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
So I’m a die hard Harry Potter fan and you must be too if you’re here. Although, there is a slight chance you haven’t read the books. If that’s you, I’m telling you, you need to read the Harry Potter Series. All 7 books! Like right now. This is their order:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
These are the companion books to Harry Potter:
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard
- Harry Potter Schoolbooks: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them & Quidditch Through the Ages
And you can Get the Complete Harry Potter 8-Film Collection
If you’re a Harry Potter fan…
You should check out these trilogies and series. There are 60 books in all! The recommendations are in no particular order.
Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan:
A boy with ADHD and dyslexia finds out his handicaps are in fact signs of his powers. He learns that he’s a demigod, son of the Greek god Poseidon, one of the main three gods. Trouble is looming and he’s the only one who can save the world. The first and second book have been made into a major motion picture. The series in order is:
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
- Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
- Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
- Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
- Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian
- Companion novels: The Demigod Files.
There’s also a sequel series based on Percy Jackson called The Heroes of Olympus, which introduces their Roman demigod counterparts:
Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer:
A boy genius is a criminal mastermind and the greatest recent enemy of fairies worldwide. He plans to rebuild his family’s finances by stealing it from “imaginary” beings. The books in order are:
- Artemis Fowl
- The Arctic Incident
- The Eternity Code
- The Opal Deception
- The Lost Colony
- The Time Paradox
- The Atlantis Complex
- The Last Guardian
- The Artemis Fowl Files is the companion novel to the series.
Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer:
Another series that took off like Harry Potter is Twilight. A girl discovers a boy in her class is a vampire and it’s love at first
smell… er sight. The series listed in order is:
- New Moon
- Breaking Dawn
- The companion novel for this series is The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.
Septimus Heap Series by Angie Sage:
A boy soldier finds out he has magical abilities and is considered by one and all to be one of most magical beings around, because he is the 7th son of a 7th son. He’s going to be powerful, very powerful, but until then, he’s got to be trained. The books in order are:
Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins:
Another series that shot to fame like Harry Potter is Hunger Games. A girl volunteers herself as a sacrificial tribute to the Capitol to be placed in the arena in order to save her sister and ends up inciting a rebellion. The books are being made into movies. The Hunger Games, the movie is already released. The trilogy in order is as follows:
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman:
This trilogy is published for young adults, but like Harry Potter is meant to reach a wider audience. The Golden Compass, the first in the trilogy, has been made into a major motion picture. The trilogy in order is:
The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis:
This series is comprised of seven books. It has been adapted several times over. The latest adaptions have been 3 full length featured motion pictures by Disney on books 2, 4, and 5. The books in reading order are different than their published order. The chronological reading order is as follows:
- The Magician’s Nephew
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- The Horse and His Boy
- Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
- The Silver Chair
- The Last Battle
The Spiderwick Chronicles by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black:
This series is wonderful for the younger reader. It is not really aimed toward adults as the books are super short and read like fragments of a larger story. The five books comprising the series have been turned into one major film. In order, they are:
You can then go and read Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles:
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini:
A young boy finds a dragon egg and hatches it, starting him on an adventure of a lifetime as he is the last of the Dragon Riders. The first book in the series, Eragon, has been turned into a motion picture film.
- To learn more about the series, check out the companion novel: Eragon’s Guide to Alagaesia.
The Zaria Fierce Series by Keira Gillett:
Disclaimer: This series is written by yours truly.
When her friend Christoffer is kidnapped by a river-troll Zaria Fierce must team up with his three best friends and complete a quest to rescue him. The journey takes them all over Norway and along the way they meet ellefolken, trolls, wyverns, and elves. It’s hard to sort out friends from foes. Will Zaria and her friends rescue Christoffer before times runs out?
- Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest
- Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword
- Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes
- Aleks Mickelsen and the Twice-Lost Fairy Well
- Aleks Mickelsen and the Call of the White Raven
- Aleks Mickelsen and the Eighth Fox Throne War
- Christoffer Johansen and the Return to Jötunheim (Coming 2020)
So there you have it! What books do you recommend?