April 29, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel

Are you looking for a fun, mysterious adventure book to read? Children’s author, Shauna Holyoak from Idaho Falls recently published her first book called “Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers.”

Holyoak recalls writing and telling stories for as long as she remembers. She developed a love for writing when she was in high school. She said an English teacher wrote her a note saying she should consider becoming a writer.

Years later, she went to graduate school to study English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. “It was always in my mind that I would write someday,” Holyoak said.

Holyoak was never really interested in mysteries growing up. However, she said it just so happened to be that the idea for her book was going to be a mystery. “It’s tricky because you want your reader to have enough information to be able to solve it themselves before your protagonist solves it,” Holyoak said.

The idea that inspired Holyoak’s book, came from her daughter’s newspaper route.

She explained how her daughter was assigned to deliver newspapers to a spooky street and had a difficult time approaching the doors. This circumstance got Holyoak thinking, “what if somebody on the paper route was doing something that wasn’t that great, and the paper deliverer wanted to solve that crime?”

She now writes her stories about a paper deliverer solving crimes. “The way I pictured it was Nancy Drew meets Judy Moody,” Holyoak said. “It’s about a girl who just is super nosy and always wants to figure stuff out.”

Holyoak has seven children, and in the evenings when they are seated for dinner she will occasionally ask them for ideas she can incorporate into her stories. Some of them are brilliant she said. She is grateful for their help.

Holyoak has loved directing her writing to children. “That’s honestly been one of the most surprising joys of this, is being able to interact with kids and see them get excited about things,” Holyoak said. “Just the age group that I write for is such a great age!”

The book is great for reluctant children, Holyoak said. It brings in various aspects such as mystery, adventure, spunk and danger which she feels can hook the children.

Holyoak will be signing books at Barnes & Noble in Idaho Falls on May 9 from 6-9 p.m.