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A Series of Middle-Grade Mystery Novels by John Madormo

Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshops supplied these photos from the pre-publicity event held this past March for 
"Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire: The Homemade Stuffing Caper."

Lynne White, LRC Director at Granger School in Aurora, IL, sent these photos (below) from the author signing at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville on May 15 for the release of "Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire: The Homemade Stuffing Caper."
The Mystery Writers Panel (above):  Jennifer Allison ("Gilda Joyce" series), Paul Griffin ("Stay with Me"), John Madormo ("Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire" series), T. M. Goeglein ("Cold Fury")
T. M. Goeglein and John Madormo (above) address attendees at the conference.
Jennifer, Paul, Sheila Hennessey (Penguin Sales Representative), Ted, and John.
Young Adult Conference photos furnished by Photography © Julia Thiel 2012.  All Rights Reserved.
John joined a panel of mystery writers at the 9th Annual Young Adult Literature Conference at the Hotel Arista in Naperville, IL on Saturday, September 29th.  

Charlie Collier here. My boss, John Madormo, will be visiting bookstores all over the country in the next few months. He also will be speaking at a number of schools. Here are just a few of his recent appearances.

John enjoyed his visit at All Saints Catholic Academy in Naperville on Thursday, December 20, 2012.  He spoke to the fourth and fifth grade classes, and discussed how his mystery series, Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire came to be.  He also be sharing some of Charlie's favorite brain teasers with the students.  
John met with a group of enthusiastic fourth graders at Welch Elementary School in Naperville on Tuesday, December 18th.  He discussed his mystery series, Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire, talked about the writing process, and answered students' questions.
John had the pleasure of speaking to 270 third, fourth, and fifth graders at Clow Elementary School in Naperville on Tuesday, December 11, 2012.  He talked about how a career in screenwriting led him to writing middle-grade mysteries.  There was also be a brain teaser presentation as well as a Q & A session.
John had a great time speaking to the students at St. Raphael's Catholic School in Naperville on Friday, December 14, 2012 from 2:00-2:50 pm.  He discussed  discuss the writing process, and explained how Charlie Collier came to be. He also share a slide presentation featuring...what else?  Charlie's favorite brain teasers. 
John had the opportunity to address members of the Chicago Teacher-Librarians Association on Saturday, January 19 at Dave & Busters in Chicago.  Many thanks to Kevin Walsh and Children's Plus for the invitation. 
Thanks to Becky Anderson and Jan Dundon from Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville for hosting a wonderful author signing for "The Camp Phoenix Caper," the second mystery in the Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire series.  And here are a couple of happy Charlie Collier fans who attended the event.
John participated in the annual Young Author’s Conference on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal on May 17-18. This event was coordinated by the Illinois Language and Literacy Council, and sponsored by the Illinois Reading Council. Along with other middle-grade authors, John conducted writing workshops for 5th and 6th graders from around the state. He also presented autographed copies of "The Homemade Stuffing Caper" to each of the young authors in his group.  
Had a great time speaking to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Schiesher Elementary in Lisle (IL).  Special thanks to Sue Jakalski for coordinating the event, and to Elizabeth Hoff for providing photographs.  

Sue was also kind enough to write and post this article on the Lisle School District 202 website about  my recent visit.
John spoke to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Fox Chase Elementary School in Oswego, IL on Tuesday, May 7.  He talked about the Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire series, and about his journey as a writer.
Photos courtesy of Margaret M. Pyterek.
John Madormo has been invited to speak to members of the Illinois School Library Media Association during the Author Showcase at their Annual Conference in Springfield (IL) on November 2 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  For more info, click on the logo to the left. 
John has been invited to join other Illinois authors at Author Fest 2014 in Downers Grove next April 9-11. The event is sponsored by the Downers Grove Area PTA Council.
John joined other SCBWI-Illinois authors and local librarians at the "Mix 'n Mingle" event on Saturday, October 5, at National Louis University in Skokie, IL from 10 am until noon.  He met with both school librarians and community librarians, and shared the story of Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire.
Here are just a few of the Charlie Collier enthusiasts who were in attendance at a pre-publicity event at Anderson's Warehouse in Aurora, IL this past September. 

