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Friday 20 August 2021

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic -Book review and author interview

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the thrillingly cryptic fourth installment of the exciting Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series featuring the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot Kitty Hawk and her various adventures of mystery and intrigue as she follows in the footsteps of Amelia Earhart on an epic flight around the world. This fourth book in the series brings Kitty to the emerald hills of Ireland where she meets a handsome stranger and is quickly swept up in a perplexing hundred-year-old family treasure hunt involving secret codes and puzzling clues that lead her on a fast-paced adventure that carries her from Dublin to London - from the decks of the ill-fated ocean liner Titanic to the temples of ancient Egypt and the streets of Jack the Ripper - until she finally unlocks the mystery and discovers the long-hidden treasure. Much like the earlier books in this series, Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is a perfect book to fire the imaginations of armchair detectives of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history the reader will find themselves immersed in brand new worlds that are brought to life before their very eyes as Kitty Hawk experiences the stories and history of a doomed ocean liner and unravels the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic.


I don't usually review books aimed at youngsters and early teens,but with each installment I realise why the decision to pick up the 1st book was the best decision.

In this book,we set upon our journey from Ireland and from there we follow onto London,picking up clues along the way to an awesome treasure hunt.

The London tour was once again a testament to how education can be delivered in a fun way within a book,and ,of course the way the locations can be readily  Googled are a plus.

What I liked about this installment in the series best is the thrill of the chase,it made the book more alive and made me feel as if I was there. And that's what every good book should do. Can't wait to read the next installment.

And here's an interview of the mastermind behind the series that should be in every young girls collection.


1. Tell us a bit about you. How did you become a writer?


I like to think of myself as an "author" as opposed to a "writer".  I am not sure I've reached the level of being a real writer yet.  But no matter how you look at it, I became an author basically by default (the same way I started making music): there was no one out there writing the books (or songs) that I was really interested in hearing.  So I had to write them myself.


2. Was Kitty Hawk your first written book or have you written unpublished stories too?


I have a small handful of unpublished stories, from back in school.  You know the kind of stories I mean.  None of those were really very good, I'm afraid.  I also tried to write a book BEFORE Kitty Hawk, which also didn't work out.  I didn't really understand what to do.  The answer, I suppose, is that there's not much to figure out.  Just do it.  Stop thinking about it and do it.


3. Kitty Hawk is quite an adventurous and strong lady, a role model for girls. Where did the idea come from?


Kitty Hawk is a town in North Carolina where the Wright Brothers flew their first plane.  I was lying in bed one night thinking how Kitty Hawk would make a cool name for an adventurous teenaged pilot.  I Googled it to make sure no one had ever thought of it before and then I just had to write it and make it real.


4. How much of your own personality reflects in Kitty's? 


I have to admit that Kitty Hawk is a far smarter and braver person than I am.  She's a lot of what I would aspire to be.


5. There is a great deal of useful info in the book, a great and unique attribute. How did you research these?


Research always takes a lot of forms.  Online is great.  But there's also a LOT of reading.  But my favourite type of research is actually visiting the places I write about.  Traveling is something I feel very fortunate to be able to do.


6. Where did you learn so much about planes that you were able to plot a realistic story for Kitty?


Again, research.  Many many hours spent researching all of these things, including many flights in real life De Havilland Beaver seaplanes.


7. How do you write? Is there a writing retreat for you or do you feel comfortable writing in subways?


I went to a writing retreat once.  In a haunted hotel that used to be a brothel overlooking San Francisco bay, across from a bar with a polar bear and down the street from a wishing tree.  It didn't work out very well in many ways.  But I really don't need much to be able to write.  More recently, however, I've learned that my favourite place to write is sitting outside on the deck of ship as it steams across the ocean.


8. What's the single thing you feel you should have known before stepping into the published world?


That's easy.  I wish I'd known that self-publishing your books basically means that no literary agency or publisher will ever be interested in them.  Not that knowing this would have changed the fact that I would self-publish my books.  But it would have been interesting to know.