Book 4 release!!!

Announcing:
THE ILLUMINATED KINGDOM
The Final Voyage of the Legend

Coming November 3, 2017!!!

“…[an] astounding, imaginative world…”
-Readers’ Favorite

The Vestigia Roi has risen up to retake their home island of Rhynlyr, but all Ellie can think about is rescuing her missing brother, Connor. Guided by a dream of Connor’s whereabouts, Ellie disobeys the Council’s orders and stows away aboard the Legend. But a simple rescue mission quickly goes wrong as Ellie and her friends confront new monsters and old enemies. The crewmembers of the Legend soon find themselves waging a last, desperate battle to save not just Connor or Rhynlyr, but their entire world. As the One Kingdom hangs in the balance, Ellie and the Vestigia Roi must ultimately decide what they are fighting for—and how much they are willing to sacrifice for it.

After more than nine years of writing this series, the fourth and FINAL book in The Voyages of the Legend series is almost ready for you to read!!! And I’m so excited to share it with you!

Here’s what you can do to be part of this exciting launch:

1. Hop on Amazon.com on November 3rd and get your copy of THE ILLUMINATED KINGDOM! (It would be an extra bonus if you’d leave a review!!)

2: Stop by the launch party on November 18th for a signed copy! The party is at 2 PM at the Santa Clara Books Inc. There will be a reading, Q&A time, and of course lots of books! I’d love to see you there!

3. Spread the word about the book release! It takes lots of voices to create a successful book launch. So if you’re excited about this book, tweet it out or tell a friend!

I’m so excited to share this series finale with you!!!

The #DearMe Challenge

International Women’s Day was last Sunday. So YouTube posted a challenge to women: create a video with the hashtag #DearMe and send a message to your younger self. 

I love this idea. I wish I could go back in time and give some encouragement to 13-year-old Alina (and other 13-year-olds on the hard road to growing up). So I’m taking up the #DearMe challenge.

BUT:

1. I don’t think #DearMe should only be for girls. 13-year-old boys need encouragement too.

2. I prefer writing to talking, so I’m posting a letter instead of making a video.

 

 

Dear 13-year-old Alina: 

This is your future self. You will like being 27 much more than you like being 13. I promise.

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It’s okay to be weird and nerdy as long as you’re being yourself. Soon you will begin to find weird and nerdy friends, and it’s really fun when you can be yourselves together.

Thirteen is the bottom of the barrel. Life only gets better after this.

Write! Keep writing! You’re not crazy! You have a gift! Someday your dreams really will come true: you will really will be an award-winning author, host your own signings, see your books in bookstores, and be shelved between J.K. Rowling and J.R.R. Tolkien. Don’t give up!

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Being alone is hard, but it means you will have awareness and compassion for lonely people for the rest of your life.

Your pain is going to sprout wings—it will fuel your quest to find hope and bring others hope.

Your feelings are real. It’s okay to feel them and express them. Take the time you need to feel things. Just know that the darkness will pass in time. Learn what makes you relaxed and happy, and take time to be good to yourself. Learn to value your own well-being. You are God’s beloved creation and his image-bearer. You’re worth it.

You are about to meet some people who will be your friends for life. They will be awesome and inspiring and supportive. You will never be this alone again.

Experiment (within safe boundaries). You don’t have to be Perfect Girl. In fact, she’s way overrated.

The people who leave you out, tease you, or ignore you? The oblivious boys and the mean girls in the cool cliques? They’ll pass. They don’t represent the whole world. Give it time, and you’ll discover a much bigger world full of people who are much more worth knowing.

God likes it when you ask questions. Truth doesn’t fear investigation.

I wish I could tell you not to worry so much about pleasing other people—peers, your mom, adults, strangers—even people who don’t notice you or whom you don’t even like. But I’m still working hard at that lesson today. Instead, I guess I’d just tell you to balance care for others with care for your own well-being. Other people matter. You have a keen sense for their needs, and that’s a gift. But you matter too. Read this book: it will help.

