My blog ‘One Life’ is the closest I get to having something/anything published. OK, each and every blog I add is ‘published’ here on WordPress, but it’s not the same as popping into a book shop or looking on Amazon.com and seeing my very own book. How I envy my friend.
The friend I am thinking and writing about in this post is Alison Zeitler. Alison and I met a couple of years ago in The Netherlands when she started working with my class at school (the joys of working in an international community as a teacher). Alison was, and still is, a superb teaching assistant. (It’s just a shame she’s not my teaching assistant anymore).
I was really impressed when Alison told me that she had written a book and even more so when I discovered that her book was complete and published. Alison was officially the first person I’d ever really known to write a book* – and I couldn’t wait to read it.
[*I mean a published book that people can buy and not the kind of book that I wrote when I was younger. I have stacks of stories and books that I made myself. Now, that is another story.]
Alison’s book ‘The Legend of Dragonmoon’ is a story about a girl who discovers that there is more to her family than she knew. She goes to Norway to stay with her aunt and there unfolds a series of events that turn her world upside down. A book with mystery, adventure and family secrets….. (“I’m going to like this”, I thought).
I searched for reviews and information about Alison’s book online and arrived at the Amazon site. Their description of the book was as follows:
The Legend of Dragonmoon – The Big Green House follows the adventures of three cousins who are sent to Norway to stay with their great-aunt at Villa Skasen. They discover that their great-aunt can no longer afford the upkeep of the Villa which may have to be sold. It is left to the cousins to find the buried treasure on Skasen Island. Their task is complicated by superstition and myths of witches and lake dragons. A series of strange events place the three girls in danger. Their failure to find the treasure leaves only one option – they must rely on the old legend of Dragonmoon to save them.
While putting the finishing touches to this post, I spoke with Alison and explained that I wanted to talk about her book. This is Alison’s story and how she came up with the idea for ‘The Legend of Dragonmoon’:
“I have literally been trying to write THE book for my whole life. At age 15, I promised myself that one day I would write and publish a book. Over the years I began many stories and books, but none grabbed me and I always lost interest in them. Then in the summer of 2004, we went on holiday to Finnskogen, Norway, and spent 2 weeks in a 100 year old green and white house standing on the edge of a beautiful lake. In the middle of the lake is an island. Very Famous Five! We did a lot of the things that you can read about in the book, eg. Rowing over to the island and sitting on the porch roof. Of course, my imagination just took off and soon a story began to form in my mind which originated from these three things – the big old green and white house, the 3 old ladies who used to live there and the word Dragonmoon which is actually the name of a woodland track in the forest. I began to research the area and found out that it is full of old myths and strange legends. I invented the legend of Dragonmoon which I weave thru the other myths and legends of the area. I added a lake dragon to Lake Skasen and came up with a history for the 3 old ladies and finally, I had a story that I really liked”.
It all sounds simple when it’s put like that. More exciting news followed when Alison told me that the sequel was also in its final stages. I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy.
Alison explains that “the sequel carries the story on with the introduction of new characters/villains, the death of one character, and more about the legend of Dragonmoon as the danger and excitement escalate to new heights. What I write is considered “low fantasy” because magical things happen in a real and natural setting. My goal is to eventually write “high fantasy” (a la Tolkien) where the setting and characters etc are all based in a world that doesn’t really exist. I already have a basis for a “high fantasy” story also connected to the legend of Dragonmoon so watch this space…”
With the first book published and the sequel on its way, what could be next?
“I would also love to write Scandinavian fairytales about witches, trolls, moose, shamans, etc. And I already have the outlines of 2 stories for my fairytale book which has the working title of ‘The Witches of Storberget’. And in between all the magic and mystery, I write poems too, 122 to date and still counting…”
Now I am left thinking “Alison……Where do you find the time?”
If you are interested in finding out more about the book, the items or indeed the author and my friend, Alison Zeitler, you can check out more on her website here. There are some great photographs that reflect the essence of the story. You can find the location of the green house by the real Lake Skasen here.
Thanks for reading!
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