Her first book, Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair, is out and about, and ready for your viewing/reading pleasure. It's a Young Adult fantasy story set in Alaska.
A bit about Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair:
Magic lives in the Americas, too…
Land of the Midnight Sun. The Aurora Borealis. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Dog sleds. Mount Denali. 60 degrees below zero. Moose. Grizzly bears. Salmon. Gold nuggets. Blueberries. Bunny boots and duct tape.
To most people, the word “Alaska” evokes visions of a wild, mysterious land, but for Fallon O’Reilly, it means home. Growing up in a village hidden deep in the wilderness, she eagerly anticipates her first sojourn at the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. Nothing dampens her enthusiasm; not the creepy bookseller, her sisters’ nagging or the world’s nastiest classmate.
However, when village inhabitants disappear, someone murders a student’s pet and she suffers a near-fatal attack by a horrible, hairy creature, Fallon’s curiosity draws her into a dark mystery. Can a twelve-year-old witch, together with her wheelchair-bound cousin and new found friend from Wyoming, uncover the identity of the evil behind the chilling events?
From the wind-swept tundra to the frozen peaks of Mount Denali, Fallon’s struggle to protect the school and her fellow students encompasses a journey of far more breadth than she expected.
Your book sounds great, Debra. I'm a big fantasy fan.
Can you tell us a bit about your writing process and how Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair came about?
My family lived in the Alaskan wilderness when I was a child and my mother homeschooled me during first grade. As soon as she explained that the marks on paper represented sounds, I grasped the concept of reading and books hooked me for life. I wrote my first novel at the age of 11 or 12, pounding it out on a toy typewriter. Although the 25-page novel disappeared (thankfully!), my love of stories remained.
After attending the Muse Online Writer’s Conference, I felt inspired to begin putting stories in a more permanent form than my imagination. During the Conference, I learned of NaNoWriMo and resolved to rise to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month. Fallon’s story had been rattling around in my head for some time and NaNo provided the opportunity to begin writing. I did write 50k words in a month and went on to write another 25 thousand to complete the book.
During the same period of time, my oldest son came to visit from his home in Japan. I live in Wyoming, where the summers are very hot and dry. Like many Wyoming residents, I use a “swamp cooler.” For those who have never seen a swamp cooler, it’s a big vented metal box. Water runs into the box bottom through a small tube and a fan inside the box blows cold humid air into your house. I love swamp coolers! My sons frequently complained of the cold temperature in my living room, where the swamp cooler rested in a window.
One night as we prepared to eat pizza and watch a movie, my oldest son called to his brothers. “C’mon, guys. The movie’s ready. Time to head into the Ice Queen’s lair.”
Voila! Instant book title. It need only a character name to become Fallon O’Reilly & the Ice Queen’s Lair.
Isn't it funny how an idea, a title, and even a story can just appear? It'd be great if you can give us some details about your book.
It'd be my pleasure.
The book was released October 2010, through MuseItUp Publishing.
eBook ISBN: 978-0-9865875-2-8
Debra, it's been a pleasure featuring you and your book on our blog. I wish you much success with it.
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author and children’s ghostwriter/ rewriter. For tips on writing for children OR if you need help with your project, contact me at Writing for Children with Karen Cioffi.
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A middle-grade fantasy set in 16th century China!