Interview with SK Whalen, Author of Rooke’s Island – The Prophecy of the Staring Eyes | Nara

Sue Whalen, grew up in a pure wilderness park in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her dad and mom, at the moment had been the caretakers of the park and ran a retailer, a meals concession, and a present store for the hundreds of tourists who loved the park annually. A rainforest of large one-hundred 12 months previous Douglas-fir, hemlock, and pink cedars, surrounded the household’s residence. Twin snowy mountain peaks, a deep canyon and a world well-known suspension bridge had been the view from the image window of their residence. The cable suspension bridge swayed 20 tales above the raging Lynn Creek. Sue beloved to hike the mountain trails, swim and fish within the creek. Reflecting again, Sue, says it was these early years that influenced her storytelling and love of nature. Sue now lives in Fall River, Nova Scotia, together with her husband Ken and her grownup kids and grandchildren dwell close to by.

Miss Vickie, Sue’s granddaughter was the writer’s helper. She was the spark and the continued gentle of the story. Miss Vickie was Sue’s connection to the creativeness of a younger reader-most importantly, Miss Vickie needed to prefer it, or it was re-written.

Tyler: Welcome, Sue I am glad you and Miss Vickie might be a part of me right now. What an important fantasy journey story you’ve got written. To begin out, will you inform us about the primary character, Margery Mutters?

Sue: Effectively, Margery is a middle-aged schoolteacher. The story begins with Margery dwelling in a home on the high of Previous Oak Hill in Canyon metropolis. She lives alone, a quiet humdrum, boring life, actually. She loves nature and her backyard greater than anything. Margery is sort of a rare girl, however that half is a secret she retains underneath her hat, actually, underneath her hat. Certainly one of Margery’s quirks is she at all times wears a hat on her head. Because it occurs, the hat turns into very important-a small Noticed-Whet owl of solely 4.5″ excessive turns into Margery’s fixed companion and rides within the centerfolds of her hat.

Margery is a granola girl, a mix of every part, by no means the identical. She at all times has excessive vitality, in addition to being a sort, and caring individual. Nevertheless, usually her ideas and emotions do not match her actions. At all times the optimist via each impediment and hazard, she by no means provides up and has religion that each one will probably be nicely. There’s an internal power that retains her going; irrespective of how frightened she is, by no means does she present her fears on her face. Typically she acts or speaks earlier than she thinks; she turns into irritated fairly simply, judges folks far too rapidly, stares at folks when she should not, and he or she usually exhibits unhealthy manners on the desk. To high it off, she considers herself moderately a correct lady-you know the sort, a teetotaler and quiet tea sipper. She is a woman who is aware of correct manners and is aware of the distinction. Margery turns into embarrassed, flustered, and places herself right into a tizzy when her conscience wakes up and he or she realizes how impolite her actions are.

Tyler: Why did you’re feeling such a personality as Margery, with the particular strengths and weaknesses you’ve got simply talked about, was applicable and even entertaining for the plot of your novel?

Sue: Margery’s character is an on a regular basis plausible girls, neither a magical individual, nor an excellent star, nor a stereotype, or a cookie cutter character. Perhaps she is sort of a grandmother, an important aunt, or the individual down the road. Why did it work? As a result of the reader might determine together with her, and be a part of her magical journey. She is not boring, as even the smallest imperfection I’ve exaggerated. The younger baby may snicker at her, a youngster may love her power, her fears and her doubts. Older and even aged folks may even see themselves.

The plot, the, conditions, the owls, the scenes had been at all times written first in draft kind after which I might write in Margery. I discovered her three-dimensional character, her strengths, her flaws and her few ghastly habits gave her extra depth. This made it simpler for me to provide her a variety of fascinating conflicts and adventures the place the outcomes weren’t predetermined and, not predicable. On the identical time I let Margery develop via the method of the novel identical to an actual journey.

Tyler: Who does Margery inherit the island from? What occurs that brings her to Rooke’s Island?

Sue: She learns she has inherited an island from her lengthy misplaced uncle when a mysterious letter arrives underneath uncommon circumstances. Her life modifications the second she touches the letter; it is as if the letter grabs her, controls her and turns her complete world the other way up. Her journey to Rooke’s Island begins that second.

Tyler: Earlier than she reaches the island, Margery stops in Alwyn’s Village the place she meets some fascinating folks. Will you inform us who they’re?

