Summer Splash Book Blog Tour ~ Book Spotlight ~ S.D. Ferrell
Summer Splash Book Blog Tour
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Title: The Valley Time Forgot Author: S.D. Ferrell Series Name/#: The Whipple Wash Chronicles ISBN: 9781489528964 Page count: 223 Genre: Fantasy Adventure Price: 12.90 on Amazon
S.D. Ferrell is a writer, self-published author, and creative artist. Ms. Ferrell was born the 1st of October 1960 in Norfolk General Hospital, in Simcoe Ontario Canada. She grew up on a small hobby farm just outside of Simcoe in Windham Centre, with her parents, six sisters and one brother.
Her fondest memories of childhood was on the farm and the time she spent outside with her siblings. They had grand adventures in the forest that curved around the property. She remembers a majestic willow tree with long flowing branches that grew beside the laneway – they swung from those branches until they were giddy with laughter. There were also cherry trees in the front yard that she climbed, and sat on the branches for what seemed like hours on end. Among the leaves she was free to allow her mind to take flights of fancy.
Nature; was a wonderful playground for a little girl with a vivid imagination who would one day grow-up to be a writer. Is it any wonder, Ms. Ferrell says that my debut novel starts in a forest and one of the main characters throughout the series is a tree.
S.D. is a proud mother to five daughters and a grandmother to fourteen wonderful grandchildren. She presently resides in Simcoe Ontario and is working on the third book in the series, The Long Road Home. She is also working with an artist, Evee Fex-Chriszt, on the 4th and final book in the series, The Keeper’s Guide.
The story is about a grand adventure through a forgotten valley that is wrought with danger, intrigue and strange, mystical beings that have their own ideas of who is friend, who is foe and what side of the impending war they will chose to fight on.
How long did it take to write the book?
It took a total of five years to write the story, edit, and decide on what publishing route to take. In the end I chose to self-publish.
What inspired you to write the book?
I was having a conversation with one of my daughters on Facebook. She wasn’t having a good day. To take her mind off her troubles I started clowning around. And from it a storyline took shape about five fairies (my daughters) who save their world from impending doom. By the end of our conversation I had a plot, a villain and a title. I ran with the ideas and the rest, as they say, is history.
Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I didn’t do a lot of research for the first book. I let the story unfold on its own accord. I have done considerable more for the second book in the series, The Shadow of Erebos. There are several battle scenes where various weapons were used. I wanted the scenes to be so believable that readers could actually see them playout in their minds eye. I am a very descriptive writer. It was important for me to make sure that those scenes were accurate.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I hope they will embrace the journey and take with them the idea that, no matter how small or insignificant you think you are, how desperate the journey is, how unsurmountable the odds are, if you have faith in yourself, you can achieve anything, you need only believe.
Where can we go to buy your book?
Paper back copies of my books are available on Amazon: amazon.com/author/sdferrell
Any other links or info you'd like to share?
Readers can contact me through:
Readers can contact Evee through her website - http://www.evzart.com/
Excerpt from book (The Valley Time Forgot – Chapter 1 – That Odd Little Fellow):
“What is it Aldwin?” Lizbeth asked with worry. She had invited Aldwin over to examine Jasper, hoping to discover how Jasper lost his memory. She needed as much information about him as she could before she met with the elders.
“Nothing,” Aldwin said. “He has no bump on the head; none of his bones are broken. Other than a few cuts, scraps and needing a good bath I can’t find anything wrong with him.”
“Why can’t he remember then?” Lizbeth asked.
“I don’t know Lizbeth.” Aldwin said shaking his head as he picked up his medicine bag. “Perhaps he is suppressing it.”
Lizbeth walked with Aldwin to the door, he put on his overcoat, slung the medicine bag over his shoulder then looked worriedly at Lizbeth. He leaned down and spoke quietly so only Lizbeth could hear.
“Lizbeth are you sure you can trust this little fellow? I mean after all, we know nothing about him or where he came from.” They both looked over at Jasper. A large bouquet of white flowers stood in a container in the middle of the table; Jasper had taken one of the blooms in his hand and inhaled its delightful scent. He sighed heavily then smiled goofily in satisfaction.
“Oh yes I am sure I can trust him,” Lizbeth smiled. “Besides Marla is staying with me until the carpenters fix her hut. I suspect it will take several weeks.” Aldwin looked around the room for his apprentice.
“She is visiting Mirabella. We hooked sweaters for the underlings last night.” Lizbeth said.
“Ahh yes,” Aldwin said. Mirabella and Marla were close friends and she often went over to help with the underlings. Mirabella and Pothos had their hands full with seven underlings -- all under the age of nine summers.
“And what of the elders,” Aldwin continued. “There will be resistance.”Lizbeth had decided to keep the knowledge of Jasper to just the three of them until Aldwin had a chance to examine him. Lizbeth looked up at Aldwin then over at Jasper who was now running his fingers through the fine hairs on his legs trying to comb out the knots. An overwhelming sensation made Lizbeth’s heart swell with love. She couldn’t explain her feelings for Jasper to Aldwin so instead she said. “If it comes to it I will protect Jasper with my life.”
“Well now,” Aldwin chuckled, as he stood upright “I know you don’t get on well with the elders but I don’t think it will come down to that.” He opened the door, but before leaving, he said, “I will stop by before the meeting with the elders and see if there has been a change with Jasper.”
