My Readers interview ME about Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen

(WARNING mild Lydia Green spoilers ahead.)

I recently opened questioning on Instagram for my readers to learn more about my upcoming book Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen. They were very happy to help me out and I received some excellent questions!

In this blog post, I plan to answer those questions and share my excitement for this magical novel!

So, without further ado…

What’s the Plot?
Lydia Glacier Green never had reason to worry much before.

She lived in a timeless Glen on the edge of the Valleylands with her mismatched family of fairies, philosophers, and two troublemakers known as the Zs.

But now, at age eleven, her world is turned upside down when rumors reach Mulberry Glen about a mysterious Darkness that dwells in the forest Tenebrae.

Lydia knows it is nothing to be trifled with, but, fiery and headstrong, the Zs have other ideas. A foolish choice puts their lives in danger, and although she is no hero, Lydia realizes that family is something she is willing to fight for.

But among the shifting library shelves and lonely stone towers of her quest, Lydia is chased with more questions than answers. The Darkness of the forest lurks within her own mind, and how can you fight something which is all in your head?

You’ll have to read the book to find out any more than that. 😉

How many words?
65,000+. More than twice as long as Honey Butter.

Tell us about your protagonist!!
The protagonist is (surprise!) Lydia Green.
She’s eleven years old and has lived her whole life in a magical, timeless place called Mulberry Glen.
She’s deeply thoughtful, often quiet, and considers the forest her home. She loves every aspect of nature and is an aspiring herbalist.

What is the world of Lydia Green Like?
Lydia Green lives in the Valleylands. I drew a lot of inspiration from my trips to England to create the Valleylands, especially from the food a culture. I also borrowed the Latin language and architecture from Ancient Rome. Plus a bit of my own imagination.

Tell us a bit about your villain.
The villain is an invisible force called the Darkness. The Darkness manifests itself in the forest Tenebrae, a place from which no one has ever returned.
The darkness starts to take over Lydia’s mind throughout the book, and it represents a lot metaphorically.

What inspired you to go from contemporary to fantasy?
Well, I was more of a fantasy girl, to begin with.
It’s kind of ironic actually because I’d only ever written contemporary once before Honey Butter when I was about five! Other than that, all my work was sci-fi and fantasy.
But when inspiration strikes, I follow! The genre usually chooses me, rather than vice versa.

What was the hardest part to write/hardest part of the writing process for LGMG?
Chapter 17.
1. A lot of personal emotion went into it.
2. There’s a ton of metaphorical meaning.
3. All the plot points converge.

Is there romance?
Nope.
1. I do not have the life experience for that yet.
2. My characters are way to young.
3. They’re also a little preoccupied with this whole darkness-taking-over-the-world thing.
In general, I’m not a big fan of romance.

How big is the world of LGMG?
Lydia lives in a part of her world called the Valleylands, but there’s also the Highlands, Flatlands, Icelands,  etc.

Will we see any magical creatures and/or spells?
There aren’t any spells per-say, but there are fairies, Hobgoblins, and Elves.
Magic, in this book, is a natural force like wind or rain, people can’t control it.

Sometimes books or certain times in history make me want to create a certain world. What’s your inspiration?
– My trips overseas
– L. M. Montgomery and Elizabeth Goudge’s prose
– The forest behind my house
– My own faults and strengths
– The little details of everyday life

Will we see any magical creatures and/or spells?
There aren’t any spells per-say, but there are fairies, Hobgoblins, and Elves.
Magic, in this book, is a natural force like wind or rain, people can’t control it.

Is there any chance it will be available in hardcover?
Yes!
Honey Butter has too few pages for me to feel like making a hardcover was worthwhile. But Lydia Green is more than twice as long as Honey Butter, so most likely, yes!

What’s your favorite setting in the book?
Ooo! It’s got to be the Libraries!
The Libraries are huge and beautiful. But besides that… They’re magical. The shelves ‘shift’ to fit the the mood of each section and the person who goes there. It’s ridiculously easy to get lost int eh endless shelves, and you might not find your way out for weeks.

