Award-winning Carpe Diem, Illinois is the first book in the Leo Townsend Series

For decades, the small town of Carpe Diem, Illinois has quietly unschooled its children, eschewing tests and classrooms for real-life experiences. Now, long-smoldering political feuds and deep personal secrets threaten to explode. More

Reviews for the Leo Townsend series

Carpe Diem, IL –

“Great storytelling by a brilliant author. I opened the novel and did not put Carpe Diem, Illinois down until I was finished.

Kristin Oakley is a gifted storyteller and writer. I was lost in the story, living in Carpe Diem, and turning pages as fast as I could. Wow! I look forward to reading her second book. Her books deserve a large audience . . . and I can see Carpe Diem, Illinois as a movie.”

Nick Chiarkas, author of the critically-acclaimed novel WeepersNick Chiarkas

Carpe Diem, IL 

“Great read. I love a good mystery, but I love a great story more! This is an intelligent, well-written story that had me finding moments all day to get back to the book. The characters are well defined; you cheer for the good guys & gals and boo the enemies! Learned lots about unschooling as well.

The methods of delivering information from newsreporting to the voices of the young folks, masterfully done. Can’t wait for the next Leo Townsend story.”

Mary Helen Conroy

God on Mayhem Street

“Kristin Oakley nailed it again! . . . If her second book is any indication of things to come, we’ve found our next best-selling author. In God on Mayhem Street . . . the characters speak to us so clearly that they become friends.

This is one riveting book that I began at 7 p.m. and finally read the last page at 4 a.m. Yes – it’s that good – stay up all night reading good.”

Linda Thompson, Host of The Authors Show

Linda Thompson

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Cave Cities, Broken Elevators, and Robots

When I wrote God on Mayhem Street, I created Frank Townsend’s family farm even though I didn’t know a thing about farming. As part of my research, I toured a friend’s farm and recruited Veterinarian Bill Stork to read my manuscript. His feedback gave Frank’s farm the authenticity it needed. (For more on my God on Mayhem Street research, see: Fictional Research and Help with Poisoning Cows).

Now, while writing The Devil Particle, I’m creating a whole new world that takes place in the near future. This time around, there’s so much more to simply make up. But the story still needs to be grounded in reality to make it plausible. So, I’ve conducted a lot of fictional research including:

Two women looking at a computer screen

Working with a Literary Agent

I’m on the fence — should I sign with a literary agent and traditionally publish my young adult series The Devil Particle or publish it myself? Both paths to publishing have advantages and disadvantages.

My friend and colleague, Valerie Biel, is taking both paths. She independently published her young adult Circle of Nine series and is working with her agent, Tina Schwartz of The Purcell Agency, to get her middle-grade books traditionally published. To help me decide, I interviewed Valerie:

Audiobooks Adventure Party!

Award-winning author Kristin A. Oakley and American Players Theatre Actor Robert R. Doyle will discuss turning Carpe Diem, Illinois and God on Mayhem Street into audiobooks at Mystery to Me Bookstore on Friday, May 17th, 2019 from 7-9 p.m.

God on Mayhem Street cover

God on Mayhem Street is a Finalist!

Announcing my second novel, God on Mayhem Street, is a finalist in the Winning Writers North Street Book Prize!