“Alright,” Lizbeth said. “Would you like to come with us?” she asked. Aldwin could hear a slight hesitation in her voice. Aldwin nodded and Lizbeth smiled.She feared the elders would banish Jasper without a second thought. The elders could be obstinate when they chose to be. Lizbeth was not one of their favorite Elfkins. With Aldwin there supporting them they might have a fighting chance. “Get some rest Lizbeth. You look tired,” Aldwin said as he looked at the expression of concern on her face. Lizbeth smiled at his words and nodded. He scowled down at her.
“Go on now,” she said. “I will be fine.” Aldwin knew better than to argue with her. He sighed heavily before bidding her goodnight. Lizbeth closed the door tightly behind him and made her way across the room to the cupboards. She was not worried about her safety as she readied a bowl so that Jasper could bathe.
She sat the bowl in front of Jasper and laid a towel and a bar of soap beside it. Jasper looked up at her questioningly. They had already eaten he wasn’t sure what the bowl of water was for. He looked at the soap as if he had never seen one before. Taking his finger he scrapped the bar and was about to put his finger in his mouth when Lizbeth stopped him.
“It’s not for eating, it’s for cleaning you silly creature,” Lizbeth said. Jasper screwed up his face. “Surely you have taken a bath before.” Jasper shrugged his shoulders and looked sheepishly at her. “Alright I will show you how it’s done. Then after this you can wash yourself… at least once a week,” she added.
Lizbeth introduced Jasper to bathing and after it was done they sat in the rocking chair together. She spoke to him about the elders, the medallions they wore and how they were chosen to be a member of the council. Lizbeth talked until Jasper fell asleep in her arms. As she rocked in the chair waiting for Marla to come home she wondered with apprehension about what the elders would say.
Gradually Lizbeth’s thoughts turned to the one they called Zusie. She lived deep in the side of the mountain in a crystal cave. Like Jasper, she was different and most of the villagers had never met her. Lizbeth however had a long standing friendship with her. Lizbeth was certain that Zusie would want to meet Jasper and decided that a trek up the mountain was in order.
The winds outside howled loudly and blew with great force against the door and shutters to the window. They rattled violently on their hinges but the latches were strong and the shutters stayed shut. Lizbeth looked over her shoulder and whispered crossly, “As it was before and is now, you can’t come in. Do shut up and go away.” The wind banged loudly again at the door. Jasper squirmed and whimpered restlessly in his sleep. Lizbeth calmed him with a soothing song that she hummed and he quickly settled back down.
“Poor little fellow,” she whispered. “Don’t you worry. I will keep you from harm.” Jasper smiled in his sleep and curled closer to her. Lizbeth’s heart melted. Was it by a mere coincidence that Jasper landed on her doorstep, she thought as she smiled at him. Or was there a greater purpose to their meeting? Lizbeth instinctively knew that the latter was the reasoning. As she continued to rock in the chair and hum softly Lizbeth wondered once again what the elders would say in the morning.
Do you have a Favorite Quote from the book or series?
I do not really have a favorite quote, but I do have a favorite line. It is one of the last lines in the first book. “Little did they know how grand the adventure would be.”
What is in store next for you?
Presently I am working on the third book in the series, The Long Road Home. I am also working on the fourth and final installment with Evee Fex Chriszt, a very talented person who has come on board as our resident artist. The fourth book will be a field guide of all things Whipple Washian. I also plan on creating a very special piece of merchandise for the launch of the third book, a board game version of The Whipple Wash Chronicles.
Who would you recommend this book to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
The book is for readers of all ages. I have fans as young as 9 and as old as 80 reading it. The only warning I have is that as the story unfolds in the second book, it becomes much darker. A war is brewing. War is neither light nor funny and although there are some very light and funny scenes in the second book, there is a lot of darkness as well.
If you could turn this book/series into a movie, who would be your dream cast? Dream director? They can be dead, alive or fictional!
I suppose the dream cast would depend on if the series was animated or not. There are some actors out there whose voice would lend well to an animated version of the characters. Rupert Grint for Jasper, Tom Hanks for Aldwin. Helen Mirren for Lizbeth, Gerrard Butler for Zeander, Zoe Saldana for Saphina, to name just a few.
As for directors, I would love the opportunity to work with George Lucas. But seriously, I wouldn’t hang up the phone on Ron Howard or Steven Spielberg for that matter. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]
How did you pick characters’ names?
Because I have given my family characters in the book, most of the letters in their names have just been rearranged to make their character name. Other character names just came to me as I was writing the story.
Who is your favorite character? Why?
Considering that my daughters are the heroines of the story, and most of my family have characters as well, I would have to say I don’t have a favorite character. I do have a fondness though for Jasper, one of the main characters. I think I relate to him most. I too have a very active imagine and overthink everything. And like Jasper I am also afraid of everything, but know that I have a job to do, and no matter what the odds are I have to complete it. I also really like Zeander a secondary character. I really enjoy writing his dialogue. He is so rough in speech and mannerisms, but he has a kind soul, you can’t help but like him. Neither character are based on anyone that I know personally.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Other than editing and making sure that I gave everyone enough play time, there wasn’t anything terribly difficult about writing this book or the second book. The hardest part however has come with the third book, because I have given family members characters. I lost my son-in-law a year and a half ago, and my dad in January. It is going to be very difficult when it comes to writing their parts. It could very well be the reason that I have writer’s block. [if !supportLineBreakNewLine] [endif]