Shannon here: Dawn Ford shares how her character in her latest Middle-Grade Fantasy, Woodencloak, is a lot like Dawn. Comment or answer the question in this post to enter the drawing for a signed paperback copy. Dawn’s books are a bit different than what you usually find on my blog, but if you’re looking for a clean read for a child or grandchild, I hope you’ll give her a read. Deadline: Feb 18th, 11:59 pm central time. Here’s Dawn:
In my newest release, Woodencloak a middle-grade fantasy, I have a kindred spirit with my main character. Horra Fyd is a smallish troll princess who would rather explore her swamp than do all of the princess-y things. She’s a tomboy who loves animals, nature, and is not afraid to get dirty. I took her right out of my childhood.
I was a tomboy who climbed trees, played with frogs, and loved exploring nature. Having been raised with three older brothers, it was a challenge for me to outdo anything boys could do. I remember playing with walking sticks, garden spiders, and any other creepy-crawly I could find. You won’t find me doing that now. But I do think fondly upon my more innocent days as a young girl who wasn’t afraid of much.
This is what I called upon when creating my unlikely heroine for my middle-grade fantasy. The idea started years ago when I worked at an insurance company and happened upon a name, Fyd. I’m a fan of the Addams family series, and so combinations of names sparked my imagination. It wasn’t until years later that I found a home for that last name in my troll princess, Horra Fyd.
But she had to be a character kids could connect with. She had to be an unlikely heroine who was thrown into circumstances that were bigger than she was. And so, Horra was born. Part of what I love about my princess is that she is a tomboy who loves her swamp and all of the creatures in it. She is an advocate for rare animal species and has a pet pudge wudgie, the last of it’s kind. She would die before letting any harm come to the bird.
She’s fearless, a little like I was when I was a child. Getting dirty doesn’t phase her as it didn’t phase me. She has an edge of snark but also a soft heart for those in need. Like me, when she gets an idea in her head, nothing will stop her from achieving those ends.
Because it’s a middle-grade story, there’s no romance for our heroine. However, I do mention in the book the love story between her mother, Queen Terra Fyd, and her father, King Divitri Fyd. Queen Terra was in a word, terrifying. Their story was true love. However, Horra’s mother had died before our story begins, and it set forth a ripple effect that would change Horra’s life from that point forward. It’s a bittersweet memory for Horra:
Queen Terra had been a mighty troll warrior. She’d beaten Horra’s father in the Battle of the Bogs, a traditional troll competition. Her father used to joke that he fell for her mother in more than one way that day. Horra both smiled and cringed a bit at the memory of her father’s declaration of love. Once, her father had been able to laugh and show love. Her mother’s death had locked him inside himself. And Horra no longer had the key.
Woodencloak is a twisted fairy tale with loads of adventure and redemption.
Question for Readers: Were you a tomboy or girly girl growing up? Did you change as an adult?
About Dawn: Winner of the 2016 ACFW Genesis Award, Dawn has been recognized for her published and non-published works. Her flash fiction stories have been published in Havok magazine under both her real name and pen name, Jo Wonderly.
As a child, Dawn often had her head in the clouds creating scenes and stories for anything and everything she came across. She believed there was magic everywhere, a sentiment she has never outgrown. Nature inspires her, and her love for the underdog and the unlikely hero colors much of what she writes.
Dawn lives in the Loess Hills in Iowa and helps her husband run their own food service business. She adores anything steampunk, loves shiny, pretty things, and her collection of purses and shoes borders on hoarding. When not reading, writing, or thrift shopping, Dawn loves babysitting her grandchildren, and can often be caught daydreaming. Learn more & connect:
About the book – Woodencloak:
Thirteen-year-old troll princess Horra Fyd’s life changes forever after an unexpected visit from the fairy queen and her two daughters brings about a waking nightmare. Horra’s father, King Fyd, goes missing. Her woodgoblin instructor is poisoned and uses his magic to revert to a seed. And they’re coming for her next.
Horra flees to get her former instructor’s seed to the Weald, a magical forest, so it can regenerate. His fate is to become the next druid, a creature capable of resetting the balance between good and evil. However, she’s instantly lost and entirely unprepared for what happens next.
Can Horra have faith and courage enough to become a warrior heroine her foremothers can be proud of? Or will the shortcomings she’s fought against for so long keep her from fulfilling her destiny?
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