Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Seymour’s Secret is Available

on August 15, 2016

CoverFinalMD-SeymoursSecret

I’m happy to announce that my middle grade mystery, SEYMOUR’S SECRET, is now available in both print and ebook.

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Can eleven-year-old Colt find the obit robber who stole Grandad’s vintage toy collection before it’s too late?

Eleven-year-old Colt is devastated when his beloved Granddad’s vintage toy collection is stolen by a gang of obit robbers. Determined to solve the crime, Colt enlists the help of a girl who talks to ghosts and a gang leader who plants marigolds in the moonlight. But can Colt uncover the secret behind Granddad’s toys before everything is destroyed in this middle grade contemporary mystery.

There is a free discussion guide on my website here.

Each book I write has a slightly different journey and teaches me something new about writing. Seymour’s Secret taught me how to plot, something I didn’t really understand after my character driven MFA writing program. But even bigger than that, Seymour’s Secret gave me an outlet for the grief I experienced over the loss of both my father and grandfather during the writing of this story.

At the story’s heart is an eleven-year-old boy who is grieving the loss of his grandfather and trying to understand how to deal with that grief. My hope is that the story not only entertains but reaches those children who have lost a family member. So often, in grief, we expect people to just be “over it” after a few weeks. But grief is much more powerful than that, and there is a cycle to it which when given the chance to be expressed, as Colt says in the story, “allows our lives to move to a new ebb and flow without Granddad.”

Seymour’s Secret includes more of my personal memories than any of my books. From the sideboard secret drawer to where Colt finds Granddad’s prototype of his toy and where in my real life, Mom always kept money in that secret drawer, to a scene in a doughnut shop after school which is based on the doughnut shop across the street from my own middle school where we all piled in after school to sit on pink plastic chairs and stuff our face with chocolate cream filled donuts, to the final scene where Colt is given Granddad’s datebook and Granddad has written a note about how excited he is to finally meet Colt on August 9 when Colt is born. Both my Grandfather and Father kept these date books for years and when they passed away, I inherited the collection of both of them.

When looking through my Grandpa’s datebook for the year I was born, I found a letter written to me slipped into my birthday page. The letter told me how excited everyone was to meet me, the first grandchild, but what stood out to me in that letter was: “We’re united as the solid care of your fan club. Marvelous dreams, from all of us, are forming in your future, but the only dream we all vote for, is the one you choose and build.”

As I got to the end of writing Seymour’s Secret, I knew Colt would find a note from his Grandfather tucked in his datebook to him too.

I hope you enjoy Seymour’s Secret, but I hope you will also share it with a child who might need to know he/she is not alone in their grief.

 

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