Wednesday, October 19, 2016

*Perfect for Kids!*
"The Wishing World" by Todd Fahnestock!

Hiya guys, happy Wednesday!

We have another tour spotlight for you guys, organized by Roger Charlie.

It's kind of different book than we feature here on DRR - it's a Middle Grade Fantasy! This is a great one to get for your kids/siblings/cousins/anyone who would enjoy it!

We've also got an interview with the author - check it out!

 The Wishing World
~Released: October 25th, 2016

~Length: 224 Pages

~Genres: Middle Grade Fantasy

In the Wishing World, dreams are real. You can transform into your own hero, find wild and whimsical friends, and wield power as great as your imagination. But Lorelei doesn't know about any of that. All she knows is that a monster took her family.

It happened during a camping trip one year ago. Hiding inside the tent, she saw shadows, tentacles and a strange creature. By the time she got up the courage to crawl outside, the monster--and Lorelei's mom, dad, and brother--were gone.

Lorelei is determined to find her family. When she accidentally breaks into the Wishing World, she discovers a way. It's a land more wonderful than she could have imagined, a land of talking griffons, water princesses, and cities made of sand, where Lorelei is a Doolivanti--a wish-maker--who can write her dreams into existence.

There's only one problem: the monster is a Doolivanti, too. What he wishes also comes true, and he's determined to shove Lorelei out, keep her family, and make the whole Wishing World his. To save them, Lorelei must find the courage to face him, or her next wish may be her last.

 About the Author

 Todd Fahnestock
Todd Fahnestock won the New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age Award for one of his short stories, and is the author of the YA bestseller Fairmist as well as The Wishing World. Stories are his passion, but Todd's greatest accomplishment is his quirky, fun-loving family. The Wishing World began as a series of bedtime stories for his children.

1) A generic question to start with, but what led you to becoming an author?

I love to create, and creating a story is one of the more lasting things a person can make. I love flights of imagination, and especially great fantasy books. The real trigger, though, was my parents’ divorce when I was fourteen. During that time, I voraciously read fantasy novels; they were a wonderful escape from the turmoil at home. They enabled me to recharge my batteries and turn a positive outlook to the challenges that came afterwards. As I grew older, I saw just how much those novels were a gift to that young man I was. They helped me bridge the gap between lost child and adventurous adult. That’s magical. I wanted to be able to do that for others. So during an Independent Study class in my senior year of high school, I began writing my first novel.

2) What is your favorite part of writing?

Rough drafting. It feeds me in a way nothing else does. I get euphoric when I make something tangible from my imagination. Of course, I also struggle with rough drafting. I rant about and worry over obstacles that arise, but I love the sense of accomplishment when I find solutions. And it’s a cycle of life for me now; I don’t think I could stop if I tried. If I don’t write for an extended period of time, I get gloomy. This is usually when my wife, Lara, points her finger to my office and tells me I need to go write (yes, she sends me to my room).

3) Where is your favorite place to write?

My office at home. I have had hugely productive weekends on writing retreats elsewhere. I’ve stayed at a friend’s apartment in New York for long weekends, borrowed another friend’s condo in Vail, and locally my writing group partner Chris Mandeville, who is the author of Seeds and 52 Ways to Get Unstuck, will sometimes invite me to her house to write. Key parts of Fairmist were birthed in Chris’ basement. I sometimes write while Lara, the kids and I are on a family trip, and rarely I’ll compose little snippets at a coffee shop somewhere, but where I find true production is in my home office. 90% of what I have created over the last five years comes from 30-minute to 1-hour morning writing sessions in my office before I go to work.

4) The majority of your publications are adult fantasies. What inspired you to write a Middle-grade fantasy?

Ha! Good question.

Well, this whole novel took me by surprise. That is to say, I didn’t plan for it and I didn’t see it coming. I’ve been working most of my writing life to emulate my favorite authors from I was young: Terry Brooks, Lloyd Alexander, Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman. Then later Orson Scott Card, Guy Gavriel Kay and George R. R. Martin. The Heartstone Trilogy (Heir of Autumn, Mistress of Winter and Queen of Oblivion) is testament to that. With Fairmist, my most recent novel before The Wishing World, I finally achieved the fantasy novel I’d been trying to write since high school, so maybe the timing was perfect to try something new. The Wishing World started as a series of episodic, whimsical stories I told to my children as they fell asleep. After a few years of this, my children begged me to write it down, but while I loved making up the bedtime stories on-the-fly, I couldn’t get into when I put fingers to keyboard. I was used to sweeping, epic plotlines and complicated twists, and not knowing where I was going with the story or how I was going to get there. With The Wishing World, the entire story had already been told, and that bored me. What broke the deadlock was adding my daughter as the main character. Once Lorelei took the reins of the story, I was all-in, and the prose flowed like a river in flood. I also wonder if the free-flowing prose was the result of having no agenda for the story. I wasn’t trying to emulate anyone or live up to a lofty measuring stick; I was just writing for my kids. Now it’s my favorite of the novels I've written. Go figure.

