|One of the fun and new things about Aleks’ most recent adventure is that both Eoghan Kerrigan and I drew illustrations for it. Join me at Brenda’s blog, The Log Cabin Library, to learn more about my process and see examples. Drop a comment if there’s anything else you’d like to know about the books.|
Come find me at Brenda’s website, Log Cabin Library, to get the score on why it is better to be an author than a fairy overlord in the Zaria Fierce Series. It’s a fun post and I can tell you that Grimkell, Ytorm, and Cornelia don’t agree with me.
What say you? Would you rather be an author or a fairy overlord?
Hi Fiercelings! I’m over at Brenda’s blog, Log Cabin Library, dishing on my writing and Aleks’ first adventure as the MC in the Zaria Fierce Series. Here’s a sneak peek of what I revealed in the post:
Grandmothers: Hearing Michele narrate for Grizzle, I realized I really do love my grandmother figures in the series and have only one grandfather mentioned, and so far he’s been off-page, this is probably because I was super close to my own grandma. I didn’t really know my grandfathers, who passed away before I really was of age to remember them. In the series, we now have Ava, who’s hip and cool; Granny who’s sugary sweet and absent-minded; the witch in the woods, who’s a bit crazy, but sly as a fox; and Grizzle, who’s tough as nails so don’t cross her.
Earlier Brenda wrote an amazing review of Aleks Mickelsen and the Twice-Lost Fairy Well. Below is a quote from her review, and if you follow this link you can read it in full.
There’s just something so comforting about returning to Zaria and the gang, while also learning more about Aleks’ story. Gillett’s books always include plenty of action and I love the adventures that the gang has across Norway as they try to prevent Fritjof’s escape. I’m very curious about what the future has in store for Aleks.
Thanks so much, Brenda for your kind words and having me back on your blog! Be sure to head over and read my guest post revealing fun facts about the books because at the bottom is a chance for a fun giveaway. Ends 8/20/2017. Good luck!
I’m over at Rosemary’s book blog, Mom Read It, discussing the adoption themes which can be found within my series. Adoption is an important topic to me because my two younger sisters are adopted from China. Before I even started the book series, I knew I wanted to portray a positive adoption outlook between adoptive parents and adoptees in my books.
For those who know me and my family, they can see little facets of my siblings, my parents, and myself in the way certain characters interact. Merry for instance is very much a representation of my mother. The nightly tea parties, which are seen in Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, are something she did with one of my sisters before my sister went off to college.
To read more about this topic and how adoption affects Zaria Fierce and Aleks Mickelsen in similar, but different ways, head over there for a deeper look. Be sure to leave a comment while you’re there because one lucky winner will get a Fierce Scale necklace from me, in the color of their choosing. Will you pick a color that reminds you of a dragon like Fritjof, a winter-wyvern like Norwick, or a river-troll like Bjarke? So many fun options!
Rosemary also had some wonderful things to say about the fourth book in the Zaria Fierce Series. Here’s a sneak peek:
I have wanted to know more about Aleks since I first read that he was a changeling – and that his grandmother is, too! Readers won’t be disappointed; we learn more about Aleks’ origin here, and I love the inner conflict raging with Aleks as he realizes that there is no black and white situation: he initially thinks it’s not a big deal at all to give up his fey gifts, but learns that not only can his ability to find things be a huge help, he learns that his fey side is very much a part of him. Don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone? Aleks may just have to learn that lesson that hard way.
You can read the full review for Aleks Mickelsen and the Twice-Lost Fairy Well on her blog. Thanks, Rosemary!
In case you missed it, I did an author interview with book blogger Kathy of The Novelty of Life.
Here’s a sneak peek of what we talked about:
Kathy: Why did you decide to switch the main character from Zaria to Aleks?
Keira: Zaria fought her dragon. Plus, I knew there was a story to tell in Niffleheim, which brings me to Aleks. His character arc always intrigued me and I wanted to explore it more…
Read the rest of the interview here, be sure to leave a comment on her site because someone is going to win a Fierce Scale Necklace. The winner gets to choose their color – will you pick one that reminds you a dragon in the series like Koll, a winter-wyvern like Norwick, or a river-troll like Olaf?
