Frequently Asked Questions

3For schools and press

Who do I contact about a press request?

If you would like to interview Mr. Carman please contact

How can I get Patrick Carman to come to my school and do a presentation?

Mr. Carman presents at approximately 75 schools per year. The vast majority of those presentations are tied to national touring events for different book releases. If you would like to request a school visit, please contact us at

How much does Patrick Carman charge for a school presentation?

The cost of a school visit varies depending on the event type, the amount of travel, and the time involved. Please contact us for details. Karen’s email address is

What topics does Patrick Carman cover in a school presentation?

Regardless of age, Mr. Carman focuses his presentations on the importance of reading and writing and the magic of storytelling. His talks are humorous, memorable, filled with stories from his own childhood, and inspiring for students.

What are the best age groups for Patrick Carman’s presentations?

Mr. Carman writes books for children as young as 1st grade all the way up to young adults in high school. The best groups are usually grade clusters of 1st and 2nd graders, 3rd – 6th graders, 7th – 8th graders, and 9th – 10th graders, but other mixes can be just as successful.

How long does a presentation take?

Mr. Carman’s school presentation usually lasts about 45 minutes, followed by Q and A and small group visits.

Is there anything I should do to prepare for a school visit?

The best thing a school can do to prepare for an author visit is to have the students read Mr. Carman’s books. Kids who have read even one of Mr. Carman’s books get a lot more out of the visit than those that have read none.

We don’t have access to an iPad or enough iPod Touches for our students to all experience 3:15. Is there another way?

The first episode “Buried Treasure” is available for free at You can project the image using a projector or smart board to share with a larger group of students, introducing them to this new way to experience reading.

My question is not answered here. How do I find the answer?

Send an email to with the subject line ‘FAQ did not answer my question’ and then ask your question in the email. We will do everything we can to answer you quickly or update the FAQ and let you know your question has been added to the site. Please be patient! Sometimes Mr. Carman is traveling or on a writing deadline and cannot answer new questions for several weeks.

For parents of readers

What age is appropriate for each series Mr. Carman writes?

Elliot’s Park is perfect for first time independent readers age 6-8, but can also make a great read aloud for younger children. The Land of Elyon series is great for students age 9-14. Atherton is a little more complex and best for students age 9-15. Skeleton Creek, a little bit scary, is best suited to 10 and up, perfect for middle schoolers. Patrick Carman’s YA novel (April 2010), 13 Days to Midnight, is appropriate for ages 12 and up. Trackers has a wide range, for ages 9 and up. Floors, Voyagers, and Fizzopolis  are suitable for ages 8 and up. Pulse explores end times through the lens of environmental disaster. Voyagers explores the mysteries of space, independence, and courage.

Are there any special themes Mr. Carman is trying to explore in each series?

Elliot’s Park is all about cooperation in solving problems and being willing to ask for help. The importance of teamwork and friendship are also key themes. The Land of Elyon is largely about finding your place in the world, overcoming fear, and not reading a book by its cover. Atherton is at once about protecting the world we live in and having the courage to change and grow. Skeleton Creek is a book and a movie at the same time, but it’s also a story about friendship, trust, and stepping out into the world even when we’re afraid. Trackers has a wide range, for ages 9 and up. Floors deals with the loss of a parent.

My question is not answered here. How do I find the answer?

Send an email to with the subject line ‘FAQ did not answer my question’ and then ask your question in the email. We will do everything we can to answer you quickly or update the FAQ and let you know your question has been added to the site. Please be patient! Sometimes Mr. Carman is traveling or on a writing deadline and cannot answer new questions for several weeks.

For readers and fans

How old is Mr. Carman and what is his birthday?

Mr. Carman’s birthday is February 27th, 1966. You’ll have to figure out his age on your own!

How many books will there be in The Land of Elyon series and which one should I read first?

The Land of Elyon is comprised of several parts. The core trilogy is made up of The Dark Hills Divide, Beyond the Valley of Thorns, and The Tenth City. Into the Mist is a prequel to the trilogy, but some have said it’s actually the fourth book in the series. Both answers are correct in their own light. A reader may find equal footing if they begin the series with Into the Mist or read Into the Mist after finishing he trilogy. There are significant advantages to reading Into the Mist as the fourth book, most notably the knowledge of certain important characters and situations that come into play in the prequel. Stargazer comes after Into the Mist and after the trilogy, so it is by rights the 5th book. As of the writing of this section, there are no plans for a 6th Elyon book, but that could change!