That annoying little brother of yours will one day be your best friend 🙂

Don’t wait until your 20s to read Fahrenheit 451. You’re going to love it.

Don’t let bullies walk all over you. Stand up to them, and they’ll respect your boundaries.

Wear orange sometimes—it’s fun!

Be kind and open to people who think differently from you. Everyone has a story.

You don’t have to (and can’t) be anyone else. You’re unique. That’s magnetic. Love who you are, and other people will too.

Hang in there,

Your future self

 

Dear readers: what advice would you give to your younger self? Leave a comment!

Inside Creative Minds: A.R. Silverberry, Author

With Memorial Day behind us and summer around the corner, it’s time for something new on this blog. Which is why I’m launching a summer series, taking us “Inside Creative Minds.” Interviews with writers, artists, and other creatives will give us a peek inside their lives and creative habits.

Our first guest is novelist A. R. Silverberry. We became book friends after swapping titles at California Bookstore Day.

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Photo credit: Amalia Hillmann

Welcome, A. R. Silverberry! So tell us–how did you first fall in love with writing?

Well, I’m in love with other people’s writing! I’m pretty hard on my own. What I love is the creative process, discovering things I never planned or anticipated, discovering connections that were completely unconscious on my part. I especially love when a character steps on stage and announces herself, fully born. All I have to do is get out of the way and let her speak! Other characters, I have to really work at to know, and I better pray they aren’t main characters or I’m in for a tough time. I love writing the first draft. I don’t love writing the final draft. By that point, I’m aware of what I call my Waterloo chapters, those spots where I just can’t complete things to my satisfaction. Ironically, it may be a single sentence that’s hanging me up.

Do you hear that scream? It’s my wife after I’ve asked her for six months straight which permutation of a passage she prefers!

 

What are some of your favorite books to read?

A Tale of Two Cities, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lacuna, and all things Tolkien. I grew up on fairy tales, myths, and the Oz books. Nowadays, for pure fun, I read Dean Koontz.

 

You publish both paper books and e-books. As an avid reader yourself, which medium do you prefer and why? 

I had the good fortune to go into a Shakespeare museum and got to look at a book written in 1606. Imagine! Shakespeare could have touched the same book! Physical books are an art form. As long as there are people, art won’t die, and neither will physical books. I’ll always prefer them. How do you cozy up to an e-reader? But darn if those e-books aren’t kind on old eyes. I love that I can enlarge the font, look up words I don’t know, and most surprising, my reading speed increased.

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You can’t get a signed e-book…

What are your two novels, Wyndano’s Cloak and The Stream, about? Are they related? 

They’re unrelated. Wyndano’s Cloak is a fantasy adventure for children. The Stream is tale for adults, in the same genre as Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Wyndano’s Cloak in one word: Empowerment. More specifically, girl power, though the message to believe in your inner gifts applies to all, young and old alike.

I asked one of my beta readers what she thought The Stream was about. She replied, “Good heavens, what is it not about?!” Here’s the best I can do:

What if your world was six miles wide and endlessly long?

After a devastating storm kills his parents, five-year-old Wend awakens to the strange world of the Stream. He discovers he can only travel downstream, and dangers lurk at every turn: deadly rapids, ruthless pirates, a mysterious pavilion that lures him into intoxicating fantasies, and rumor of a giant waterfall at the edge of the world. Defenseless, alone, with only courage and his will to survive, Wend begins his quest to become a man. Will tragic loss trap him in a shadow world, or will he enter the Stream, with all its passion and peril?

Part coming-of-age tale, part adventure, part spiritual journey, The Stream is a fable about life, impermanence, and the gifts found in each moment.

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Wow! Two powerful books, quite different from each other. So who or what inspires your writing?

