I'm so thrilled to have found this video. It's about a book that presents bedtime stories of extraordinary women from the past and the present. But what amazed me the most was that it also brought up an interesting viewpoint - the need to create stories to empower girls and motivate them to be best that they can be.
It made me realized that I had created a different kind of fairytale. Magical Eyes is the story of a princess. But it is not the typical poor girl who needs help, is rescued by a prince, and then they live happily ever after. It is the fascinating story of a brave girl who must confront her brother (the prince), overcome her fears, and take on the risky challenge to save her beloved kingdom from destruction. Princess Martina is a fighter for justice. She is the real heroine of the story!
It is a novel for all the amazing kids who decide to take control of their destiny, and who want to follow their dreams.
I am glad to be part of that small group of books! :)
I want to thank my editor, Cate Hogan, for sharing this video with me, and as she well said it: "The world needs more Martinas."
Have you read Magical Eyes? I'd love to hear your opinion on the topic.
Here is part of a six minutes interview I did for LitPick - a fantastic website that promotes reading among tweens and teens.
1. How did you get started writing?
First, I started reading middle-grade books. It all happened when my boys were in elementary school. I began reading some of the books that were assigned to them, and I discovered how much I liked children’s stories. My passion in storytelling bloomed all of a sudden on the hidden longing I had for contemporary books when I was younger. But it was not until my family was joined by a little girl that I decided to become a writer. It was that sweet, energetic, and charming girl; the one who took me back to the wonderful world of fairytales. To the fantasies, to the princesses, and to the sparkling magic that she has brought to my life, I owe the inspiration to create my first novel, Magical Eyes: Dawn of the Sand.
2. Who influenced you?
Other authors! I have been influenced by everything I have read. Each book is unique. A book can entertain you and make you laugh. A book might make you cry. Perhaps, it can make you think or change the way you think. So when I immerse myself in someone else’s world, I try to fully enjoy the experience. I pay attention to the smallest details. I look at how the author makes me turn the page, how the characters are described, how the plot is moved, or simply how a line brings a smile to my face. Thanks to great stories, I have found my voice and my own writing style.
3. Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
It is hard to pick just one book, but I will try to keep my list short. I must start with Holes by Louis Sachar. It was the first book I read together with my boys. It is a very compelling story about a bad boy who had to dig a hole every day under the sun to build character.
Also among my favorite middle-grade adventures are The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy) by Jennifer A. Nielsen and The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riodan. The narration in both books is extraordinary, and I love the main characters – troubled, but clever kids. And how not to mention Harry Potter? J. K. Rowling has a brilliant imagination. The magical world that she created is amazing. It has captivated readers of all ages, and I am one of them.
I also read motivational books. Two of my favorites are The Four Agreements and Tuesdays with Morrie.
As far as characters, I have to say Elsa from the movie Frozen. I was enchanted by the character and how she was able to create ice and snow. I wanted my main character to have magical power. My love for the beach quickly became the second inspirational element. When I combined the two together, Princess Martina was born – a girl with the magical ability to manipulate sand.
To read the entire interview, you can visit my author's page on the Litpick website.