Get the Second Editions this weekend at Comic-Con!
Join me this weekend at Edmonton Comic & Entertainment Expo. I will have Second Edition Copies of the Essence of Galenia Series and a teaser for the new Series Coming this fall!
Hope to see you there!
Enter to win the first book in the Essence of Galenia book series: Journey to Kokoroe
Contest is now open and ends on April 2nd. It is open all over the world so don’t miss your chance to win!
As Hanna begins to realize that home is not just around the corner, fear begins to grip her. Greeted with kindness, fear gives way to curiosity. As she learns of the destructive history of Galenia she becomes resolved to help her new companions maintain their idealized way of life. Hanna’s not the only one with a new purpose. Nandin discovers the history he grew up believing may not have been accurate and the suffering he’s witnessed may have been caused by the very people he trusted. Two travellers on opposite paths; both convinced they’re on the side of the greater good. One path leads to the salvation of Galenia, the other to it’s destruction.
Students entered into their Journey to Kokoroe Minecraft session through the hub. This amazing Asian inspired palace was where they found the links to take them to the weekly build site. The challenge for this week was to build the town of Erdo. Here is a summary of the story so far along with some terminology:
Essence – this mystical substance is in all things; without it you die.
Hanna was starting to get worried. She was enjoying her time in the small village of Kayu, but the longer she stayed the more aware she was that she was trapped on Galenia. She finally accepted the advice of the village leaders to seek out Master Juro; they insisted that if anyone had answers it would be him and he would be her best chance at finding a way back home. She tried to convince herself to just go along with it but when she realized it would be a two-week journey to Kokoroe, her travel companions had to convince her to carry on. Kazi, with his unshakable good mood and bright-side view of things, made it impossible for her to quit. He was so excited to be heading to Kokoroe to begin his training and she became more than a little curious as to what that might entail. What he revealed about Galenia fascinated her, but some things left her feeling conflicted. The treatment of the Kameil was unsettling – she felt she had a lot in common with them as she too was without Essence. Their banishment filled her with dread; she hoped she would not be condemned to the same fate. Hanna grasped the Essence gem she wore around her neck grateful to the people of Kayu for giving her the chance to survive.
Six days after they left BaDaal they arrived at Erdo. Hanna loved the entrance to this town. The narrowed road was covered by a solid canopy of green as the trees merged together. The town itself had an interesting layout. It was made of three ring roads one inside another. Each road was packed with buildings leaving no space between them so the only way to the center of town was down the main road that cut straight through each ring. Like a bull’s-eye, a three-tiered fountain dominated the main square. Hanna wished she had more time to tour around each ring road, but they arrived late and left early, seeing only the small inn where they slept and the view from her window.
Journey to Kokoroe is the first book in the Essence of Galenia fantasy-adventure series.In this first entry of A Bit of Essence there is a summary of the book and then a passage to go with Minecraft builds from students at GamEd Academy. Enjoy!
Seeking out a way home, Hanna discovers a world being torn apart. Her curiosity takes her deeper into the mysteries of Galenia as she learns she possesses skills and abilities exceeding those around her. But the novelty of those skills will be put to the test as the dangers on Galenia become all too real and home becomes a dream.
‘Hanna took in a deep breath. She could smell flowers and freshly cut grass. Imagining she must have fallen asleep in the woods behind her house, she was surprised when she opened her eyes and saw a peculiar ceiling above her. Often she had lain on her living room floor staring up at the ceiling, imagining shapes in the stucco. This ceiling, however, had thick wooden beams and wood slats across them. She caught movement out of the corner of her eye and turned her head.
“You are awake! Thank goodness. You must be very thirsty; lie still for a moment and I will get you
Hanna was puzzled. She had never met this person before yet she spoke to her like a concerned parent. As she watched her pour water from a jug, Hanna tried to think where she’d seen this lady before. Her hair was curly and her face had a pinkish hue. Confused and unsure where she was, Hanna tried to think of the last thing she could remember.