Several local middle-school students received advanced copies of "The Copycat Caper" (Charlie #3), which was released on Sept. 26.
John's granddaughter joins him at the book signing party for "The Copycat Caper," the 3rd installment in the Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire series, at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, IL.
John was recently invited to speak at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic School in Schererville, Indiana.  He explained to the 3rd and 4th graders how his journey as a writer had taken him from screenwriter to author.  He then addressed the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, and presented a writing workshop titled "Creating the Mystery."  Click here to learn more about St. Michael's School. 
Many thanks to Pam Vaughan and the Maplebrook Elementary School staff in Naperville for hosting a great event.  John spoke to an excited group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders (many of whom were dressed in trench coats and fedoras) about what it's like to be an author.  As he does at each speaking engagement, he ended with a series of...what else...brain teasers...in honor of Charlie Collier.  
John spoke to 150 enthusiastic fourth-graders at Laura Welch Bush Elementary School in Austin, TX recently. One of those 4th graders just happened to be his great niece, Leigh.
Thanks to  Vicki Stallman, LRC Director at Elmwood Elementary School in Naperville (District 203), for coordinating John's recent speaking engagement. He talked to 220 enthusiastic 4th and 5th graders about the transition from screenplays to novels and the rewriting process.  He finished up his presentation with a series of brain teasers.  
John was invited to participate in Discovery Friday at the Barnes & Noble Bookseller in Naperville this past November.  He was on hand to sign copies of all three installments of the Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire series.  He also had a chance to read "Elf on the Shelf" a Christmas storytime tradition, to a number of wide-eyed youngsters in attendance that evening.  
Had a great time at the iRead Kickoff event at the Highland Park Library in January.  Had a chance to meet with a number of young readers who have become Charlie Collier enthusiasts.  Here are just a few.
Enjoyed speaking to Jessica Freeman's 4th grade class from Center Drive School in Orrington, Maine recently. The chat was made possible by Skype in the Classroom.  If you'd like to have John make an virtual visit to your classroom, click here and follow instructions.
John recently spoke to 136 enthusiastic 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Ellsworth Elementary School in Naperville.  He talked about the Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire series and the personal journey that took him from screenwriter to author.  He finished up the presentation, as he always does, by sharing some of Charlie's Favorite Brainteasers.
John participated in the 2014 Downers Grove Author Fest with visits to the following schools:

Highland Elementary School (3rd Grade)
Henry Puffer Elementary School (Grades: 4, 5, 6)
Lester Elementary School (3rd Grade)

He talked about the writing process and the current state of  the publishing industry.  The presentation was followed by a lively Q&A session

