I am pleased to present another author interview, this time for my children’s humorous fantasy, “Be Careful What You Wish For”. Hope you enjoy reading it!
Title: Emily and the Enchanted Wood
Author: Lynne North
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Number of Pages: 78
Publisher: Crimson Cloak Publishing
Publication Date: May 26, 2016
Summary: Emily lives in the quiet village of Oak Haven with her Mum, Dad and her lovely dog, Toby. Her life is a happy and peaceful one, but there is more to Emily than meets the eye. The young girl has a very strong connection with animals, one that becomes even more apparent when she enters the wood that lies just outside the village. Strange things happen in the wood, and Emily isn’t convinced whether the wood has magical powers, or even if she herself has special abilities. Whatever the reason, life is never quite the same when she is there.
Emily’s problems really begin when she discovers that goblins have come to her precious wood. They are making the woodland creatures’ lives a misery, and seem intent on staying.
Not if Emily can help it…
Review by Stacie Theis:
Emily and the Enchanted Wood is an exciting tale complete with talking animals, a magical forest, and unruly goblins.
The first time Emily steps foot into the woods and hears her dog, Toby talk she knows the forest is a special place. When Conn, a large crow visits Emily’s home and urges her to meet the other animals in the woods she is certain something is wrong. Upon visiting her woodland friends, Emily learns that goblins are causing all sorts of ruckus in the normally peaceful forest. Worst of all they have threatened to eat the animals. Can Emily help save her friends and their beautiful forest home from the goblins before it’s too late?
Emily and the Enchanted Wood is a well written children’s fantasy that teaches children the importance of friendship and helping others. The story is vividly detailed and the plot entertaining which will easily captivate readers. Being a short story, Emily and the Enchanted Wood will make this an appealing read for reluctant readers as well.
I recommend picking up a copy.
Today my blog is being taken over by Susan Day with her fascinating article about the power of fairy tales! Over to you, Susan.
Albert Einstein was quoted as saying, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
This is one of my favourite quotes. There is certainly something very powerful about fairy tales. They have changed generations of lives.
The words, fairy tale, conjure up all kinds of images of goblins, princes and princesses, dark, mysterious woods, and wild creatures. There are the good guys, the bad guys and lots of magic spells woven into these amazing tales.
Fairy tales help children move out of their everyday lives, and dream of greater possibilities. They introduce characters children can identify with and want to be like. They also give them some pretty scary characters children would certainly be best avoiding.
Best of all, fairy tales give children the hope that anything is possible. They teach lessons about good and bad behaviour, and give children a glimpse into the lives of other people and creatures.
Fairy tales teach us what not to do
One fairy tale which scared me half to death as a child was Bluebeard. I can remember being so frightened I started yelling out to warn Bluebeard’s new wife when she went into the forbidden room. I certainly learnt an important lesson about doing as I was told.
A male teacher I know used to terrify his students when he bellowed across the room:
I smell the blood of an Englishman,
Be he alive, or be he dead
I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.
He made such an impact on his students, they never forget his loud voice, and the way he really enjoyed telling them the tale.
After studying, Women Who Run with Wolves, I became acutely aware of how fairy tales were used to warn children, and sometimes adults, of the dangers which exist in the world away from the safety of home.
Perhaps Little Red Riding Hood’s grandma wouldn’t have ended up coming to a sticky end if Red Riding Hood hadn’t told the wolf where she was going. What are we taught at a young age? Don’t talk to strangers.
And, Midas taught us about the evils of greed, while Rapunzel taught us about patience.
On a positive note, we learnt to trust in ourselves in The Ugly Duckling, and learnt how important it is to accept those who are different – you just don’t know how anyone will turn out.
Gender stereotypes in fairy tales
Lately, there has been a move to deconstruct fairy tales and examine the roles men and women play in them. I’m all for this because it means that children can reinterpret these ancient stories, and begin to own them in a way which best reflects our changing society.
Examining and exploring fairy tales will allow children to explore the sorts of expectations that each gender role has had in the past, and consider if they are relevant in today’s world. There may be very few princes or princesses around, but children can take on board the importance of taking care of themselves, becoming self-sufficient, and being independent. Why can’t young girls dress like princesses, wear a crown, all while studying astrophysics? Why can’t the prince be rescued by his princess?
Modern fairy tales have a place too
Today, there are many great writers creating modern fairy tales. They are taking the old concepts and weaving interesting stories which are set to entertain and delight young readers.
Importantly, these writers are giving children tools from which they can build their own dreams. They are offering role models for young girls and boys based on gender roles which are more flexible and more suitable to their needs.
Whatever fairy tales influenced your ideas as a child, the good thing is they are still playing that same role for children today, but in a deeper, more expressive method.