Ideas tumble into my mind from every conceivable corner. Take The Stream, for instance. The initial impetus was a conversation I was having, where I used the metaphor of a stream. I kept thinking about that metaphor. In a few hours, the character of a small boy, alone, defenseless, trying to understand the ways of the world, popped into my mind. I saw images of him confronting the challenges we all face in life: love, loss, pain, losing your way. The next morning, I put aside the novel I was working on (it wasn’t working anyway), and started writing. It pretty much tumbled out of me and didn’t let go until it was done.

 

What appeals to you about fantasy stories?

The unique thing about fantasy as a genre is that it’s not limited by the laws of physics. Anything can happen. Magic exists. Unexpected things can and do occur. Conflicts are painted in bold, broad strokes. The hero or heroine is up against unspeakable power, power beyond human ken. If they can triumph over that, I can triumph over the foibles of my life.

 

What’s one piece of advice you would give to aspiring writers?

Be wary of advice, except mine of course! And here it is: read a lot; write a lot; learn the craft, but don’t be a slave to it; and break the “rules” if it helps the story. Don’t try to write like anyone else. There is only one you. Let the beautiful voice inside you sing.

 

Do you have another job? How do you balance it with writing?

I’m a psychologist, working primarily with children and adolescents, though I see adults too. I try to write every morning while my mind is clear and closer to the dream world. I wrote Wyndano’s Cloak while commuting on Cal Train! It worked out great. The sound of the train triggered me into writing mode. I wrote three hours a day, five days a week. Between the train and work, I walked for twenty minutes, taking notes about snippets of dialogue or description. The biggest loss to my writing was when we moved away from that train! I have to drive now, but I’m listening to a lot of audio books!

 

Are you working on a new book now? Can you tell us anything about it?

I never reveal the plot of anything until I’m ready to release it, but I’ll say this: It’s a dystopic young adult sci-fi fantasy trilogy. Say that five times as fast as you can!

 

Thank you for joining us! It’s been a pleasure! 

A. R. Silverberry will be answering questions in the comments today, so ask away! Check out Wyndano’s Cloak and newly released The Stream on Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Peter Adler

 

About A. R. Silverberry:

A. R. Silverberry writes fiction for adults and children. His novel, WYNDANO’S CLOAK, won multiple awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Award gold medal for Juvenile/Young Adult Fiction. He lives in California, where the majestic coastline, trees, and mountains inspire his writing. THE STREAM is his second novel. Visit his website or connect with him on Facebook or Twitter!

Independent Bookstores: Village House of Books

Today we continue our Independent Bookstores blog series at Village House of Books in Los Gatos, CA. I had the pleasure of interviewing owners Steve and Cheryl Hare, the warmest and most down-to-earth bookworms you could imagine.

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This new bookstore just opened its doors on August 17, 2013, but it already has a romantic history–Steve and Cheryl signed the building lease just 8 days before their wedding and ordered books on their honeymoon. Together these book lovers have created an inviting space in artsy, community-oriented Los Gatos.

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Located in a building that’s previously been a hair salon, a yarn store, a guitar hospital, and a yoga wear shop, Village House of Books has a cozy, relaxing feel. Yellow walls, vintage furniture, and thoughtful accents like curtains and chandeliers make it feel like home. And that’s not even mentioning the books.

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Steve and Cheryl say they’ve chosen a lot of the books for their colorful covers as well as their content. They take customer suggestions for which books to stock and special-order books if they don’t have the title in the store. Many of the books are creatively displayed face-out, so it’s easy to meet new books without looking very hard. The staff works closely with local authors in every genre, hosting readings, book clubs, and signings nearly every week.

I even recognized one of the local author books! Lit Knits by my talented friend Audry Nicklin looked quite at home in the nonfiction section.

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Cheryl says her favorite section is the children’s nook, and I have to agree. A wall painting of the Cat in the Hat, a vintage bed window seat, and a fuzzy array of stuffed animals made me want to move in.

So…I did.

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To my delight, The Illuminator’s Gift is now at home in this very section! You can drop by for a copy anytime. But for some extra fun, stop in on Saturday, May 3rd…it’s California Bookstore Day!

