An Intriguing Glimpse of MG Mystery Writer Ann Eisenstein

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Start with a psychologist; add in a sincere interest in the worth and dignity of all human beings; give her work experience that spans elementary schools, college teaching, practice in psychiatric treatment facilities and the Department of Juvenile Justice; sprinkle in memberships in the FBI InfraGard and the FBI Citizen's Academy; and what do you get? A fabulous background, rich in trauma and drama, one perfect for developing characters and weaving stories filled with mystery and intrigue. Such are the impressive credentials of middle grade mystery writer, Ann Eisenstein.
Ann's debut novel, Hiding Carly, introduced Sean Gray, an eleven-year old Junior Special Agent who just happened to be a member of the FBI Junior Special Agent Program--yes, there really is such an organization. In the story, Special Junior Agent Sean is faced with solving two mysteries; one is the death of his father--the FBI has closed the case calling it a suicide, but Sean knows otherwise; and two, the puzzling connection between his father's death and Carly, a new girl in his class.  
Book two of the three part Sean Gray Junior Detective Mystery series, entered the market in November. 
In this new MG novel, Fallen Prey, Sean comes face to face with a mystery involving a very real threat to the youth of today--the dangers of internet predators. 
Ann  says, "My love of mystery and children and the issues that affect them led me to write the Sean Gray, Junior Special Agent Mystery series."
When asked about her connection with the FBI she jokingly added, "I was always afraid I would be wanted by the FBI...just didn't know it would be for good. Seriously, though, my own childhood drama (and trauma) gave me a heart for helping kids. The FBI came later. I have always been interested in crime and law."
I couldn't resist the urge to ask a few more questions. Here are her interesting and insightful responses:
1. What role or influence does growing up the only girl in a family of boys play in the stories you write or the characters you develop?
 That is a great question – certainly one I have never been asked. I think I see the play and behavior of boys more clearly, perhaps because I was the baby and my brothers were so close in age. As children, we were isolated on a farm and I spent a lot of time watching them and wishing that I had the kind of relationship that they had. They were best friends and always together. In the barn. Playing football. Riding their bikes, then their motorcycles. Sharing stories, secrets. I vacillated between being jealous of them and their brotherhood and envious of their special kinship. So that might have played a part in my development of Sean as the hero and protagonist of the Sean Gray Junior Special Agent series.
2. Share one negative life-experience that influenced your writing in positive ways.
Wow…just one? First of all, many of the events of my own childhood have influenced my life’s choice as a child advocate – as a teacher, a psychologist, and an author. I draw upon those experiences – broken family, bullying, and abuse - to help young readers develop skills and strategies that they can use throughout their lives.
3. Profile that one special person you hope your writing reaches.
Of course, I want many people – young and old – to find something in my writing that speaks to them. But I especially want that young person who feels alone in whatever situation that they find themselves. Bullying. Drugs. Hopelessness. Friendless. Afraid. Rejected, disenfranchised, marginalized. Problems in school, the family, the community. Our young people are more bombarded by an overwhelming array of social issues than at any other time in history. I want to help them navigate the waters as they deal with and reconcile those situations and work toward becoming responsible citizens.
 4. If you could thank one person for influencing your path to authorship, who would that be?
 Easy answer: My mom. She believed that I could do anything. (And sometimes, everything!)
 5. How does the reality of being a published author differ from what you thought it would be? 
 The reality of being a published author today is so much different than it was many years ago. Unless you are a megastar, i.e., Rowling or Grisham, or Collins, the act of writing “The End” is just the beginning of the real work! Authors today are responsible for so much of their own marketing and promotion. One has to be a master juggler of social media, blogging and web design, speaking, traveling – either by train, plane, car or internet waves, publicity and press, reviews and interviews, school visits, special events, etc. And then there is always the next book to write.
Thank you, Ann for taking the time to share with us. 
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I hope you enjoyed meeting Ann Eisenstein as much as I've enjoyed sharing her with you. Her books are shinning examples of the blend of her family background, her work experience and her desire to help children. I look forward to book three in the Sean Gray Special Agent series and the many other books Ann decides to pen.  
It's Christmas time. Hiding Carly and Fallen Prey would make GREAT GIFTS for that book reading mystery loving child in your family. Books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million
For more information about Ann Eisenstein, her presentations and workshops and the Sean Gray Junior Detective series contact:                              
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CONTEST: Leave a comment by December 15 and I'll enter your name to WIN an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Fallen Prey(Scroll down to the end of this article to enter!)
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I LOVE hearing from you. Please leave a comment but remember: Only children 14 and older are allowed to comment (COPPA Law).


Sandra Warren said...

Just checking to see if it's working. It appears to be. :-)

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Sandra,
Thanks for having Ann Eisenstein as a guest on your blog.

Dear Ann,
Thanks for being a guest on Sandra's blog. It's a great goal for writing to help children navigate the problems they deal with and reconcile those situations to become better citizens.

Dear Sandra and Ann,
May your book sales skyrocket.

Never Give Up

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Sandra,
Okay. Let's hope this comment works.

Love, Joan

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Hi! I’m Sandra Warren, a writer with very eclectic writing tastes. I’ve been fortunate to have publications in multiple genres including children’s, gifted education, parenting, how to, poetry, journal, educational activity guides and biography as well as audio and video production. I'm a city gal recently transplanted to the mountains of NC where glorious mountain vistas inspire latest renderings.

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