Friday, November 10, 2017

Author Interview: Sybrina Durant, Author of 'The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm'

About the Book:

“The metal horned unicorns are doomed!” That’s what Lauda Lead Horn wailed when she first saw the tribe’s new savior. OK, so his horn was not metal. . .and he did not have a magic power. . .and he was really a puny little runt. But doomed? Were things really that bad? 

Well, things were pretty bad in the land of MarBryn. Magh, an evil sorcerer utilized unicorn horns and hooves to create his magical potions and spells. Those he used, to increase his power and to conquer everyone in his path. All of the unicorns from the Tribe of the Metal Horn were now gone . . . except for twelve survivors. 

Before the blue unicorn was born, Numen told Alumna, the aluminum-horned oracle, that he had a plan to bring the tribe back home to Unimaise. His prophecy was, “Only the blue unicorn can join with the Moon-Star. Until then, no new unicorns will be born.” Blue was the last unicorn born. Twenty years later, his horn was still covered with a plain blue colored hide. There was not a glint of metal to be seen on it or his hooves. And he still didn’t have any magic. But he was no longer scrawny and he had his wits. Though no one else in the tribe thought he had a chance, Blue felt ready to make Magh pay for his evil deeds. And he went off to do it alone. That was Blue’s first mistake. If the entire tribe was not standing horn-tip to horn-tip at the proper time and the exact place to help usher the Moon-Star Spirit into Blue’s horn, he would die. Then, the rest of the tribe would really be doomed. 

Readers will follow along two journey paths in this book. Blue is joined in his travels by his mentor Gaiso, the Stag and his friend, Girasol the Firebird as they try to find their way across a danger-filled MarBryn to Muzika Woods. The rest of Blue’s tribe is forced to follow another route due to Nix Nickle Horn’s unfortunate incident with a Manticore. Nix, the great unicorn defender must safely lead the way for Ghel, the Golden-Horned unicorn; Silubhra Silver Horn; Cornum the Brass-Horned unicorn; Steel Horned Style; Cuprum the Copper-Horned unicorn; Tin-Horned Tinam; Dr. Zinko; Iown the Iron-Horned unicorn and the others in an action packed adventure to their destination in Muzika Woods. Both journey paths converge there in the Nebulium Circle.

About the Author:

I'm Sybrina. . .. . .Just one of millions of wannabe author/singer/songwriters out there but I hope, after reading or hearing my books and songs, you'll think my contributions to the world have as much value as any other famous artist out there today.

Fame is all in being in the right place at the right time but at least with the internet and venues like this, all of us have opportunities to share our creativity with the world. I'm so happy that I am able to share my works with you. That is awesome!

The books I’ve written span a wide range between illustrated picture books, coloring books and YA novels to technical and how-to books. If you’re so inclined you can read a little bit about the inspiration for each one below.
My latest effort is “The Blue Unicorn’s Journey ToOsm. It is a book I started writing 30 something years ago and never finished. At the time, it was meant to be an epic fantasy along the lines of novels written by Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Ursula K. Le Guin and other amazing fantasy writers. I’ve pulled out my notes, dusted off the outline and began rewriting and expanding upon the 50 pages I had began. This story is now available as an Illustrated Book for teens and older readers in full color and in black and white, too. The black and white version is a "Read and Color" book. Read a chapter, then color the following pages. How fun is that? There is also a picture book for pre-schoolers called Unicorns FromUnimaise - The Magical Metal-Horn Trobe. A longer version of the chapter book will soon be available as an Illustrated Novel with a companion glossary called, The Marbryn Compendium. All of the fantastic fantasy illustrations are by Dasguptarts. There is also a companion coloring/character description book, edited by Calyie Martin. It will introduce potential readers to the myriad of characters, places and things in the story.


When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/storyteller?
I’ve wanted to be a storyteller ever since I learned to read. 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I came up with the idea for my current story nearly 40 years ago.  I had read some fantasy books about centaurs and fairies and unicorns and wanted to write one of my own.  I was also very interested in the science of things.  I started researching metals and different things about them.  What color would the flame be when a certain metal burned?  What medical or other industrial properties might the metal have?  I started cataloguing the information and decided to write a book about metal horned unicorns with magical powers related to the metals of their horns.  There would be 12 in all but one would have no metal and no magic.  The story would be his quest to find his power and to save his tribe from extinction.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
I think everyone has writer’s block from time to time. Re-reading what I’ve written helps me move forward with my writing. New ideas jump out at me and before long I find myself writing for hours without realizing the time has passed so quickly. Also, if I’m having a really hard time trying to figure out what should happen next in a story, I’ll sleep on it. I’ll make a conscious decision to dream about the book and will wake up with fresh ideas.

