Darlene Foster's Blog

Molly Ringle Interviews Me!

Posted on: February 21, 2021

I was excited to be interviewed by accomplished author Molly Ringle on her blog where she features, Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. This book will be launched on May 11th, 2021. I also give some advice to aspiring travellers.

Check out Molly´s blog where she offers editing and proofreading services.

https://mollyringle.livejournal.com/

https://mollyringle.com/editing-and-proofreading.html

Molly is an excellent editor with a keen eye for details. She edited my latest book and now I have a clean copy I’m proud of. I highly recommend her services. 

Guest feature: author Darlene Foster takes us to Malta! by Molly Ringle

It’s been too long since I’ve brought on another author for Q&A, and I’m pleased to be doing so again with Darlene Foster! I met Darlene (in an online sense) through our publisher in common, Central Avenue Publishing, and she’s one of the most upbeat, easygoing, fun-loving writers I know. Her Amanda Travels series is a wonderful set of books for middle-grade readers in which the young Amanda visits a new country in each book and always encounters an adventurous mystery to untangle. They’re perfect for the young armchair traveler—or real-world traveler—in your life.

Author Darlene Foster
Author Darlene Foster

The eighth book in the series comes out this May: Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady. I got to read an advance copy of it, and was instantly longing to go to Malta and soak up the sun and stroll between the stone buildings with their artistically idiosyncratic door knockers! 

Cover for the book Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady
Cover for the book Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

Darlene was kind enough to answer some questions for me as well, so let’s dive into those:

Q: When did you start writing fiction? What were your earliest stories like?

A: I’ve been telling stories since I learned to talk. My grade three teacher, Miss Roll, encouraged me to write them down. When I was twelve years old I had a short story published in a local newspaper. Called Stretch Your Food Dollar, it was about two friends having an adventure in Woolworths department store. I guess the idea of two girls having an adventure has been there for a long time! 

Q: When you visit places, how much are you thinking about a possible story while you’re there? Or does the story idea come later?

A: When I visit interesting places, I am always thinking about how I could use it in a story. When I was in Malta, I kept saying to my husband, “Amanda would love it here!” I take a lot of pictures and jot down notes wherever we go. I once read that a writer never really takes a vacation as they are always looking for story ideas. I can attest that is true.  

Q: What draws you to writing middle-grade fiction as opposed to stories for other age groups?

A: Some would say I have never moved past twelve myself! For some reason, I can easily relate to this age group. I think they are wonderful. Tweens are not little kids anymore but not yet terrible teenagers. They can be so astute and mature at times but still naïve and unsure of themselves at other times. It is the age when they start to assert their independence and become curious and questioning. It is my favourite age and I have no intention of growing up. 

Q: I admire Amanda’s fearlessness and willing to take on adventures. Is that what you were like at her age?

A: It wasn’t what I was like, but it was what I wished I was like. I lived on a farm and we didn’t travel or have a television. So my world was very narrow. I was timid, bookish, and the only adventures I had were in my imagination. So I created a character I would have liked to be. 

Q: Give some advice to the aspiring travelers of the world: what are your must-bring items that lend to happier traveling?

A: The most important thing to bring is an open mind. Accept that things will be different wherever you go, the food, smells, people, climate, customs, etc. Embrace those differences and you will have an enjoyable and enriching time. Also bring a camera, a notepad, and pen. Everything will be overwhelming and you will never be able to remember it all. Pictures and notes bring it all back. I would rather look at my travel photos than watch TV. 

Q: What are you writing now, or planning to write next?

A: I am halfway through writing Amanda in France: Fire in the Cathedral. Amanda will fall in love with Paris, Versailles, and Monet’s garden in Giverny. Oh, and she will get to stay in a bookstore! Wouldn’t every young girl like to visit France? I know I would have loved it.  

—-

Darlene Foster is a Canadian author who has written the popular Amanda Travels series, featuring a spunky twelve-year-old who loves to travel to unique places where she encounters mystery and adventure while learning about another culture. Readers of all ages enjoy travelling with Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in various countries. Darlene has won prizes for her short stories and a number of them have been published in anthologies. She has also written a bilingual book for English/Spanish readers.

