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COMMENTARY · 22nd December 2013
Walter McFarlane

With my apologies to the Authors, I wished to read each of the novels before doing my write up and time for reading has been difficult to free up over the last four months.

2013 has given Kitimat two new Fantasy Authors. Mike Forward who launched his book, Alex Quinn and the Gemstone’s of Dunkel at the Kitimat Public Library on Saturday, September 29th, and Leisl Kaberry’s Titanian Chronicles, Journey of Destiny which was presented at the Kitimat Public Library on November 30th. Journey of Destiny is illustrated by Kristen Caruna. Both books are self-published.

Forward’s book is a Junior Fantasy Novel about Alex and Ryan Quinn, who travel to a world of the fantastic in search of their father who has been missing for seven years after finding a magic gemstone in his study.

His inspiration comes from walking to work. “I was walking to work one day in the snow and idea of two boys looking for a lost father happened upon me,” said Forward.

It took a year for him to write. The major themes in the story are family and thinking through problems rather than pushing through them. His book is available online at Amazon or several other websites.

The story is driven forward using several worn clichés of the genera. Once you get past them however, a stronger story begins to develop as the main characters set out from the Hoppa Village and into the Weirdwood.

Kaberry’s novel is targeted at a teen audience. The main characters of the book, Afeclin (a human), Wolflang and Lenna grew up in a safe elfin nation and they know nothing of the outside world. Now, Afeclin is searching for a wizard to teach him magic and ventures out beyond the boarder.

The inspiration for the story came from a picture which gave Kaberry an idea for a scene in the novel. She wrote the scene and mapped it into the story, three books long. It took her over 10 years to write, but she promises we will not have to wait 10 years for the next one.

“[The writing process] was exciting for me, I had this story mapped out in my head, but I didn’t know exactly how things were going to happen until I got there or who I was going to meet or how things would actually look until I got there. I went with the journey as well as the characters. I went on that journey with them and I would find things out as they did and meet people as they did and learn things as they did, it was exciting,” said Kaberry.

The novel is illustrated by a friend of hers Caruna, who teaches art. She has been drawing for a very long time. The two communicated scenes verbally, and Caruna would sketch them out.

This book is available at the museum (where I’m told there might be a copy left), Misty River Books in Terrace and on Amazon.

In my opinion, while the world this book takes place in appears to have leapt from a tabletop roleplaying game, so far, it is as good as some of the best selling novels from that genre. Deadlines being what they are, I regret pulling myself away from the book to write this article.

Forward stated he has several other ideas in the works. One is a follow-up for Alex Quinn. Others include a picture book and adult mystery novel. Journey of Destiny is supposed to be the first part of a trilogy.