One night, during a stretch of anxious days, I began to tell my daughters bedtime stories every night. As those first words hung in the still evening air — weaving visions of little girls meeting elves, friending fairies, and saving the world because it was the right thing to do — it became a labor of love that soon turned into a children’s novel, and soon after, the start of a children’s series.
Good Words, Cool New Ideas
My daughters and I love stories that have both “good words, and a good yarn” — meaning, an interesting tale to tell, with new concepts and words to learn along the way. Our heroes and she-roes live in classic stories like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess; Madeline L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series; Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth; E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and Trumpet of the Swan; and the fanciful worlds of Roald Dahl.
Many times, a good word introduces a cool new idea.
“Frequency” was a vocabulary word on one of my daughter’s lists, and then we discovered:
- how cool it was to test your ability to hear sounds at different frequencies, and
- how interesting it was that animals can hear other frequencies, and
- how this ability to hear different frequencies changes as you get older.
“This is why,” my daughters and I finally reasoned, “children might be able to hear elves call to each other, but most grownups cannot!”
magic and the earth
We are endlessly fascinated by the natural world around us — our amazing planet Earth — and a universe of forces that hold their own logic. I am fascinated partly by the science, partly by the astonishment that such things exist, and my girls are fascinated because…they are children.
If our modern marvels, both benign and terrifying, would seem like magic only a few hundred years ago and yet be something teachable and explainable with enough study and comprehension, why couldn’t the magic of fairies in fact be principles and concepts that they have been studying for a long, long time? “Surely” my daughters and I reasoned, “fairies must study to be good at magic.”
And if we, as humans, are discovering — I hope not too late — how intertwined and dependent we are to the climate; the forests; the seas; the animals — what if the fairies have known this all along?
The Crowded Kingdom became our tale for those who love fairy tales, but also for those who love Nature, and can wonder at the “what-if” of both.
…the next book in the series: The Underground Labyrinth
Jada and Jinny are a year older, and the memory of their adventures with Minacrist, Aress and Kiwi have nearly faded. Until one day, Jinny discovers a mysterious river man washed up on shore, drawing the girls once more into the tiny, crowded fairy world within New York City, this time to unravel the secret behind a mysterious key. Now famous in the fairy world from their previous heroic adventure, Jada and Jinny are joined by a new friend — a little boy next door named Sam — who brings on more complications between the human and the fairy world than the girls had faced before.