Darlene grew up on a ranch near Medicine Hat, Alberta, where her love of reading inspired her to travel the world and write stories. Over the years she held wonderful jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, and wrote whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a home in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she likes to spend time with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot.

Her books include Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda in Spain: The Girl in The Painting, Amanda in England: The Missing Novel, Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone, Amanda on The Danube: The Sounds of Music, Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind, and Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action. 

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady will be released in the spring of 2021. 

Buy links

Amazon Canada here

Amazon UK here 

Amazon US here 

Barnes and Noble here

Chapters/Indigo here

Thanks, Molly for the great interview.

68 Responses to "Molly Ringle Interviews Me!"

Great interview of you by Molly Ringle. She asked some good questions and you provided wise answers, especially about keeping an open mind when traveling!

Thanks, Nancy! They were great questions and fun to answer.

Very nice interview. I am a Ringle fan and know the reads will be perfectly stimulating for the lockdown. Enjoy your day! 🍂🍂🍮🔔🍮

Nice to meet another Ringle fan. Her books are great and I am so pleased she enjoys mine. Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

You are welcome, Darlene! Have an awesome week!💓🍃🌺🍃

Thank you; this is a great comment to see! And thank you for the post, Darlene!!

Hi there, Darlene, and congratulations to another great book!

Thanks, Christa. Writing has kept us both busy during these days of lockdown.

It’s very exciting to see your 8th book coming out in May!! Hopefully, you’ll have lots of in-person events lined up in the coming fall.

Thanks, Debra. I hope so too.

Love the story and the books – bravo!

I enjoyed reading this interview by Molly, Darlene. I agree with you that a writer never take a vacation in a sense to forget about writing. I’m so excited for your new book!

Thanks, Miriam. We are always thinking about our writing, aren´t we? xo

Excellent interview, Darlene! I’m about to begin an editor search in the next month for my debut children’s novel, and I will definitely keep Molly in mind. Was this the first book she edited for you? If you don’t mind telling, what were some of the things you liked best about working with her? If you’d prefer to send me an email, that is fine, too. petespringer77@gmail.com

I will email you, Pete. But I will say that Molly has a clear-headed approach to editing and is not about trying to change your story or put words in your character’s mouth, she just makes sure the story makes sense and is grammatically correct. I enjoyed working with her.

I’d appreciate it, Darlene. Thank you.

Great interview Darlene!! Congrats on the book launch in May! The cover is awesome!!

I just love that cover. It depicts the essence of Malta! Glad you like it, Kirt.

I’ll go and check out the interview, Darlene. I’ve never been to Malta. I’m looking forward to this book.

Apologies–it looks like the entire interview is here. It is excellent. I like your reasons for writing MG fiction.

Thanks, Jacqui! You would love Malta with all the prehistoric history!

I enjoyed reading the interview, particuarly your advice about bringing a camera, a notepad, and pen when traveling to ensure that nothing is lost that we want to remember later.

Thanks, Liz. Pleased you found it helpful. xo

I clearly remember when you featured Molly Ringle on your blog. How wonderful to see her reciprocate. Like others here, I’ve never been to Malta, so I could transport myself there in an instant, but I guess I need to wait until May – ha!

LOL. May will be here soon. For now, we all have to travel through books and movies. It is kind of Molly to interview me and feature me on her blog.

That was a wonderful interview. When the photo of your books came up, I immediately thought, “Rainbow!!” They are very colorful.

Thanks, Anne. I love the covers my talented publisher creates for me, especially the colours. It does make one think of a rainbow when they are all together like that! Thanks for pointing it out. xo

Thought-provoking questions and insightful answers. Thank you for sharing this.

Darlene, I think this is one of my favorite interviews of you. Really! I’m so glad you are still 12, and I love how you describe the age. And, how exciting about the new Amanda book in France! Congratulations all the way around.

Thanks, Jennie. It was a great interview and fun to do too. I’m having fun revisiting France with Amanda.

You’re welcome, Darlene. I bet you are!

