Give a big welcome to fantasy novelist Laurisa Reyes, who has come to the Tales of Goldstone Wood blog for an exclusive interview AND a giveaway! I'm excited to feature her and her developing series. First, a little about the authoress herself:
LAURISA REYES is the author of The Celestine Chronicles, a fantasy adventure series for middle grade readers, and is an editor with Hamilton Springs Publishing. She has a B.A. in English/creative writing and is currently pursuing her graduate degree. She has two as yet unfulfilled dreams: to own her own bookstore and star in a Broadway musical. She lives in sunny Southern California with her hubby of 20 years, their 5 children, 6 fish, 4 birds, 2 desert tortoises, 2 bearded dragons, 1 dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Here is the description of her upcoming release, Book 2 in the Celestine Chronicles:
Months have passed since Marcus and Kelvin succeeded in their quest to find
the Rock of Ivanore. Kelvin is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is
studying magic with Zyll. When Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, Zyll
and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same
fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus
has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends
Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her
mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his
mind telling us a little about yourself? Hobbies, personality . . . tea or
actually keep quite busy. People are always shocked when I tell them I am a
full-time mom of five kids aged 5 to 19 years. I’m often asked how I have time
to write. I still don’t know that answer to that, but I do make time every day.
In addition to writing, I am also a creative writing instructor at a local community
education center, I’m attending grad school, and I’m an editor with Hamilton
Springs Press. This is on top of all the blogging, school visits, book
signings, and marketing I do.
What led you
into the writing life? Were you always a storyteller?
was born a storyteller. I wrote my first poem when I was about six and have
spent my whole life writing. I was really inspired by my dad who is the best
storyteller I know. I got my B.A. in creative writing after which I wrote for
magazines and newspapers for more than a decade, but I had always dreamed of
writing fiction. My dream came true with The Rock of Ivanore.
Tell us a little
about your first novel, The Rock of Ivanore. What led you to write this book?
Rock of Ivanore is a middle grade high fantasy adventure. Deseret News called
it “Lord of the Rings for kids.” In the story, Marcus is an enchanter’s
apprentice just can’t get his magic right. Every time he tries to cast a spell,
it backfires. His master, Zyll, gives him a gift that helps him hone his skills
and gain the self-assurance he needs to succeed in his quest, which is to find
the Rock of Ivanore.
After spending more than a decade writing for
magazines and newspapers, I decided it was finally time to live my dream and
write novels. My oldest son was eight years old at the time and I would tell
him bedtime stories. One story was about an enchanter’s apprentice who bungled
his magic spells. Each night my son would tell me what he wanted to hear, be it
dragons or battles or magic, and I would weave those elements into the story.
Eventually I started writing it down. That was six years ago.
I see that the
second book in the Celestine Chronicles, The Last Enchanter, is scheduled to release this October. Does it pick up where
The Rock of Ivanore leaves off, or is
it a completely new adventure?
Last Enchanter is book 2 in The Celestine Chronicles. Months have passed since Marcus
and Kelvin succeeded in their quest to find the Rock of Ivanore. Kelvin is
living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When
Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in
hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly
becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing
visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn,
joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus
uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.
Can you pick a
favorite character from your series?
Laurisa: I asked my kids that question and they all had
different answers. My daughter likes Xerxes, the enchanted walking stick. He
has attitude. My son likes Bryn, the shape-shifting Groc who wishes he was
human. I am particularly fond of Marcus because I see so much of myself in him.
He starts out doubting himself and his abilities, but when faced with difficult
situations, he reaches deep within himself to find the courage and skills he
needs to succeed. I avoided writing novels for many years because I didn’t
think I was good enough. It wasn’t until I finally committed myself to it that
I was able become the writer I always wanted to be.
your work? Where do you turn when you need a renewal of inspiration?
kids are my biggest inspiration. I write for them. They are also my biggest
fans, so when I need a boost I just collect all my hugs and kisses from them.
What are your
favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?
a tough question. I love every step of the process from conceiving the very
first ideas for a story, to creating an outline and summary, to writing the
first draft. The most challenging part is revising, which requires reading a
manuscript many times over and over again, and picking apart every paragraph
and sentence. It is tedious, but I love the end results – a polished book.
If you were
forced to pick a single favorite author, who would it be?
That’s not fair! I can’t pick just one. And it would really depend on the
genre. My favorite middle grade author is probably a toss up between Lois Lowry
and Jerry Spinelli. My favorite young adult author, though, is a tie between
Neal Shusterman, Megan Miranda and Marissa Meyer, but my choices change every
time I pick up a new book.
So what is next
on your publishing horizons? Can we look forward to more in the Celestine
am writing book 3 in the series, The Seer of the Guilde, which is tentatively
slated for 2015. But in the meantime, I amlooking for an agent to help me publish my first young adult thriller
called Contact. I’m also writing a young adult science fiction/horror novel.