5) Did you find writing a novel for a younger audience more challenging than writing for adults?

Of course, in some ways it’s more difficult. I have to be more careful about getting too wordy or making the plot overly convoluted. Also, when I have 220 pages to get the story done, rather than 550 pages, it’s got to be tighter. I can’t have plot lines going off into the ether, never to be seen again. There are no nooks and crannies to briefly explore an idea I’ll never come back to. But overall, I feel I opened a door to a genre that had been waiting for me. Maybe it’s because The Wishing World itself caters to my strengths. It was born from my stream-of-consciousness. It’s got my family laced throughout it, and it’s a place where random, wild things can happen. My imagination works like that.

6) What is your favorite part of this book?

What? And ruin the reveal for everyone? I’ll give a hint: It has to do with the Mirror Man.

7) If you couldn't be an author, or write at all, what would you spend your time doing?

Hanging myself from a tree limb. Urg.

Seriously, though, let’s see if I can imagine that. If I had all the money and time I needed, I’d be a beach bum for a good few months. I owe my wife a trip to a tropical island, so I’d do that first. I’d also get back into drawing. My son is a phenomenal artist, and I’d love to spend more time with him and show him all the tricks I know. Oh, and I’d get my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I was on track to have my deputy black belt this October, but I got busy with the book launch.

If I wasn’t independently wealthy and I needed to make a living (like now), I would work in the nonprofit sector, either raising money for a cause or working in grantmaking for a foundation, like I’m doing now.

8) Now for some fun questions: what is your favorite way to celebrate hitting the 'publish' button?

Ha ha! Is there a “publish” button? When you say that, I envision that “easy” button in the Staples commercials. In my experience, it’s more of a “publishing gauntlet,” like that game Mousetrap. You put the manuscript here, it slides down the slide, rolls over to the teeny cup where it gets stuck, then you rattle the contraption and it tumbles out and rolls on, zips through the hoop, down another zigzag slide, etc. etc.

But if you’re talking about the moment when I am finished with the story and email it to my agent, Bill, then I do have a ritual. The first thing I do is run downstairs and dance around the kitchen and say, “I’m done! I’m done I’m done I’m done. It’s done. It’s been sent. It’s gone. Off to the next stage.” My wife Lara will calmly look up from what she is doing, watch me, and wait for the storm to subside so she can say something. Elowyn will burst into the kitchen and we’ll ballroom dance around the cutting-board island. She might throw in a “Yay Daddy!” Dash will emerge from his room, stand in the doorway and give me his “I’m too cool for school,” stare. But that’s a front. He’s just waiting for his chance to jump on my back and wrestle me to the ground. Dash talks through action. Then we’ll have a celebratory dinner.

A day later, I’ll still be flying high. I’ll visit friends, have a few drinks. Three days later, I go into what I call my post-partum depression. The euphoria of completing a novel always leaves a vacuum in its wake, and during those days nothing seems bright or sunny. I usually break that gloom by starting the next book.

9) Favorite place on Earth?

I’ll always remember Multnomah Falls in Oregon; it was like stepping into a fantasyland.

On a road trip on the highway at 3 a.m. somewhere between Colorado and California is surreal, watching the yellow lines zip by you and being the only one awake in the car.

The top of the holy mountain in Bali, Gunung Agung, was mystical. I was sitting on the clouds. My guide was a cross between a bully goat and the Energizer bunny. If you’re ever feeling in great shape, go hike that mountain with one of the local guides and find out just how wrong you are. There are no switchbacks on that mountain; you go straight up the slope. This guy hiked in flip flops, and I couldn’t catch him. In fact, I’m pretty sure he was bored with me. He didn’t drink any water, either. In fact, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t human, but rather some superpowered immortal who descended from the clouds.

The pre-alps in France are something to see. I felt like a character from a Tolkien novel hiking through those.

But my favorite place on Earth is Home. There is always something interesting going on in my house. Elo is making up stories. Dash is drawing something or begging me to go for an adventure walk with him. Lara, the quiet glue that holds this group of weirdos together, will pop off with something bizarre every now and then, too (This is why this relationship never grows old).

10) Do you have any future works coming out, and if so, what/when?

Yes! The Wishing World comes out next week! :)

A little further in the future, I have a few manuscripts coming to completion. The rough draft of Fairmist II: The Undying Man is 70% completed, and I plan to publish in the middle of 2017. The Wishing World II: Loremaster is just about wrapped up, and with any luck, that will come out late 2017. If not, then early 2018. And if you liked Lorelei in The Wishing World, hang on to your hats for the next ride: It’s Lorelei 2.0. I am also working on a time travel novel called Charlie Fiction that I’m super excited about. My goal is to finish that before the end of 2017 and publish mid-2018.

Thanks so much for visiting guys! =D