Sunday, April 7, 2019

Interview with Authors Dennis and Wendel Kind

Secret Scouts and The Lost Leonardo

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book?  In the time between June 1476 and January 1478, nobody knows what happened to Leonardo da Vinci. His disappearance puzzles historians to this day—especially because after this hiatus, Leonardo conceived numerous revolutionary inventions and ideas, including a bridge that could only be built in the 21st century. Another was the unique design of a helicopter—450 years before it took flight. How did Leonardo know what the world was capable of centuries before its time? This intriguing historical mystery is one of many that inspired us to create an invigorating children’s tale with chapter-ending cliffhangers that combines friendship, art, and history in a gripping cultural quest.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?  In an attempt to unveil the meaning of a 15th century codex filled with da Vinci’s sketches, calculations, and writings, a discovery made by a group of best friends tests their friendship and presents them with an impossible choice: reveal their secret to the world – and become millionaires – or put da Vinci’s extraordinary ideas to the test, risking their lives for a walk on the wild side. Secret Scouts and The Lost Leonardo is today’s version of The Goonies and The Da Vinci Code for the imaginations of young readers and teens to get lost in.

3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?  We have fond memories of the 1980s—a time when feel-good “friends for life” groups were common themes among favorite films and novels. A unique feature of the Secret Scouts series is that the 80s-inspired, feel-good adventure stories are based on intriguing and strange facts from history, which make them very informative. But because fact and fiction intertwine in very realistic storylines, Secret Scouts is just as entertaining and easy to read as other well-known, accessible, and popular fantasy stories. Featuring ten full-color images from famous da Vinci artworks, anatomical sketches, and other discoveries throughout the book, readers will delve into this wonderland and come out with a newfound knowledge of art history, inventions, political milestones, historical mysteries, and much more. Although the stories are set both in the present and the past, the protagonists are very gadget-savvy… also in the 16th century! (Some apps really do work without a network!) They travel from Renaissance Florence to modern-day Venice and Paris, and in part 2 their adventures take them from Aachen to Los Altos and from Washington to Amsterdam, to name but a few of the far-flung destinations.

4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?  We’ve written two novel so far, working on our third, don’t know if we’re already in the position to give advice. The only thing we could say is follow your heart, and put time and energy in writing, there’s no shortcut.

5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? We think we see more and more self-publishing, and thus self-promoting and marketing, with quite some success, but the majority will find out it’s not as easy as it looks. On the other hand however publishers will also see difficulties in having lots of successful books as the industry has to deal with the fact there’s only so much time (for reading) with so many options and distractions.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?  Making time for writing, it took us a year to complete the book and it took us every night, every weekend, and every holiday.

7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? Both the first and the second book of the series have already been published in the Netherlands and the Dutch media has given the Secret Scouts series an extremely enthusiastic reception. The books have been featured on national television and have also been the subject of more than 200 five-star reviews. And we also received hundreds of positive letters and emails from parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, and, best of all, from the young readers themselves!

Wendel and Dennis Kind form one of the few writing duos in children’s literature. Writing from their home in Amsterdam which they share with their three young kids, they transform a fascination for art, culture and history into compelling literary stories. Feel-good stories that revolve around friendship, adventure and mystery, set in fascinating cities and time periods across the world.  For more information, please consult:

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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