Hi everyone, today I have the pleasure of hosting Keira Gillett and Eoghan Kerrigan, the author and illustrator respectively of Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, which is the second book in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy. It released on November 6, 2015. There’s a lot of exciting stuff being shared below.
Keira Gillett (Author): Thanks, Kelly! We’re so glad to be here. Hi Eoghan! Let’s dive right in. This is your second time around for the Zaria Fierce trilogy. Were there any differences in how you approached the second book compared to the first?
Eoghan Kerrigan (Illustrator): There really wasn’t much of a difference other than using a different colour pencil for the under drawings! I began with the cover this time as well.
Keira: The first time around the underdrawings were blue, this time they were orange. That’s cool. The colors disappear completely when scanned and converted to greyscale. It’s always so much fun to see your artwork in person. There’s so much detail! What were some of the challenges of continuing in a book series compared to starting a new story or series?
Eoghan: Consistency. The characters should look and feel that they belong in the same world from book to book.
Keira: Well, I think you did a fantastic job at that. The world you’re helping to depict is gorgeous. What did you like best about returning to the Zaria Fierce world?
Eoghan: The opportunity to draw more trolls! But seriously, seeing what new and interesting characters I get to draw.
Keira: I love your trolls. In fact, one of the original developmental drawings for book one inspired a troll character for the second book. I knew I just had to find a way to include him. Which are your favorite illustrations from Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword?
Eoghan: I’m rather pleased with how quite a few of the illustrations turned out. Bjarke was fun to draw and I really like the King Flein drawing. Some of my favourites are actually the tall ship and the well. I don’t draw set pieces as often as I should, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed doing them.
Keira: All of those are in my favorites as well. I thought the ship and the well were just stunning. Looking at them, I would totally expect that you draw things just like it on a daily basis. You provide such realistic textures with your shading. Was there anything unexpected in your experience with Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword?
Eoghan: I could probably give the same answer as the previous question. Drawing things I find difficult or rarely draw and being satisfied with the results.
Keira: You have a lot to be satisfied with then! Me too! You’re extremely talented and I’ll leave off by saying how much I love what you did with Koll. I am so pleased you could join me on the next set of adventures with Zaria and her friends. Thanks again, Kelly, for having us today! It’s been a whole lot of fun to take over Live, Love, Read.
Book Two in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy
Summary: If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you’d never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing towards the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures, but also many more perils… something sinister lurks beneath the surface following her every move, haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it’s too late?
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Praise for Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest (Book 1):
“Are you in the mood for an old fashioned magical jaunt? Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett is a classic “perilous adventure” book for middle grade readers.” Jennifer Bardsley, The YA Gal
“A captivating blending of fantasy storytelling with today’s technology. At the base of this tale is deep, abiding friendship that stands the tests of time, adventure and even danger.” Kathy Haw, Goodreads Review
“A great book with a lovely story and amazing characters. It’s a fantasy and adventure book that will be the delight of Narnia fans and those looking for a bit of Norwegian folklore thrown into it.” Ner, A Cup of Coffee and a Book
“If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure dipped in fantasy, look no further. This book kept me on my toes with its many cliffhangers and plot twists; it was quite hard to put down at times.” Meredith, All ‘Bout Them Books and Stuff
“I love when a story jumps right in and hooks me like this one did. I highly recommend you look into it if you are in the mood for a fun adventure. I also recommend that you get it for any book loving middle schooler you know.” Emily, Midwestern Book Nerd
Filip slung his window open and tossed out his backpack. It landed in a thump in the hedgerow. Aleks pulled it out and slung it over his shoulder with his own bag.
“How’re you getting down?”
“Hopefully with your stargazer.”
“Then why toss down your bag?” Aleks asked, exasperated.
“Just in case,” Filip said with a wink at Zaria.
She suppressed a smile. She looked to the others, “Does anybody have rope?”
Aleks and Geirr both nodded. Then Geirr unzipped his bag and pulled out a neat coil from on top. He tossed it to Filip, who snatched it up as it sailed by the window. He disappeared into his bedroom and reappeared moments later slinging the coil out the window. It unraveled to the ground.
“Good,” Filip said briskly. “It’s long enough. Now let’s see if it holds.”
Filip quickly scaled the side of the house and they gathered their belongings preparing to dash. Without warning, Mrs. Storstrand stuck her head out of a bottom window and shrieked at the sight of them.
“Just what do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.
“Run!” Filip shouted, grabbing his friends’ sleeves and rushing for the street.
Aleks cursed and threw Filip his backpack while slinging his own around to the front and unzipping a pocket. He looked frazzled as he dug inside the opening. Mrs. Storstrand was quick. She was already out of the house and chasing after them. She threatened life and limb and the most terrible of all – letting Filip’s father know what he was about.
At last Aleks found the stargazer – a shiny purplish egg-shaped object perforated with stars – and almost dropped it in his haste. After a brief fumble, Aleks located the largest star, and hastily jabbed his finger into the hole. Just like that, Mrs. Storstrand froze mid-run. But so too did Christoffer, Filip, and Geirr.
Aleks looked at Zaria and to the others. “Damn,” he hissed. “Wait! How are you not frozen too?”
Author Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.
Illustrator Bio: Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures. He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects. He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls.