It just dawned on me that people may think my book is associated with, related to, or a spin off of the other books entitled with Shadows of Amber, Shadows of a Shaman or Shadows Book of Spells, etc.
Amber Shadows and the Missing Wands is based off my own creation, some of which is based off of my experiences growing up. I have never read any of the aforementioned books and I have not written any spell books from the Amber Shadows series as of yet.
There may be a future Amber Shadows Journal, Jocelyn's Legends, Spells, and Enchantment book, or Spell Book of White Heavenly Magic according to Magia Session Teachings. But these are merely ideas I will develop and write after the series is complete.
My book is about a young White Magic witch-in-training who studies White Magic, is endowed in Heavenly White Magic, is the chosen one, chosen to fight Lady Gondara the Dark Magic Sorceress, who manages to cheat death throughout history. At the same time, Amber is expected to find and protect two hidden wands of the highest power in Magia, and rescue her parents without getting her friends, family and herself killed in the process.
A while back, a reader from the Writers Digest Book of the Year contest read my second version of Amber Shadows and the Missing Wands. (the book had gone through 3 revisions due to publisher errors).They compared my book to Harry Potter, saying it was a tiny bit like Harry Potter, yet the story was very well written and entertaining. They went on to say that I was very talanted etc. etc. Since the contest, I have proofread every page and brought the story up to par as far as mistakes the publisher made. The final version of the book is now available everywhere online. I only wish I had caught the mistakes earlier.
What they failed to do was read the story without comparison to the Harry Potter series. In doing this, they failed see my ideas in my story are unique and are of my own creation. Realistically speaking, most readers/writers will agree that a majority of books based on magical fantasy are similar in this way or that, due to the use of wands and magic of any type. A magical fantasy is not written well or even considered a story unless there is a protagonist fighting the antagonist for morally good, unselfish reasons. As we all know, endings are based on what the author feels should happen, predictable or non-predictable.
Although I think that the Harry Potter series was brilliantly written and I admire J.K. Rowling, my book is done in my own style. My characters are uniquely drawn from my creation, and my storyline is different than Rowlings'.
I believe the reader judging my book through the Writers' Digest BOTYA made an unfair comparison of my book to Rowlings because they obviously had "Potter-on-the-brain" and the belief that the world revolves around the Potter series. The judge displayed unfair judgement due to their not wanting the Potter series to end, and failed to admit fantasy fiction based on magic such as Rowlings and mine have similairities to other works of the same genre. People talking and moving in pictures was first shown on the air in the T.V. series Bewitched. And as we all know, Bewitched was written and shown on the air well before the Potter books came out.
I am not knocking Rowlings' work or saying she stole the idea, because I do not believe she did it intentionally. Afterall, Bewitched aired on the air in the USA. Although only Rowling can tell you herself for certain, I would bank on her saying she believed she was creating the Potter series from scratch. More than likely, she may not have even known about the T.V. series Bewitched. However, it still stands as an unfortunate truth, that people moving and talking in pictures was not an original idea. Using brooms and wands was not original either. Thousands of magical books on witches, warlocks, and wizards have these same similairities.
All good things must come to an end no matter how much we enjoy the story. I, myself only just finished reading Rowlings' series and wish it had never ended. However, the Potter book series had its time in the spotlight, and Rowling will bring us different novels just as compelling. Once the movies have been completed, a new age will dawn for those of us who have written books worth reading, possibly even making it to the silver screen. to continue the magic in a different light. I believe it is now time for other books to shine, namely one in particular, Amber Shadows and the Missing Wands.
Other books of magic such as mine, are brilliantly written and unique, and should have a fair judgement based on the actual story, how it's written, and the development of well-rounded, third demensional characters brought to life through the eyes of the author. Stories should never be judged on similairities to other books of magic as there are just too many things authors have used over the years, time and time again, that are needed to make the storyline work.
People who have bought my book or given me reviews, have told me that my story is unique, stands on its own, and has characters the reader loves. My story is not only an entertaining experience, but the reader can visualize the world I've created . . . they felt like they were a part of the adventure. This in itself is my greatest reward . . . hearing people say how much they felt a part of the story, and how much they enjoyed the adventure.
Amber Shadows and the Missing Wands has won Book of the Year 2008 through Spinetinglers Committee in Ireland, and is up for another award on PageOnelit.com. The editors of the two different web sites read my book and shortlisted it for the award, even though I never thought of entering my book in advertised contests. In doing so, they have made me feel very fortunate and honored.
It took me a long time to speak out passionately about how I feel about my writing, especially the Amber Shadows series. And one thing people will always say about me is that I am more than willing to help other writers build more confidence in their work, and encourage them to keep with it. That's just who I am and I'm proud of it.
For people wanting a more in-depth look at my character Amber Shadows, please visit PageOnelit.com where the editor has displayed my book among the "Best of (current month)" since October of 2008.
In my next book Amber Shadows and the Crystal Locket, my characters will progress in age as they take Magia Sessions every weekend, year round, because I have a four-book series planned. I want midgrade to young adults to relate to the characters, grow to care about them, and grow up with them. Good writing can manage this and I intend to continue with my revision until I'm satisfied my book is ready for publication.
I've always admitted to being my own worst critic. However, in my opinion that's what makes a book worth reading. I wouldn't consider myself an author/illustrator if I didn't take the time needed to perfect my story, and make it more than worth a bewitching read.
I can tell you this much . . . unfortunately one or two will die in the second book, intensity will run throughout the storyline, and the reader will be led to believe they think they know who the villian is. There will be twists and turns, of this I assure you. The second book will keep you turning its pages.
As I've always said, word-of-mouth is the best promotion. So I ask those of you who have read and enjoyed my book to please pass it on to those looking for a good, magical fantasy fiction read. My goal is to reach as many readers as I can through my fans if possible. In doing this, when the second book comes out, people will be waiting for its release.
For those of you out there who share in my view, please write me. I'm seriously thinking of placing this article in a newsletter and I would love to print other writer's viewpoints.