"Reyes' debut novel is a gripping fantasy just right for younger readers who clamor for adventure but are not quite ready for Lloyd Alexander's 'Grey King' or J.R.R.Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings.'" ~Deseret News
"Reyes deftly develops her plot and characters and firmly holds readers' attention throughout this exciting and surprising tale." ~School Library Journal
"Young readers...will delight in this opening title in The Celestine Chronicles series, which delivers a fantasy adventure for a reluctant readership." ~Booklist
"Marcus is a hero who engages challenges in a way that is both human and admirable." ~Publisher's Weekly
Flamingnet Top Choice Award (scored 9 out of 10)
SOME CRAZY AWESOME THINGS ABOUT LAURISA:
* Mom of 5 kids
* Addicted to Chocolate & Sushi (not at the same time)
* Favorite Movie - Gone With The Wind
* Favorite Book - Wuthering Heights
* Favorite Ice Cream Flavor - Double Chocolate Malted Crunch
* Pets - Some goldfish and birds
* Hates rollercoasters, celery and rap music
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE LAURISA WHITE REYES
1. What did you most like to do when you were a child?
The same things I enjoy doing now - reading and writing. I wrote my first poem when I was five. It just came to me in the middle of the night. I got out of bed, fished a scrap of poster board from my trash can, and scribbled it out with a crayon. Growing up I wrote poetry, short stories and plays. I used to coax my brothers and cousins into performing them for our parents. And I have always been a voracious reader.
2. When you were a child did you ever have a moment when you decided that you were going to be a writer when you grew up?
I think I was about fourteen when I knew I wanted to be an author someday. I set a goal to publish my first novel by the time I was thirty. I overshot that goal by thirteen years, but I finally did it.
3. What books influenced you most when you were growing up?
My favorite series for years was the TRIXIE BELDEN MYSTERIES. I still have the entire set of books in a box in my garage. Some of my other favorites included ROBINSON CRUSOE, OF MICE AND MEN, GONE WITH THE WIND, WUTHERING HEIGHTS and ROOTS. Heavy duty stuff for a kid, I know, but I loved them. Still do.
4. When you went to college, were you already pursuing a writing career?
At first I actually wanted to be a geneticist. I lasted five minutes in my first genetics course and promptly changed my major to English. I never lost sight of the fact that I wanted to write. After college, I spent the next thirteen years writing for magazines and newspapers, but the deadlines finally burned me out. Six years ago I quit all that to focus on writing fiction, which was what I really wanted to do all along anyway.
5. What gave you the idea for THE ROCK OF IVANORE?
I've always enjoyed reading to my kids at night before they go to bed. When my oldest son was about 8 years old, he asked me to make up a story instead of read one. So I told him about an enchanter's apprentice who botched his spells. Each night my son would tell me what he wanted to hear that night, whether it was dragons, or magic, or sword fighting, and I'd weave it into the story. Eventually I started writing it down. A year later I had a completed manuscript.
6. How did your life change when you got married and had children? Did it make it easier or harder to find time to write?
My husband and I have been married almost twenty years now. We have five children ranging in age from 18 down to 4 years. When my oldest child was small, I'd sit her on my lap, hold her steady between my elbows, and type on the computer at the same time. Later, as more kids came, night time was my time. Most of my writing was done between 10p and 2am. When my babies woke in the middle of the night, I get up to care for them, and then stay up an extra hour to write. But I was younger then. Now that I'm older, I'm tired. I can't stay up past eleven or I fall asleep at the computer. So now I work in the morning before my youngest child wakes up. Once he's up, my writing day is over. The rest of the day belongs to him. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
7. What other hobbies do you enjoy?
I do have a few other hobbies, though I do them sporadically. I enjoy digital scrapbooking (I don't have the talent or patience for traditional scrapbooking). I do a lot of family history and have traced my genealogy back to seventeenth century New England. I also have a passion for ancient history, something I inherited from my father who knows pretty much everything about it. I also inherited my love of writing from him. He has written several amazing novels himself, and now that he is retired is finally making time to pursue publication.
8. When is your next book going to be in book stores?
My first novel, THE ROCK OF IVANORE, will be (was) released on May 15, 2012. The sequel, THE LAST ENCHANTER, will come out sometime in 2013. There may also be a young adult paranormal in the works, but that is still up in the air.