Writers draw inspiration from many areas of their lives, but for local author Michele Bussiere, the idea for her novel came right from the backyard of her Norwood home. Bussiere’s eBook, “Eldoria: A Step through the Thicket”, is a fantasy novel targeted at a young adult audience. The novel, which is currently for sale on Amazon.com, tells the story of a teenage girl named Morgan Campbell and her connection to a mystical island called Eldoria. Here, Bussiere discusses how her twin daughters played a role in helping her develop the story, as well as her future writing plans.
Q: When did you first become interested in writing?
A: I’ve always loved writing; it was my minor in college. Writing a book has always been a dream. It’s one of those things that you can want to do it, but it isn’t until you’re inspired by a particular project or storyline that it takes on a mind of its own.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of “Eldoria”?
A: It all started about seven years ago during my daughters’ summer vacation. They were playing outside, and I looked out into the woods behind the house. There was an opening from a shrub we had cut down, and on an old stonewall, one spot was being illuminated from the sun that looked like a magic portal. I said to my daughters, “That looks like it would transport you somewhere”.
Q: And it just took off from there?
A: Yes. It led to this ongoing story that lasted their entire summer vacation. My daughters kept asking, “What happens next?” So, when they went back to school, I thought I would write it down while it was fresh in my mind so they could look back on the story when they got older. I originally thought it would be 20-25 pages, but it got to be about 400 before I realized, I just wrote a book!
Q: Who, or what, inspired the characters?
Morgan was the first character; Quinn, her friend and love interest, came along later. It’s hard to recall exactly where exactly they come from. I know I was trying to think of a girl a little older than my daughters as the main character. They love animals, so it was an important element to be sure there were characters who could transform into animals.
Q: Have you always been interested in the fantasy genre?
A: When I used to think of writing a book, I thought it would be for an adult audience. I’d never even looked into that genre or age group until my children took an interest to the Harry Potter series when they were young.
Q: How did you differentiate your story from other books and movies that fall into this now-popular genre?
A: Aside from the fact that magic is the overriding theme, there’s very little in common with the mainstream books. I just tried to create a magical land that’s very different from the actual world. They have their own customs; I tried to be very different. I tried to create the characters and really follow them.
Q: Are there any plans to turn this eBook into a series?
A: Yes. I finished the first book, wrote a second, and then a third. I couldn’t let the characters go. So, the first three are completed, and I have books four through six outlined with a few scenes written. The characters have become part of the family and my daughters, who are now 16-years-old, have been very collaborative. Their likes and dislikes have steered the storyline. My daughter, Chantal, is the cover artist for all of the books. Both she and my daughter, Brianna, are very creative and artistically inclined.
Q: What have been the biggest challenges in marketing an eBook?
The age of the audience I am trying to reach being 9-12 has been the biggest challenge. It’s a matter of determining where kids go online at this age to be sure it is being advertised in the right places. It is also a question of who is making the decision of what books kids download to their Kindles and Nooks, and being sure to advertise to them as well.
Q: What would you like readers to get out of this book and series?
A: That no matter what your age – child or adult – it’s so important to live up to your responsibilities and to be responsible for your actions. A common thread throughout the series is a friendship-based romance that develops between the two lead characters. As they go through the series, grow into adulthood and have children of their own, they always support each other and depend on each other - no matter what adventure they are on.
Q: Have you thought at all about your future writing plans?
I’d like to do some adult fiction at some point. I’m not sure if it’d be mystery, romance novel, or what the genre would be exactly. But, I’d eventually like to write something new for an adult audience.