Book Title: THE SERAPHIM’S SONG
Book 5, The F.I.G. Mysteries
by Barbara Casey
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 213 pages
Genre: Mystery, Fantasy
Publisher: Gauthier Publications (Hungry Goat Press)
Release date: April 2022
Content Rating: G. suitable for all readers
Many changes have taken place at Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women while Carolina and Larry were on their honeymoon in Frascati, Italy, on the Granchelli farm. The newlyweds have been given a larger bungalow; Ms. Alcott, niece of the founder of Wood Rose, and Mrs. Ball, assistant to the headmaster, have moved into a bungalow together; and Jimmy Bob, caretaker and night watchman at Wood Rose has moved from his family home down the road a bit into a small bungalow on the orphanage property with his hound dog Tick, as well as his new cat and her litter of kittens.
Summer is coming to an end and the F.I.G.s will soon return to the universities to complete their special projects. They are starting to feel anxious, and the coping mechanisms they have used their entire lives are starting to work overtime. Dara’s thoughts turn to an unknown language, possibly from another world; Mackenzie focuses on the relationship of math to music; and Jennifer keeps hearing the note of B flat minor and is drawing dark swirls on her canvas board.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first poem in the third grade, and it was published in the school newsletter. I wrote my first short story in the fourth grade and it received an award. I think from that moment on I knew I wanted to be a writer. When I graduated from college, I was hired to be the Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at an independent co-educational college in North Carolina. While there, I started doing freelance editing on manuscripts the professors were writing for publication. That inspired me, and I gave myself a year to write my own book and find a publisher. Ten months later I had a book contract. My first two books published were middle grade/young adult novels. Then I moved into adult novels as well as book-length nonfiction. Since then I have had close to two dozen books published, several of which have been optioned for major films and television.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
It is essential that a writer not submit a manuscript to be considered for publication until it has been professionally edited and made as perfect as possible. With so much competition, a writer usually gets only one chance to make an impression. When I finish a manuscript, I like to put it aside for a while and not look at it. When I return to it, I see it with fresh eyes and it is amazing how many things jump out at me that can be improved.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
The Seraphim’s Song is the fifth book in The F.I.G. Mysteries, and it is probably the most dramatic of the series. I did a lot of research for each of the mysteries, but The Seraphim’s Song will resonate with a lot of readers because of the focus on ancient artifacts and a connection to other worlds, and the horrors of losing someone you are close to and love. In book 1, The Cadence of Gypsies, the F.I.G.s help Carolina Lovel, the young woman who is hired by Headmaster Harcourt to keep them on a “short leash”, find her own mother. When she does, she learns she comes from a long line of gypsies. Inspired, Dara, Mackenzie, and Jennifer decide to find their own biological parents – or at least try to learn why they were placed at Wood Rose Orphanage. In book 2, The Wish Rider, Dara discovers her mother living beneath Grand Central Terminal in New York City and learns why her mother abandoned her when she was a little girl. Mackenzie finds her answers when they go to China in book 3, The Clock Flower. And Jennifer, in book 4, The Nightjar’s Promise, learns of a betrayal so painful, that only her close bond to Carolina, Dara, and Mackenzie can save her. Now, in book 5, The Seraphim’s Song, Carolina and the three F.I.G.s once again return to China, but for a different reason. And it is there that they get closer to the truth as to why they are so different and what their purpose in life is.
How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?
I never read other books in the genre I am writing once I start working on a manuscript. I have a definite way of writing and a style that is my own. I don’t want to be influenced by other writers.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
I don’t remember any worst writing advice I ever received because I tend to ignore it. However, over the years I have received good writing advice, such as never give up, always make sure your manuscript has been edited thoroughly before submitting it to an agent or publisher, be open to constructive criticism from writers you admire, but believe in yourself and create what feels right to you.
Meet the Author:
Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels and book-length works of nonfiction for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Several of her books have been optioned for major films and television series.In addition to her own writing, Barbara is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she
represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan.In 2018 Barbara received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive
experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas.
Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with three cats who adopted her: Homer, a Southern coon cat; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.
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