Who is the Character that you connect with most?
A cheesy answer maybe, but I love and connect with all my characters in different ways.
That said, Lydia’s struggles are written from some of my own personal experiences, and I connect a lot with her emotionally, even though our personalities are almost opposites.

Well, that’s all for now. If you want to find out more about Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen, you can subscribe to my newsletter for future sneak peeks, or check out the book’s page here.

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

A New World to Explore (For Both Me and You)

Here we are among the summer sunsets the burnt the blue sky. Chalk flower gardens and a bright array of paint colors. Here where sidewalks loop around Winchester court, and the noise of family bubbles from inside.

But now, there’s a new adventure calling.

Slowly withdraw from summer warmth, let the sound of slapping flip-flops fade, the paint colors blur, although not dim. They will never lose their brilliance.

But now the rushing of the leafs of the trees grows in volume. The sky is dressed bright and clear in autumn blue. The world is sweet and sunshine is a song. No sidewalks, no houses. Only the sweet earth beneath our feet. Only ground dappled in light and a sky dappled in clouds.

Betwixt Valley and Glen in a corner of these mystical lands, a girl in a long green cloak comes down from the way, in her eyes a depth of wisdom and the innocence of wonder, before her the quiet greeting of tree and flower alike.

Here is the coming world that I now present to you…

Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen

I hope you enjoyed that little snippety-snippet. Think of it as a bit of a teaser trailer. The synopsis will follow it sooner or later. (That rhymed!) And yes, I realize that that was a very dramatic way to reveal a title.

What can I say? Drama is my expertise!

But yes, I have indeed released the title of my new and upcoming book; Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen. It’s a bit of a relief for me to call it by its proper name now instead of just ‘the fantasy book’. No doubt you will be hearing a lot about it in the coming months.

As for progress on Lydia Green, (or LGMG as I sometimes shorten it to), I am happy to say that after pushing through some inoperativeness on the story’s side (definitely not mine) I am now well on my way to finishing the second draft. After that, I plan to send it too beta readers.

As you might remember if you’ve followed along on my previous book journey, I used beta readers on my third draft for Honey Butter. The reason I’m using them earlier this time is that I’ve learned a lot since then. Many beta readers have strong ideas that would involve bigger plot changes than I was at first prepared for, I did my best to give these ideas full consideration and implementation with Honey Butter, and while I think it did an alright job of it, I think I could have done better and perhaps been even more opened minded if I had given the Beta readers an earlier draft. So that’s what I’m doing this time with Lydia Green.

But besides directly book related updates I have another interesting tidbit to be made known to you as well.

In just a few days I am going to London.

My dad’s work sometimes involves business trips out of the country, whenever that happens; he usually takes one of us siblings with him. It’s an enormously fun and educational experience. I learn so much about culture and history!

Needless to say, I am extremely excited!

Plus, these trips, and how much I learned from them, was partly what inspired me to make Laren a Roadschooler.

Anyway, that was my big Christmas present this year. No doubt I will find an abundance of literary inspiration in London.

That’s all for now! Most likely my next post will be recapping my trip (something crazy to think about now), so stay tuned for that, and feel free to speculate theories about what might happen in Lydia Green of Mulberry Glen. It’s a book that is beginning to gain momentum!

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

An Author’s Sacrifice

Right now I’m in one of those steady, happy routines. Nothing huge is going on (at least not writing related) and I’m working on a new book, promoting Honey Butter, cooking, reading, and enjoying the coming of fall.

There are always new challenges, of course, one of which is balancing both promotion and writing. I’ve been managing homeschool and writing for a long time, (Plus, when you’re homeschooled your work only takes about as long as you want it to) but adding promotion has taken some getting used too. This is partly because it’s not in any way predictable. Sometimes it means replying to emails or writing informational blog posts. Sometimes it means googling ‘book review blogs’ and sifting through the results or going to award websites and reading through their submission guidelines.

My current writing projects are going pretty well. I’m hoping to finish the first draft of the new fantasy book I’m writing over the next few months. And I’m seventy-five percent done with the book of poems I’m writing.

But away, let’s get to the point of this blog post.

I envy my readers. Not in a bad way, but more of a wistful ‘oh well’ way.