She recalled having another typical day at school, of noisy hallways and bright fluorescent lights that left her with yet another migraine to end her day. Following the nauseating bus ride home, the smell of sweat mixed in with perfumes and cologne, she had escaped civilization by hiding in the woods behind her house. She gazed up at the canopy of the trees as she lay on a bed of greenery. Taking in the refreshing smell of moss and pinecones, she twirled her hair around her fingers, unconcerned of the dried leaves and twigs that became entangled in it. Her daydreams were interrupted by a cracking sound, like a person walking on branches. She jumped to her feet and glanced around; perhaps twenty feet away, she saw her. Completely taken by surprise, Hanna was more curious than worried. She had never seen anyone in the woods before; today was the first. A lady with a kind face that had a pinkish hue was meandering through the bushes.
‘That’s it!’ Hanna thought. She recalled watching the woman taking cuttings off the bushes, then pick up a basket and begin walking in the opposite direction. Aside from being in the usually vacant woods, something seemed strange about this woman, but Hanna couldn’t really explain what it was. Her clothing was simple and dated looking, and although filling a basket with plants may not have been typical it wasn’t odd enough to warrant suspicion.
Still, Hanna was unable to contain her curiosity and followed her. The woman disappeared behind a tree. Hanna quietly moved in closer. When she peered around the tree there was no sign of the lady. Hanna scampered in a little further. She wondered how she could have lost her so easily. When there was still no sign of her, Hanna’s curiosity increased. She desperately wanted to talk with her and find out who she was; when her headache’s didn’t get the best of her, she tended to be a social creature.
Hanna caught a glimpse of her, only to lose her again behind another tree. Feeling as if she was being pulled, Hanna ran calling out to get the lady’s attention and proceeded to trip on the protruding root of a rather large tree. She flew into the air and, as luck would have it, hit her head on a rock. That was the last thing she remembered.’
This passage is what the students were given for their build:
‘Hanna was pleased to find that instead of looking out onto a concrete world, she was surrounded by wooden houses and shops, grass and trees, benches and even a large, stone fountain. It reminded her of a Christmas village she had seen in a store window one December.’
What I love about movies is seeing worlds come alive. For the stories we read it is up to us to visualize what the author has created. I’m so excited to say that my readers can experience both! In my upcoming blog series A Bit of Essence, I will share excerpts or summaries of my trilogy accompanied with photos of Minecraft builds created by students of GamEd Academy.
Students were given build challenges of certain scenes from the books – I love what they have created! (The above photo is a Minecraft version of Jack and the Giant on the Beanstalk.)
What is GamEd Academy you may have asked? It’s where learning & gaming collide! Students learn about a subject such as 7 Wonders of the Ancient World or the Boston Tea Party and are then given build challenges that go with their learning. In the creative writing series they learned some writing techniques as well as doing a novel study. The year is broken down into 6 week sessions and each session focuses on a different novel: Journey to Kokoroe, Flight to the Citadel and Into the Valley. In addition to these fantasy adventure stories they also learned about Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland to name a few.
If you want more information about this amazing online school check out their website. For now, here’s a glimpse at some of the awesome builds students did in my first creative writing series Stories Alive. Some were builds depicting scenes from fairy-tales and others were from their favorite stories.
Here we have a pixel version of Alice in Wonderland, another Alice crying her eyes out, the Gingerbread Man, the Golden harp from Jack and the Beanstalk, Humpty Dumpty on his wall, A Minion from Despicable Me (check out the laptop in the background from another story), and the Quidditch Pitch from Harry Potter complete with the characters on their broomsticks. What great creativity these kids have!
Before I wrote my Essence of Galenia series, I wanted to be clear of what it was I wanted to achieve. What did I want to say or do that hadn’t been done many, many times before? It started with a list. I wrote down the names of stories that I loved, stories I was disappointed in and one’s that were in my genre. I then proceeded to jot down all the things I liked about them and what my pet peeves were. There were some interesting patterns that began to emerge and it gave me a way to make clear goals for what I wanted to achieve with my story; ways to make it unique and to avoid falling into the same patterns as many fantasy stories do.
My Goal: To blur the lines between good and evil; even the characters don't know what path they are truly on.
My Goal: Not every story ends with a war. You can be a hero without having to kill.
My Goal: To create heroes and villains with equal choices and opportunities. They are not destined to be saviors or corrupters they chose their path.
My Goal: To apply the logic of Science to the Essence in my story.
My Goal: Victory or not, each book ends on hope, no matter how slight.