Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!
We will be joined today by Laurisa White Reyes.
Laurisa White Reyes has been writing since the age of 5 when she wrote her first poem on a scrap of poster board. After earning a degree in English at California State University at Northridge, she spent thirteen years writing for various magazines and newspapers, working as a book editor, and teaching creative writing. She gave up all that six years ago to follow her lifelong dream of writing novels. Her first book, The Rock of Ivanore, will be released in May 2012.
Besides writing, Laurisa is also a voracious reader. She also loves musical theater, chocolate, sushi, ancient history, bearded dragons, and rain storms. She lives in Southern California with her husband, 5 children, 4 birds, 2 lizards, 2 turtles, 1 fish, 1 dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.
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Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Laurisa!
Laurisa has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to her!
Find Your Magic
“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.”– Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
When I was a kid, my dad would entertain me and my brothers with fantastical tales from his imagination. He was the best storyteller and by the time I was in elementary school I was following in his footsteps. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t want to be a writer. But there did come a time when my dreams nearly came to an end.
In my sophomore year of high school, I was assigned to write a term paper on Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. While I loved to write, I had a difficult time with grammar and punctuation. When my teacher returned my paper with a big letter D scrawled in red, I broke down and cried. I believed I had failed as a writer, that I would never have what it takes to live my dream.
Fortunately, the following year my new teacher, Elizabeth Rose, saw something in my writing my previous teacher had not. She expressed confidence in my abilities, and so my abilities and my confidence improved.
In my book, The Rock of Ivanore, Marcus believes he can’t do magic. Every time he tries, it backfires. His master, Zyll, gives him a gift he promises will unlock his destiny. With this gift, Marcus hones his skills and gains the self-assurance he needs to succeed in his quest.
For years, decades really, I was convinced that I could never write novels. I could write anything else – magazine articles, newspaper columns – but not fiction. I wasn’t good enough. Or at least that’s what I thought. But a funny thing happened during all those years of not writing fiction, my skills as a writer grew stronger. Six years ago I decided it was time to live my dream. It wasn’t an easy road. Over the course of two years I received forty-five rejections.
My confidence waned again. But then I met Jay Asher, author of the New York Times bestseller 13 Reasons Why. I recall him saying it took him about ten years to find a publisher. His success inspired me to keep going. Only a short time later, Tanglewood Press contacted me offering a contract.
When I speak to students, my message is a simple one. We all face challenges and we all fail from time to time. But success comes to those who keep on going. I love the story of Thomas Edison’s quest to invent the light bulb. The story goes that he failed a thousand times in finding the right filament. But Edison didn’t quite see it that way. He said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 1,000 ways will not work.”
Each of us must find our magic, the thing that motivates us, the dream that drives us forward. Some want to write. Others want to succeed in sports. Dreams can be as big as climbing Mount Everest or a simple as passing the next math test. Whatever it is, no matter how difficult the struggle, we must keep going until success is ours.
The Rock of Ivanore is a story of courage and in overcoming tremendous odds. It’s about believing in yourself and finding the magic within.
Thanks so much for joining us today, Laurisa!
One lucky winner will win a paperback ARC of The Rock of Ivanore.
Publisher: Tanglewood Press
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Ages: 8 & up
Page Count: 356
The annual Great Quest is about to be announced in Quendel, a task that will determine the future of Marcus and the other boys from the village who are coming of age. The wizard Zyll commands them to find the Rock of Ivanore, but he doesn't tell them what the Rock is exactly or where it can be found. Marcus must reach deep within himself to develop new powers of magic and find the strength to survive the wild lands and fierce enemies he encounters as he searches for the illusive Rock. If he succeeds, he will live a life of honor; if he fails, he will live a life of menial labor in shame. With more twists and turns than a labyrinth, and a story in which nothing is as it seems, this tale of deception and discovery keeps readers in suspense until the end.
Middle readers will find that The Rock of Ivanore fits nicely among the traditional fantasies they so enjoy. They will also appreciate its fresh and inventive take on the genre.
To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.
This giveaway is open to Canada/US addresses only until 12:01 AM EST on May 19, 2012.a Rafflecopter giveaway