. Laura, I definitely agree with you and hope that my books will help young readers learn how to think for themselves. Thanks for your interest!

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  5. Children should read whatever they are interested in, in addition to the required reading for school. Books can enhance passion for a lifetime of learning. Reading books to young kids gets them interested in doing things for themselves and they like the repetition in of stories and most like classics.

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  6. This looks like a series my girls would really enjoy! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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    1. I believe kids should be able to read just about anything that interests them so long as there is an adult there to help them process what they are reading. That said, I do try to steer my kids towards books that make them want to know God better. And I always retain final veto power to say that a book is inappropriate for them but it doesn't happen too often.

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  7. Independence is a skill that is learned by children from parents' modeling the example as well as by allowing children to experience choice in reading as a matter of independence both in home and in school.

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  8. I think independence is learned to varying degrees at varying ages. It's important to start small and work up to more independence.

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  9. I think children should read whatever type of book they're interested in. As for independence, it depends on the child. Some children are ready for it earlier than others.

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  10. I think children should read books that interest them. Children should be taught independence when they are young, starting out slowly.

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  11. Children should read all types of age appropriate fiction and non-fiction: almanacs, atlases, biographies,etc. Children's independence has quite a range in scope from personal grooming and dressing, feeding themselves, doing simple jobs around the house, and greater independence increases in difficulty over the years.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  12. I do believe that children should be encouraged to experience independence a a child. All types of books are important and contribute to a child's development.

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  13. This book appears it will be of great value, plan to look it up & I like what I see so far!

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  14. My son loves reading chapter books and about places or animals.

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    1. I agree with the others, children should read what they like and interested in.

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