Up, Up, and Away!

Hello, Kids and Other Readers,

Today, I want to share with you a somewhat quirky, favorite thing of mine.
Yes, staircases! I have never lived in a two-story house. I hope to build a second story onto my home someday so that I can have the overdue pleasure. Of course, I will have to add a unique staircase to proclaim the addition.

My love of staircases originated when I was a little girl. One summer day, I went with my grandmother to visit her sister, my grandaunt Edith. She and my granduncle Christy lived out in the countryside thirty minutes away from my house in San Diego. I can still smell faint cigar smoke mingled with the aroma of fresh-baked cherry pie that wafted through the house that day.

Once all the adults were busy talking in the living room, I disappeared to explore the house. Have you ever done that–or wanted to? Well, I found myself in the kitchen. Not too interesting until . . . I spied a faded green cotton curtain hanging from an arched doorway. I hoped a breeze, and nothing else, was causing the curtain to billow slightly back and forth. What could be behind there? Of course, I had to find out. Bravely, I approached–after checking that no adults were around–and ever so slowly, pulled back the cloth. What do you think I saw?

A staircase! A beautiful winding wooden staircase that went to I didn’t know where. Fascinating! There was even a small open window up near the landing to light my way. I was about to start climbing when I heard my grandmother call me. Everyone was waiting for me at the dining room table to begin lunch. Drat! No chance to explore. But maybe, that was a good thing. It left me to wonder and make believe what was at the top. Unknown rooms? Certainly. Pictures of my great-grandparents? Ancient cabinets full of treasures? A ghost or two dancing in the dust? Hopefully.

Even now as an adult, whenever I enter a person’s house where there is a staircase, I want to climb it to see what mysteries are on those upper floors. Of course, it’s not polite to explore without permission. And not too many people want me tramping around in their private spaces. Instead, I satisfy myself by traveling back in time to that little girl who visited Grandaunt Edith’s house and discovered the “hidden” staircase so many years ago. And I smile.

If you read my Botanic Hill Detectives mysteries, you will no doubt notice that most everyone in my stories lives in a house with one or more staircases. Now, you know why.

So, get a clue, Readers. Head up, up, and away! That’s where mysteries live.


A Writer’s Stress

Hey, Kids,

Has a teacher ever assigned you a HUGE writing project? Maybe it was a term paper or something you had to create alone or in a group.

Perhaps the teacher then handed out page after page of project instructions that left your eyes crossed and your brain doing flip-flops. You might have said to yourself, “How will I ever figure out all these details? How will I know where to start? Can I actually create a project I will be proud to hand in?”

Well, guess what? That’s what happened to me yesterday! My “teacher” publishers at Acorn Publishing sent me almost thirty pages of timelines and process summaries about all the things I need to do to get Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets into your hands and hearts by next February. Whew!!!

Yes, my eyes crossed, and my brain did flip-flops. So here’s what I did to calm my fears. I stopped, took a deep breath, and said, “If I ask questions and don’t panic, I can do this! One baby step at a time.” Then, I said, “It’s absolutely worth doing and doing well.”

So, kids, the next time you’re faced with a challenge–a writing project, an oral presentation, or a tennis tournament or softball game–remember: Stop, relax, take a deep breath, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Your teachers and coaches are there to help you. And tell yourself as I did, “I can do this!”

So get a clue, Readers and Writers. Know that I wish the best for you in all that you do. You CAN do it!


I Appear in the Acorn Publishing March Newsletter!

Dear Readers,
I’m excited to announce that my photo, bio, and book blurb for Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets appear in the Acorn Publishing March Newsletter!  Such an honor. You can find the announcement at the link provided:

https://www.acornpublishingllc.com/single-post/2019/03/29/NEW-AUTHOR—Sherrill-Sherrill Joseph
(Once at the site, scroll down on the right. Click on NEW AUTHOR SHERRILL JOSEPH, March 29, 2019.)

Also, please like my FB author page at Sherrill Joseph Author. You can also access the page on the floating FB icon on each page of my website. See it in the right-hand corner down there?

So get a clue, Readers. Please check here in the News tab each Thursday for my Blog. Thanks for your support.


Who Named the Botanic Hill Detectives???

The simple answer to the question is THE AUTHOR, of course!
The better question is how did the detectives end up with their names? Well . . .

Lanny Wyatt’s real first name is Lanyon. I chose Lanyon because it was my great-grandparents’ last name: John Lanyon and Annie Sherrill Lanyon. (Notice the “Sherrill” part? That’s how I got my first name!) Wyatt? Oh, it just popped into my head.

Lexi Wyatt is really Alexia Wyatt. I was grocery shopping one day and saw a bag of waffle-cut fries in the frozen food section that said “Alexia” on it. I liked the name and brought it–but not the fries–home for my writing.

Moki Kalani has a Hawaiian name since he was born in Hawaii. I met a friendly boy named Moki on an island vacation. (You never know whom you might inspire by being nice!) And Kalani means “the sky or the heavens.” I thought that was beautiful.

Finally, Rani Kumar. She’s from India, so I googled Indian girl names. Rani means “the queen.” I liked that! And Kumar is the last name of someone I know.

Watch for these characters to appear in Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, Book 1 of the Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries. Release date:  February 1, 2020.

So Readers, get a clue! Come back soon for more information about the detectives, their mysteries, and where they live.


Acorn Publishing to Release Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets

Dear Kids and all Readers,

Big news! Today I began my publishing journey with Acorn Publishing.

Please look for the first book in my Botanic Hill Detectives Mysteries series, Nutmeg Street: Egyptian Secrets, to be ready for your hands and hearts in paperback, hardcover, and eBook, on February 1, 2020.

In the meantime, Readers, get a clue and keep checking this space!