Fed up with polygraphs, security clearances and a daily commute, Caroline Lee fled a career writing classified reports for the Dept. of Defense to become a full-time storyteller and daydreamer-in-chief. Often inspired by her surroundings, Caroline's first book, "Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins," features America's most impulsive heroine, 10-year-old Maxzyne Merriweather, whose madcap adventures take place in the magical and historic city of Chicago.
Caroline currently resides in Delray Beach, Florida where the weather is much warmer than Chicago. She is a member of the Society of Childrens Bookwriters & Illustrators (SCBWI) and is thrilled that her first book "Maxzyne Meets the Mannequins" won the 2020 Independent Press Award for Children's Fiction. The second adventure in the series, "Maxzyne and the Old Horse Theatre" is now also available on Amazon and recently won two Story Monsters Dragonfly awards! Learn more at www.maxzyne.com
I love hats. Shopping for them, wearing them or admiring them on other people. So it's not surprising that my 11-year-old character, Maxzyne, loves them also. The first two books of her adventure series feature hat scenes that were very fun for me to imagine and write. Hats were more than a fashion statement when I lived in Chicago. As soon as the weather turned chilly, I'd reach high in the closet for those accessories of seasons past. A required extra layer for the noggin, once Lake Michigan's icy fingers crept ashore, tangling hair and trailing goosebumps down my neck and spine. Like familiar old friends, I smiled to find a favorite black felt fedora sporting a shiny patent leather band. Or a chestnut wool bowler, the perfect accessory for my down vest. Meeting a friend for dinner and a play? How about a plush velvet burgundy beret, the color bright enough to spot in a crowded theater lobby or busy restaurant. Now where are the gloves? Details, details. In real life and in written word.
Maxzyne and the Old Horse Theatre
She waves the hat at the burly driver until he finally snatches the tweed cap he is wearing and replaces it with the silk top hat. His lips stretch into an oily smirk when it becomes obvious the fine silk headpiece is too small to fit over his large forehead. He struggles to push it down over his protruding ears and thick shock of salt-and-pepper hair. Despite pulling with both hands, the silk hat will not fit. His broad face slowly turns red as his partner guffaws and points. “Who are you kidding, Fred? Drivin’ the queen of England now? Or maybe Cinderella to the ball?”