What inspired you to write about sylphs?
Clouds. I was sitting on a wharf in Salem, Massachusetts one sunny afternoon and looked up at fantastic cumulus clouds with streams of sunlight filtering between them. Then, behind me, a wall of the blackest storm clouds I’ve ever seen were laced with rain and lightning. When they converged in front of my eyes, I imagined sylphs flying around in the sky.
Why did you choose a non-speaking autistic boy (Eddie) as the main character?
For two reasons:
(1) Because I needed a reason why Eddie could see and hear Luranna (the sylph) and other humans couldn't
(2) Because I am autism advocate and have an empathic connection with people on the spectrum. My experience working and volunteering with autistic people (as well as their families, friends, educators, and caregivers) helped me portray, with integrity, what Eddie is thinking and feeling throughout the book.
Why does some of the story take place in Iceland?
I traveled there in 2007 and 2008 with geology college students. I was so fascinated by the un-earthly landscape and rich history, that it seemed to splendidly enrich the fantasy aspect of my novel.
Who are your favorite authors?
C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephanie Meyer, Neil Gaiman, Cornelia Funke.
Were there any special people in your life who influenced you toward writing?
I had a few teachers in high school and college who encouraged me to write, but the one who influenced me the most was P. Carey Reid, author of Swimming in the Starry River (Hyperion Books). He was my Creative Writing teacher at Northeastern University.
Mr. Reid saw me as a writer long before I could.
Who is your life coach?
Mona Wind, Coach/Life Therapist of LifeIntegrity.com. The first time I met Mona, she told me I was going to write a children’s book. My response was, “No, you’ve got the wrong person. I can’t write and I don’t know anything about children.” She just smiled at me.
And from that moment on, my life turned in a whole new direction.
Are the messages in the story real messages that you’ve gotten as an intuitive medium or did you make them up?
Both......but sorry, I can’t reveal which is which. You’ll have to guess which messages I made up and which are real!