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Q & A with The Case of the Missing Turtle Author Dave Cole

Dave Cole's new book series Emily and Sam launches in February with The Case of the Missing Turtle, a math adventure novel for young readers. The book follows twins Emily and Sam as they find Read on to learn more about Dave and the series!

What inspired you to write The Case of The Missing Turtle?

I had several parents reach out to me saying their children loved The Math Kids series but they had younger children. Would I consider writing a series for 1st - 2nd graders? I thought that sounded like a great idea and wrote the first book (The Case of the Missing Turtle) to see if it was something I could do. I had a couple of younger kids read the book to see if I had hit the mark. When they said they really liked it, I sent it as a proposal to Common Deer Press. They liked it and now there are three books written for the new Emily and Sam series.

You are known for writing the popular middle grade series The Math Kids (as David Cole). Was it a jump to write a chapter book?

The toughest part was getting a full story to fit into about a third of the number of words as I have for The Math Kids series. It required a bit of editing to trim the book down to size, but it got easier with the next two books.

I also decided that I wouldn't focus on just math for the series. The second book, The Mad Scientist Next Door, is a science adventure and the third book, The Spelling Bee Showdown, is a literature adventure. By looking at different subjects, it allows me to vary the series.

What are three descriptive teasers that would urge readers to read Emily and Sam?

Problem solving: the twins love to solve problems, whether it is a missing turtle, a mysterious new neighbor, or how to write their own fable

Math, science, literature: each book in the series will focus on a different subject

Twice the learning, twice the fun: the twins learn that together they can accomplish almost anything.

Did you hide any Easter eggs in the story?

I didn't, but I think it's a great idea! Ask me this question in the future and I bet I'll have a different answer.

What was your biggest challenge in writing the book?

While I found the book pretty easy to write, I did have to concentrate on capturing the right voice for the intended audience. Does this really sound like two 1st/2nd graders talking? Hopefully, I hit the mark here.

Do you plan or plot?

I'm more of a "big picture" guy rather than a plotter. I have a general idea of where I want to take the story, but I also am good with letting the story take me in a different direction if it feels right.

The Case of the Missing Turtle cover

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