Claire Caterer was born in Detroit and raised in the suburbs of Kansas City. After several years working in publishing in New York, she returned to the KC metro, where she lives and works today. Her publications include short fiction for Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock mystery magazines and Woman’s World; more than two dozen nonfiction articles in local magazines; and two novels for kids age 9 and up: The Key & the Flame and its sequel, The Wand & the Sea, both published by Margaret K. McElderry / Simon & Schuster. To learn more, visit Claire’s website at www.ClaireCaterer.com.
The Key & the Flame is a story about eleven-year-old Holly Shepard. She longs for adventure, some escape from her humdrum life. That is precisely what she gets when she is given an old iron key that unlocks a door—in a tree. Holly crosses the threshold into a stunning and magical medieval world, Anglielle. And as she does so, something unlocks within Holly: a primal, powerful magic. Holly is joined on her journey by two tagalongs—her younger brother Ben, and Everett, an English boy who hungers after Holly’s newfound magic and carries a few secrets of his own. When Ben and Everett are sentenced to death by the royals, whose fear of magic has fueled a violent, systemic slaughter of all enchanted creatures, Holly must save them and find a way back home. But will she be able to muster the courage and rise above her ordinary past to become an extraordinary hero?
In The Wand & the Sea, The fantastical adventures continue—this time with pirates. The magical sequel to The Key & the Flame, called “sprightly” and “exciting” by Publishers Weekly is sure to engage young readers. It’s been a year since Holly and Ben Shepard first traveled to England and journeyed with their friend Everett to a fantastical realm called Anglielle. Now Holly and Ben are back, hoping to again join Everett and return to the land ruled by a ruthless king and sorcerer who have outlawed magic. But when they arrive, Anglielle is not what they expect: Their friends are imprisoned and the alliance is scattered. Ruthless King Reynard and the sorcerer Raethius are determined to find the very Adepts they exiled in the first place. But why? It’s up to Holly and the boys to sail to the Isle of Exile and find the Adepts first, but that means enlisting the help of the Water Elementals—and a pirate captain with a secret agenda.
At the Kansas Authors Club Convention in October, Claire will guide writers through the middle of a manuscript in her class, “LOST IN THE MIDDLE: How to Shore Up the Middle of Your Manuscript.”
“You start your story with a whiz-bang premise and you’re off!” Claire says about the class. “At the end, things will come together in a breathtaking climax. But what happens in between? Don’t run out of steam and lose your inspiration! This presentation uses lots of real-world examples and provides hands-on tips on how to avoid that sagging second act and keep your story moving forward.”
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