In the Zaria Fierce Trilogy we meet all kinds of wyverns – winter, water, and weather. Join me over at Rosemary’s blog Mom Read It to learn more about these cool hybrid creatures! I also share some of Eoghan Kerrigan’s artwork and pictures of my precious doggie, Oskar.
Rosemary also has written a fabulous review on the last book in the trilogy. Read a snippet below and check the full review out here:
That’s the great thing about the Zaria Fierce trilogy: adventure is fast, furious, and loaded with Norse mythology, but the friendship between Zaria and her group of friends is the heart that drives this story. They won’t give up on Zaria, even when she’s ready to give up on herself; in turn, she will do anything to keep her friends safe. Even fight a dragon.
Thanks for reading!
Greetings friends and fellow book readers! Today I am over at Brenda’s blog Log Cabin Library discussing different things that went into the naming of the third book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. I hope you’ll head on over and check it out!! learn what other titles were up for consideration.
Brenda also wrote a lovely review on Zaria Fierce and the Dragon Keeper’s Golden Shoes:
I think the Zaria Fierce series mixes together all the things that I love about reading fantasy books, there is a sense of good versus evil, strong friendships, dragons, gorgeous illustrations, a captivating world, a perfect middle-grade book for someone looking for an action packed story filled with Norse mythology.
Today I am over at Ner’s blog, A Cup of Coffee and a Book, sharing behind the scenes information and looks into the writing process of the third book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. I hope you’ll join me and tell me what you think. 🙂
Ner has reviewed book three already and she has said some absolutely wonderful things. Here’s a small quote from her review:
One of the most important themes in Keira’s books is friendship and I always marvel at how beautiful she describes Zaria and her group of friends. They always support each other and are always there for whatever comes their way and never once falter to protect the other. They develop in such a slow and fluid way you basically see these characters grow since book one and see their friendship becoming tighter. And Zaria was perhaps the one that grew up the most since the first book. After learning the truth about her birth parents, realising how important her role is in saving the world, she could just turn her backs and leave – or letting it all go to her head – but she stays and fights till the end though not without doubting herself. She’s brave and courageous and I will miss her. Well, I will miss all of them to be honest.
Thanks for reading!
I’m at Emily’s blog Midwestern Book Nerd sharing 9 things that inspired me to write scenes in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. I hope you’ll hop over and and take a peek.
Emily wrote a wonderful review for the third book, which you can find here:
Zaria continues to be an excellent example of courage, her group continues to be the best of friends despite every single thing they face, and they all show us the importance in being true to you.
Good day! I’m excited to share an interview I just did with Susan of Dab of Darkness. We go all over the map talking about jobs, writing, quests, book covers, artwork, and more. I hope you’ll join us. There’s also a giveaway at the end of the interview for those who would love to try the Zaria Fierce audio books.
Susan has also reviewed the first two books in audio format from the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. I’m thrilled! Here’s what she had to say:
This was quite a fun children’s book that I think will appeal to many adults as well. First, I really like the set up. We’re in Norway so we have the great frozen forests and water ways. Then there’s Zaria, a female non-Caucasian lead in a fantasy story. Lastly, Zaria made a mistake in choosing to break her deal with the river troll Olaf, which sets this whole adventure in motion.
She also has some fantastic things to say about Michele Carpenter’s performance in both books.
Once again, Michele Carpenter did a great job. She has the perfect voice for Zaria and I love how she gives light Norwegian accents to the all the boys. There’s even one song that is actually sung (though I believe another voice actress came in and performed it). Still, it was nice to have that little addition to the book and it was well edited in – the volume was the same, etc.
So with that said, be sure to check out the interview I did with Susan and enter the giveaway.