Sue: The characters of Alwyn’s Village are a comical solid together with: the repulsive Sydney Snog, the chatty Gabriella (Gabbi) Mooley and her hideous Purple Inn. After all there are the lazy good-for-nothings Messrs Dicky Doolittle, Messrs Hector Dodge and we mustn’t neglect the macaroni and cheese colored cat Mr. Dinky. There’s a storekeeper, the right Peter Puddley, and the homeowners of Kettle’s Kafe, the carpenter Mugs Kettle and his ever so beautiful gossipy fats spouse Snippy Lippy.

Tyler: What do the folks of Alwyn’s Village take into consideration Rooke’s Island? Do they make Margery curious or nervous about going there?

Sue: Tyler, for a whole lot of years Margery’s reclusive uncle and nice uncles guard the island. With weapons on their shoulders guaranteeing no trespasser the first step foot on the island. The village individuals are simply plain uninterested in the secrecy; rumors and speculations run wild. On Margery’s journey to the island, she additionally has a loopy previous owl that has misplaced his wits following her and an owl fully product of shells showing in her desires. With all this happening she could be very nervous; the concern of the unknown provides her a continuing abdomen ache. I’ve to say she is extra curious than nervous and he or she pushes herself on to the island. The story is written so her curiosity received.

Tyler: Is Rooke’s Island magical and fully like one other fantasy world, or does it nonetheless bear some similarity to the on a regular basis world?

Sue: Rooke’s Island on the floor seems like every other island in the actual world. The fantasy world is deep beneath the island. The island is split into three ranges referred to as: the Higher Earth, Decrease Earth and Interior Earth. The Higher Earth is the floor of the island residence of the earthling owls, the Decrease Earth the dominion of the folklore owl, troll, fairy, elf, and gnomish owls. The Interior Earth is miles into the core deep into the middle of the island the place a whole lot and a whole lot of historical owls dwell. The king of all of the owls, his mate Queen of the Ocean, the a whole lot of soldier owls the Ings, the a whole lot of Indigos the owls that gentle the earth. In addition to the golden owl who holds the scroll, which is the prophecy for the way forward for the owls.

Tyler: Will you inform us about Margery’s encounter with the owls on the island?

Sue: Each chapter has a brand new magic encounter with the owls-sometimes with one owl generally with a whole lot of owls. Parliaments of owls dwell and work in every of the degrees on the island. All of the owls are crucial to the prophecy.

Tyler: Sue, are you able to inform us concerning the prophecy of the staring eyes? What’s the prophecy and why is it essential?

Sue:First the eyes signify all the owls on the island and on earth. The prophecy was written prior to now however it’s the way forward for the owls. As written, the timing and each element of the prophecy should be adopted or the owls will wait one other thousand years earlier than a brand new owl king may be born. It’s critical that the owls have a powerful owl king so ‘Knowledge’ can proceed to rule over the birds of prey. Margery arrives simply in time to assist the owls unfold the prophecy.

Tyler: Did Margery’s uncles dwell with the owls and find out about them. Was that why they had been protecting folks from the island?

Sue: The owls had been a part of the island lengthy earlier than it was inhabited by Margery’s ancestors, her uncles, the Rookes. The uncles grew to become a part of the owl kingdom, and a part of the owl council; they’re referred to as the ‘No Feathers’ by the owls. The owls wanted them to maintain folks off the island and preserve the owls’ secrets and techniques. When Margery arrives every part is prepared for her, she had a pleasant trendy cottage and backyard. Her uncles constructed an enormous barn referred to as the Scared Barn. The barn is the assembly place for the Parliament owls of all three ranges of the island. The prophecy will probably be learn within the barn by the King of all owls referred to as Eyking.

Tyler: Sue, with out making a gift of the ending, would you say that Margery learns something because of her experiences on Rooke’s Island?

Sue: Our Margery-that’s what Miss Vickie and I prefer to name her. The prophecy would by no means have taken place with out her assist; the owls wanted her. The perfect half about Margery is we discover out she is as clever because the clever previous owls. You’ll watch Margery adapt and grow to be stronger as she blends seamlessly into the owls’ world and is woven into the prophecy. She is calmer, happier, extra understanding and exhibits nice endurance with the owls. Not solely that, she balances the actual world and the fantasy world of Rooke’s Island, changing into one with the owls and nature.

