Eleven Questions With Author Jessica Renwick
Welcome to my summer author series where authors from every genre will answer eleven questions. You'll get to find out some fun facts about your favorites and some who you might meet for the first time.
One look at the cover for The Book of Chaos and it’s clear award-winning author Jessica Renwick is going to take you on a magical ride. And the journey doesn’t stop there. She published four more books in the middle-grade Starfell fantasy series, with a fifth on its way this fall. Her middle-grade paranormal mystery series Lavender Raine delivers spooky stories featuring Lavender along with her sassy cat Blot and quirky friend Rosie. While writing for children is at the forefront of her career, her sweet romance Starlight Inn series offers inspiring stories for adults. When she’s not juggling between genres, she’s taking care of a flock of chickens, backyard farm dogs and two purebred Arabian horses named Player and LJ. Down time doesn’t come easy, but when it does, you might find her sipping a cup of hot tea or spending time in her enchanted garden in Alberta, Canada.
I chatted with Jessica to ask eleven questions that will give you an inside look at the author behind the books.
1. If you could have one magical power, what would it be?
I have always wanted to be able to speak with animals.
2. If you could vanish into the pages of a book like Fable did in The Book of Chaos, and you didn’t have to find your brother, where would you want it to take you?
There are so many places I’d love to see! If the book could only take me somewhere in the real world, I would love to visit London. If it could take me somewhere fictional, I would love to visit Nevermoor and stay at The Hotel Deucalion.
3. Do you believe in magic?
Absolutely! Every time I open a book, I find magic.
4. Which book is your favorite in your Starfell series?
This is a tough question! The first book, The Book of Chaos, will always hold a large piece of my heart. It’s the book that got me started in my author career, and I’m so happy that it’s found a lot of readers that connect with Fable’s story. I think the latest book, The Curse of the Warlock, is probably my favourite when it comes to story and writing strength though. Who doesn’t love a book with a fierce dragon?
5. What is one piece of advice you have for other writers?
Have patience. I know this is said a lot, but this career really is a marathon and not a sprint. All those small steps add up. It’s easy to get overwhelmed in this industry. There’s so much to learn, and there can be pressure to write faster and faster. But don’t try to force yourself to go beyond your limit. You’ll find your cadence and what flow works best for you.
6. When did you first realize you wanted to write a book?
As a child, I always wanted to write a book. I actually wrote my first “novel” when I was thirteen. My parents helped me print it off all one hundred pages and send it to a publisher. Months later, I received a very nice rejection letter stating they don’t publish books written by children, but they encouraged me to keep writing. That memory helped light a fire under me when I decided to finally get serious about writing again in my thirties.
7. What are you growing in your garden right now?
We have pumpkins, potatoes, sunflowers, carrots, onions, beans, and tomatoes. Our garden season is just about over and it’s time to harvest!
8. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Have patience, ignore the naysayers, and stick with your passion! You are capable of anything you set your mind and heart to.
9. What’s the best thing about living in Alberta, Canada?
Having four very distinct seasons. I love the changes that come with each one.
10. What are you currently reading?
I always have a few books on the go. I am reading Hollowpox by Jessica Townsend (the third Nevermoor book), the Shadow Demons series by Sarra Cannon, and I’m listening to the Spellbound series by Annabel Chase on Audible.
11. What are you working on now?
I’m working through edits of the fifth book of my Starfell series (The Song of Embers). I believe it will be released in November or December.
For more information about Jessica's books, visit https://www.jessicarenwickauthor.com/
Connect with her on Instagram @jessicarenwickauthor
On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRenwickAuthor
Journey to Zentobia
When ten-year-old Maggie and her older brother Peter discover a portal inside a rainbow, they stumble through it and end up in another world. But Zentobia is not what it seems. A sinister plot is brewing, and the amateur detectives are the only ones who can stop it. With danger on their trail and mysteries emerging, can they keep Zentobia safe before time runs out?
Perfect for fans of The Land of Stories series.
All magic is banished in Zentobia, but when an evil leader wants to bring back dark magic, Maggie and Peter risk it all to stop him. They join forces with the villain’s sneaky daughter who possesses a powerful secret. When Maggie’s instincts prompt her to investigate a hidden underground tunnel, she discovers a mysterious book carving that holds the answer to the future of magic. Before long, the siblings unravel more clues about Zentobia, including why it’s connected to their hometown by a rainbow. Can they stop the biggest threat Zentobia has ever faced and make it back to Hailsville, or will dark magic destroy the world forever?
With exciting twists and turns around every corner of this children's book, the journey for Maggie and Peter is just beginning.
Return to Zentobia
The action-packed sequel available now on Amazon!
Ten-year-old Maggie Miller discovers the Book of Magic is the key to defeating a villain and embarks on a quest to stop a sinister plot in this sequel that’s perfect for fans of The Land of Stories series.
After foiling a villain’s attempt to bring back dark magic in the mysterious world of Zentobia, Maggie and Peter learn a new threat exists. When the villain’s daughter sends Maggie a plea for help to locate the Book of Magic and save her mom, the siblings travel through the rainbow portal to rescue their friends in this action-packed sequel to Journey to Zentobia.
