In today's Author Spotlight, I had the distinct pleasure to meet the wonderful and fantastical, award winning author Charity Marie. She discusses her new novel, Jason, Lizzy, and the Ice Dragon, a middle grade fantasy
What is your book about?
After losing her parents in a horrible fire, Abigail finds a magical necklace, and is transformed into a powerful ice dragon. Soon, she realizes her new curse.
Jason and Lizzy are called on by Mother Nature to help Abigail. The only way to end the curse is to find the most powerful wizard of all, who vanished ages ago.
What inspired you to write this book?
There were a lot of inspirations for this book but probably the biggest inspiration was my daughter. She was diagnosed in 2015 with Dyslexia and while we always suspected it, the diagnosis was a blow nonetheless. I wanted to write a story that would give her hope and courage while inspiring her and others. She was also struggling to make friends and being very bullied by others.
Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book?
My favorite character is Abigail. She’s an ice dragon - how cool is that? Probably my least favorite character is Merlin the wizard because he’s a little bit sneaky (but I still like him anyway).
What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?
I fell into this genre a few years ago. I never expected to write children’s literature, let alone an entire series. Nor did I expect to win my first award for children’s literature. There’s been a lot of firsts which keep me going. But most importantly, the readers keep me writing. The feedback I’ve gotten for my work, and the interest has simply been phenomenal. In addition, there’s something very unique about writing for a younger audience. Knowing that I could be writing a book that may change a child’s life and give them a love of reading is something I’m very passionate about as an author.
I do write in other genres and am currently working on a YA novel called How to Adopt a Dragon. It started as a write-off with my husband but I liked the idea so much I decided to make it a book. I’m also working on the third book in Jason and Lizzy’s Legendary Adventures as well as an adult suspense series called The Angel Deveron Series. I like to branch out, try different things in writing, and am constantly challenging myself to do more with my writing.
Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more?
This is part of a series but can be read as a standalone book if you haven’t read the previously published book, Jason, Lizzy, and the Snowman Village. There will be at least four more, the next of which is planned for sometime in 2017. It’s called Jason, Lizzy, and the Luckless Leprechauns. I enjoy coming up with new adventures for Jason and Lizzy and finding new challenges for them to overcome. Who knows, maybe the series will go beyond six books but at this point that’s all I have planned.
Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself?
Believe it or not, writing was simply an evolution for me. I look back on my life and can see how each step built the foundation for my career as a writer. It started with a retired teacher who offered to tutor me one day. I had failed kindergarten and was in danger of being held back again before she stepped in and helped me with the foundational learning I needed. That was a priceless gift that I’m still talking about years later.
When I was a freshman in high school, my English teacher assigned us a writing prompt. The assignment was for 1 page but I wrote 14. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Reading also inspired me. Stephen King is probably the first author to make me think I’d like to write a book. Terry Brooks inspired a love of fantasy. Love for my kids inspired me to write for other children.
Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel?
I have to name just one? Geez, that’s almost impossible. I would have to say Lord of the Rings (but even that’s a trilogy so I’m still kind of cheating).
Have you written other books we should know about?
It won the Reader’s Favorite Award in 2013 for children’s literature, beating 10 other books from around the world. I was utterly stunned that I won (and still am). The book is going to be re-released this winter with an updated cover to match the branding direction the series is going in. I made the tragic mistake of choosing a last name that was too difficult for my young readers to remember or spell and have changed my author name to Charity Marie to make it easier. I had a lot of children asking me how to spell and say my name, which I never considered.
If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be?
Know that you can’t please everyone with your work. Some people will love it, some will only like it, some will disagree with it, and many will ignore it. But as long as you’re writing for yourself first and are writing truth as you see it, you really can’t go wrong and will produce quality work.
Where can we find your book?
You can also order an autographed copy here: http://www.charitymarie.com/jason-lizzy-and-the-ice-dragon/
Where can we find out more about you?