In The Secret of the Shadow Bandit, the fourth title in the Curious Cat Spy Club by Linda Joy Singleton, Kelsey and her friends discover a new mystery at a local castle.
We were lucky to sit down with author Linda Joy Singleton to chat about The Secret of the Shadow Bandit, her writing routine, and cute animals.
Q: Do you have a regular routine while creating a book?
A: I get up each morning and write on my laptop until it’s time to exercise. But I have to confess I am easily distracted…by email, games, Facebook, Twitter, and my family. So some days I don’t get much written. But when I need to write faster, I work morning and night. It usually takes about 6 months to write a book.
Q: Do you have any writing quirks?
A: I write in the mornings on my laptop in my bed. Here’s one secret for anyone who enjoys vintage series books like Nancy Drew: I sneak in series books references in all of my CCSC books. I did it in my previous series, The Seer, too. If you spot any series references, message me on Facebook and I’ll tell you if you’re right. Hint: the name of the middle-school is based on Nancy Drew’s first best friend (all super series fans know that Bess and George weren’t in the early books). And sometimes I base a character on a real person.
Q: Why do you write for kids?
A: Kid books are hopeful, exciting, and fun. When I was a kid, I had lots of fun with my best friend and enjoy writing adventures for my characters. Kelsey, Leo, and Becca have much more exciting mysteries to solve than I did, although there really were three abandoned kittens that ended up at my best friend’s house. We loved animals and mysteries so much we created a club we called the CCSC.
Q: Are you working on any other projects?
A: YES! I’m writing the 5th CCSC mystery which is all about dogs. There’s a tiny pug puppy, a search and rescue German Shepard, and even a super dog with her own comic book. The main mystery, though, involves a missing person—someone very close to Kelsey. The title will probably be Dog-Gone Danger, and it should be out Spring 2017. (But first I have to finish writing it and I have about 50 pages to go.)
Q: Do you have a favorite Curious Cat Spy Club adventure?
A: Secret of The Shadow Bandit—and not just because it’s my newest. This book is my tribute to the mystery series I read as a kid (and still collect!). My favorites were about sleuths names Nancy, Judy, and Trixie. The mysteries had fun plots with hidden jewels, missing heirs, and mysterious castles with eerie dark dungeons. So I put all these plots tropes and more in the 4th CCSC mystery.
Q: What was your inspiration for your title, The Secret of the Shadow Bandit?
A: There’s a mysterious animal in CCSC#4 which lurks in shadowy places and steals things like a bandit. Can readers guess what it is?
Q: What is your favorite animal?
A: Cats, with dogs as a close second fav. I have three cats and a cute little poo-pom named Lucy Goosey.
Q: What books did you like to read as a kid?
A: Mysteries! My parents would take me to secondhand store for older series like Judy Bolton, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, and many more. When I was in 4th grade my teacher had a chart on the wall with how many books everyone read for that month—and I was tied for first place, reading a book a day. My favorite authors for current kids’ books are: Neal Shusterman, Ingrid Law, Eva Ibbotson, J.K. Rowling, April Henry, Alex Flinn, Scott Westerfeld, Suzanne Collins, and many more (check my Goodreads for books I’ve reviewed). I also read adult mysteries; my favorites are by Kate Morton, Marcia Muller, and Sue Grafton.
Thanks, Linda! Explore the latest Curious Cat Spy Club mystery, The Secret of the Shadow Bandit on our website.