Christine Norris: Return To Zandria

6 07 2007

Ivy Peterson was not ordinary. Ivy was More-Than-Ordinary because once she found herself in a very special place and had a very special adventure.

But Ivy was far too old for fairy tales…wasn’t she?

It has been three years since Ivy recovered the Talisman of Zandria, and her life is very different. She is no longer the shy young girl who chased a fairy through a magic gate, but a teenager, concerned with clothes, friends and school. She has nearly forgotten about the special world that exists on the other side of a thin magical veil.

But they have not forgotten her.

Now a crisis is brewing in Zandria, and only Ivy can help. They implore her to come to their aid, and Ivy’s memories of adventure pull her once again into the enchanted world of mermaids, dragons and wizards. Reunited with old friends, and bringing a new one along for the ride, Ivy must now lead them into the wilds of her own world, and not only keep them safe but stop an empire from falling into the clutches of evil.—Story summary of Return to Zandria, courtesy

Author Christine Norris has been kind enough to let me interview her regarding her writing, and her soon to be released YA novel, Return to Zandria. Christine is a New Jersey native, and a graduate of Temple University. She began writing in 2001, and completed work on her successful first novel, The Talisman of Zandria, in 2004.

In an email interview, Christine answered a few questions about herself, her writing, and her latest novel.

What made you decide to write children’s books?
—That’s an interesting story. I’ve always liked fairy tales, and great adventures full of magic and fantasy. But it wasn’t until after I read Harry Potter that I decided I wanted to try and write a children’s book. I loved the stories, of course, like everyone else, but it was JK Rowling’s personal story that inspired me. I thought if she could write a book and sell it, without any formal writing training, then I could too.

Tell us a little bit about Return to Zandria.
—This book picks up three years after the previous one, TALISMAN OF ZANDRIA. Ivy Peterson, who’s the heroine, is now fourteen, and a pretty normal teenager. Which, if you read the first book, you know that’s not how she always was. Anyway, she’s worried about normal teenage things, like school and clothes. She’s completely forgotten about her adventure in Zandria. They haven’t forgotten about her, though, and they need her now more than ever, because there’s a major crisis that only she can help them with. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s all very exciting and full of adventure and twists and turns.

Is Return to Zandria written more toward a young female audience? Is there anything in the story that might appeal to boys?
—Maybe. I think more girls will relate to Ivy, but I’ve seen boys reading the first book, and had several boys tell me they liked it. I like to write about girl heroines, because I don’t know how many relate-able female main characters there are in this age group. I think boys will like this one too – there’s fighting, and dragons, and magic, and adventure. Connor, the wizard apprentice, has a bigger part to play in this book than the last. I think he’ll have quite a bit of appeal to boys.

Which was harder to write, the first book, Talisman of Zandria, or its sequel, Return to Zandria?
—This one was much harder. I didn’t have a story for the longest time – there was a time when I didn’t think I was going to even write a sequel. This one went through quite a bit more revision, I think, than the first. The beginning was especially tough for some reason. It came out much better than even I expected it to.

Will there be a third book in the Zandria series?
—Everyone has asked me that, and the answer is I just don’t know. I haven’t closed the door on Zandria, but I’m concentrating on other projects right now, like my upcoming series, the first of which will be out next year, and a full-length Wizard Academies story. But the story for Return to Zandria sort of suprised me, so there’s always a chance there will be another book.

What are some authors or books that have influenced and/or inspired you?
—I have my list of ‘inital’ authors – JK Rowling, CS Lewis, JRR Tolkein…LOL. Plus great authors like Tamora Pierce, Roald Dahl, Jane Yolen, and Madeline L’Engle. A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite books when I was young. I wore that book out, I need a new copy. One of my new favorite authors is James A. Owen, who’s book Here, There Be Dragons, is my new favorite book. I can’t wait for the next in that series, he’s terrific, seriously inspirational.

Return to Zandria is due to be released in print on July 28, and an e-book version in .pdf format is available now at LBF Books. For more information about Christine Norris, visit her at her website, or on MySpace.

Author photo courtesy copyright 2007 Sarah A. Lukacs




4 responses

6 07 2007
Jim Melvin

Good luck on Return to Zandria, Christine. I enjoyed reading the interview.

6 07 2007
Jimmy D. Gillentine

This is a awsome book. I love it and do hope that there will be another one.

6 07 2007
Montgomery Sword-Author

Return to Zandria is a must-read and i recommend it to everyone!
Christine has a great program going with inspiring students also; and I agree with her choices of authors who “showed her the way.”

7 07 2007
Vicki M. Taylor

Good luck on your book tour, Christine. Writing for children takes a very special person. Thanks for being that person.

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