A: Both! Generally speaking, I know enough about my plot and story before I start writing that I have an idea for a beginning and an ending. I might even have a few middle scene parameters. But, how does the start of the book reach my conclusion parameters? It is here that I step back and allow the characters and events to help tell the story. I allow for spontaneity and improvisation because I believe it helps keep the story lively and natural.
A: In some respects. Zaria and I are both avid readers. She likes mythology and fantasy and so do I, but I also like many other genres of fiction. Like Zaria I had one friend at a time until suddenly I had many. Unlike Zaria, I’m not sure I would have been able to climb onto a wyvern and pull a spear from his back. In that respect she is a lot braver than me. I do not intend to get that close to wild animals.
This is how I imagined Zaria’s birthday outfit:
Stand Collar Long Wool Blend Coat (Petite) from Nordstrom’s
Lyssé Control Top Leggings from Nordstrom’s
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?