Sue Whalen, grew up in a pure wilderness park in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. Her mother and father, 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 every year. A rainforest of big one-hundred yr previous Douglas-fir, hemlock, and pink cedars, surrounded the household’s house. Twin snowy mountain peaks, a deep canyon and a world well-known suspension bridge had been the view from the image window of their house. The cable suspension bridge swayed 20 tales above the raging Lynn Creek. Sue cherished 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 youngsters and grandchildren dwell close to by.
Miss Vickie, Sue’s granddaughter was the creator’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 may be part of me right this moment. What a fantastic fantasy journey story you have written. To start out out, will you inform us about the primary character, Margery Mutters?
Sue: Nicely, 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 the rest. Margery is sort of a rare woman, however that half is a secret she retains underneath her hat, actually, underneath her hat. One in all Margery’s quirks is she all the time 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 woman, a mix of all the things, by no means the identical. She all the time has excessive power, in addition to being a sort, and caring particular person. Nevertheless, typically her ideas and emotions do not match her actions. All the time the optimist by each impediment and hazard, she by no means offers up and has religion that each one can be nicely. There’s an interior energy that retains her going; regardless of how frightened she is, by no means does she present her fears on her face. Usually she acts or speaks earlier than she thinks; she turns into irritated fairly simply, judges folks far too shortly, stares at folks when she should not, and she or he typically reveals dangerous manners on the desk. To high it off, she considers herself quite a correct lady-you know the kind, 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 she or he realizes how impolite her actions are.
Tyler: Why did you’re feeling such a personality as Margery, with the particular strengths and weaknesses you have simply talked about, was acceptable and even entertaining for the plot of your novel?
Sue: Margery’s character is an on a regular basis plausible girls, neither a magical particular person, nor a brilliant star, nor a stereotype, or a cookie cutter character. Perhaps she is sort of a grandmother, a fantastic aunt, or the particular person down the road. Why did it work? As a result of the reader may 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 little one would possibly chuckle at her, a teen would possibly love her energy, her fears and her doubts. Older and even aged folks may even see themselves.
The plot, the, conditions, the owls, the scenes had been all the time written first in draft kind after which I’d write in Margery. I discovered her three-d character, her strengths, her flaws and her few ghastly habits gave her extra depth. This made it simpler for me to offer her a variety of attention-grabbing conflicts and adventures the place the outcomes weren’t predetermined and, not predicable. On the identical time I let Margery develop by 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 adjustments 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 attention-grabbing 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 house owners 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 making certain no trespasser the first step foot on the island. The village individuals are simply plain bored with 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 manufactured from shells showing in her desires. With all this occurring she could be very nervous; the worry of the unknown offers her a relentless abdomen ache. I’ve to say she is extra curious than nervous and she or he pushes herself on to the island. The story is written so you realize 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 to be 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 Inside Earth. The Higher Earth is the floor of the island house of the earthling owls, the Decrease Earth the dominion of the folklore owl, troll, fairy, elf, and gnomish owls. The Inside 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 essential 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 characterize the entire owls on the island and on earth. The prophecy was written up to now however it’s the way forward for the owls. As written, the timing and each element of the prophecy have to be adopted or the owls will wait one other thousand years earlier than a brand new owl king may be born. It is important that the owls have a robust 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 preserving 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 hold the owls’ secrets and techniques. When Margery arrives all the things 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 can be learn within the barn by the King of all owls referred to as Eyking.
Tyler: Sue, with out giving freely the ending, would you say that Margery learns something on account of her experiences on Rooke’s Island?
Sue: Our Margery-that’s what Miss Vickie and I wish to name her. The prophecy would by no means have taken place with out her assist; the owls wanted her. The most effective half about Margery is we discover out she is as sensible because the sensible previous owls. You’ll watch Margery adapt and change into stronger as she blends seamlessly into the owls’ world and is woven into the prophecy. She is calmer, happier, extra understanding and reveals nice endurance with the owls. Not solely that, she balances the actual world and the fantasy world of Rooke’s Island, turning into one with the owls and nature.
Tyler: Would you say then that Margery is absolutely extra in contact with the pure world and animals just like the owls than with folks?
Sue: Margery, being a schoolteacher, has the information and expertise together with a pure tendency towards intuitive notion towards each folks and the owls. She desires to be a part of each worlds, she undoubtedly doesn’t wish to be a recluse like her uncles. I assume years of being within the classroom with youngsters helps her perceive all of the personalities of the owls. She turns into dedicated to them. The owls change into an important factor in her life.
Tyler: Miss Vickie, I perceive Margery additionally has a younger human companion. Will you inform us a little bit bit about him? Was it your concept that Margery have a youthful companion?
