Kelly Brady Channick is a former teacher who has taught first, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. She says she’s always loved making up stories, which is one reason she always managed to talk herself out of trouble. Asbury High and the Thief’s Gamble is the first book in her young adult cozy mystery series.
Keeping it fun
Kelly said she wrote this book when she was eighteen. “At the time, there was an influx of supernatural and dystopian-future types of YA books on the market. Don’t get me wrong, I love those types of books too. But I’ve always loved writing and realized I was missing some good, old-fashioned amateur sleuthing type of books. I’m hoping this book will give people a break from the real world, and provide some laughs and entertainment and they jump into Asbury and try to solve a mystery.”
Many writers find writing to be a way to cope with stress. Perhaps that’s why Kelly started this book when she did. She was eighteen and her parents were divorcing. “I’ve always been a sucker for mysteries,” she said. “I felt bad leaving my dad at home alone, so I would stay in with him and ended up writing out the ideas that were stuck in my head for a while. I liked the idea of having a group of four friends, consisting of two boys and two girls. I was always friends with more boys than girls growing up, so writing from a boy’s perspective wasn’t too hard or too much of a stretch for me.”
People, progression, and pancakes
“I grew up in a shore town (Ocean City, NJ), so I feel my descriptions of life on the coast are pretty accurate. Also, I love talking, a lot. I guess I was my graduating class’ Class Clown, and Most Athletic, for a reason. So, I really love it when I get reader feedback or just general questions directed to me. I’ll converse with anyone—ask my husband!”
During college, Kelly played basketball, which pulled her away from writing. And after college, she became a teacher—another break. Now that she’s writing full time, she’s decided to fulfill her dream of publishing this series. “I can honestly say the book series gets better as it goes on. I’m sure all writers like to think that, but because my characters grow and age, and the mysteries/crimes become more intense, I feel like the readers get drawn deeper into the world of Asbury. I mean, the kids go from being 14 to 18 by the final book—so you know they face many more challenges, other than just solving the cases that come their way.”
In the Asbury High series, the town’s favorite and most famous restaurant serves a popular dish called the Taco Pancake. Taco Pancakes? Are those for real? Actually, yes. Kelly said, “At the time I wrote that, I was a very picky eater and really only loved tacos and pancakes— (and cookies, but who doesn’t love cookies?), thus, I tested out the recipe and found out it’s quite delicious to be honest.”
Learn more about Kelly Brady Channick at kbchannick.com.