Good interview and interesting answers from Darlene. Sometimes I wish I had the travel bug, but as Darlene says, things are different when you arrive at your destination. It’s precisely these differences that put me off travelling, lol!

Not everyone has the travel bug and I respect that. I have one friend that spends the first week of her holiday getting over the stress of travelling to the destination and the next week stressed out about travelling back. I don’t know why she bothers.

Lol! I prefer going to my caravan, which is familiar and like a second home.

And it’s a lovely getaway for both of you. xo

What a great introduction and a lovely interview, Darlene. I’ll get to travel with Amanda one day soon.

It is always entertaining for me to read about Darlene and her Amanda books. I have a read a few of them and enjoyed them very much.

Thanks, Robbie. You are a great fan!

I love it that while you travel, Darlene, you’ve got Amanda in mind and are jotting down notes. How much fun (and how richer) is that when compared to simply researching on the internet. It makes a difference in the “feel” and authenticity of your books. Wonderful interview. Congrats on the new book!

Thanks, Diana. It makes a big difference I think when you yourself have been to the place you are writing about. At least it works better for me.

Your lovely open, fun personality comes across so well in this interview. I hope the book is a great success – it deserves to be!

Thanks, Ruth. That is so very sweet of you to say.

It’s so absolutely fascinating to know that you travel the world with Amanda on your shoulder.
Great interview!

Thanks so much, Goldie!

Lovely interview! Now I know how you could write so many wonderful books about Amanda. First hand experience is always more convincing. 🙂 Congratulations Darlene.

Thanks, Balroop. I have the best of all worlds, I get to travel to wonderful places and then get to relive those experiences while writing my books.

Enjoyed the interview, but really look forward to reading Amanda in Malta. Not at all familiar with Malta! Gorgeous cover!

Thanks, Patricia. I think you will enjoy Malta, so much history. I read a book that took place in Malta many years ago and always wanted to visit.

I love seeing the world through Amanda’s eyes, Darlene. Wonderful interview, Molly. I enjoyed learning more about one of my favorite Canadian authors. ❤

Thanks, Jacquie!! You are the best!

Darlene I had to laugh when you said perhaps you had never moved past 12 yourself and this why you like writing for the age group. Ha!
Do you ever feel like you miss out on experiencing the moments of travel while being so busy taking notes?
Looking forward to adding Amanda in Malta to our granddaughter’s collection.

Thanks, Sue! That is a good question, but I feel it enhances my travel experience by taking notes as I pay more attention to what I´m hearing and seeing etc. I admit I don´t take comprehensive notes, just jot down a few facts or things I don´t want to forget. Sometimes I wish I had taken more notes. I also write in my journal every night before bed so I often write more details there. I refer back to the entries while I´m working on the story.

I enjoyed reading ths post and learning mroe about your books. It made me think they might be good for my granddaughter when she is a little older, she is a mature 8, according to her mom, my daughter. Thanks for sharing! Michele

Thanks, Michele. Children between 8 and 12 enjoy my books although some as young as 5 enjoy them being read to them. If she is a mature 8 she will be ready for them. I hope she enjoys Amanda and her adventures. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Kudos Darlene and Molly! This is a marvelous interview. Hugs on the wing!

Thanks so much, Teagan!! Hugs back!! xo

Darlene, thank you for sharing this interview. I really enjoyed the questions and got to know you a little bit more. Interesting that every time you visit a place you think about a possible story/book. The Amanda series are great not just for teenagers, but also for anyone who enjoys traveling. Lovely to hear that Amanda will be in France next 🙂

Thanks so much, Gilda. I´m pleased you enjoyed this interview. xo

That’s so awesome you had your first story published at the age of 12, Darlene! If Amanda’s looking for roadies, I’m available – I’d love to visit all these places. As with all of your covers, I love the look of The Sleeping Lady.

I did have my first story published at age 12 but then I didn´t have anything published for another 40 years! I love that cover too. My publisher gets it right every time.

Awesome interview! Highly recommend Darlene’s AMANDA series!

Thank you so much, Bette.

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