Release Date: March 6, 2015 (03/06/2015)
Author: Keira Gillett
Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan
Narrator: Michele Carpenter
Series: Zaria Fierce Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy
Setting: Modern-day Norway
Page Count: 224
Word Count: 36, 200
Formats Available: E-book, audio book, trade paperback
Buy Links: E-book, audio book (coming soon), trade paperback (coming soon)
Quick Summary: When her friend, Christoffer, is kidnapped by a river-troll, Zaria Fierce must team up with his three best friends and complete a quest to rescue him.
Full Summary: On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.
Post Title: An Interview with Eoghan Kerrigan the Illustrator of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest – Part 1
Thanks, Sanovia for having us today at Creatyve Books! We are so happy to share about our collaboration on another shy girl and bookworm, Zaria Fierce. Join us in this three part interview series with Eoghan Kerrigan, the illustrator of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest. Today we bring you part one and follow along on the blog tour to read the other two parts.
Keira Gillett (Author): Why did you decide to become an illustrator and graphic artist?
Eoghan Kerrigan (Illustrator): Ever since I was little I loved to draw and when I got a little older and realized you could make a living from designing characters and creatures I was set on that path.
Keira: I know I’m grateful you kept up with drawing. Your work is stunning. How do you design characters and creatures? What is your process?
Eoghan: Most of the characters I come up with usually appear as little ‘eureka’ moments where my mind will form an idea and I’ll find it appealing. Follow it up with some thought, some initial drawings and a little bit of inspiration from various sources and a unique character can appear. Other times I let my pencil wander and that also does the trick.
Keira: Do you find it easier to draw a character after you’ve drawn it once? Or is it harder to keep the integrity of the character as you illustrate it in different poses?
Eoghan: Both are true for me and it really depends on the character. A non-human character is generally easier to draw again and again, while a human character takes considerably more effort as they need to stay on model to be recognizable no matter the expression or situation.
Keira: I can see how that would be. Humans must always look humanlike whereas a troll’s form could be played with more. What is a typical day spent illustrating for you like?
Eoghan: A typical day is me sitting at my computer and drawing while I watch or listen to something on the internet. I need the distraction to be comfortable. An ideal day is usually when I listen to music and watch other creatives at work.
Keira: By creatives, you probably mean artists, it’d be less satisfying to watch an author type. LOL How do you prep for a new project?
Eoghan: I generally start off with concept drawings without reference to loosen myself up and brainstorm ideas. After that when a design or image is settled upon I’ll gather reference and go from there.
Keira: I loved seeing your sketches and concept drawings as we decided on the look and feel of Zaria and Olaf. We started with them first because they were so important to the telling of the story. You have done a marvelous job and I’m so thrilled. I know readers will be too when they read the book.
Book Blurb: On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.
“With kids interested in “Frozen,” with Anna and Elsa, this would be a natural progression.” – Judi Oswald, Reference Librarian
Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too. They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.
“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. “Let’s head back to camp.”
“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.
“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”
“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”
Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.
“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”
Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can <em>Marco Polo</em> our way back to the others.”
“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”
Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.
“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”
“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.
“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”
Watch the Book Trailer:
Author Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.
Illustrator Bio: Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures. He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects. He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls.
Narrator Bio: Michele Carpenter is an artist at heart, with a passion for acting. She and her husband (also a voice actor) often work on projects together and help one another through the journey. Together, they have three kids. Michele’s children love to hear her read stories and beg her to edit her narrations in the same room with them so they can listen too. It’s partially for this reason that Michele has come to feel a personal responsibility to only record books that aren’t inappropriate for children or young adults–at their respective age levels and according to the maturity levels of the books they’re able to read. “We never know how long we have on this earth and I’d rather leave behind a legacy of books that I’m not ashamed to have my friends, family and even future grandchildren, listen to forever.”
Additional Promotional Content (zipped), includes: Book cover, author head shot, illustrator head shot, narrator head shot, two illustrations, and a five-minute audio book sample