the third thursday, featuring Sharon Ledwith and Lost and Found
Welcome to week three of our blog tour! Four local authors have joined forces to share their stories and answer questions about their writing process.
About Lost and Found
“The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.
Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.”
The Q and A
Brittni Brinn: Can you tell us a little bit about Fairy Falls?
Sharon Ledwith: Would love to, Brittni! When I ‘built’ the mythical town of Fairy Falls over ten years ago, I drew from all of my childhood and adult experiences from vacationing and living in cottage country. When you think of a small, northern tourist town, what emotional cord does it strike? Vacationing with the family when you were young? Visiting your grandparents at their cottage? Camping in the backwoods with your friends? Living the dream on a lake? Whatever vision you conjure, I’m sure you have plenty of happy memories of that special place. That’s the basis for creating the town of Fairy Falls.
I also knew I didn’t want to lose that ‘small, tourist town feeling’. True, change is good, but there’s something about going to a tourist town and connecting with the people living there that somehow leaves you feeling better than you did before you arrived. I also wanted to be realistic in the fact that growth is a necessary part of life, and Fairy Falls will have to deal with all kinds of challenges that will create conflict and divide the residents, believing that they are doing what’s best for their hometown.
The psychic teenagers in each of my stand-alone books in the Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls series will have their fair share of adversity and prejudice to deal with. They truly believe they’ve arrived in a place so foreign, so backward, that they try so hard to find a way to leave, only to realize in the end that Fairy Falls has been waiting for them to finally come home to themselves. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.
BB: Are the animal characters in Lost and Found based off of animals you know in real life?
SL: Absolutely! All the shelter animals in Lost and Found are based on an animal I cared for in some capacity while working at the Animal Shelter for Huntsville, a Muskokan tourist town three hours north of Toronto. Now, trying to come up with each animal’s unique voice wasn’t that hard for me, since I went by the personality of the cat or dog. I observed certain quirks, how each animal behaved, what were they afraid of, what they liked, and so on. What I found was that every animal (even kittens born in the same litter) was different. Just. Like. People.
When I was ready to sit down and write their story, I compiled a list of shelter animals that readers would emotionally relate to and connect with. Many came to me as a surprise, others were firmly planted in my imagination from the very beginning.
BB: Why did you choose to write about an animal shelter?
SL: During my year-long stint as an animal care attendant, I learned so much about the procedures and daily routines of working in an animal shelter. Then, one day, I found myself wondering what the animals would say if they could talk? How they would act and sound? What did they really think of humans? So, chasing down the animal voices frolicking in my head, I decided to write their story. The result is, Lost and Found, the first book in my teen psychic mystery series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls.
BB: Who was your favourite character to write scenes for?
SL: Hard question, Brittni! But if I had to choose it would be Whiskey, a cantankerous, old calico cat who doubles as the Fairy Falls Animal Shelter’s observer and sage of the shelter. In real life, Whiskey was named Whiskers, but I thought that might be confusing when describing the cat’s anatomy, so I changed her name. I guess I just love the fact that Whiskey doesn’t take any crap from any of the animal or human characters in Lost and Found, and she makes decisions for the good of the whole, not the one. Now that’s one smart kitty!
BB: Do you have any words of wisdom for YA writers who are just starting out?
SL: Life is short, so follow your heart, regardless of the challenges ahead of you. Let’s face it. Life is full of challenges and obstacles. Those are the things that makes us stronger, better, faster. That’s what our characters face every time we writers drag them through the muds of hell. Then, like us, our characters evolve and grow. Writing is a tough gig, but so rewarding when you write those final two words ‘The End’. It’s a badge of honor, and feels wonderful and uplifting, like you’ve reached the pinnacle of super hero status. Never give up on your dreams.
BB: Thanks for giving us a glimpse into Lost and Found, Sharon!
SL: Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Brittni! I really appreciate your support and kindness in helping out a fellow Windsor writer share her reading wares. Cheers and happy writing!
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.
Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS. Check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.
BONUS: Download the free PDF short story The Terrible, Mighty Crystal HERE
The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:
The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:
The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:
Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:
Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:
Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:
***Check back next Thursday for the last post in our Windsor writers blog tour!***