Keira Gillett (Author): Greetings everyone! The second book in the trilogy, Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, features an amazing voice talent, Michele Carpenter. Be sure to check out the other parts of this interview series to read more about what it takes to be a young adult/middle grade narrator. We’ve been having a lot of fun talking about the book and the series, so let’s dive right in. Michele, can you share a sample from your work process?
Michele Carpenter (Narrator): This is 7 minutes of unedited narration. I felt like it was real and sometimes comical, as it shows what narrating is often like for me.
Keira: Were you surprised, scared, disappointed, etc. with any part of the second book?
Michele: Disappointed that Zaria still hasn’t met a mermaid, possibly, lol! Or a unicorn… But what she has encountered isn’t your normal, everyday, frilly fluff like that. She’s meeting ‘real’ creatures from the fairy tale world, like mountain giants and ellefolken ladies. So that’s pretty awesome.
I was scared at the end when Zaria decided to be brave and conquer her fears, and surprised at the outcome of the confrontation through the mirror with…
Keira: Sh! No spoilers! Haha. I’m glad you liked those scenes. Zaria and her friends will meet a water creature in the next book. It won’t be a mermaid though. Who would you cast as Zaria Fierce in a movie? Any ideas for other characters?
Michele: That’s a tough one. Teens grow up too quickly to really pick someone the right age.
Skai Jackson could be pretty great as Zaria. She’s adorable, lovable and talented. It’d be neat to see her with violet eyes.
Maybe Mitchell Hope for Hart…?
Ryan Potter, who played Hiro in Big Hero 6 might make a good Christoffer.
Keira: Ooooo… I like your picks! If Zaria ever becomes a movie franchise, I’ll have to bring you along to help me cast… that is if I get a say. How do you keep track of the voices from book to book?
Michele: Well, reviewing is a big part of it, but sometimes that’s not enough. I started out trying to imitate my previous voices without remembering the heart of why I gave them those voices and it didn’t go so well.
I also have to remember what/who my inspiration for that character was. I often have another character or actor in my head that I was imitating to create someone’s voice. Remembering those really helps.
I have to admit, I really wanted to try to use the voice of the Goblin King, Jerreth, for the voice of Koll, but dog-gone-it, I totally forgot and gave him a different voice. Will he slowly morph into Jerreth in the next book? I can’t say he won’t, lol.
Keira: Well I think you nailed getting the voices to sound the same the second time around and I love your new characters, too, like Granny. She’s fantastic. Do you read the book in full before you record?
Michele: I always prefer to, yes. Do I always read the book in full first? No, I don’t. And it can cause you to run into unpleasant surprises further down the book.
Keira: I bet! That’s why I tried to give you hints as to where I saw some character arcs going from one book to the next. Thank you so much, Michele for talking with us!
Last time around I did a fun little post that discussed some cool facts about the first book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. Today I thought I’d share some facts about the second book. Let’s dive in! Here’s 8 things you might not have known about Zaria Fierce’s second adventures through Norway:
- The first draft of Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword was completed in six months on 6/9/2015 for a total of 3 days 2 hours 48 minutes writing time and 41,333 words. It took more four months to complete book two compared with the first book, because multiple rounds of edits were being done on book one to get it ready for publication.
- The second draft was completed a month later on 7/11/2015 for a total of 3 days 21 hours 52 minutes writing time and 42,936 words. Polishing, revising, and clarifying.
- The final book clocks in at 44,260 words and 4 days 18 hours 26 minutes total writing time. This makes book two 8,060 more words than book one.
- It took 1 day 16 hours and 22 minutes to complete the additional drafts and edits.
- Narrated, the second book is 5 hours 14 minutes long which is 1 hr and 12 minutes longer than book one.
- 16 illustrations – the under drawings are orange, which you’d never guess looking at the final work (the previous book the under drawings were blue). There was a 17th drawing that wasn’t used, featuring a giant.
- There were three other possible titles for book two, involving the words Enchantment, Acquisition, and Drakelord.
- 2 versions of the prologue exist. The original, which was less focused and only just touched on Zaria’s emotional state, and the current version.