About the author – Susan Day
Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents who want to build a strong relationship with their grandchildren. In particular, Susan specializes in helping grandparents share their love of books with their grandchildren. Susan is currently writing a book titled, The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing!
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves drinking coffee, painting and learning to box.
A great move for published authors trying to promote their book and get it selling to readers and to book shops is to first try to get it into your local libraries, and I don’t mean tempt them with a free copy. You’re trying to sell them, right?
Libraries are great marketing tools – they let people read your book then hopefully tell others about it too. When this happens its popularity grows and with it the potential to get your book more ‘out there’ in the public domain.
Make sure your book is getting some promotion in whatever way you can, your website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, anywhere available to you. When you approach your local library you can then let them know that your book is getting good reviews, being tweeted, getting likes on Facebook, whatever is genuinely happening.
The next step is to ask in your local library who their buyer is. Be polite and enthusiastic. Tell them you are a local author and would love to see your book on the shelves. Show them a copy so they can see how professional it looks and take a look inside if they wish. If the buyer isn’t available that day, try to get his or her name and email address. I have found library staff very helpful in this respect. In my case they ask what the book is about and seem really interested to know someone who has actually managed to have a book published. Feel proud, it’s a great thing to have achieved.
Whether you speak to the buyer on the day, or email them, be respectful and grateful for any interest they show in your work. Gently push the fact that you are a local author. This seems to go down well. Offer to talk about your book at reading circles or whatever in the library should they wish you to. I was lucky enough to get the buyer from my main library to order copies of my first book for all seven of the local smaller libraries!
Once your book is in there, promote the fact as much as you can. Encourage people to take your book out to read, it won’t cost them anything! Have a photograph taken holding your book in the library and write about it on Facebook. In any way you can, promote!
The procedure is much the same to try to get your book stocked by any local bookshops you might be able to approach. Concentrating on the fact you are a local author seems to work wonders in some cases … In my experience anyway.
Try it out, and best of luck!
Crimson Cloak Publishing has decided to run a short, free, fun competition for St Patrick’s Day. ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’ is a children’s humorous fantasy novel about a leprechaun, the perfect book for St Patrick’s Day. We will be giving away three e-book copies to the people who can make us laugh! Post your St Patrick’s Day pictures, jokes, experiences, anything that will amuse us as a comment below this post on Crimson Cloak Specials Facebook page. They will all be judged for the funniest on Fri 17th March. Winners will then receive your free e-book!
Click here to enter!
‘Crimson Cloak Specials’ Facebook page
If you are interested in children’s fantasy books, why not visit my Facebook Shop to see details of my books and links to where you can buy them?
Delighted with this Five Star Review from Reader’s Favorite for ‘Be Careful What You Wish For’!
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite 10/01/17
Be Careful What You Wish For by Lynne North revolves around Finn, a leprechaun who lives with his parents in Duntappin, a small village. He goes to a local school, but is bored with his life. He enjoyed the company of Dallan Murphy, but he longed to have an exciting life. Things take a turn when one day he is kidnapped and made to be part of the traveling show, Max’s Marvels. Finn is not treated well by Max, the owner, and Finn is terrified of him. On the home front, Finn’s parents discover that he is missing and they try their best to find out where he is. Will Finn be able to escape from Max’s Marvels, the traveling show, and safely get back home to his parents?
The story has an excellent message to young readers that asks them to be happy with what they have. Many times children think there is more excitement in the outside world than in the lives they lead and this makes them look out for adventures, like Finn. All the characters are relatable and with a leprechaun being the main character, along with an unusual dog, the story has a whimsical vibe to it. For all those who love adventure, this book is a fun read and they will love the character of Finn. It is a good bedtime storybook and because it contains a message, it is perfect for parents to read out to their kids. The book can be used for read aloud sessions in classrooms and school libraries as it teaches young readers new things, has a good message, and enhances their vocabulary.
All available worldwide from http://main.crimsoncloakpublishing.com/lynne-north.html
I am delighted to introduce my first fantasy role play gamebook, The Chalice of Jupiter!
If you decide to brave this Crimson Cloak Quest you will find yourself in the ancient Roman city of Veradum. Amidst the ruins and dangers that await you, you are seeking the priceless Chalice of Jupiter; but many others have tried to find this precious treasure before you. Indeed, many have died trying. You begin your quest with little to help you, but if you make your choices with care you might be the lucky one. You will face many strong adversaries, determined to end your quest almost before it begins. You need to roll your dice well to ensure you embark on your quest with as much Vigour, Agility and Psi as possible. During your adventure, you will need every bit of all three to achieve your goal, believe me. Will you find the Chalice of Jupiter when so many before you have failed? Indeed, will you even survive? Are you brave enough to embark on this quest? Decide now, because once you begin there will be no turning back …
1) Do you write books as a career, or are you currently still juggling your author time with a full or part time job?
