On National Author Day 2017 here’s a photo of me signing my books at the Vegas Valley Book Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, on 10/21/17.

I’m a self-published author of 4 Children’s historical fiction chapter books for 8 and up about the 1950s. I’m a dim and distant speck in the star-sudded universe of published authors. So today, let’s take a short adventure into the domain of some of my favorite authors. I’d like to acknowledge those author stars who brightened and inspired my life from childhood until now.

C.A. Hartnell celebrating National Author DayI’m looking at my very full bookshelves to capture some of those names. Did I mention that I love mysteries and adventures with strong, crime-solving characters of high morals in fun, clean, cuss-less, bloodless, good books? To each his own! As a child, I followed girl detectives Trixie Beldon by author Julie Campbell Tatham and Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene. Those books sparked my imagination and sense of excitement. As I got older, I read books by English author Daphne Du Maurier. Many of her novels were made into brooding, black and white movies: Jamaica Inn, Frenchman’s Creek, and Rebecca to name a few. Her pirates, smugglers, and damsels in distress came to life for me in her stories then on the TV screen. Even as a kid, I wanted to write about captivating characters and their amazing adventures.

Two more English authors, Agatha Christie and Patricia Wentworth, solved elaborate murder mysteries through their characters Miss Marple and Miss Silver. Grand, old English country estates welcomed the reader when Miss Silver lent her uncommon abilities to flush out criminals. American author Elizabeth Peters wrote a group of cozy mysteries based in 19th century Egypt. Her main character, Amelia Peabody, was the most unlikely heroine who with skirts lifted high brandished an umbrella to save the day. Did I mention I like mysteries set in glamorous, far-away places filled with exciting adventures?

A crime-solving chef named Goldie by author Dianne Mott Davidson and Cookie Jar baker Hannah Swenson by author Joanne Fluke serve up treats and bad guys plus delicious recipes. And what characters could be more fun or quirky than former reporter James Qwilleran and his Siamese Cats by author Lilian Jackson Braun in The Cat Who . . mystery novels. Recently, I’m reading books by Rhys Bowen. Her heroine Molly Murphy tackles criminals in 19th century New York. In her Royal Spyness series, Lady Georgiana Rannoch, 35th in line for the royal crown of England, finds fun and adventure from drafty Scottish castles to London palaces with glamorous places in between.

Before I end this short list of amazing authors, let me add the name of best selling author Francine Rivers who’s a prolific writer of Christian fiction. The 3 books in her Mark of the Lion Series are special stories of courage and faith. All of these authors, books, and characters I’ve mentioned are but a modest sampling of some of my favorites. On this National Author Day, I congratulate and applaud those authors mentioned and not mentioned who have used their written words to transport me and countless readers on marvelous adventures near and far.

Thank you so much!