A: A girl is usually considered in the role of damsel in distress. She’s not often considered to have the strength and courage it takes to save the day. Even Zaria doesn’t think she’s brave, or strong, or heroic at the start of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, but she is, and she’s about to find it out for herself.
A: I have a friend whose name is Zarabeth and I always thought it was cool that her name began with a ‘Z,’ so I started there. Obviously, I couldn’t just use her name so I thought of other ways to say ‘Sarah.’ There are a lot! I settled on Zaria because Zaria means princess which has significance in the story.
Her last name came to me very quickly. Zaria would be a girl who longed for adventure, but didn’t think she was capable of it because she was shy. Zaria Timid is silly, but Zaria Fierce is not. And, fierceness is the characteristic she will learn that she has had all along.
A: It started with a name. A name can give a story a lot of power and a special “oomph.” As a fan of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Artemis Fowl, I knew I wanted to title my stories similarly and began to think up names for the main character. Zaria Fierce as a character came to me before I knew her story.
Where would you visit if you could follow in Zaria’s footsteps? Would you visit the underground world of Trolgar, home to King Kaffirr and the stalagmite homes of the mountain-trolls? Or would you rather visit the silver glade of the Álfheim and view the elves finely spun glass homes?
Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest introduced you to many great characters. Which one is your favorite? Is your favorite character the most popular character in the book? Or is it another character? Vote to find out!
I love to doodle when I’m thinking about a particular part in the book. It helps me to plot and it’s a great way to get over writer’s block. This first doodle is a drawing I completed in ink and highlighter. It showcases a map-like version of how the ellefolken, elves, and Queen Helena work together to overcome darkness. The blue Post-it is a doodle of Zaria wearing a crown.
I found these trolls on a trip to Europe in Bratislava, Slovakia. When I needed inspiration for Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest I would pull up these photos.
Can you guess which one inspired Olaf?
Today I finished the first draft of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.
Word count: 34,388
Total Writing Time: 3 Days, 6 Hours, 40 Minutes