Tyler: Would you say then that Margery is basically extra in contact with the pure world and animals just like the owls than with folks?

Sue: Margery, being a schoolteacher, has the data and expertise together with a pure tendency towards intuitive notion towards each folks and the owls. She needs to be a part of each worlds, she undoubtedly doesn’t wish to be a recluse like her uncles. I suppose years of being within the classroom with kids helps her perceive all of the personalities of the owls. She turns into dedicated to them. The owls grow to be a very powerful factor in her life.

Tyler: Miss Vickie, I perceive Margery additionally has a younger human companion. Will you inform us somewhat bit about him? Was it your concept that Margery have a youthful companion?

Miss Vickie: You are proper; it’s a 14 12 months previous boy. He’s particular; he holds a secret and a promise he made to Margery’s uncle. I do not bear in mind whose thought it was; he simply appeared at all times to be within the story. Margery wanted him and he helps her construct issues. I do bear in mind his eight 12 months previous sister Megan was my thought and he or she seems identical to me.

Tyler: Sue, the place did you provide you with the thought for “Rooke’s Island”?

Sue: After I was very younger, I usually visited my Aunt Margery; she collected owl collectible figurines. She had owls in all places in her residence. Again within the day, everybody collected one thing. My Aunt by no means had kids, so when she was 94 years previous, she packed all her owls for the final time in her life and shipped them 8,000 miles by truck, automotive, and aircraft to my residence. I believe the owls had been dormant statues in her residence for over 70 years. By way of my life span, I first noticed the owls once I was four-I graduated from school-went into the Navy-was married-had children-my kids grew up-they had children-and then the owls got here again into my life.

The owls arrived in two giant cardboard containers, 312 Friday’s in the past. I do know this as a result of Miss Vickie got here to my home each Friday and he or she was solely six when the field arrived. We opened the containers and each of us stared at a whole lot of packages, little mounds of plastic of bubble wrap. We fastidiously unwrapped every owl; we had been so intrigued we positioned every owl on glass wall cabinets in a room. The room we referred to as the Peach Room the place it began; the magical owls instructed their story via their eyes. The tiny owl collectible figurines, traveled throughout Canada, so it’s a fantasy made in Canada.

Rooke’s Island, exhibits something can have a narrative, if the timing is correct. The story bridges generations, beginning with my aunt. Sure, the primary character is known as after her. Why not? With out her owl assortment there can be no story. All of us show you might be by no means too previous and by no means too younger to dream up a narrative collectively. There have been ninety years between my aunt and my granddaughter.

Tyler: That could be a fantastic story, Sue, and actually a story of girls from totally different generations coming collectively to inform the story. What do you assume your aunt would say to you right now if she knew you had written about her and her owls?

Sue: Tyler, my aunt lived two extra years after she shipped the owls to me. As soon as per week she would name me from British Columbia. Throughout these weekly talks. she would at all times need an replace of the story. She beloved the truth that I used her title; she could not imagine her assortment was coming to dwell in a fantasy. She laughed rather a lot concerning the characters and the owl personalities. The humorous factor was she wished Margery to be precisely like her, and wished Margery married. It was like she wished to dwell on via my writing. I did compromise as Alwyn’s Village is the center title of my uncle and the river on Rooke’s Island is known as Woman-Cap which is an abbreviation for Ladysmith and Capilano the place my aunt and uncle had been from.

Vickie and I put collectively an ending earlier than my aunt died. Despite the fact that it was one other two years earlier than we really completed the ebook, we used the ending we wrote down for her. My aunt made me promise I might have it printed. I am certain she would love the ebook; I’ve despatched it to lots of her aged associates that bear in mind her owl assortment and acquired some fantastic letters and notes again.

Tyler: Sue, inform me the way you and Miss Vickie first began telling the owl story. Do you bear in mind the second it started?

Sue: I bear in mind the day we put the owls on the cabinets Miss Vickie and I named them. At first it was only for enjoyable; we acted out tales utilizing the owls. The primary story was the 2 ugliest and largest collectible figurines referred to as Eaton and Ardyth; we had them on the day mattress preventing, pretending they had been defending the owls of an island. We made Eaton and Ardyth the final of the prehistoric birds on earth, nice warriors. This primary story did grow to be chapters. (Chapter 11: Assembly Eaton, and Chapter 14: Two Owl Birds Meet).

