Meet Christy Lynn Allen

Meet Christy Lynn Allen

Christy Lynn Allen

Christy Lynn Allen is the author of Samantha Green Mysteries, a new series for middle-grade readers. She facilitates creative writing workshops for children and runs the “Serious Reader Club,” a free online book club for kids, including bimonthly newsletters, videos, and discussion guides. SRC book choices are screened to ensure they are age-appropriate for ages 8-12, and enriching as well as entertaining. Monthly book selections are voted on by club participants and vary in terms of reading level, genre, and message.

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A Sample of Christy’s Writing

Samantha Green and the Case of the Haunted Pumpkin


Christy Lynn Allen

I was glad the rain was pounding on Jenn’s green machine and that the windshield wipers were loud and cranky. It put off the lecture that was sure to follow my closing performance at Serious Reader Club tonight. If only I had kept my nose in my book and paid attention to the discussion-my mind and my eyes wouldn’t have wandered, and I wouldn’t have screamed at the sight of green, warty, witchy Mrs. Finkel. Yes, that’s right. Screamed! I could make a good case to Jenn, though. I mean, we had been poring over Edgar Allan Poe’s terror-filled suspense stories-who wouldn’t be on edge?

The green machine groaned as it climbed Laura’s driveway.

“Thanks so much, Jenn,” Laura yelled as she stepped out into the rain. “Appreciate the ride and everything. Great discussion, Sammy! See ya later.”

“Okay, La! Thanks for coming tonight. We’ll see you this weekend at the parade,” Jenn called.

I smiled and waved to Laura as she passed my door. (She had even let me ride shotgun again. That’s how cool these SRC girls were.)

“Well, Samantha,” Jenn began, as she carefully backed out of Laura’s driveway. To my disappointment, the rain had let up a little, making it easier to talk over the drops striking the car. “First, let me say what a stellar job you did at your first Serious Reader Club meeting. I’m impressed. Three Edgar Allan Poe stories under your belt and some terrific observations.”

“Thank you,” I said, beaming, despite my fear of what was coming next.

“Second, I’m not upset with you for your ‘audible’ at the library. Frankly, Mrs. Finkel did look awfully scary in her witch’s costume, Halloween or not.”

I chanced a giggle, and Jenn smirked.

“But, I do have a request,” Jenn said seriously.

“Yes?” I responded. Anything! I thought to myself. Anything to get back in your good graces forever!

“I’d like you to practice your SRC oath. Do you remember it?”

I did. “You mean, ‘NJBC?'” I asked.

“That’s right,” said Jenn. “Never judge a book by its cover.”

I nodded, though I wasn’t sure I fully understood.

“What I mean, Sammy, is I know how easy it is to go along with all the other kids and make fun of Mrs. Finkel. And I know she…well…she has her odd moments.”

I listened.

“But, you’re better than that,” Jenn said, glancing at me with kind eyes after turning onto my street. “There’s more than meets the eye to Mrs. Finkel. There’s more to her story.”

I nodded and looked down at my hands, wondering what Mrs. Finkel’s story might be.

“Am I making sense?” Jenn asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “The plot is thickening.”

An excerpt from Samantha Green and the Case of the Haunted Pumpkin 

 What Christy says about WordPlay

“At first I didn’t take my writing seriously. I thought of it as a helpful outlet to counter the chaos of work. But as the universe tends to do once it has your attention, it presented me with people, tools, and invitations to explore my writing more deeply. A friend gave me Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write, helping me to shed my hang-ups about who and what a “writer” should be. Another friend introduced me to Maureen Ryan Griffin’s Spinning Words into Gold. Maureen’s teachings have revealed to me that my writing is a living, breathing part of me that deserves my dedicated attention…that a writing life is not only a “helpful outlet,” but a calling…and that (who knew?) a calling-turned-career can be an awful lot of fun.

After springing from cubicle life, I took my first workshop with Maureen. I was surrounded by people who, like me, loved and reveled in the magic of words. My purpose was a shared purpose. The community was a safe one, where I could go deep and exorcise demons, or simply romp and play. Maureen has shown me that “play” in my new career is not only a “nice-to-have,” but an absolute necessity.”