How many books will there be in the Atherton series?

The Atherton series will contain three books: The House of Power (fall 2007), Rivers of Fire (fall 2008), and The Dark Planet (fall 2009).

How many books will there be in the Elliot’s Park series?

Elliot’s Park is currently scheduled to include the three books now available: Saving Mr. Nibbles, The Haunted Hike, and The Walnut Cup. A school play can be found at

How many books will there be in the Skeleton Creek Series?

There are five books in the Skeleton Creek series, ending with The Phantom Room. There is also a six book, Skeleton Creek is Real, that explores the truth and fiction on the series.

How many books will there be in the Dark Eden Series?

Dark Eden which is both a book and an app is 2 books. Dark Eden and Dark Eden 2 Eve of Destruction.

Is 3:15 just an app for phones and iPads or is it also a book?

3:15 is a mobile app that allows you to listen, read and watch all on one device. It is available in book form from Scholastic. The second season of 3:15 is only available as an app.

Do I have to read the Dark Eden books and experience the app at the same time?

No, Dark Eden can be read like a typical book or experienced through the app. Inside the app you will experience the entire story through audio, text, and video.

I am having problems with my Dark Eden app. Who do I contact?

You can get support at

Why does Patrick Carman create Multimedia books?

One of Mr. Carman’s passions is getting young people excited about reading. Seeing the trends in technology he realizes that getting kids to sit down and read a book is more difficult now that it ever has been. Transmedia is a way for young people to bridge the gap between technology and reading.

Where can I find out about Mr. Carman’s touring dates?

If Mr. Carman is actively touring you can find his schedule by clicking on the events tab at

How long has Mr. Carman been writing books?

Mr. Carman began writing novels in 2001. His first book, The Dark Hills Divide, was published by Scholastic in 2003.

What awards have your books won or been nominated for?

Visit the Awards page for a current list

Do you have any writing tips you can provide?

Mr. Carman has produced a nine part video series on the writing process to help aspiring young writers. You can find the videos at under the Writing Atherton link.

What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

Mr. Carman is a social butterfly, so the hardest thing about writing is closing the door and staying alone for hours on end.

What are Mr. Carman’s favorite books and writers?

Mr. Carman’s favorite writers are John Steinbeck, David James Duncan, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Roald Dahl, Charles Dickens, JRR Tolkien, Norman Maclean, Edgar Allen Poe, and Richard Russo.

For the very young: Where the Wild Things Are, anything by Dr. Seuss.

Middle grade readers: The Borrowers, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Holes, Frindle, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, the Graveyard Book.

All time favorite reads: East of Eden, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, The Brothers K, Ender’s Game, The Outsiders, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, A Separate Peace, Cannery Row, Tortilla Flats, A River Runs Through It, The Alchemist, Huckleberry Finn, The Once and Future King, All Over But the Shoutin, The Killer Angels, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, The Glass Castle, The Sky Fisherman, Motherless Brooklyn, The Pillars of the Earth, Empire Falls.

Favorite Classics: Le Miserable, The Brothers Karamazov, Frankenstein, The Old Man and the Sea, Oliver Twist, The Turn of the Screw, The short works of Edgar Allen Poe.

Favorite Poets: Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams, Edgar Allen Poe, Shel Silverstein

About writing: On Writing (Stephen King)

The great outdoors: The Solace of Open Spaces, Into the Wild, The River Why.

Desert time: Blue Like Jazz, A Generous Orthodoxy, When the Heart Waits.

What are Mr. Carman’s future plans as a writer?

Keep an eye on the site for everything Patrick Carman will be working on in the future.

What does Mr. Carman like to do when he’s not writing books or touring for books?

Fly fishing, playing guitar, just plain playing (basketball, pickleball, dodgeball), being with his family.

Does Mr. Carman have any pets?

Two dogs, Taffy and Otto. Taffy is a mix-breed from the pound that looks like a small golden lab, Otto is a long hair Chihuahua.