On May 3rd, independent bookstores across the state will be flinging their doors open for book lovers to unite! To celebrate, Village House of Books will be hosting about a dozen local authors of all genres…

…and yours truly will be representing the kids’ section!

Come between 10 and 12 in the morning to visit cover illustrator Amalia Hillmann and me! There will be a book signing, a chance to check out TIG’s original cover artwork, and balloons and storytime for the kids. It will be a great day to meet a variety of local authors and book lovers as well as support a beautiful independent bookstore.

I hope to see you at Village House of Books on May 3rd! 

 

Book Family

One of the things I didn’t realize I’d get when I wrote a book was a book family.

I thought writing a book was about sitting alone for hours and hours, documenting your thoughts and ideas, and sending them out to other people. Like a one-way letter to the world.

What I didn’t realize was that others would write back.

The Illuminator’s Gift is connecting me with all sorts of people: friends and strangers, children and adults, people who are like me and people who are different. As they read, the story becomes theirs. The ideas no longer belong to just me.

It’s the best thing ever.

DSC07038I’ve gotten to meet dozens of kids in schools. Some of them have written me letters with questions about the book that I’d never thought of before.

 

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One girl even wrote a book report. I think her summary of the story was better than mine.

 

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One precious boy had The Illuminator’s Gift read aloud to him because he can’t see the black-and-white letters on the page. He catalogued his reading time in Braille, a language of dots that I don’t yet know how to read.

 

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And I’m not the only storyteller out there. Two anonymous writers sent me prequel and sequel chapters to The Illuminator’s Gift. Maybe I should take a leaf from their book. So to speak.

 

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Maybe the most fun, though, is the e-mail correspondence I get to do with people I’ve never even met. As a kid, I was too shy to write to my favorite authors (even the ones who were still alive). I didn’t want to bother them or take up their time. Now I see that not only was I missing out on the fun of a correspondence–I might have made their day. I wish I’d been as brave as the kids who write to me now.

I thought writing a book was something I would start, then finish. That once it was published, the journey would be complete.

I couldn’t have been further from the truth. The journey is just beginning. What was once a one-way letter is now a two-way conversation.

I am blessed by a book family, bound together by words and pages.

The Lucky 7 Meme

Welcome to the Lucky 7 Meme! This is a bit of Monday fun where writers get to read and share bits of their unpublished work. This game was passed on to me by my witty friend Laird Sapir. Thanks, Laird! 

Lucky 7 Meme



The rules:
1. Go to page 77 of your current manuscript/work-in-progress (or page 7 if you don’t have 77)
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.
4. Tag 7 authors, and let them know.

So here’s a sneak peek at my work-in-progress, a middle grades (ages 9-12) fantasy novel. It’s definitely still under construction…

Captain Daevin looked at them all and sighed. “I suppose we’ll start from the beginning.” He straightened his shoulders and raised his voice.

“All right! When I say salute, this is what I want to see!” He snapped his booted heels together. Then he tapped two fingers of his right hand to his left shoulder and flicked them crisply to his forehead. “I want two straight lines! Salute!”

In confusion, the children shuffled into two lines. Jude gently scooted Ellie a bit to the left. She tried to imitate the gesture Captain Daevin had performed.

“Not good enough!” barked the captain. “This is a military ship now! We must have discipline!”

They tried the salute nearly fifteen times before the captain would accept it as “good enough.” Then he brought out a crate and thunked it down on the floor before them.

“You are soldiers now! Our Enemy will not spare you because you are children. You must learn to fight back.” His eyes gleamed. “It is time to choose your weapons.”

The crate was only half-full and many of the things inside looked old and rusty. Broken pieces were scattered on the bottom. But Connor instantly dove in and pulled up a shiny metal object; a series of four rings with sharp points on them. He slipped them on his hand, where they gleamed like tiger claws. 

And now to choose the next Lucky 7!