Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Interview With Renee A. Hand

I recently had the opportunity to interview Renee A. Hand, author of The Adventures Of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, Case#2: Mineral Mischief Renee Hand is an award-winning author, educator, tennis coach and various other things. Hand has been writing for over twenty-five years and has eight publications. She also writes for various chronicles and newsletters, as well as reviews for the New York Journal of Books, for various publishers and authors of children´s books on her blog, . Check out more of the author's books on her website at

Tell us about this book

In the midst of having her friends visit her rock collection, Maple Moo’s rare mineral goes missing from underneath her large cow nose. She instantly turns to Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, the most famous detectives in Acorn Valley, to find it. They didn’t know the task was going to be an impossible one. The suspects were hard to figure out. Was it Candy Cardinal, who committed the crime? She collects various gemstones to make jewelry. Brutus and Betty Blue Beaver also collect minerals and have a fancy quartz collection. Liam the Llama looks suspicious with his igneous rocks and exploding volcano, or was it Huckleberry Moose with his sedimentary rock collection? Joe-Joe and Biscuit find themselves at a loss until some bullies roar into town. Will the detectives be able to find the missing mineral? Or, will this be a case they won’t be able to close? Find out in case #2 in the Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Series-Mineral Mischief. Look for the various activities in the back of the book concerning rocks and minerals for added learning. Bubbling rocks, anyone?

Who did you write this book for?

Mineral Mischief is appropriate for children in 2nd and 3rd grade and up who are ready to read chapter books.

Could you give a short excerpt from your story?

Joe-Joe and Biscuit found themselves in a dark and dreary cave, and in front of them, sitting on an ornately carved stone pedestal, was Maple’s mineral. To reach out and take it would be so easy. It glistened like stars in a midnight sky, attracting their attention, luring them. There had to be a catch somewhere. Something wasn’t right. Joe-Joe and Biscuit stood beside the pedestal, analyzing it. There was a circle in the center of the pedestal, and the mineral was placed in the center of that circle. A TRAP! thought Joe-Joe as he glanced at his partner, who was wearing a russet-colored fedora, which matched his own—they definitely looked sharp. Joe-Joe glanced behind Biscuit, where he noticed a deep gap in the wall. The opening was barred like a cage. Barely any light shined through to reveal what was inside. Joe-Joe had an inkling that, if he removed the mineral, the cage door would open, unleashing a horrific Greek beast that would assuredly eat them both for dinner. Joe-Joe began thinking like an adventurer. He was suddenly consumed with the identity of Indiana Jones.

Who influenced your writing style the most?

No one in particular. I write the way I want to read my books. I think of the audience, and my own children, when I write. I want what they read to be interesting and fun, educational and clean.

If you could have lunch with any author, who would it be?

Gaston Leroux. I would have so many questions about his real life adventures.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I do. Readers know what to expect when picking up my books. I always write mysteries. I always include factual information, though my stories are fiction. I include educational elements that parents and teachers have come to expect. I keep my stories suspenseful and adventurous.

Are your characters pure fiction, or did you draw from people you know?

Both! Many of my characters are created from people I know or who I think they should be like, but some are also pure fiction.

Are you more of a character artist or a plot-driven writer?

I am definitely plot driven. I know what I need to have happen in the story and I drive the story according to those events. I also consider the characters and their actions and abilities when spinning my tale so it suits their abilities, but I consider the plot first.

What books have most influenced you?

The Sherlock Holmes Series by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and books by Gaston Leroux

What type of feedback have you received so far from readers?

I have received tons of positive feedback. Parents and children love what I am doing with the series and the direction its going. Parents love the fact that I include ways to educate children. No matter what book I have out I get the reader involved into the story inspiring them to want to learn more about a specific topic and to think outside of the box. My books challenge the reader, yet are also fun and memorable stories.

Other than selling your book, what do you hope to accomplish with it?

I hope to reach out to children and satisfy their love of reading mysteries. My books are unique and different. They are educational and interesting. I take the everyday and turn it into an adventure that will take the reader on a ride they will never forget. I hope to touch their lives.
Who should buy this book?

This book is perfect for teachers, homeschoolers and parents to help supplement their child’s learning about rocks and minerals.

Where can people buy your book?
My books are available at Barnes and Nobles,, Borders, and other bookstores big and small. My books are also sold on my website where I will personalize them.