With me today is the wonderful Laurisa White Reyes, author of the middle grade fantasy, THE ROCK OF IVANORE. Here is the description from Amazon:
The annual Great Quest is about to be announced in Quendel, a task that will determine the future of Marcus and the other boys from the village who are coming of age. The wizard Zyll commands them to find the Rock of Ivanore, but he doesn’t tell them what the Rock is exactly or where it can be found. Marcus must reach deep within himself to develop new powers of magic and find the strength to survive the wild lands and fierce enemies he encounters as he searches for the illusive Rock. If he succeeds, he will live a life of honor; if he fails, he will live a life of menial labor in shame. With more twists and turns than a labyrinth, and a story in which nothing is at it seems, this tale of deception and discovery keeps readers in suspense until the end.
Middle readers will find that The Rock of Ivanore fits nicely among the traditional fantasies they so enjoy. They will also appreciate its fresh and inventive take on the genre.
1. Where did the idea for Rock of Ivanore come from?
When my now 15-year-old son was 8, I read to him every night. One night he asked me to make up a story instead. Every night he would tell me what he wanted to hear, which usually involved dragons, magic or sword fighting. Eventually I started writing the story down and ended up with a rough draft of the novel.
2. I know you've had quite the journey to publication, care to fill in our readers?
I spent thirteen years writing for magazines and newspapers, but all my life I dreamed of writing novels. When I finally decided to live that dream, I quit the periodicals cold turkey and wrote my first book, which was really awful. But my second book was The Rock of Ivanore. Like many brand new writers, I thought I had written the greatest book ever. I sent it out to 50 publishers (that was before e-subs) and waited. And waited. I received more than 40 rejections over the course of two years. Naturally I got pretty discouraged, but then one day out of the blue I received an email from Tanglewood Press asking if my book was still available. Of course I said yes! Then it was another three years before it was actually published. From the time I wrote the first word to the day it hit the shelves was five years and eleven months.
3. Who is your favorite character - yes I'm making you choose - and why?
That is hard to say. I like them all since they are all, in some sense, a part of me. But I really fell in love with Jayson, the adult in the story. He is half human and half Agoran (a feline-type race). Long before the book begins he fell in love with a human and was exiled for it. I actually have written rather hefty novel about him called The Crystal Keeper, but I haven't found a publisher for it yet.
4. I hope you do! The sequel to this book is slated to be released in November 2013. Can you tell us a little about that?
Lord Fredric is dead.
Months have passed since Marcus and Kelvin succeeded in their quest to find the Rock of Ivanore. Now Kelvin is in Dokur living a life of luxury, Jayson is preparing to bring the Agorans back to their homelands, 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. Dokur, however, has worse troubles. An Agoran rebel has killed several of Kelvin’s guards and has set one of his ships on fire. In response, Kelvin refuses to allow the Agorans to return to their lands, a decision that may result in civil war. To make matters worse, someone is trying to kill Marcus.
Plagued by pain caused by bringing Kelvin back from the dead, Marcus vows not to use magic again. But dark forces are at work in Dokur and Marcus must make a choice: protect himself or save his friends. With the help of Clovis, Bryn, and Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.
5. Sounds amazing! What's been the best part of publishing THE ROCK OF IVANORE?
Visiting schools. Three things I've always enjoyed doing are writing, public speaking and teaching. Authoring a children's book allows me to do all three on a regular basis. I love talking with students about books and about living their dreams. I try to encourage them to never give up on their dreams even when challenges arise. I call this "finding your magic."
I love that! Thank you so much, Laurisa for stopping in.