How big is Mr. Carman’s family?

Mr. Carman has a wife and two daughters, plus the two dogs listed above.

Where does Mr. Carman do his writing?

Usually in an office in downtown Walla Walla, Washington, but sometimes at home when he does not feel like being ‘out and about’. The most important thing for Mr. Carman is to be focused and alone when writing.

How long does it take for Mr. Carman to write a book?

This varies wildly depending on the project. A big novel takes up to six months, a short chapter book might only take two weeks. It really depends on the length more than anything. 100,000 words takes longer to write than 5,000.

How do I get my own book published?

If you have a book or a story you would like to have published, Mr. Carman’s best advice is to read Stephen King’s book On Writing. All the answers you need are in there.

Does Mr. Carman read books by aspiring authors and comment on them?

He used to, but the number of submissions Mr. Carman receives makes it impossible to continue doing so. He wishes he had time to read everything that comes across his desk, but there’s simply not enough time in the day. He hopes readers will understand!

What was the inspiration for each of Mr. Carman’s books?

Mr. Carman’s books are all inspired by different people for different reasons. Each book has a dedication that can be found in the first few pages. Often, there is also an acknowledgement section at the back of each book that lists other important people that inspired the book.

Where does Mr. Carman come up with his characters?

This is best answered by watching the two Writing Atherton videos called Developing Characters sequence 1 and 2. Those videos can be found at in the Writing Atherton section.

Are any of the characters in Mr. Carman’s books based on real people?

Very rarely. It’s far more common to find a certain character trait or a physical feature based on someone Mr. Carman knows. He has, on occasion, inserted a character based on someone he knows, but he has not revealed who those characters and people are.

My question is not answered here. How do I find the answer?

Send an email to with the subject line ‘FAQ did not answer my question’ and then ask your question in the email. We will do everything we can to answer you quickly or update the FAQ and let you know your question has been added to the site. Please be patient! Sometimes Mr. Carman is traveling or on a writing deadline and cannot answer new questions for several weeks.


  1. Ender says:

    Are you working on a new Atherton book and if so when will it be out? Or was there a conclusion to be drawn from the end of The Dark Planet that I missed?

  2. paige matz says:

    what inspires you to write? where do you get your ideas? thanks!

  3. Ethan says:

    I love your 39 clues and skeleton creek book!!!!!

  4. says:

    HI, I just wanted to ask if you could please update the map in the land of Elyon books it kind of scares me each time when there are still walls around the cities this is only if you wright more books which I hope you do.

  5. PennockH says:

    I love your books I’ve only read the 39 clues and skeleton creek but hope to read more

  6. Thanks for finally writing about > FAQ

  7. Nicki says:

    What was his inspiration to write?

  8. Schuyler says:

    Both the Land of Elyon and Atherton series seem to have Christian messages and allagories, is Mr. Carmen a Christian?

    • says:

      what are the Christian messages I think I see them in land of elyon.
      but what do you see?

    • Katie Nelson says:

      Hey! My favorite book series since I was 8 is the Land of Elyon. I loved them because I agree that there is a Christian theme in the God figure (Elyon) choosing and equipping a very “normal” girl to do great things. I believe that this matches how God treats us and cares for us as individuals, not just a mass of people in earth. How He specifically prepares and equips each of us for our adventure and walks through every step with us.

      This is just my interpretation 🙂 I have loved the books for a long time (I’m 21 now) and I honestly needed the message of these books so much growing up. Christian intention or not, it can be seen and it impacted my life greatly!

  9. marquise ray says:

    How many siblings do you have,and if so who is the oldest?

  10. aubrey says:

    ur my favorite writter

  11. Bryan Bowman says:

    Who exactly inspired you to write and become an author?

  12. elizabeth says:

    my favorite book from your books is the land of elyon and im in 5th grade. i am doing you book for a book report and im hoping i do a good job on it. i am trying to read all the series of the book of elyon so im only at the dark hills divide

  13. jasmine says:

    How did you get interested in writing books?

  14. chloe says:

    Patrick Carman is 46. He turned 46 on February 27, 2012.

  15. i think u r doing a great job my number one is skeleton creek. I am in 7th grade and i would like to meet u i have some questions for u.


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