Series: New Avalon #1
Genres: Young Adult
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Elena Baxter has spent her life desperately wanting to fit in. She’s used to being teased and taunted by the popular girls, but when she celebrates her sweet sixteen birthday and receives two amazing gifts—the power of telekinesis, and the truth about her heritage—she has high hopes that things will change. But her wish does not come true, and Elena is bullied just as she was before, only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. When an explosion hits, chaos ensues and she learns that her new power just might be bigger than she is. She embarks on a journey to a secret island to learn how to control her powers, and she’s thrown into a different world, one where she just might be able to fit in. What Elena learns about her heritage forces her to face her past – and the demons it created – head on.
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
Destiny is about a young girl trying to find herself, and suddenly learning there’s more to herself than she ever thought possible. On top of dealing with normal teen angst, she must now deal with this new truth about herself, and her destiny.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I love King Arthur, especially the Lady of the Lake and the magical aspects. So I decided to write my own version of it. I wanted to place it in modern times, and use teens as my main characters. I had a lot of fun creating them, and their world.
How long did it take to write the book?
Several years. This was a project I kept starting and stopping for significant amounts of time. I finally decided I wanted to finish it this year, pulled it out, dusted it off, and finished it. I was surprised by how many twists and turns it took as I continue to work on it until it was finished.
Who is your favorite character?
Elena, my main character.
You deal a little bit with bullying in the novel, which is a major problem for a lot of kids. Do you have any thoughts on the subject, and any advice?
I was picked on as a kid, and that is why I added it to my book. I find it despicable that kids these days face it as bad as they do. I wish I could cast my own spell and make bullying go away. I wanted my heroin to face it and learn how to deal with it in her own way. And I love the way she ends up dealing with it at one point in the book *laughs*
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
I pretty much wrote what came to mind. I’m a pantser, and that’s typically how I write. I did have to print it out and read some of what I wrote from time to time to see where it took me next. When I took it out earlier this year to finish it, I was very surprised to see where it took me. I made a lot of changes to the plot, but I love the way it came out. The best surprise was when I realized that a long section I wrote actually made more sense as the start of a second book. Now, I have a new series!
How did you come up with the cover?
The cover was designed for me by a wonderful author/artist, Natasha Brown. I love it!
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I think it’s something that’s always been a part of me, but it truly became what I wanted to do in college. My original career choice fell through and I had to pick a different major. My sister said, “You love to write, why not do that?” So, I did!
What are you favorite books and authors?
I love a mix of books and authors. Danille Steel, Nicholas Sparks, Stephanie Myers, Rick Riordan, JK Rowling, Melissa Foster, Tonya Kappes… I could keep going and going.
You wrote an autobiographical book about heart disease. Can you talk a little bit about that book and your personal experiences?
My Open Heart is a story I’ve wanted to write since I was a young adult myself. I wanted to share my story with other adolescents growing up with heart disease or other chronic conditions, so they could read a survivor’s story and say, “She made it through; so can I.” It’s also for parents of children growing up with heart disease, so they can see that their children will thrive and have wonderful lives.
What are you working on next?
Fate: New Avalon, book 2 and Striker’s Apprentice: The Chosen, book 3. I’m also updating Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen, book 2.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Never give up your dreams. Write what you want to write. Keep going and persevering, and do it the way you want. Don’t let anyone talk you out of what you really want to do.
Elena was getting upset as she defended her family’s honor. She wasn’t thinking about where that might lead. She wasn’t thinking at all.
“Why, Elena, I didn’t mean to upset you. I just meant that-“
“I know exactly what you meant, Barbara Thomas! You think your family is better than anyone else in this town. You always have. Just because your dad happens to be the former mayor’s son doesn’t mean you own this town and everyone in it! I’m so sick of your mock sentiment when all you really feel is that you’re better than everyone. You’re no better than the rest of us!”
As she yelled, things around her felt funny, and she realized she heard screaming. She looked around, and was startled to see everyone staring at her, horrified. She took a deep breath, and realized what had happened. She let her emotions get away from her, and her powers erupted.
The only words she could think of to describe the scene around her were total chaos. Every locker had burst open, and the entire contents – books, folders, papers, pictures, mirrors, backpacks – had come flying out. The posters on the walls were scattered everywhere. Most of the students and teachers were picking themselves up off the floor. Elena knew her powers had gotten totally out of hand, and she made everything around her fly out of control, literally.
She heard footsteps walking toward her, the only sound in the hall. She looked up and saw her counselor, Mrs. Adams, walking toward her. She gently took Elena by the shoulder and guided her to her office. She looked back and saw Barb and the other Bimbettes staring at her, as well as everyone else in the hall.
Win a digital copy of Destiny by Andrew Buginsky.
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