Carrie Cross

Biography

Carrie Cross is an avid reader who fell in love with books as a little girl after reading Goodnight Moon. She wrote her first “book” at age four: Blackie the Little Black Dog and the Flying Washing Machine. Carrie discovered her love of mysteries reading Nancy Drew books and The Happy Hollisters series, and after writing three Skylar Robbins mysteries and working on her fourth, she continues to look for clues in unexpected places to this day.

Carrie Cross’s influences include Judy Blume, Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, and Lee Child. In addition to writing Skylar Robbins mysteries and reading, Carrie loves to cook, hike at the beach, go boating, and travel.

During a recent interview she was asked, “Where do you get your inspiration?”

“When I was six years old, my parents decided we needed to buy a bigger house. We looked at a creepy two-story in Santa Monica Canyon, and I played hide-and-seek with the little girl who lived there. There were closets and secret hiding places with doors that opened into other rooms. Later, I wondered, “What if there was a clue hidden in one of those closets?” And the idea for the Skylar Robbins mystery series was born.

Skylar’s adventures continue in THE MYSTERY OF THE HIDDEN JEWELS. After she solves her second big case, the Skylar Robbins Detective Agency tackles the MYSTERY OF THE MISSING HEIRESS. Carrie Cross is currently at work on her fourth Skylar Robbins novel, THE CURSE OF KOMA ISLAND. A fantasy novella, GWENDOLYN'S REVENGE is available for free on most ebook retailers.

Follow Carrie on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/authorcarriecross, on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Carrie_Skylar, and visit her website: www.carrie-cross.com. There are free games, interactive sleuthing, and lots of other fun things going on!

Smashwords Interview

What motivated you to become an author?
I’ve loved words ever since I first learned to listen. Dr. Seuss’s silly stories enthralled me. Nursery rhymes, riddles, puns, tongue twisters…I savored them all. My parents and I used to make up funny names for people or things. A favorite velour jacket was my “scabaranzer.” When flowers died, they became “frivelly.” And when I got a knot in my yarn? It was a “boogle.” We imagined our new neighbors might be named Barney Bozoich or Rex Shekavondin. When my mom blew me a kiss at night, she said, “Zoot.” (Rhymes with put, not boot.) Zoot was the sound a kiss made, flying through the air. Apple breakfast bake was “applefumph.” Onomatopoeia. Now that’s a fun word to say. But why doesn’t its definition match its sound?

One cannot fall in love with words without falling in love with writing. I started writing “books” at age four. My first was an adventure composed in crayon: Blackie the Little Black Dog and the Flying Washing Machine. In junior high school my BFF and I wrote books, longhand, in our spiral binders. The plots were thin, involving crushes and unrequited, twelve-year-old love. But oh, how I loved to fill up those pages.

The books I cherished the most were those I read during that same time. Judy Blume’s Are You There, God, It’s Me, Margaret, Zilpha Keatley Snyder’s The Changeling and The Velvet Room. Harriet The Spy and Nancy Drew. These novels, devoured by a twelve-year-old only child who loved to read as much as she loved to write, shaped my future. These were the books that inspired me to write the Skylar Robbins series. I remember blissful Friday nights-–after watching the Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family—spent reading in bed. I couldn’t wait to crack open a new book, hold it in my hands, and read those exciting first words: Chapter One. My mom would make homemade molasses candy, each flat square individually wrapped in wax paper. A new Judy Blume book, a few pieces of molasses candy, a cat stretched out next to me, and maybe—a rainstorm? Now that was heaven!

I continued to write throughout high school, although by then my interest had turned more to music. I played guitar and sang, and began to write songs and poetry. By the time college rolled around my love affair with words was in full bloom, and I decided to major in Speech Communication. Linguistics, Journalism, Creative Writing…I can get a degree in this? Really? Sold! By then I was reading everyone from Ayn Rand to Stephen King, and after college I discovered Lee Child, John Grisham, and Robert Crais. I started to work on a rough draft of an adult novel, and analyzed the way they used foreshadowing and unexplained events to create suspense. When I wasn’t tapping out chapters on my computer, I was taking notes longhand on the techniques my favorite authors employed.

When I decided that I really wanted to write for the Middle Grade audience, I thought I’d better see what the current competition was like. Leaving the library giddy with an armload of Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti novels made me feel like I was back in junior high, gleefully looking forward to a weekend full of glorious escape reading. I couldn’t wait to curl up with the first book, kick off my shoes, and dive in. No tablet or e-reader for me, just a fresh hardcover in my hands, smelling faintly of paper. Alternating between reading a greatly written MG or YA novel, getting a burst of inspiration for putting my own words down on paper, and blasting out a new chapter—that’s a rush I look forward to experiencing whenever I have free time. I might just have to whip up a batch of molasses candy. And I hope it’s going to rain.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was written and illustrated in crayon at age four: Blackie the Little Black Dog and the Flying Washing Machine. Unsurprisingly, the plot included a dog who climbed inside a washing machine that flew like an airplane, taking him on random adventures.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Carrie Cross online


Where to buy in print


Series

Skylar Robbins Mysteries
The Skylar Robbins series begins with The Mystery of Shadow Hills, where her bullying cousin Gwendolyn is introduced. Gwendolyn's Revenge is a mini-sequel to Shadow Hills. The series continues with teen slueth Skylar solving The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels, and The Mystery of the Missing Heiress.

Books

Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels
Series: Skylar Robbins Mysteries. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,460. Language: English. Published: April 5, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Intermediate, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
A deserted mansion perches on a steep hillside, overlooking a rocky canyon. Three years ago the owner disappeared suddenly, leaving behind a house full of secrets: A mysterious note, tantalizing clues, a hidden floor, one piece of a treasure map, and a missing fortune in diamonds. Can Skylar outwit a gang of bullies and find the hidden jewels before they do?
Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills
Series: Skylar Robbins Mysteries. Price: Free! Words: 63,680. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
Magic. Mystery. Danger. 13-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins was in for a summer she never could have imagined. Stuck at her bullying cousin’s creepy Malibu estate, Skylar has to attend a new middle school where she doesn’t have any friends. Then an unusual classmate introduces her to the fascinating world of witchcraft. Practical Skylar didn't believe in magic. Until their spells begin to work.
Gwendolyn's Revenge
Series: Skylar Robbins Mysteries. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 18,900. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Bullying, Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
A lock of stolen hair, a beautifying spell, and a visit to a wizard's den were all Gwendolyn needed to start eighth grade suddenly pretty and popular. But she ignored his harsh warning: "Don't let your ego turn you nasty." Gwendolyn went back to school with a gorgeous face and long, shining hair. Then her bullying reversed the spell, causing a series of embarrassing middle school disasters!

Carrie Cross' tag cloud