Welcome to SCBWI-MI's Book Birthday Blog!
Where we celebrate new books from Michigan's authors, illustrators and translators.
Congratulations to Rachel Anderson on the release of Lagatha's Curse
Please share a little about the book's journey. How did you come up with the idea?
The idea came to me way back in 1990 or so, and I played around with it. I created a timeline and worked to fill in details of where the story would go and who would be the main players. I picked up the manuscript many times over the years, wrote until I liked that version better than the others, and then put it away again whenever I received a mediocre review or a touchy critique. This year, my editor asked me to pull it out again and work on tightening the story, because she believed in the story and thought it was a great manuscript.
What was the most difficult part of writing the book?
Pulling together various versions from over the years was the hardest part, and then renaming all my characters so they fit together. I’d been challenged with that in the past. Also, I chose the mountains to be Easth and Westh, even though I know some people may have an issue with that…but I love the names. And then the revision stage is always challenging, but always makes the book stronger. Sometimes I love revisions; sometimes I don’t, but I know it’s a very important part of writing/finishing the book.
What is something you hope your readers will take away from your book?
I’d like them to know that when things go bad, or people treat you wrong, hold on. You were made for a special purpose in this lifetime. Like Dantel, he didn’t know he was going to fight an evil person and break a curse that had been cast over their village years in the past. But he knew what he was capable of, and he knew that he was picked to do something big, as was Letha. So, I’d like the takeaway to be this: know who you are and seek out the role you were created for.
What are your marketing plans for the book and where can we find it?
I’m planning to set up a number of book signings between December 1 and May 1, locally and within Michigan’s boundaries. My website is being updated. Lagatha’s Curse is available today in both eBook and paperback on Amazon. It's also available in paperback at https://latenovemberliterary.com/ and other on-line booksellers. Note: Your local independent booksellers can order the book for you. Ask them! And perhaps they'll add Lagatha's Curse to their inventory.
What's next for you?
Over the winter, I’ll be brainstorming ideas for my 2nd middle grade novel, A Dog Dilemma. My first MG novel, The Puppy Predicament, was a great hit with kids ages 8 – 12. Some of the kids are asking me when the next book will come out. I also want to work on a couple of picture books which have been on the back burner. I’m hoping to breathe life into them and send out some queries.
More about the book . . .
Summer is ending, and winter will rule the land. In Lagatha’s Curse, an ancient tree, Shashra, separates two cursed tribes by summer and winter. When seventeen-year-old Dantel, of the summer Lagaths, crosses the river to explore the forbidden mountain, he finds a red stone on a woven cord. The stone burns him, which ignites a passion to find out what it is, and who it belongs to. He eventually comes face-to-face with a girl from the winter Lagaths. She comes for the stone, for it is her life force. Dantel is compelled to save her life. Together, they uncover answers about their two tribes and the curse that binds them all. Determined to end the curse and bring their tribes together, the duo venture into the unknown, as they learn of a powerful enchanter who controls Shashra. To free their tribes, they must travel to Shashra and confront Rulyen, the evil enchanter holding the strings. Their mission is difficult, and their options are few. Will they prevail, or will the evil Rulyen have the last word?
Publisher: Late November Literary
More about the author . . .
Rachel Anderson grew up on a farm in rural Michigan and now lives in Gaylord, Michigan. On the farm they had cows, horses, pigs, chickens, a dog named Queenie, and many cats and kittens. And that is one reason she loves to include animals in her stories. She is married to Craig, and they have two daughters, one son-in-law, and one grandson. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. One tradition she holds to dearly is hosting a gingerbread house decorating party in late Nov/early Dec. Rachel likes to volunteer in the community and at her church. She has been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for many years, having served on the advisory committee and a year as co-regional advisor with SCBWI-MI. She writes picture books, middle-grade, and YA. This is her second published novel.