As a retired horse trainer, I pretty much write full time now. I think I’m one of the lucky ones. I get to spend as much time as I want every day, most of it spent between writing and editing. Then I also read a lot. I think a good writer needs to like to read. I’m always learning, always trying to be better, the same as I was with training horses.
2) Have you always wanted to be an author, or did some time or event in your life set you on the path?
I have always wanted to write, but it didn’t become a real possibility for me until I stopped training horses. At that time, I went back to school to brush up on my writing skills. I also took an over the mail writing course with Stratford Career Institute on creative writing. The first course I took simply taught me how to write a single scene. Learn how to stay focused. When I finished with this I took a course on writing a novel, learning to put these individual scenes together. This actually ended up being my first published novel Soul of a Warrior. My instructor was extremely positive and helpful, though tough, and I’m grateful for all those critiques, painful though they sometimes were.
3) Do you always write in the same genre, or do you sometimes like a change of theme? If you haven’t already, is there another genre you would like to write?
I pretty much stay within paranormal/fantasy and science fiction. I went outside the usual boundaries and created a story using a combination of all three. It isn’t accepted by all readers/writers, but so far I’ve received far more positive feedback than not. It isn’t easy to carve a place for yourself in the writing world and I think it’s important to take chances, use your imagination and create something unique to you.
4) As a writer, what is the best thing that has happened to you, and what is that most exciting thing that could happen to you?
By far the most exciting moment was when my novel first got picked up by a publisher. It felt like all that hard work, all those painful critiques, had finally paid off. Off course, little did I know that this would only be the beginning of lots more hard work. The best thing—was when I received a positive review from Kirkus Reviews, known to be one of the toughest critique sites around. I was sweating a bit waiting for that one to come back.
5) How do you view the promotion, book signings etc. Is it something you enjoy, or do you prefer the writing stage?
I much prefer writing, though I do enjoy talking about writing or the story itself with other people. Promotion is difficult, trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’ve spent a lot of money, a lot of time, and I’m still trying to figure it out. I think the most important thing is to never give up.
6) Could you tell us something about your published books, and let us know what they are about and where they are available?
My first novel Soul of a Warrior is a paranormal/science fiction story about a young human woman named Kimi and her two friends. A stranger, Neyvarre, shows up at her place of work claiming to be her mate, but he is from another world. She doesn’t believe him and tries to run. Neyvarre also has lots of enemies, one of which abducts our heroine and her friends. He converts Kimi to vampire and leaves her two friends behind as food during her first bloodlust. He doesn’t want to kill Kimi. He only wants to separate Neyvarre from his mate, make his life miserable, as his life has been made miserable. Of course, Kimi doesn’t understand his motive, which makes it all the more difficult for her to handle. Now her mate must plan a rescue with no idea of which planet Kimi and her friends have been abandoned on. The story follows two paths, Kimi and her friend, and Neyvarre and the people who help with the rescue party. We run into many problems on both sides, lots of excitement and tension. You can find a copy of this novel Amazon:
Click here to go to Amazon
Click here to go to Smashwords
My second story is part of a boxed set called Love Potion #9. There are fourteen wonderful paranormal stories with USA TODAY and bestselling authors, some are shorts, some novella, and some full novels. All these are complete stories with a happily ever after ending. No partials that make you have to buy another novel to finish it. My part of this boxed set is called Dark Warrior. The story follows Jada, an avid bow hunter, and Bryce, a tracker for the Laizahlian Council. He works for a Hunter of rogues from another world. This is the same universe we are introduced in with Soul of a Warrior. Jada and her three best friends are out in the wilderness of Oregon during elk season when they run into rogue werewolves. Bryce is able to save her, but none of her friends. Though he didn’t allow her friends to die on purpose, his only real interest is in saving Jada, his life mate. He has his work cut out for him trying to convince Jada to believe what he is saying is true. Then there is the added danger of his partner, a vampire, who doesn’t like the idea of Bryce trying to take a human mate. This great collection can be picked up at Amazon:
Click here to go to Amazon
My next novel, Ghost Warrior, will be due out mid 2017, published by Crimson Cloak Publishing. It will follow two of the minor characters in Soul of a Warrior, Kimi’s best friend Amanda, and Neyvarre’s werewolf partner, Tallyn.
You can find me at: Link to Denna’s website if you have any questions about writing or any of my stories. I also love to talk about horses and dressage if that’s your interest.
Fantastic replies, Denna. I know for a fact you are a great writer, and wish you the best of luck in your career as an author!