NovelSisters

watching, reading, and writing stories

I was going to write that

Image result for the time travelers the gideon trilogy

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In the course of being an author and constantly coming up with new ideas for books, there tends to be a misconception that what I’m writing is original and no one has ever thought of it before. And though that could be true, sometimes it just so happens that someone else thought of the same thing before you and already wrote their story. Now it’s not wrong to have similar stories out there, and there are bound to be similarities between almost any book and any other. But this past week I was surprised to find a youth trilogy that lined up so well with an idea me and my sister had come up with.

Alicia and I were inspired one day while driving to create a story involving time travel. There are plenty of books out there that use this concept, so it’s not surprising that I stumbled across one of them in a Thrift Store this past Saturday. But what did surprise me was all of the ways its story lined up with our plan.

We hadn’t written anything down yet, but we were thinking of having two kids traveling to the past, maybe even to different countries and then one of them getting stuck in the past. My sister would write from the perspective of one of the characters and I’d do the other. One would be living in the past and having to adapt and the other would be searching for a way to reunite with their lost friend. We thought that there could be an age difference that is significantly changed by the time they meet each other again.

So when I found a book called The Time Travelers The Gideon Trilogy and read the description of two kids getting transported to the past, I looked at my sister and said “It’s our book!” We promptly bought it and I spent the next couple of days reading. It was so cool to see the basic idea we’d come up with fleshed out in a complete book, and not only a book but a series. I ended up getting the next two books in the trilogy from the library and I’m deeply engrossed in book 2 at the present.

I was particularly excited when I discovered that our two heroes do get separated in the series and one has to travel back to the past to find the other. There also happens to be a mistake so that they have very different ages from each other. I can’t wait to see how this series ends.

Even though it seems like the book we wanted to write has already been written, I think my sister and I might still write our own version one day. And perhaps this book will inspire some of our creations.

So if you like youth fiction and are looking for a new series, check out The Time Travelers, or check out my Finding Home series if you want to. And if you’re an author, just know that even though your work may not be completely original or unique, it can still be your own and a lot of fun for someone out there to read.

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The Enchanted Forest Chronicles

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One of the things I love about being an author is that I get to read so many other good books. They give me inspiration and help me see what my target audience already enjoys reading. Recently a friend let me borrow the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. This is a short series based in a fairytale world. However it takes a very unique perspective on the fairytales. Instead of following one of the common fairytales and maybe changing it up a bit, these books focus on characters who do not like the fairytale stories and don’t want to be a part of one. They see though the ridiculousness of how these stories are supposed to go and instead choose to live their own way and often give advise to other people in their world of how they can change their story.

The first book in the series is “Dealing with Dragons” and it follows a princess who does not want to marry a prince, or learn all the things a princess is supposed to learn. Instead she wants to do exciting things, like learn to use a sword, or read Latin, or practice magic. When she finds herself being forced to marry, just because that’s how things are done, she runs away and volunteers to be a dragon’s princess.

Each of these books follows the perspective of a new character and has a wonderful sense of humor. Many of the classic fairytale stories are mentioned and poked fun at. There is a giant who is tired of chasing the “Jacks” out of his house, and a dwarf that has to spin gold for people and somehow keeps ending up with their children because they can’t guess his name.

I’ve only read two of the four book series and I already love them. They are pretty short books and meant for a bit younger age, I would guess about 10. But they are enjoyable for any age reader and I highly recommend them. So if you’re looking for a book to take on a summer vacation, and you love a good laugh, pick up one of Patricia Wrede’s books.

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I Love Youth Fiction

So for the past two months I’ve been trying to read a book, it’s a mix of historical fiction and romance. And I just can’t get into it. I’m still not even halfway through the book and it’s just not engaging. But in that same time I have read 3 youth fiction books! It only takes me a couple of hours or maybe one day if it’s longer to speed through a youth fiction book. They’re just so fun to read, so interesting and just enjoyable. It’s no wonder I’m writing in that same genre. So I thought I’d give you some short reviews from my most recent explorations into the youth genre and then give an update on my upcoming book.

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First off I read Cinder. The final book of the Lunar Chronicles was just released and my sister bought it the day it came out. When she refused to do anything but read she suggested I read the first book in the series: Cinder. I don’t usually read the futuristic sci-fi kind of books, but I knew it was based on the classic Cinderella story so I gave it a chance. And it was great, plenty of action and good descriptions, funny characters and unexpected changes to the classic story. I was surprised when characters actually died and my happily ever after ending wasn’t fulfilled. I have a feeling I have to wait to read Winter to get the ending I crave. But the book opened up a new and interesting world with plausible realities and a great assortment of characters. I would highly recommend this book, and by the way I’m already reading the second book in the series: Scarlet.

The Tournament at Gorlan

Image Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/kids/return-to-the-world-of-the-rangers-apprentice-with-the-tournament-at-gorlan/

The next book I dove into was The Tournament at Gorlan, the first of the prequel series for Ranger’s Apprentice. I had been looking forward to this book after reading all of the other books in the Ranger’s series. And I did enjoy reading it and getting to see some of my favorite characters as their younger selves. However, it didn’t connect to me as much as Cinder did. I felt like a lot of the jokes I’d already heard before. For example Halt got thrown off his Ranger Horse just like every other Ranger when they were apprentices. I did enjoy the plot of trying to rescue the king and prince from Morgarath and I also loved the scenes when Halt and Pauline first meet. But it wasn’t my favorite book in the series and I may never read it again.

Cover of the first edition of How to Train Your Dragon

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Then yesterday I read the first book of How To Train Your Dragon. I’ve loved the movies for years and have always meant to read the books, but I never did. Well now I can say I have read at least the first book in the series. It’s definitely meant for a younger audience, but it was an enjoyable read. I found it interesting how different the movie was from the book. There are several characters that never even show up in the movies, and a very different take on dragons. I did find it humorous that the vikings book on how to train your dragon has only one suggestion: Yell at it. I also enjoyed seeing the outcast young Hiccup and Toothless become the heroes of the story. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read the other books, but it was a fun and very quick book to read.

And lastly I’ll give a quick update on my upcoming sequel Finding Home: The Lost Brother. This month instead of writing a new book for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been editing each day. I’m hoping to print a test copy at the end of this month and get some more feedback from readers. But the book will soon be finished and I’m excited to get to share it with all of you.

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