A very warm welcome to a brand-new, fellow first-time published author, Colleen Chesebro, who has lived her dream by publishing her first book.
Over to you, Colleen…
What’s the name of the book?
The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy
What inspired you to write it?
At the time, we lived north of Pensacola, Florida in a rural area where most mornings, I walked along a country road for exercise. One foggy November morning, I saw something in the bushes at the side of the road next to the swamp that I will never forget.
I thought I saw a ruby-throated hummingbird, but as I peered inside the bushes, I I was bearing witness to a magical event. It was something else entirely. I saw a tiny green being which I now believe was a swamp fairy.
The vision didn’t last long, and I was paralyzed and rooted to the spot. I couldn’t move. Later, I would find out that I had been enchanted and had received the gift of “fairy vision.” The swamp fairy had ignited my imagination.
After that, there was no stopping me. I started to write short stories about the swamp fairies. Then, the dreams started. Slowly a story began to form in my mind as if I was channeling the stories from the nymphs. I knew I was a fairy whisperer because they wanted me to tell their stories.
How long did it take you to write it?
I’ve been writing this book for over two years.
Tell us a little about the story and the characters.
I used the classic “hero’s journey,” to tell Abby’s story. Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.
Abby holds onto the only piece of her mother she has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession. It is here with her aunt that she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.
But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land. As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, Blake, and Cash, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.
Who do you think the book will appeal to?
I’ve written this novel to appeal to tweens, teens, and anyone who loves tales of magic. Each of my novels deals with the environment and real life concerns of climate change. I hope I inspire some young people into tackling the ecological problems they will eventually inherit.
The novel centers on two main themes. The first issue Abby deals with is how to become part of a family and to understand the responsibilities of her family heritage. I also added one of the most pressing ecological concerns of the day, the loss of our natural wetlands by human encroachment. My hope is to inspire young people to become scientists so they can solve these environmental issues.
However, I tried to touch on issues that affect kids today like, bullying, prejudice, and trying to fit in when you know you are not like anyone else. These are concerns that all young people have. I hope the message teens get is that it is all right to be different.
Do you have any plans for a follow-up book?
Yes. The second book in the series is called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Meadow Fairy.”
The story continues as Abigale Forester journeys from Blackberry Ridge, Florida to Bent Grass, Colorado when her Aunt Magnolia accepts a job as a researcher working for an author who specializes in writing about myths and paranormal activity.
Abby, along with her deceased mother’s most sacred possession, a calcite pendant, continues her legacy as a Fairy Whisperer to the primordial fairy nymphs who inhabit unique places scattered about the world.
In Colorado, Abby meets two young friends, Crosby, and Landon Miller, who along with their family are beekeepers on a small farm under the shadow of Pike’s Peak. Abby is summoned by a primeval nymph who asks her to resolve the secret of why the bee population is disappearing from the prairie meadows.
With the help of Nate Bannock, a Native American Ute rancher, Abby learns the astonishing truths behind the decimation of the bee population.
Does Abby have what it takes to save the bees and the Meliae Meadow Nymphs before it is too late?
Where can people buy the book?
I also had IreneDesign2011 make a replica of the calcite pendant that Abby wears in the book. The images of the necklace and where readers can purchase it from can be found by clicking the link below.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off my whole life. I wrote short stories when I was in grade school. I have always been a voracious reader, so writing came easily to me. The first thing I ever wrote that was “published,” was when I served in the U. S. Air Force. I worked for the Chaplains and compiled a yearly history of events at the Chapel on the base where I served. I was only eighteen years old. Every job I have ever had included writing of some sort. It was only when I retired a couple years ago, that I began to dabble again in fiction and to resurrect my love of poetry.
Where do your ideas for your stories come from?
I am an empathic writer. I dream much of what I write. These dreams lead me in a direction in my poetry and stories. I suppose it is my subconscious hard at work. Whatever it is, it works. I am also inspired by music and nature.
When and where (and how often) do you write?
I write daily, sometimes up to six hours a day. I have a place set up that I call my “creative room.” My two Pomeranians, Sugar, and Spice, join me as I pound away on the keyboard for hours.
What do you think the future holds for you and your books, or what plans do have for future books?
I plan on a three book series for the Heart Stone Chronicles. I am currently working on the second book, and I would like to publish a book of Tanka poetry this year with pictures from around the area of Colorado I live in.
What three pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to write and publish a book?
I would have to say the best advice is to never stop writing and creating, keep learning how to write and find trusted mentors that will help you on your journey.
Connect with Colleen at the following sites:
Facebook: Colleen Chesebro – Fairy Whisperer
Pinterest: Colleen Chesebro – Fairy Whisperer
Google +: Colleen Chesebro
Amazon Author Page: Colleen M. Chesebro
Do you have any questions for Colleen? Please leave them in the comments section and she’ll get back to you.
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