Miss Vickie: You are proper; it’s a 14 yr 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 all the time to be within the story. Margery wanted him and he helps her construct issues. I do bear in mind his eight yr previous sister Megan was my thought and she or he seems to be identical to me.
Tyler: Sue, the place did you give you the concept for “Rooke’s Island”?
Sue: Once I was very younger, I typically visited my Aunt Margery; she collected owl collectible figurines. She had owls in all places in her house. Again within the day, everybody collected one thing. My Aunt by no means had youngsters, 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, automobile, and airplane to my house. I feel the owls had been dormant statues in her house for over 70 years. By way of my life span, I first noticed the owls after I was four-I graduated from school-went into the Navy-was married-had children-my youngsters grew up-they had children-and then the owls got here again into my life.
The owls arrived in two massive 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 she or he 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 by their eyes. The tiny owl collectible figurines, traveled throughout Canada, so it’s a fantasy made in Canada.
Rooke’s Island, reveals something can have a narrative, if the timing is correct. The story bridges generations, beginning with my aunt. Sure, the primary character is called after her. Why not? With out her owl assortment there could be no story. All of us show you’re 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 ladies from totally different generations coming collectively to inform the story. What do you assume your aunt would say to you right this moment 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 all the time need an replace of the story. She cherished the truth that I used her title; she could not consider her assortment was coming to dwell in a fantasy. She laughed lots concerning the characters and the owl personalities. The humorous factor was she needed Margery to be precisely like her, and needed Margery married. It was like she needed to dwell on by my writing. I did compromise as Alwyn’s Village is the center title of my uncle and the river on Rooke’s Island is named 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. Though it was one other two years earlier than we truly completed the e book, we used the ending we wrote down for her. My aunt made me promise I’d have it revealed. I am certain she would love the e book; I’ve despatched it to lots of her aged pals that bear in mind her owl assortment and obtained 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 change into chapters. (Chapter 11: Assembly Eaton, and Chapter 14: Two Owl Birds Meet).
There was one owl who arrived with title scratched on the underside. Once 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 carried out.
Tyler: Miss Vickie did you do any of the writing?
Miss Vickie: No I used to be solely six; we completed it after I was 9 nearly ten. I am twelve now. We might discuss over what would occur subsequent, after I came to visit the following Friday we might act out the following chapter. I’d say what I preferred and what I did not. There was a variety of rewriting.
Tyler: Sue, would you say you had any literary influences from different youngsters’s books that perhaps you learn as a toddler?
Sue: My favorite childhood e book of all time is “Alice in Wonderland.” I’ve learn it so many occasions and nonetheless discover one thing new.
Though “Rooke’s Island” was written for younger readers, to my shock I obtained the next notes. Perhaps “Rooke’s Island” can be one thing totally different to whoever reads it.
A notice from an 85 yr previous girls said-“I discovered it attention-grabbing that you just paired an older wiser woman with the wisest creatures within the chicken kingdom.”
A 16 yr previous lady wrote in her e book report-“Margery is a scatterbrain; generally she would not have a clue what to do, identical to me. She have to be fifty and she alters her life over evening; now that’s cool.”
A 50 yr previous girl wrote: “I’ve learn the e book twice; I am only a child at coronary heart. As we change into the graying planet you definitely tell us it would not matter how previous or sensible we’re, human or owls, we won’t predict the longer term.”
Tyler: Miss Vickie, it should have been enjoyable to assist write a e book. What had been a few of your favourite stuff you did in writing the e book?
Miss Vickie: I named many of the owls. I drew the maps within the e book, did you discover the maps are owl formed, and I took the owl footage. It first began out with storytelling and pretending, and performing out, we by no means thought it might be a e book. I had enjoyable additionally after the e book was revealed serving to with bookmarkers, posters, Rooke’s Island T-shirts, owl playing cards for every of the owls (like baseball playing cards). We have now carried out two signings and a e book honest that was enjoyable, and that is my second interview.
Tyler: Miss Vickie, do you’ve a favourite chapter?
Miss Vickie: Sure, Chapter 9, “Secrets and techniques of the Large 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 may hardly climb over the roots. We might faux that the flap of the tree would open and we’d go down the trunk, and sit on a curler coaster and trip 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 creator?
Miss Vickie: My brother and sister wish to be a part of the following e book 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 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: Positive Tyler, you should purchase “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 this moment. I feel it is fantastic that you’ve got such a fantastic relationship and will collaborate the best way you probably did. I want you a lot luck in making your future desires change into actuality.
Tyler R. Tichelaar of Reader Views was glad to be joined by S.Okay. Whalen (Sue) and her granddaughter, Miss Vickie, to speak about their new e book “Rooke’s Island: The Prophecy of the Staring Eyes,” iUniverse (2007), ISBN 9780595445455.