Had a great time speaking to 290 enthusiastic 3rd, 4th and 5th graders at Mary Morgan Elementary School in Byron, IL.  After the assembly, it was off to the Byron Public Library for a writers' workshop titled, "Creating the Mystery."  Thanks to Jill Smith in the Mary Morgan Library for handling all the arrangements.
John recently finished a series of writing workshops at Lincoln Elementary School in Elmhurst, IL. He worked with students in kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth, and fifth grades. In each session, the participants had to identify all of the necessary components in a great mystery, and then put their ideas to paper by creating their own mysteries. John then lead a role-playing exercise where he became the representative of a new independent publisher, and the students became aspiring writers trying to pitch their ideas with the hopes of securing a publishing contract. Click here for more info. 
John was invited to speak to 320 sixth graders at Haven Middle School in Evanston, IL recently.  He shared stories of his early days as a screenwriter, and how a failed script led to the creation of Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire. He talked about the sacrifices one needs to make in order to become a successful writer.  The visit concluded with a Q&A session, a book signing, and a series of Charlie Collier's Favorite Brain Teasers.
John recently participated in the first annual Indies Storytime Day at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville.  He read from the first Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire installment, "The Homemade Stuffing Caper," and was joined by authors, T.M. Goeglein, Sasha Dawn and Sheri Rinker. Click here for the official Instagram photo. 
Many thanks to the Illinois Reading Council and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon for hosting the ILLINOIS READS authors at this year's Illinois State Fair in Springfield.  I had a great time reading from one of the Illinois Reads selected books for 3rd through 5th graders ("The Homemade Stuffing Caper"), and answering questions from many of the young readers in attendance.  For more information about ILLINOIS READS, click on this link.
Had a wonderful time speaking to the Education Alumni group at North Central College at Homecoming recently.  Thanks to Jan Fitzsimmons, Maureen Kincaid, and Nancy Keiser for the invitation.  The topic was "The Elements of Storytelling."  We also spent a few minutes trying to stump the audience with some of Charlie's favorite brainteasers.
I enjoyed speaking to parents and kids at the Elm Grove Public Library in Elm Grove, Wisconsin, recently.  Many thanks to Julie Malloy and the Friends of Elm Grove Library for a great event.  
I conducted a writing workshop at The Prairie School of DuPage in Wheaton, IL, recently.  I had the opportunity to work with some very enthusiastic young writers who were already working on their own novels.  We talked about creating plot, unforgettable characters, structure, foreshadowing, and more.  If you'd like to learn more about the school, visit their Facebook page.
Thanks to Harriet Gilman and the staff at the Highland Park Library (IL) for inviting me to participate in their annual Kid Lit Fest in January. The day-long event featured Chicago area authors and illustrators. Thanks also to the folks from The Book Stall in Wilmette for supplying all of the authors' books. It was fun meeting and greeting both parents and kids, who seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
Many thanks to Trish Sniadecki and the staff at Jefferson Junior High School in Naperville for inviting me to speak to 81 enthusiastic sixth graders.  I talked about my journey as a writer, fielded some very thought-provoking questions, and finished up with a series of Charlie Collier's Favorite Brain Teasers--always a favorite.
It was a pleasure to be a part of the Annual Writers' Conference at Braeside Elementary School in Highland Park.  I had the opportunity to work one-on-one with six different students.  I read, critiqued, and offered suggestions on their various writing projects.  Many thanks to Braeside's Library Media Specialist, Darien Parker, for coordinating the entire event.  I was also asked to deliver a keynote address to the students and the other writing mentors.
I had the pleasure recently of joining several other Illinois authors at the annual Oswego Literary Festival at the newly remodeled Oswego Library. It was great to meet and talk with several enthusiastic young readers.
Thanks to Lies Garner and the faculty and staff at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy in Chicago for inviting me to speak to their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  Hawthorne is one of the Magnet Schools in the Chicago Public School system.  Following a general presentation, I had the pleasure of conducting a writing workshop with a group of selected students.  They were attentive, enthusiastic, and hungry to learn new ways of improving their writing skills.
Many thanks to principal Sandra Garner at Grand Prairie Elementary School in Joliet for inviting me to speak to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  Thanks also to Talia Kulaga, Learning Resource Director, for arranging the visit.  The students were enthusiastic, attentive, and asked great questions.  They especially liked the brain teasers...which actually stumped some of the teachers.
Had a great time speaking to the 3rd graders at Robert C. Hill Elementary School in Romeoville, IL.  I explained how a failed screenplay turned into the Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire series.  There was a lot of enthusiasm and some great questions.  The kids went crazy when we broke out the brain teasers.    
I conducted a series of writing workshops at Our Lady of Peace in Darien, IL. The students learned new methods for improving their writing skills. They were extremely attentive and asked great questions.                                                                   Special thanks to Patch for publishing this article on my visit.
A big thank you to Media Specialist, Nicole Sourek, and 5th grade teacher, Martha Baumgartner, for inviting me to speak to the 5th graders at Thomas Jefferson Elementary in Joliet. They asked great questions and handled the brain teasers with ease.

Had the opportunity to speak to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at William & Abbie Allen Elementary School in Frisco, Texas.  The students were attentive during the presentation, and excited during the brain teasers segment.
Many thanks to Lisa Cooney, 5th grade teacher at Pioneer Elementary School in Bolingbrook, IL for inviting me to speak, and for coordinating the visit.  The Pioneer library was filled with enthusiastic 5th graders who asked thoughtful questions, and who successfully answered most of the brain teasers. 
Many thanks to Jordan Richardson and Kylia Kummer for inviting me to speak at Kellman Elementary School in Chicago for the "Turning the Page" program.  Turning the Page engages families for student success.  Both students and parents were in attendance.  All in all, it was a great night. 
Thanks to Doreen Romero, LRC Director at Kennedy Junior High in Naperville, for inviting me out to teach a series of writing workshops to their 6th graders.  The presentations included "The Elements of Storytelling," and "Creating the Mystery."
Thanks to Principal Terri Arain, Office Coordinator Farheen Fatima, and the teachers and students at Kindi Academy in Lisle. I had a great time sharing the Charlie Collier story with a group of very bright and enthusiastic students.

