Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Meet MG Fantasy Author Laurisa White Reyes

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes MG author Laurisa White Reyes and her fantasy novel The Last Enchanter, the second book in The Celestine Chronicles.

First, a bit about Laurisa:

Laurisa White Reyes is the author of two middle grade fantasy novels, an editor for Hamilton Springs/Xchyler Press, and the Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in creative writing at California State University at Northridge. Aside from being a book horder, she also loves bearded dragons, rainstorms and chocolate.

Why did you pick to write books for middle grade readers?

As a mother of five children, I read a lot of kids books, but I really fell in love with children’s literature when I worked as a teenager for Once Upon A Time, the oldest children’s bookstore in America, located in Montrose, California. When I started writing books of my own a few years ago, I wanted to write books my kids could enjoy.

What types of books do you like to read?

I enjoy all types of books, but I especially enjoy dystopian and paranormal young adult books. I also love contemporary YA and anything middle grade.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I work part-time from home as the Editor-in-Chief of Middle Shelf Magazine, a digital publication dedicated to the best in middle grade books. I also enjoy digital scrapbooking and family history.

Tell us about The Last Enchanter and how the story came to be.

Well, it really began about eight years ago. My son, who is now 16, was a reluctant reader, so I would read aloud to him every night. One night he asked me to make up a story instead, so I created a story about a young enchanter’s apprentice whose magic always seemed to backfire. Over time the story grew and eventually became my first published novel, The Rock of Ivanore, which was released in 2012 with Tanglewood Press. The Last Enchanter is its sequel.

Here's a peek at The Last Enchanter:

Months have passed since Marcus and Kelvin succeeded in their quest to find the Rock of Ivanore. Kelvin is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.

"This book is an AWESOME sequel to book 1 in the series... As much as I liked The Rock Of Ivanore,  I enjoyed The Last Enchanter even more." - This Kid Reviews Books

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

The Rock of Ivanore and The Last Enchanter are my first two published books for middle grade readers. I also have a young adult thriller called Contact releasing in June with Hallowed Ink Press.

Here's a peek at The Rock of Ivanore:

The annual Great Quest is about to be announced in Quendel, a task that will determine the future of Marcus and the other boys from the village who are coming of age. The wizard Zyll commands them to find the Rock of Ivanore, but he doesn’t tell them what the Rock is exactly or where it can be found. Marcus must reach deep within himself to develop new powers of magic and find the strength to survive the wild lands and fierce enemies he encounters as he searches for the illusive Rock. If he succeeds, he will live a life of honor; if he fails, he will live a life of menial labor in shame. With more twists and turns than a labyrinth, and a story in which nothing is at it seems, this tale of deception and discovery keeps readers in suspense until the end. Middle readers will find that The Rock of Ivanore fits nicely among the traditional fantasies they so enjoy. They will also appreciate its fresh and inventive take on the genre.

"This is a swift and compelling epic that readers of high fantasy will love!"  - Tony Abbott, author of The Secrets of Droon

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

The third book in my fantasy series is slated for release in 2015. I plan to write it this year. I’m also in the process of revising three additional young adult books, which I hope to publish in the near future.

What advice do you have for other authors?

The hardest part of writing is finishing that first draft. Once that’s done, you’ve accomplished more than most aspiring writers will ever do. I never edit anything during the first draft. I wait until I’ve finished the last page, which can take anywhere from three months to a year, before I go back and start revising.

Anything else you want readers to know?

For me, writing a novel is like living in Disneyland. Every day is so much fun. Sometimes I get frustrated that I have to do normal, everyday kind of things like washing dishes, driving my kids to school, or going to bed at night. I’d always rather be writing. But without “life” I’d have nothing interesting to write about, and no one worth writing for.

Where can readers find you and your books?


Book Trailer

The Last Enchanter  

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-last-enchanter-laurisa-white-reyes/1114768704?ean=9781933718934

The Rock of Ivanore

Barnes & Noble


  1. Interesting interview. I have heard of Middle Shelf Magazine. It is new but catching on rapidly.

    1. Hi Sue! Yes, we hope Middle Grade will make it into homes and schools all over. It's a wonderful *free* resource to help kids find the right books for them.

  2. love thinking about books Dino might like when he gets older and possibly books for my students. Thanks for sharing and hosting.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Karen. If Dino likes younger fantasy stories, I highly recommend the Rowan of Rin series by Emily Rodda.

  3. What a great insight, Laurisa: "For me, writing a novel is like living in Disneyland." Your books sound intriguing. Thanks for interviewing her, Cheryl, and for hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Have a fantastic week ahead!

  4. Well if Erik (This Kid Reviews Books) gives it his thumbs up, that is definitely a sign up a great book. Congrats on your books Laurisa and thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop Cheryl.