Blogiversary | Interview with Author Carrie Cross



51sdogQFl5L._UX250_Q: Would you like to start by introducing yourself?

My name is Carrie Cross, and I’m the author of the Skylar Robbins mystery series. My first book, Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills, introduces thirteen-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins. Stuck at her bullying cousin’s Malibu estate for the summer, Skylar faces the challenges of starting a new school, making new friends, and dealing with her mean cousin Gwendolyn while feeling abandoned by her parents.

When an interesting classmate introduces her to witchcraft, her summer takes an exciting turn. But is Kat a true friend, or is she more interested in Gwendolyn’s cute stable boy? When the spells Skylar and Kat perform in an abandoned garden actually begin to work, Skylar has a much more terrifying mystery to solve.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about your latest book and the inspiration behind it?

My latest novel is book two in the series. Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels, is the sequel to Shadow Hills, and Skylar is a bit older, wiser, and more interested in boys.

As one reviewer wrote,The adventures of teen detective, Skylar Robbins are sure to entertain you in Carrie Cross’s new book. I loved her first novel, Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills, but enjoyed this book even more! The risks are greater and the stakes are much higher. Clever and brave Skylar becomes involved in an intriguing new case while also dealing with the issues that face most girls in her age group. The story includes an awesomely creepy mansion with hidden rooms and clues to an exciting mystery. You’ll be rooting for Skylar as she battles bullies at school and dangerous outlaws who will stop at nothing to get those hidden jewels.

Q: When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?

I knew I wanted to be an author since I was four years old. My first “novel,” Blackie the Little Black Dog and the Flying Washing Machine, was written in crayon on huge sheets of paper, complete with illustrations. Blackie flew to exciting places in, yes, a washing machine, and had some exciting adventures once he landed. Fluffily.

Q: What inspired you to start writing and what continues to inspire you to write now?

Reading inspired me to be a writer. I’ve loved books since hearing Goodnight Moon at bedtime when I was little. My favorite reading memories are from my middle school years, reading Judy Blume and others as rain thundered down on the roof above me. Those coming-of-age novels spoke to me. This is why I decided to write for that age group.

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, or a secret message written on the wall in invisible ink?” I never forgot that house, and it inspired me to write a mystery series with a smart, funny teen detective. That quirky sleuth is Skylar Robbins, and that creepy house inspired the abandoned mansion in The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on the third Skylar Robbins novel: The Mystery of the Missing Heiress. Each novel sets up the next mystery and provides the first clues for Skylar to figure out. At the end of Hidden Jewels, Skylar finds a note written in secret code, which is her first clue to decipher in mystery number three.

Q: Do you have any writing superstitions or rituals?

Nothing superstitious or ritualistic, but I have to be “in the zone.” If I’m not feeling creative, I don’t force it. When I’m in the mood to write, it can be anywhere from a comfy chair in my living room, to propped up in bed against pillows, to sitting in my car at a stop light. Once I got inspired in an airplane and was without paper, so I wrote a page and a half in tiny print on a barf bag!

Q: Where is your favorite place to read?

Anywhere and everywhere. I’m usually in the middle of three books at once: One in my car to be read in restaurants or anywhere I need to wait for more than a few minutes. Another for lunch hour reading, and one on my bedside stand. And that doesn’t count my Kindle!

Q: What are some of your favorite books to read?

I love YA, so some of my favorite authors include Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, and I recently discovered Jessi Kirby. I also love Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels and Robert Crais’s Elvis Cole series. Judy Blume and Zilpha Keatly Snyder were my childhood faves. There are too many other good authors to mention.

Q: How do you keep yourself motivated to write?

There isn’t anything I need to do to keep myself motivated to write, as I love it. I just wish I had more time to devote to it. I have a full-time job and also own my own business, so writing hours are precious. I love to be able to close my eyes, picture Skylar in a precarious situation, and let my imagination run wild.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors out there?

I write a column on my blog at Advice for Aspiring Writers. My first post advised:

Enjoy the writing process and revise, revise, revise. Get as many people as possible to read your manuscript and give you constructive criticism. Don’t just rely on family and friends for feedback. They love you and will tell you your book is great, even if it isn’t.

Find beta readers in your target age group who you don’t know personally. For instance, I asked my account base at work if they had children who would be willing to read my book, Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills, before publication, and emailed the manuscript to those kids. Their feedback was invaluable.

Finally, don’t let rejections from agents deter you from getting published. Self-publish if you don’t get a contract; you’re going to do most of your own marketing anyway. Calvin Coolidge said it best: Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!


Carrie Cross has generously provided (1) e-book copy of Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills. This giveaway will run until March 14th.

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don’t forget to enter the Stories Unfolded Blogiversary Giveaway that’s running from March 1st – March 31st.

(1) Grand Prize Winner

  • $25 Amazon Kindle Gift Card
  • (1) Signed physical copy of The End of Feeling by Cindy C Bennett
  • (1) Audiobook of The End of Feeling by Cindy C Bennett
  • (1) Signed physical copy of Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) Signed physical copy of From a Grieving Mother’s Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) Signed physical copy of For a Grieving Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) Physical copy of Finding Zoe by Brandi Rarus and Gail Harris
  • (1) E-Book copy of the Off The Map Series by Lia Riley (Upside Down, Sideswiped, & Inside Out)
  • (1) E-Book copy of any Ginger Scott book
  • (1) E-Book copy of Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds by Jacqueline Smith
  • (1) E-Book copies of three children’s books by Alva Sachs (Circus Fever, I’m 5, & On Your Mark, Get Set,Go!)

(1) Prize Winner

  • $10 Amazon Kindle Gift Card
  • (1) E-Book copy of any Ginger Scott book
  • (1) E-Pub copy of Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) E-Pub copy of From a Grieving Mother’s Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) E-Pub copy of For a Grieving Heart by Terri Ann Leidich
  • (1) E-Book copy of Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds by Jacqueline Smith

(1) Prize Winner

  • $5 Amazon Kindle Gift Card
  • (1) E-Book copy of The End of Feeling by Cindy C. Bennett
  • (1) E-Book copy of any Ginger Scott book
  • (1) E-Book copy of Cemetery Tours and Between Worlds by Jacqueline Smith

(1) Prize Winner

  • $5 Amazon Kindle Gift Card

Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Carrie Cross week continues tomorrow with her guest post.

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One thought on “Blogiversary | Interview with Author Carrie Cross

  1. A Well Read Woman March 12, 2015 at 3:48 pm Reply

    Hi Danielle! Thanks for the chance to win! Great interview. I especially liked your question about writing superstitions/rituals! I’m certain a lot of Authors have those. 🙂
    And Carrie Cross’ earliest work, Blackie The Little Black Dog and The Flying Washing Machine sounds ADORABLE!!


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