Kenneth, could you tell us a little bit
We are avid believers in the power of magic. “Magic keeps you young at heart".
Donna is from Waynesburg, PA. She is an ABD Ph.D., who majored in natural resources and environmental studies at the University of New Hampshire. Donna is a ten-year veteran of the Coast Guard. She has taught forestry and environmental science and has private tutored a wide range of subjects. "My life has been quite the adventure and there are many pages yet to be written."
Ken is from Fort Worth, Texas. He is a computer science specialist; who worked for many years as a consultant and taught business accounting systems. Ken is now employed in the book trade. He brings home so many books, that we may need to move to a bigger apartment soon.
Ken and Donna live happily together in a small apartment in Manchester, NH. We read a great deal, mostly fantasy and science fiction. Now, we'd like to share some of our stories.
Who has inspired you as an author?
My husband Ken is my muse. One day he said: Why don't you write a book. So we did - together. Now, I can't stop! It's like I was meant to do this all my life and never knew.
Describe your writing in three words.
"Holy Bingledorfs - Uberfantastical!"
Can you please tell us about your book 'Bracken And The Crystal Cave' and why you wrote it?
First, here is a brief synopsis of Bracken and the Crystal Cave:
In the wilds of West Virginia is a magic portal, hidden deep beneath a mountain in a crystal cave. Adventure with Drew (a daring teenager) and Bracken (a gnome with a serious problem), as they pass through the crystal henge to confront the evil druid, Dareg. But Upper-Earth is a savage and untamed place, home to the races of fairy, a magic realm filled with hidden dangers. Drew is nearly drowned by a watershee, survives a dragon attack in the gnome cave and discovers a cache of magical artifacts - that could prove useful in their conflict with the druid.
I wanted to write a book about a gnome, they seem to be the supporting actors of the fantasy world and rarely get the lead. Then I came up with the idea of a claustrophobic gnome; who ends up being an outcast amongst his clan, due to the fact that he is uncomfortable living underground in their ancestral cave. So Bracken migrates to Middle-Earth through the crystal portal, builds a treehouse and takes up permanent residence. One day, as he is fishing by a waterfall, he is spotted by a couple of teenagers. Drew chases Bracken through the forest and tackles him. After a cursory curmudgeon act of grumpiness on Bracken's part, Drew and his sister Holly become friends with the gnome. But soon Drew and Holly's grandparents are attacked by a gleaner. They are cast into the shadow realm of deep sleep and cannot be awakened. That's when the adventure really takes off, as Bracken travels back to Upper-Earth, tracking the gleaner and Drew follows him. At the root of all this trouble is an evil druid, Dareg; whose plans for Middle-Earth are not good!
My husband and I were both teachers, we specifically designed Bracken and the Crystal Cave to appeal to readers with short attention spans - perhaps people who have some difficulty reading. The Gnome Chronicle books have short chapters, interesting characters, witty dialogue and lots of action to keep the reader interested. But do not be deceived - these books are well researched. The vocabulary is advanced and diverse enough to interest adults, as well as children.
What activities do you do offline to market your book?
We have employed a number of marketing strategies thus far and are devising more daily. Here are a few of our marketing activities:
- Online interviews, like Linda Weaver Clarke's new author site, which allows you a chance to win a free book.
- Author signings at local bookstores
- Promotional pins with a picture of Bracken and the name of our books
- Press releases to newspapers
- Online advertising via Google
- Author Website with samples of our books and rave reviews
- We created digital books ( Pubit and Smashwords)
- Facebook and other online links and blog ads
- We also subscribe to John Kremer's book marketing newsletter, it has amazing tips for marketing your books.
Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
My husband Ken and I have many favorite authors - to name a few: Terry Pratchett, Eoin Colfer, Brandon Mull and Cornelia Funke. Right now we are reading The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan.
What projects are you currently working on that you’d like to share?
Ken and I are currently writing the third book of The Gnome Chronicles: The Hidden Realm. It will be set in Ireland. At least half of it, as that is where Drew and Holly's parents are spending the summer. Someone is about to disappear in the mists of the enchanted Isle. This book, like The Dragons of Middle Earth, will include eye-catching chapter graphics to further draw in the reader's attention and help bring the colorful characters to life.
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