Thank you for the great honor and opportunity to have my middle-grade novel The Ghost of Morgan Gulch featured in ReadersMagnet Authors’ Lounge. I am excited to share this adventure with readers everywhere.
What is your book all about?
Kyle is a thirteen-year-old amateur treasure hunter with a zeal for adventure. When his family moves to Colorado to help his grandpa with the ranch after a winter of hardship, Kyle learns more about the history of the property and the Morgan Gulch area. Once school lets out for spring break, Kyle, along with his tag-along sister, Kimmie, sets out to find the gold that is rumored to be have been found, but never taken out of the mountain, by his great-great grandfather, whom they fondly call Gramps. On the journey to find the gold Kyle meets his great-great grandfather’s ghost, he discovers the bully from school is his long-lost cousin, and Kyle and Kimmie eventually find the lost gold. Kyle realizes that the most important things he has discovered during this adventure, despite being resistant to moving the ranch in the first place, is that family is important, and that he has truly found his home.
What inspired you to write the book?
In 1986, my father-in-law purchased 200 acres of land in Summit County, Colorado, in an area called Morgan Gulch. I watched my children grow up spending most of their summer weekends at “the property” playing and often working alongside us to clear the land for a road and to build a cabin. The real inspiration came later in life when my two oldest grandchildren followed in their mother’s footsteps and spent many of their summer weekends at “the property.” After watching them play, work, and explore the acreage, the story began to unfold. Their zeal for an adventure, their big hearts, and the love of family created this fun, family adventure that was written for middle-grade children but a delightful read for all.
What is your target audience for the book?
The target audience for my novel is middle-grade readers. However, my two oldest grandchildren, whom Kyle and Kimmie are patterned after, were 12 and 16 at the time of the book’s release. Several of my nieces and nephews, ranging from 7 to 14 have also read the story. They all have enjoyed the adventure with Kyle and Kimmie, and the Ghost of Morgan Gulch.
What do you hope readers could get out of your book?
I would like for readers to take away from this story the value of family and that we all as individuals carry extreme value to the family unit and to others. Kyle struggles to find a place away from his comfort zone of his Arizona home and Tommy struggles to fit in and uses bullying as a tactic to make a place in the valley. Kyle is determined to find the solution to his grandpa’s struggles and find his own place at the ranch. In doing so, he also discovers a solution that helps Tommy find a place where he can fit in and feel he is acceptable and not alone. There is a place for us all to be accepted and where each of us can find our home within ourselves and within the world.
What are your future goals/plans for the book?
I will continue to market and promote The Ghost of Morgan Gulch to further share my passion of family, adventure, and my love for storytelling. As part of my marketing plan the middle-grade novel is on the Indie Author’s list as part of the upcoming virtual Tucson Festival of Books to be held March 6 & 7. I am excited to share my story with readers of all ages around the world. I have also been invited to share my story with the children at my grandson’s elementary school (date to be determined), telling them about the journey of being an author and how the story came to be written. I hope to soon join the children in some story telling time. Several signed copies are now in the school’s library for the children to check out and take home to read. To accompany The Ghost of Morgan Gulch I have written a sequel to the story titled Shadows on the Gulch. Shadows, as I fondly call it, continues Kyles and Kimmie’s adventures on the Morgan Gulch where they find more treasures and even encounter another ghost. I hope to have Shadows on the Gulch ready for publication in 2021.
And something more about yourself…
I started writing when I was about ten years old desiring to be just like Carolyn Keene, the author of The Nancy Drew Mysteries. It wasn’t until I had been married for about twelve years that I decided I wanted to do more serious writing and publish stories for children. I have taken three courses offered by The Institute of Children’s Literature, focused on writing for children and teens. I am currently in the process of publishing my first early reader Darby and the Dollberry Dare targeted for release within the next two to three months, with a second in the series close on its heels. I have written a romance short story, Love on the Wild Frontier, winning Honorable Mention in the Writers’ Journal (2011) short story contest. My story of my son’s memorable elk hunting trip of 2014, A Hunter’s Dream has been published in the online version of the Sportsman’s News (2015). I am always looking out for my next story as I spend time with my four grandchildren and travel to various destinations, both from which I glean golden nuggets to add to the next adventure awaiting to be told.
You can purchase The Ghost of Morgan Gulch at Amazon and Barnes & Noble in hard copy, paperback, and eBook.
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