There was one owl who arrived with title scratched on the underside. After I was seven I etched Eaton on the underside, unbeknown to my aunt. Miss Vickie determined to maintain it this title and my aunt by no means did discover out what I had performed.

Tyler: Miss Vickie did you do any of the writing?

Miss Vickie: No I used to be solely six; we completed it once I was 9 virtually ten. I am twelve now. We’d discuss over what would occur subsequent, once I came visiting the subsequent Friday we might act out the subsequent chapter. I might say what I appreciated and what I did not. There was lots of rewriting.

Tyler: Sue, would you say you had any literary influences from different kids’s books that perhaps you learn as a baby?

Sue: My favorite childhood ebook of all time is “Alice in Wonderland.” I’ve learn it so many instances and nonetheless discover one thing new.

Despite the fact that “Rooke’s Island” was written for younger readers, to my shock I acquired the next notes. Perhaps “Rooke’s Island” will probably be one thing totally different to whoever reads it.

A observe from an 85 12 months previous girls said-“I discovered it fascinating that you just paired an older wiser girl with the wisest creatures within the fowl kingdom.”

A 16 12 months previous lady wrote in her ebook report-“Margery is a scatterbrain; generally she would not have a clue what to do, identical to me. She should be fifty and she modifies her life over evening; now that’s cool.”

A 50 12 months previous girl wrote: “I’ve learn the ebook twice; I am only a child at coronary heart. As we grow to be the graying planet you definitely tell us it would not matter how previous or clever we’re, human or owls, we won’t predict the longer term.”

Tyler: Miss Vickie, it should have been enjoyable to assist write a ebook. What had been a few of your favourite belongings you did in writing the ebook?

Miss Vickie: I named a lot of the owls. I drew the maps within the ebook, did you discover the maps are owl formed, and I took the owl photos. It first began out with storytelling and pretending, and appearing out, we by no means thought it might be a ebook. I had enjoyable additionally after the ebook was printed serving to with bookmarkers, posters, Rooke’s Island T-shirts, owl playing cards for every of the owls (like baseball playing cards). We’ve got performed two signings and a ebook honest that was enjoyable, and that is my second interview.

Tyler: Miss Vickie, do you’ve gotten a favourite chapter?

Miss Vickie: Sure, Chapter 9, “Secrets and techniques of the Big Redwoods” as a result of we sat beside an enormous tree on the trail beside our lake. The tree had large roots I referred to as it the tremendous root freeway as a result of I used to be so small I might hardly climb over the roots. We’d fake that the flap of the tree would open and we’d go down the trunk, and sit on a curler coaster and journey underneath the lake.

I additionally like Chapter 3, “The Incident at Kettle’s Kafe.” I just like the final web page. It was an incident we noticed at a café once we had been out for breakfast. I requested my Nanny to ask the editor to not change something. The editor stated she did not change anything-that it was humorous simply the best way it was.

Tyler: Miss Vickie, what do you intend to do subsequent? Do you assume you’ll proceed to jot down books or do you intend to be one thing else moreover an writer?

Miss Vickie: My brother and sister wish to be a part of the subsequent ebook however I am certain I’ll assist. I’m a determine skater and I skate three hours a day so I haven’t got as a lot time now.

Tyler: And Sue, do you’ve gotten plans to jot down any extra books, even a sequel perhaps to “Rooke’s Island”?

Sue: I’ve had a sequel in my thoughts and have began to jot down snippets and construct characters.

Tyler: Sue, earlier than we go, will you inform us the place readers can discover extra data or buy a duplicate of “Rooke’s Island”?

Sue: Certain Tyler, you should buy “Rooke’s Island” on-line from my writer iUniverse or Amazon books and Amazon Kindle books, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters.ca (Canada).

Tyler: Thanks each for being right here right now. I believe it is fantastic that you’ve got such an important relationship and will collaborate the best way you probably did. I want you a lot luck in making your future desires grow to be actuality.

Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views was blissful to be joined by S.Ok. Whalen (Sue) and her granddaughter, Miss Vickie, to speak about their new ebook “Rooke’s Island: The Prophecy of the Staring Eyes,” iUniverse (2007), ISBN 9780595445455.



Source by Tyler R. Tichelaar

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