Today Elizabeth Pantley is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Falling into Magic, her first novel in the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series.
Welcome, Elizabeth. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Falling into Magic is the first book of the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series. (Book two will follow in about four months.) The first book tells of our protagonist’s arrival in this very special place. How did she get there? Why was she brought there? And why is someone dangerous targeting her, and are they trying to force her to leave?
Destiny Falls is an enchanted place that you won’t find on any map. It’s a place filled with surprises and mysteries that are uncovered just a bit at a time. It’s a small town, but it’s not, depending on what the citizens need. There’s a magical ferry boat, but I can’t really tell you where it goes – because the destinations change, depending on the journey.
The people of Destiny Falls are much like you and I, but with interesting and occasional aspects that we’d never see in our own world. This makes the community rich with characters and stories that will take many years to tell.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
This story idea rolled around in my head for a long time before it made it to paper. It began with just a kernel: What if there was a secret world hiding on the other side of the mirror? What if what we’re seeing isn’t always a reflection of our own place, or our own truth? What if we suddenly found ourselves there? How would we act? What would we do? If it was truly wonderful, would we stay?
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
The general theme is about home and family. What makes a family? How do we know if the place we reside is the home where we are meant to be? In Falling into Magic, our protagonist, Hayden, finds herself thrust into a magical place far removed from her world and everything she has accepted as normal. She learns she has a family that has been hidden from her all her life.
The theme of the story examines how we as human beings can shift and adjust, depending on where we find ourselves. It shows that we can build a place for ourselves wherever we may land.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
I think that characters have their beginnings in real people we’ve known or met along the way in our lives. And once created, they change and modify into their own self. Eventually, they become very real, and their personalities develop and solidify. Oftentimes, my characters did something, or said something that made me laugh out loud, and I wondered, now, where did that come from?
One of my favourite characters doesn’t even have a name! She is known by her description alone, and she is in some ways exactly what you’d expect her to be, and in others, so far removed from her stereotype it’s hysterical!
The beauty of writing a story like this, is that the characters almost create themselves. Their personalities begin to shine and bring a depth and realism to the book.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
Destiny Falls is a harbour town located near a mountain and forest. The location was created based on places I know well in the Pacific Northwest. We have a wonderful group of 172 islands called the San Juan Islands that are located between Washington State and Canada. They are known for their amazing natural beauty and variety of small, charming towns. Our family has had many vacations exploring these islands. It was easy to create a magical place based on the charm of these towns and the stunning wilderness of the islands.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
I often reach out to someone who’s an expert in their field. I have found that people in general are gracious and excited to provide information on their specialty to an author!
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
Once you meet all the characters in this book, and the story takes shape, you’ll find a roller coaster ride of events. Every time you think you’ve figured out the mystery another aspect is uncovered to make you second-guess your hypothesis. It’s fun to wander through the story until the truth is revealed to you.
Thanks for answering my questions, Elizabeth, and good luck with Falling into Magic, the first book in theDestiny Falls Mystery & Magic series.
The novel is available online at Amazon
About Elizabeth Pantley: Elizabeth is the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives near Seattle and is the mother of four and nana to one. This is her first work of fiction.