The reason for this is that I can never read my book, and they can. I don’t mean that I am literally unable to read the words, but I can never really read it. I’ve analyzed this story to the breaking point, I always know what’s going to happen next, I’m pretty sure that if I tried I could recite some passages from memory.

I will never be surprised by the plot twist, never caught off guard by something a character says, never wonder ‘what happens next?’. I will never be able to sit down and experience it the way a normal reader would because I’m not the reader.

I guess that’s just the sacrifice an author has to make to bring a story to life. But you know what’s great? Actually, there are several great things;

  1. Other people can experience it.

Dear readers; never take for granted your ability to read and truly experience a book, because the author of that book cannot. This is crazy to think about, but it’s true. Think of all your favorite authors and their amazing books, then realize; they can’t read that amazing book the same way you can! But to give the world a story, and to give you a story, makes it totally worth it.

2. There is more than one author in the world.

Even if I can’t read my own book, there are millions of books out there, and new ones keep on coming. I have a forest of pages before me, all of them ready to explore…

Well, those are my disorganized musings for the day, and I hope you found them interesting. With all the promotion work I’ve been doing, hopefully, there will be some reviews and interviews coming out before too much longer. When they do come out I’ll set up a page here so you can read them if you want. In the meantime…

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

Release Party Recap

This post is a bit overdue,  but I wanted to give you guys a quick recap of the book release party. It was amazing!

The night before the party, my mom and I made a cake that looked like the paint card on the cover of my book.

The afternoon of the book signing, we pulled all the snacks and supplies together, got everyone into the car, and drove to King City Books. We did a little setting up, and then people started coming.

The rest of the evening passed in a flash. At least thirty people showed up! And honestly, I can not thank them enough, the support was amazing! My mom and I were worried we would run out of cake, but actually, we ran out of books! We sold out of Honey Butter copies about halfway through the event.

It’s fun, and kind of weird, to sign your books for people. I practiced my signature a lot before the event.

Fall is almost here. Leaves change color, the air cools. It’s the season for apples and pumpkins and soup and baked things. I think my next book might take place in fall. I’ve started working on it recently, and it’s very refreshing to start something new. I love Honey Butter; it’s a sweet story and will always be important to me,  but I’m a fantasy writer at heart. I’m ready to write about magic and forests and adventure. I haven’t been working too seriously or with a goal in mind, on my next book, but I have been writing it, and that’s always a step in the right direction.

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence

Published at Last . . .

Well… Honey Butter is published.
I guess when you boil that down it means two main things:

 

  1.  You can read it.
  2. I can start a new story.

Both of which are equally hard to wrap my brain around.

If you love reading then you know it’s not just understanding what the words on the page mean. It’s immersing yourself in an entirely new world. Becoming friends with characters that make you laugh, wince, and cry just like real life friends. It’s seeing things a totally new way. A way that makes you think long and hard about the world around you. A good book isn’t just words on a page. In the words of Ray Bradbury:

“The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”

A good book does that. Whether or not my book is a good book I am not in the place to judge. That’s your, the reader’s,  job. But now that it’s published, the readers can do their job. And if my book is good, will it ‘stitch the patches of the universe together’?

It’s a terrifying and wonderful thought. That something you wrote could do something or impact someone in this world. Whether it actually will or not you can’t really know. All you can do is keep writing, which brings us to the second thing.

What am I going to write next?

As strange as it may sound, I’ve never been able to ask myself this question before. Until now I’ve always written until I got sick of the story I was writing, and by that time I had another story idea I was burning to write. So there’s never been any question what I was going to write next. Now I’m faced with the choice between two or three story ideas that I’ve had for a while. So while I’m deciding on those maybe right now it would be best to take a break from writing and promote my book. Now that my first book is published a lot will be going on around here…

 

Keep an eye out for giveaways and events! If you subscribe to my newsletter then you’ll get notified whenever a new one pops up. (What? You knew I’d be putting that in here somewhere.)

If you would like to buy a copy of Honey Butter I would be very grateful. Below are the links to places where you can buy it.

Amazon    Barnes & Noble    

Thanks so much to everyone who helped and encouraged me along this journey! And, as always…

KEEP WRITING!

docendo disco, scribendo cogito,
– Millie Florence