Ever since Vaeleren was little, she’s always wanted to be a hero and have books written about her just like her great-grandfather. She knows in her heart that she’s destined for greatness, especially since she’s been able to create illusions from a young age. The only problem is her father, Aldric, has always been content with his sedentary life and never lets Vaeleren venture too far from home…
Until a malicious stranger comes to town and her life is changed forever. Finding her father cursed by powerful magic, Vaeleren knows what she has to do: travel with her father in search of a cure while using her powers to mask his curse. She can finally be the hero she’s always wanted to be.
Vaeleren will soon learn, however, that things are not always what they seem and what she wants will come at a cost she might not be willing to pay.
Targeted Age Group:: YA readers age 12 to 14
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
As an avid reader myself and a former bookstore worker, I've spent countless hours reading Fantasy and YA Fantasy titles. I'd always wanted to be an author myself, so I took the leap and committed myself to finishing my first novel. I even went as far as taking a year abroad in New Zealand for inspiration.
On a more personal note, Vaeleren's story is very dear to me. When I was 22 years old I lost my father to suicide. Creating Vaeleren's journey allowed me to process some very heavy feelings. I may not have been able to save my father from his demons, but allowing Vaeleren the opportunity to try provided a much needed sense of catharsis.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
For Vaeleren herself I pulled from several sources for heroines that resonated with me. She shares some similarities with Garth Nix's Sabriel, and Lyra from Philip Pullman's Golden Compass. I also often thought of her like a protagonist of a Miyazaki film.
Other characters have some characteristics of other fictional characters. Nevin, for example, I think of as a cross between Teen Titan's Beast Boy and Sokka from Avatar the Last Airbender.
Just as the fish merchant told her, it was hard to miss. Big, bold letters on a hand-painted sign stated:
Information Goblin Inside
Honest Answers for Inquiring Minds
Vaeleren pushed open the door. A stout, green figure sat behind a wooden counter which protruded from the wall. He had more wrinkles than a crumpled blanket and his ears drooped low to the sides of his face with white hairs poking out of them in every direction. On his face he wore a monocle and a frightful scowl.
“Hi there,” Vaeleren eased out, “I'd like some information, please.”
The goblin looked up at Vaeleren.
“Oh you would, would you? Everybody wants something. You're more polite than the last, but still. Nobody just wants to talk anymore, they always want something. No 'How is your day, Grylop?' or 'Beautiful weather, isn't it?' No, sir. It's always 'I need some information, what can I do to get it as quickly as possible and move on with my life?'” Grylop lamented.
“Alright… um… How's your day, Grylop?” Vaeleren managed.
“Miserable. Terrible. No one appreciates me.”
Vaeleren rolled her eyes. She envisioned this going nowhere, fast.
“Grylop, I'm sure that's not true but I'm in a hurry and I need some questions answered. I have gold.”
“Oh, gold! She has gold!” Grylop shouted, “You think just because I'm a goblin I must love gold, don't you? Like I’m some sort of mindless Goblin-monkey! Of all the things you could have said–frankly, I'm offended.”
“Oh, ease up, Grylop. Uh… here,” Vaeleren responded as she dumped her recently purchased fish head onto Grylop's counter. It rolled out of the cloth and plopped onto his lap. Grylop lowered his eyes at his newly fish-laden lap, then raised them back up to meet Vaeleren's with his lips quivering.
“My… MY FAVORITE!” Grylop exclaimed, “You really do care! How did you know?”
Vaeleren shrugged and snorted out a small laugh.
“Very well. Ask away. Any and all questions answered.”
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