Home / Books / Interview: Renee Hand, Author of Mineral Mischief

Interview: Renee Hand, Author of Mineral Mischief

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Renee Hand is the author of several fabulous children’s books, including The Crypto-Caper series and Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill series.  She writes because it is a deep passion for her, which truly shows through in her work.

With a degree in Zoology as well as a minor in Chemistry, Ms. Hand knows how important learning in a fun way is.  She incorporates this knowledge perfectly within her stories – helping kids learn, while having a ton of fun doing so. Renee Hand’s books have received awards such as a Best Book Award, a National Literary Award and a Preferred Choice award for her children’s series and adult books. In addition, Ms. Hand has just recently won a Seal of Excellence award in Storytelling for her Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Series.

Renee Hand resides in Michigan with her husband and two children. Readers can learn more about her and her work by visiting her website.

Please tell us a bit about your book: Mineral Mischief – characters, plot, etc.

In the midst of having her friends visit her rock collection, Maple Moo’s rare mineral goes missing from underneath her large cow nose. She instantly turns to Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, the most famous detectives in Acorn Valley, to find it. But they didn’t know the task was going to be an impossible one. The suspects were hard to figure out. Was it Candy Cardinal, who committed the crime? She collects various gemstones to make jewelry. Brutus and Betty Blue Beaver also collect minerals and have a fancy quartz collection. Liam the Llama looks suspicious with his igneous rocks and exploding volcano, or was it Huckleberry Moose with his sedimentary rock collection? Joe-Joe and Biscuit find themselves at a loss until some bullies roar into town. This is case #2 in the award-winning Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill Series-Mineral Mischief. It also has various activities in the back of the book concerning rocks and minerals for added learning.

This fun book is a great tool that helps satisfy the requirement of the National Science Education Standards for Earth and Space Science. Included in the book is a picture of the rock cycle, terminology, a ‘Did You Know’ section which gives tons of extra information about rocks and minerals. The book also includes various experiments and works on inquiry, creating charts and using variables and constants to determine an outcome of particular rocks and elements.

Highly acclaimed by many reviewers as, “A must have in the classroom!” This mystery series is fun, educational and humorous. Children will be able to relate to the characters and learn a lot about rocks and minerals in a fun and interesting way that appeals to every child.

If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?

I would choose two characters, Biscuit Bill and Joe-Joe Nut. In fact, I see them whenever we have a family get together. They’re such fun characters. I created them after my cousin Joe, who has such a great personality and my uncle’s, who have a serious side to them but also are wonderfully supportive and dedicated. I love them all.

If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?

I have done this many times in my romance novels. Put myself in a situation, but it’s all about emotions for me, so here it is.

I am the strong heroine. I am the rock that the hero leans on to keep him steady, that guides him to his goals, yet he is the strength that is unyielding, assuring her that he will always be there for her when she needs him and he will always love and protect her. She doesn’t have to be the one that is in charge and has to carry a burden, he shares that burden and gives her the courage she needs to take flight.

Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?

I have no certain habits I must abide by, other than working on my computer every morning. I just sit down and write what I feel.

What are you reading right now?

Bindi Irwin’s Wildlife Adventures

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?

I can honestly say that my favorite authors are Gaston Leroux and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I can read their books over and over again.

If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

I would meet Gaston Leroux. I love the way he weaves a mystery. It sucks me in and I can’t stop reading it.

Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:

Please share with us a favorite memory.

I have so many. When my children were born. When my first book got published. Family! Bike riding with the kids. When I was young, consuming books often. I often think about the first time my husband and I met. I don’t have a particular favorite memory. I think of many. I have had lots of great experiences over the years.

Please describe a perfect meal – including menu and those present.

The perfect meal? Since it is a rarity, I enjoy it when my husband and I go out to dinner by ourselves at a nice Italian restaurant. We eat salad and bread sticks, talking intently like we did when we first met. We both order a pasta dish and share a little bit of each other’s food. After dinner or before, we go to an amazing play. That is my perfect date!

What are some of your favorite ways to relax?

Watching movies, bike riding, playing games with the kids, writing and reading.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

There are so many places that I would love to visit and spend time in around the world. But nowhere else I would rather live than with my family in Michigan in the Upper Peninsula on 40+ acres of wooded property in peace and quiet.

If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.

Gaston Leroux. He is the only author where I have collected almost all of his older works.

Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.

My dreams of becoming an author have already been fulfilled. I have nine books published, winning four awards and with more books on the way. I always have the dream of becoming a well-known author and making tons of money. Until that time, I keep my goals centered at being the best wife I can be and the best mother to my children. Homeschooling them and guiding them to their goals in life so they can be the best they can be at whatever they want to be.

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

Chocolate! Need I say more?

If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?

It’s good to dream big and have goals for yourself. Always work hard to attain them and never forget them. But one must also be happy and satisfied with what they have already accomplished in their life and never forget the blessings that currently exist. Otherwise, one will never be satisfied and will always want more. They will never be happy or content.

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About April Pohren

  • Thanks Elizabeth and Kate. I appreciate your comments.

  • Good interview. I enjoyed learning more about Renee, and her book sounds like a winner for the classroom. (Speaking as a former teacher.) I’ll recommend it to teaching friends.

  • Kate Dolan

    Great interview! It’s great to read about an author who can bring so many facets to her writing.

  • Thank you so much for the wonderful interview. I greatly appreciate it.

    For more info about my books readers can check out my website Renee Hand.