The Alchemy & Craft of Fiction: The Newbery Honor winning novel Three Times Lucky features a small town of endearing, odd-ball characters and two fast-paced mysteries narrated by eleven-year-old Miss Moses LoBeau – possible orphan, goddess of free enterprise, and co-founder of Desperado Detective Agency. But where did Mo and her sidekick, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, come from? How did they evolve? Why do they feel so real? Author Sheila Turnage takes a look at the alchemy and craft of fiction – the borderline magic of turning bits of real life into something golden, and the tools she uses to polish characters until they shine.
Sheila Turnage is a New York Times Bestselling author, she is best known for her Newbery Honor book Three Times Lucky, and the award-winning Mo & Dale Mysteries series that followed.
The mysteries feature eleven-year-old narrator Miss Moses LoBeau and her best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson, III. They’re set in tiny, fictitious Tupelo Landing, North Carolina – just down the road from Sheila’s real-life home.
In addition to claiming a Newbery Honor, Three Times Lucky was a finalist for an Edgar Award and the EB White Read Aloud Award. The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing represented the state of North Carolina at the National Book Festival. The series includes two New York Times Bestsellers, regional bestsellers, and four Junior Library Guild award winners.
Sheila is also the author of Haunted Inns of the Southeast (John F. Blair, Publisher), Compass American Guide: North Carolina (Fodors/Random House), and Trout the Magnificent (HBJ). Her articles have been published by Southern Living, American Legacy, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, among many others.
Sheila grew up on her family’s tobacco farm in eastern North Carolina and lives there today with her husband Rodney, their dog Callie, and too many chickens and guineas. She’s writing a new novel set in North Carolina, to be published by Dial Publishing/Penguin Random House in 2021.