Interview with author, R. A. Douthitt

So, tell us how you came up with the idea for The Children Under the Ice?

R. A. Douthitt- Believe it or not, I was conducting a spelling test for a 6th grade class once Friday morning and I noticed the words, when combined, seemed to form a story...a mystery story. 

So, as I stated the words and used them into a sentence, I began to form a story about the ghosts of these children under the ice of a frozen pond and a detective trying to find the murderer. 

Fascinating premise! How long was it after that spelling test when you wrote the story down?

R. A. Douthitt- Many years later. I began to write it for the NaNoWriMo contest in November 2012. I revised it and completed it in the summer of 2013. 

That's quite the journey! Tell us a little about your protagonist, Mikey.

R. A. Douthitt-I really like Mikey. I see a little of myself in him. He's a quirky kid in that he lives in this Minnesota town, but doesn't like to play hockey. So, he's the "odd-man-out". He would rather write a story for the school newspaper. He aspires to be the next Carl Bernstein or Bob Woodward. 

That brings me to the next point. Why set the story in 1976?

R. A. Douthitt-You know, I'm a child of the 1970's and that time was a time of innocence and youth for me.  When I look back on that time, I feel as though it was the last time kids could play all day away from home even late into the night without being afraid or concerned for safety. Perhaps it's just the nostalgia in me, but that's how it seemed to be. I needed that era of innocence for this story to work because the kids in the story need to be out on their own or out late at night without fear or trepidation. 

I see. So, you went from a fantasy series to a murder mystery thriller series. Why the change in genres?

R. A. Douthitt-I am almost finished with the third book in The Dragon Forest trilogy and needed a new project to work on. CUI just seemed to be a nice segue into another series set in the past. I will still write more fantasy because I truly love that genre, but I also want to break out and try new things. 

I plan on writing an adult contemporary romance set during the Iraq War, and also a historical fiction novel set in WWII. 

Your newest book in The Children series is out now, The Children in the Garden. Tell us a little about it.

In this book, Mikey and his friends are off to solve yet another mystery about the little girl ghost Mikey encountered at the end of the first book. They are all ready to begin 8th grade and all the craziness that comes with being 13. As Mikey uncovers more about the girl ghost, he also learns how her murder is connected to Sherman Oaks and The Children Under the Ice. My readers have already told me how they really enjoy the story!

Sounds like you will be busy writing for some time!  Thank you for answering our questions about your books and your newest release, The Children in the Garden.  

The book can be purchased at