What are your current/future projects?
My current and several future projects all revolve around The Blue Unicorn. I think I must be crazy because I’ve never heard of another writer going to the extremes I have with this story.  It actually started out as a fantasy novel for adults. I had already written most of that novel but after being introduced to the incredible artwork of Sudipta Dasgupta, I put it aside and decided to create this illustrated version of the book for a younger audience. I re-wrote the text so that it would fit into the confines of 2 pages of text for every 2 page illustrated spread.  This book ended up with over 40 magnificent illustrations. The amount of illustrations brought on a unique problem that I had not anticipated. It made the cost of the printed book exorbitant. That was very disappointing for me because although the book is available in ebook and audio book formats - print is definitely the best medium for something so lavishly illustrated.  I didn’t want to split the book up into 2 or more volumes, so I came up with a less costly solution for print – a black and white illustrated version of the book.  It turned out an added bonus of black and white printing is that the book can function as a coloring book, too.  I call this version a “Read and Color” book. Read a chapter and color the following illustration.  How fun is that?  In a couple of weeks, I’ll be publishing a picture book to introduce little children to the Blue Unicorn called Unicorns From Unimaise – The Magical Metal-Horn Tribe. Then, next year, I’ll finally publish that original novel. In fact, the glossary for it is so long that I’ll be publishing it separately. It will be called the MarBryn Compendium.   

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I absolutely love fantasy books so I wanted to try my hand at writing one to see where my imagination might take me.  But I also love to categorize information so I write technical documents and instructional books, too.  Writing in such opposite extremes actually helps balance your brain.  Although this book is fantasy, I’ve done a lot of research on a vast variety of subjects and categorized it in the best way possible to pull, thread, knit the story into the form it is today.

Are you traditional or self-published, and what process did you go through to get your book published?
I am self-published.  That is the most assured way for an author to get their books out to the public these days.  Oh sure, I’d love for some big publishing or film  company to discover my books and offer me a contract for the next great life-like animated movie but while I’m waiting I’m going to do as much as possible myself.  Along with being self-published I also get to decide how to promote and market the book and any book bling that I might come up with.  So far, I’ve got trading cards, mugs, t-shirts and more which are all available online.

How do you think you have evolved as a person/author because of your writing and do you believe your writing has helped others, how/why?
A long time ago, I went to a psychic who told me that I would help a lot of people with my writing.  I wasn’t even writing then so I wondered why she would say such a thing.  Years later, I wrote and self-published a very helpful illustrated book called “Learn To Tie A Tie With The Rabbit And The Fox”.  Her words came back to me and I wondered, “Is this the book she meant that I would help others with?”  Learning to tie a tie is something that most people have no interest in any longer so that’s probably not what she was referring to.   Whether her words will ever turn out to be true or not, I have written several other books since then and have always tried to keep the thought in mind that I’m supposed to be helping others some way with my writing.  It’s a good motivation for me.

Do you believe there is value in a review? Do you believe they are under rated, over rated, or don’t matter at all?
I believe there is great value in a review that has been written with great thought and consideration.  As a writer, I want to know what a reader really thinks about my work.  We live in an amazing time where, a book (well a self-published book anyway) never has to be in its absolute final state of publication.  If the words of a reviewer are truly valid or profound enough to inspire change, it could be the catalyst to do some rewriting to republish a better version of the story.  

What is your biggest fear about having a book published?
That no one will ever know that it exists.  Of course, that fear is alleviated to a great extent because of people like you who guide readers to new books.  Writers of book blogs are amazing and inspiring and can have a great impact on the reading lists of their followers.  But more than that they can literally guide them to books that might possibly be impactful enough to change their lives.

What is the intended audience for you book?
Teens and older readers are the intended audience for The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm Illustrated Book.  I grew up devouring illustrated books like Brother’s Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen.  The words of those stories drew me in but the illustrations took me places that my imagination had not yet conceived.  I wanted to offer that kind of experience to teens and anyone else who loves to drink in the imagery of an artist’s imagination.  

Give us a fun fact about your book(s)?  
I offer free coloring pages from the fantastic book illustrations to anyone who wants them.  All you need to do is ask and I’ll send you a link to download them.  And I’d love to display your work on the book’s Facebook page.  Just send an email to Sybrina at Sybrina dot com with the subject line “Free Coloring Pages”. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Do it!  Start now! There is absolutely no reason not to.  For better or worse, today anyone can write and self-publish a book.  You can instantly place it on mediums where readers might potentially find it and you can do this for free.  Because of the tools we have available now and because of the internet, nothing could be easier.  But don’t think that just because your book is available for sale somewhere on the world wide web that others will find it on their own.  The competition for attention is immense.  In the US alone, literally hundreds of new books are offered for sale on online book stores every single day.  That is a mind boggling fact of the writing world.  It will be up to you to make it known.  From there - who knows how far it might travel.  The main thing is – if you have a story to tell and you want to share it – don’t let anything stop you from trying.  Anything can happen.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing information about The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm Illustrated Book For Teens with your readers. :)