But the most exciting prospect is my prequel to The Rock of Ivanore called The
Crystal Keeper, which chronicles the story of Jayson and Ivanore during
Jayson’s fourteen years of exile. I’m exploring different possibilities for
that book and hope to release it in 2014.
Can you share a
short snippet from The
Laurisa: Sure! I’ll give you the
Fredric, ruler of Dokur, stared out his window
toward the sea. The sounds of the cutting and hammering of wood and of men
shouting came to him on a crisp salty breeze. Below in the bay, Dokur’s navy
was busy rebuilding their ships. Eight months earlier Fredric’s own son had led
their enemies to these very shores, and Dokur had nearly fallen by their
swords. But soon these ships would set sail for the mainland and take revenge
on the Hestorians.
Fredric heard the door
open behind him. The gentle clinking of crystal against silver was the only
introduction the visitor needed.
it time already?” Fredric asked without turning. “I would like a little wine to
soothe my nerves before bed.”
filled a goblet and handed it to his lord with a slight bow. Fredric downed the
contents, and then returned the empty goblet.
“I fear I have grown
too old for battle,” said Fredric, crossing the room to his bed. “These eyes
have witnessed too much bloodshed, too much suffering.”
held out his arms while the attendant removed his royal robe and replaced it
with a linen nightshirt. Once Fredric was dressed, Arnot went to the bed and
pulled back the covers. “Your bed is prepared, your Majesty.”
rested his hands on the edge of the mattress. “My stomach,” he said. “It
bothers me so.”
you should rest, sire,” replied Arnot.
rubbed his stomach and then raised his hand to his forehead where beads of
sweat had formed. “I am not well tonight,” he continued, sighing. “But such is
to be expected at my age.”
Fredric clenched his teeth together and his hands balled into fists against the
mattress. He groaned as his entire body began to shake. Fredric grabbed the
quilt in both fists and pulled with such force the fabric tore. A moment later
he dropped to his knees, gasping for air.
am in pain,” he cried. “Fetch my doctor!”
remained where he stood and stared at Fredric with cold eyes.
called Fredric, reaching for the attendant with both hands. “Please help me!”
faint smile appeared on Arnot’s lips—so faint Fredric wondered if his eyes were
playing tricks on him. When the attendant finally crossed the room to the door,
Fredric felt relieved that help would be found. He lay down on the floor, too
weak now to lift himself into the bed.
my doctor to hurry,” he whispered. “Tell him I am very ill.”
looked back at Fredric. The smile on his lips was now unmistakable, and there
was a look of pleasure in his face.
are not ill,” he said coolly. “You have been poisoned.”
Arnot slipped through the door, shutting it quietly and securely behind him.
What a wonderful glimpse into this new world! I hope you are all eager to pick up The Celestine Chronicles now.
And you can, because Laurisa is kindly offering a print copy of THE ROCK OF IVANORE to a lucky winner! Be certain to enter your name below . . . and to thank Laurisa for visiting with us today. I love learning about new worlds, don't you?
I'd already had this marked to-read on my goodreads. It sounds so exciting!
Will you always write fantasy or would you ever expand into another genre (like contemporary)?
Fantasy is my fave, I'm just curious :)
Gah. So many books, so little time! *adds to list of books-to-read-later* Definitely never doing such a long summer reading list ever again.
A question: do you believe in writer's block? And if you do, what's your best advice for defeating it?
I love the sound of this book! It is just the sort of story I enjoy:)
A question for you: What Broadway play would you like most to star in?
Oh. My. Goodness.
How do you think up these things?
What inspires you to write a certain scene?
Music has normally been my key, but I like to see what another's taste is. :)
This series sounds very interesting. Is it available in an audio format? Your villain sounds really intriguing as does your other characters. Thank you and God bless.
Hi Everyone! Thanks for having me as your guest, Anne. So many great questions. I'll try to answer them all.
First,I do write in many genres. I am currently searching for an agent with a YA thriller with a paranormal twist called CONTACT, an action-packed murder mystery. I also write historical and am almost done with my first sci-fi novle.
Writer's block - I've never had it. Every time I sit at the computer I write whatever comes to me. After the first sentence, thoughts just flow. The secret to avoiding WB is just to write.
Broad way shows - My favorites are Evita and Les Miserables, but I'm too old now for those. I'd love to play Rose in Gypsy.
Inspiration - I start with the whole story in my head, then I write down a detailed outline. So when I start writing a scene, I pretty much know what I need to write, but then again, sometimes the characters and the story take me by surprise.
And unfortunately it is not available in audio - yet. But I'm working on it!
Rice or noodles? Thanks for coming.
Oooh, I always love finding more books for my too-read list! :)
Question: For what ages would you recommend this book? I'm never sure about the division between middle-grade and YA . . . I only ask because I have a little brother who reads ferociously (like myself . . .)
Awesome to meet another fantasy author! My to-read list keeps growing!
I have always loved the idea of a bookstore, and when I'm rich I've got some awesome plans for one. ;-) But with all the change within the industry/economy, how do you foresee your dream coming to realization?
Looks like a good book! Can't wait to get my hands on a copy.
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