Special thanks to principal, Anthony Simone; librarian, Courtney Smith; and the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers at Holy Family School in Shorewood, IL for inviting me to speak to their students.  With all of the students assembled in the gym, I had the opportunity to share my journey as an author.  The kids were exceptionally well behaved and nailed the brain teasers. 
Thanks to Library Media Specialist, Erin Pangrazio, at Creekside Elementary School in Plainifield, IL for inviting me to speak to their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  I shared my journey as a writer, from screenplays to manuscripts, answered questions, and attempted to stump them with "Charlie's Favorite Brainteasers."  It was a fun day.
Many thanks to Karen Domanski (above, left) and the teachers and students at Central Elementary School in Plainfield (IL). Had a great time speaking to the the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. They were enthusiastic, attentive, and entertaining.
Lace School in Darien (IL) participates in a program called "One School, One Book." This year they chose "The Homemade Stuffing Caper," Book #1 in the Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire series, and every family in the school received a copy of the first Charlie mystery.  Thanks to Jen Reyes for all her help setting up my visit to Lace.
For more info, click here.
Thanks to Licia Ryan and the staff at St. Petronille School in Glen Ellyn for inviting me to speak to their 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders last week. It was an attentive and spirited crowd.  The kids asked great questions and especially enjoyed the brain teasers.
Thanks to Jamie Belcastro and Cheryl Basile of St. Mary of Gostyn in Downers Grove for inviting me to speak to their 3rd through 5th graders.  I had an opportunity to share the story of my writing career--from screenplays to books.  The students were excited to learn about the Charlie Collier Snoop for Hire series.
I was invited to speak to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at St. Joan of Arc in Lisle (IL) recently. The kids were enthusiastic and ready to learn.  Special thanks to Barb Bielat for coordinating the event.  Many of the kids asked about the next installment of Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire--Book #4--"The Buried Treasure Caper" which will be out in 2017.

Had a great time speaking to an enthusiastic group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at Sacred Heart School in Lombard, IL.  Special thanks to Karen Reed for coordinating the event.
Many thanks to Jacklyn Kornfeind for arranging my visit to Holy Ghost School in Wood Dale, IL.  I had a nice time speaking to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  They were attentive and enthusiastic.
Recently spent an evening at Robert C. Hill Elementary School in Romeoville as their guest speaker at Family Reading Night.  Spoke to a capacity crowd of parents and students in the gym.  Many thanks to Cheryl Chambers for arranging the event.
Thanks so much to Library Media Specialist, Jenny Wells, and the entire Old Post Elementary School staff in Oswego, IL, for inviting me to speak to their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  The gym was filled with  bright, attentive, and enthusiastic young people.  
Special thanks to Karen Yerly and the staff at St. Isidore School in Bloomingdale for inviting me out to speak to their 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  It was a very well-behaved crowd. They listened attentively and asked great questions.  And they nailed the brain teasers.  It was a fun day.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking to the 3rd graders at Jonas Salk Elementary School in Bolingbrook.  Many thanks to Lisa Arnold for arranging the visit.  The kids were attentive and enthusiastic.  They especially enjoyed the brain teasers.  Apparently there are other folks besides Charlie Collier who are really good at solving brain teasers.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit Field-Stevenson Elementary School in Forest Park (IL) and conduct a writing workshop for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  We discussed character development, creating chapter-ending cliffhangers, keeping the plot unpredictable, building suspense, introducing red herrings, and a host of other topics.  Thanks to Heath Mills for arranging the visit.
I returned to Forest Park (IL) two days later and conducted a writing workshop at Grant-White Elementary School. In a presentation titled, "Creating the Mystery," we discussed creating the proper mood, knowing the ending before you begin, introducing the hero and villain early in your story; beginning your story "in media res" (in the middle of things), maintaining believability throughout, as well as other topics.  And thanks once again to Heath Mills for coordinating the visit. 
I visited St. Matthew Catholic School in Glendale Heights (IL) and spoke to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.  I explained how I made the transition from screenwriter to author.  I talked about the publishing process, and the ongoing practice of drafts and rewrites.  Thanks to Eileen Woosley for setting up the visit.
I was invited to Bardwell Elementary School in Aurora (IL) to speak to their 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.  The kids packed the historic auditorium and were perfect gentlemen and ladies.  Principal Twila Garza gave me a tour of the school which dates back to 1929.  The audience was attentive and enthusiastic, and really came to life when I did brought out a series of brainteasers.
I recently spoke to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at St. Irene Catholic School in Warrenville (IL).  All of the students managed to fit into one classroom which made for a close, intimate setting.  Thanks to Maggie Detwiler and Jennifer Nigliaccio for arranging the visit.
Thanks to Melissa Fiore of St. Dominic's Catholic School in Bolingbrook for arranging my visit.  I was invited to speak to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  I must say that this was one of the brightest groups of students that I have spoken to in years.  They absolutely "killed" the brain teasers.   
I want to thank Lynn Muckerheide for arranging my visit to Brady Elementary School in Aurora, IL.  I had the pleasure of presenting to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in the school gym.  They were attentive and enthusiastic, and really seemed to enjoy the brain teasers.