Securing the Book of Magic is no easy task, even for a seasoned amateur detective like Maggie. The book contains a powerful spell that will prevent dark magic from destroying Zentobia and spreading to Maggie and Peter’s home, but it’s buried deep in a maze of enchanted tunnels.
During their quest, dangerous beasts hunt them, vines transform to monstrous creatures, and rising flood water blocks their path. A wrong turn dumps the group into a secret world that’s evaporating by the minute. Casting a spell with an ingredient that’s hidden in an enchanted boneyard offers their only hope to return to Zentobia.
And when the villain’s daughter discovers she is the heir to the Book of Magic, will she deliver the spell to defeat her father? Or will someone unleash a bigger scheme with Maggie and Peter’s hometown as the target?
Journey to Zentobia Five Star Reviews!
"What an enchanting, magical adventure! I had so much fun!
I absolutely loved this. I loved the sibling relationship b/n Maggie & Peter, & it made me miss my own brother. Lol I also loved the idea of the portal being in the end of a rainbow! So creative. The world building was amazing, & I felt like I was flying around w/them in Zentobia in my own flying shoes! Very atmospheric! I LOVE Zentobia-the rainbow, the waterfalls, the shoes, the talking animals, & so much more all sound so amazing! The story flowed so nicely, & there was always something happening, & high stakes as well-which make for a fast-paced read. Themes of friendship, family, never giving up, & doing what’s right. Highly recommend! Such a fun, exciting read. That ending has me needing a book 2 now! Loved it & want more. Can’t wait to see what happens-I’m assuming there will be a book 2🤞🏻Absolutely beautiful cover by Kim Dingwall as well!💜"
- Reviewed by Belle's Middle Grade
"Journey to Zentobia by Stacy D'Alessandro is an exciting, colorful sci-fi fantasy adventure that children will fall in love with. This author sifts together all the elements kids love, and some adults will find this engaging and entertaining as well. The writing is full of energy and emotion, with unexpected plot points and encounters. The pacing is just right, and young readers will instantly be locked into the story, thanks to the author's imagination and good instincts for what kids look for in a sci-fi fantasy adventure. For a pulse-pounding read, young audiences will love Journey to Zentobia by Stacy D'Alessandro.
It is a must-read."
- Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers’ Favorite
"This is such a brilliant middle grade read! I dove straight into it, after reading the blurb and think it is a brilliant story for young readers. It has a great level of detail, with fun and exciting characters. The story flowed so well and stayed exciting and fun throughout. I read portions of it to my daughter, and she loved it, thinking it was loads of fun. It is definitely one that I want her to read, as her reading level rises. Overall a great read and definitely one I recommend!"
-Natural Bri's Reviews
"Aimed at middle readers, the book has plenty of action and a lively style. Young readers will find this a reader-friendly selection, with the occasional vocabulary-building challenge to keep them on their toes."
- The BookLIfe Prize
"I bought this for my 10 year old son as he loves fantasy and adventure stories and I thought he'd like to read this. This book has got him completely absorbed it's amazing. He's not a particularly quick reader, gets bored very easily and drops things very quickly but NOT with this book! It's been days now and he is completely absorbed it so great to see he is getting so much enjoyment out of it. I've got my daughter asking if she can read it next... absolutely!! All I can say to you is, do buy it they'll love!" - Amazon review
"If your child loves fantasy fiction this is a great book to choose. My 9 year old loves the colorful characters and storyline. She's a big fan of The Land of Stories series (Chris Colfer) so Journey to Zentobia was a great find to compliment her taste."
- Amazon review
"My daughter really enjoyed reading Journey to Zentobia so much, and she didn't want to stop reading it!!! It was such a fun, intriguing, and captivating story with so much excitement and adventure! While reading this magical fantasy book, you feel like you are joining the main characters as they embark on such an enthralling and enchanting journey! Author Stacy D'Alessandro incorporates so much creativity, vivid imagination, and thrilling adventure into this lively and animated story. It is a wonderful and fantastic book for both kids and adults, and we really hope that there will be a sequel in the future!"
- Amazon review
Journey to Zentobia Book Trailer
Return to Zentobia Book Trailer
Stacy is a freelance writer who specializes in writing feature and business stories, press releases, author bios, newsletter and web site copy. To chat about a project you need help with or ask about pricing information, contact her direct at email@example.com.
Browse examples of her stories below.
Routine trips to Disneyland with her daughter played a role in Stacy's passion for storytelling.
Her daughter inspired the idea for Journey to Zentobia on a road trip home from one of their visits to the happiest place on Earth. They would pass a piece of paper back and forth in the car and each write part of a story. Her daughter's idea for a brother and sister to transport back in time through a rainbow portal stuck with Stacy for almost two years before she sat in front of the computer and began to write Journey to Zentobia.
Though she changed her daughter's original idea of the main characters going back in time to ending up in another world, the credit still goes to her innovative, young mind.
When she wasn’t working on this children's book, she wrote freelance stories for
newspapers and magazines. Prior to that, she worked in the public relations
industry in Las Vegas for more than 25 years.
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