Jan 30, 2017

An Adventure with Iain Reading and Kitty Hawk

Hello, adventurous readers! Do you know what I love? Adventure. And mystery. Enter Kitty Hawk, the plane-flying Nancy Drew of Iain Reading's Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series! (Does Reading not have the coolest last name ever?) A mixture of crime solving, travel, and history, this multi-book series is set to be a ride of a read, taking you here, there, and everywhere, and bringing the settings on the page to life. I'm very excited to have Iain on the blog today to share his secrets to creating one of Kitty Hawk's wild stories--and a peek at the seventh installment!

Here's Iain to tell you all about The Evolution of a Kitty Hawk Adventure!

I am often asked how I come up with the stories and mysteries for books in the Kitty Hawk series.  

As anyone who has read Kitty Hawk can tell you, each adventure starts with a place – a specific geographic location where Kitty Hawk flies in for a visit on her around-the-world flight. That place sets the tone for the story and somehow always leads me into figuring out what the mystery will be.

Egypt will be the location for Kitty Hawk Book #7.

The next step in the process for me is to start getting inspired. This usually involves getting in touch with an artist for the cover art and starting to get some sketches done. This is something I can highly recommend: getting cover art done BEFORE you finish (or even start) the book itself.  Nothing is more inspiring than this, if you ask me.

Here are some sketches and artwork drafts for the cover of Kitty Hawk #7.

The next step is research. This involves a lot of reading about the history of a place, and usually also involves visiting the place itself to find out more and be further inspired.

Example: In Kitty Hawk #7 our intrepid heroine is going to visit the Pyramids at Giza – which means that our much-less-intrepid author also has to visit them.

When are we going to get to actually writing the book? (You ask.) Not quite yet. Now we need a mystery or some puzzles of some kind. That requires more research and a lot of thinking and figuring out.

This is one of the puzzles from Kitty Hawk #7.

And last but not least.... we finally get to writing the book. You can probably guess how this last phase goes. Sitting down every day and writing. It's a magical process, if you ask me. There's something really truly amazing about bringing a story to life. You almost feel like you're living it yourself.

Psssst.  Here's a secret.... I actually haven't got to this last phase in the Kitty Hawk #7 book yet. Because there's actually one step BEFORE all the ones that I've just laid out for you: finishing the PREVIOUS book in the series. And sometimes that's the most challenging step of all.

TitleKitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold
Author: Iain Reading
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Publishing Date: December 3, 2012
Pages: 262

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty's adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada's Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska's inside passage and Canada's Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure - flying around the world!

Iain Reading likes Root Beer. When he was younger he fancied himself a bit of a Root Beer connoisseur, drinking his favourite brand (A&W, of course) from tall, narrow champagne flûtes and revelled in the sound of the ice cubes clinking against the side of the thin glass, creating a magical tinkling ambiance as he looked down his nose at all the other inferior Root Beer vintages. As he grew older and began to travel all across the globe he was naturally inclined to seek out the very best Root Beers that the world had to offer. Sadly, as he was to discover, Root Beer is very much a North-American thing and you can't really find it anywhere else in the world. On the bright side, however, it turns out that the world is a pretty great place even without Root Beer. There are a million amazing things to see and as many more ways for all of us to see them, as our heroine and friend Kitty Hawk finds out in the course of her various adventures.

To learn more about Iain, check out his website!

 If you were Kitty Hawk, what might your adventure look like?

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