It’s wonderful to have Laurie J. Edwards on today talking about her newest book series, UNICORNS OF THE SECRET STABLE! Laurie and I met at my very first writer’s conference many years ago and our paths continue to cross—especially when it comes to writing unicorn stories. But Laurie doesn’t have just one new book out but FOUR. Yes, four books releasing at once for unicorn fans young and old to gobble up!
Here are the books in order:
Book 1: Unicorns to the Rescue
Book 2: Lucky and the Dragon
Book 3: Magical Unicorn Horns
Book 4: Mermaid Magic
Laurie is also giving away a copy of book one, UNICORNS TO THE RESCUE. Just enter the contest at the end of this post. U.S. residents only please.
What’s UNICORNS OF THE SECRET STABLE about?
There are unicorns behind Magic Moon Stable, but no one except Iris and Ruby knows they exist. As Unicorn Guardians, it is the sisters’ job to protect the unicorns and use their magic to keep them safe from the outside world.
Like their mother before them, Iris and her younger sister Ruby have been charged with hiding and protecting the unicorn world hidden on their ranch. The rest of the world sees only a stable with an old, tired horse, but when the girls turn the magic key to the paddock, they enter a lush land filled with forests, magical landscapes and creatures, & their beloved unicorns.
Interview with Laurie:
Donna: The idea of a hidden realm within our own is magical and mysterious. What inspired the idea for this realm and the series?
Laurie: For me, the line between reality and fantasy is easily crossed. As a child, I lived more in my imagination than in the everyday world. I caught raindrops in my upside-down umbrella while I watched fairies play in the rainbow-colored oil slicks on a rainy road. When I wandered home, drenched and dripping, my mother despaired of my dreaminess. But I was so caught up in spending time with otherworldly friends, I never noticed—or cared–that I was soaked.
When I was asked to take over this existing series, I jumped at the chance to expand the Enchanted Realm. Some of the world-building had already been done, but I had to come up with new places for the sisters to go, and I enjoyed imagining the possibilities for new adventures, new unicorns, new magical creatures, and new landscapes for each book. I got to dream up the world as I went along, which let me play out my childhood fantasies in the pages of a book.
Donna: Throughout the series, we get the stories told from multiple points of view from the sisters, Ruby and Iris. Why did you decide to give them both a chance to tell their story in separate books?
Laurie: I seem to be drawn to sisters who have opposite personalities. One is usually quieter, more serious, and plans ahead; the other is impulsive and spirited. Bet you can’t guess which one is me. 😊 Actually, most people see my quieter, shyer side, but the truth is: the wilder sister is closer to the inner me. I guess I feel the need to show life from different viewpoints. I did the same thing with the Second Chance Ranch series, which featured two twins with different personalities. It makes for some great conflicts as one sister rushes into things, and the other tries to keep her sibling out of danger. I also think it’s fun to see situations from different viewpoints. I try to choose adventures that will fit each sister and always ask myself which sister would be the most challenged by the situation. That’s the one who tells the story. I like each of my characters to face situations that will help them grow and change.
Donna: Your series not only has unicorns in it but other enchanting creatures like mermaids and dragons. What other magical creatures are you drawn to writing about and can we expect to see them in future stories?
Laurie: I love all magical creatures. In fact, a sneak peek into another middle-grade series I’m working on, The Birch Tree Chronicles, centers around a spell-challenged fairy and features gargoyles, so I’m sure some of those elements will find their way into the unicorn series. But overall, I like the softer, gentler magical creatures, and I have some ideas for combining several creatures to create some unique ones all my own.
Donna: You’ve written many books about ranches, what led to you to make the leap from writing about horses to unicorns?
Laurie: For me it wasn’t much of a leap, because unicorns are horses with one horn. 😊 I’ve always been a horse lover from the time I was young, and I’ve already mentioned how drawn I am to the fantasy world, so unicorns seemed like the perfect combination.
Donna: The final book in the series, MERMAID MAGIC, has Ruby exploring more of the Enchanted Realm leaving readers to wonder if future adventures await Ruby—and Iris—after this. Can we expect more stories in the series to come?
Laurie: I’m in the planning stages for more unicorn stories. Because the girls visit an underwater kingdom in the fourth book, I’d like some of the next books to center around mythical creatures who dwell in the sea. I also have ideas for quite a few more adventures. As the girls explore their secret realm, they’ll travel to many unusual settings and add new unicorns with different magical powers in each book.
Donna: Your legacy of stories includes a range of contemporary, magical, westerns, and non-fiction for all ages. What is it that you love about writing for the middle grade audience?
Laurie: I love spending time with middle graders. I taught in the early elementary grades and worked as a children’s librarian, so middle-graders are my favorite people. I love their imaginations and creativity, their eagerness to learn, and their enthusiasm for life. I sometimes think I’m still a middle-grader at heart. There’s a part deep inside of me that, like Peter Pan, never wants to grow up. And that part of me still believes in magic. Magic I hope spills onto the pages of my books.
Donna: Can you share what kind of story you’re working on now?
Laurie: I’m always writing several books at once. In addition to several adult novels and three picture books, I’m working on The Birch Tree Chronicles with a friend. In this four-book, middle-grade series, Birch Lockhart has no idea she has fairy powers. But after her parents disappear, she and her two younger siblings must learn to survive on their own while they fight the evil seeping their town with the help of an inept, absent-minded fairy.
I’m also doing final edits on a middle-grade fantasy, The Crystal Amulet, about a girl abandoned in the woods because of an ancient prophecy. She becomes the leader of a ragtag band of misfits who uncover a plot to destroy their village, and she must choose whether or not to risk her life to warn the people who cast her out of her village that they are in danger.
And I have one more middle-grade in the works, Silent Lies, historical fiction set during the Jewish pogroms in the Ukraine in the early 1900s.
USA Today bestselling author Laurie J. Edwards has always loved books. In school, she got in trouble for reading during class. When she grew up, she chose jobs that let her spend time with books. First, she became a librarian and then an author. Now she not only reads, but she also creates stories for others to read. Laurie is also a freelance editor and illustrator. In addition to having more than 2300 magazine and educational articles published, she is the author of 60+ books for children and adults in print or forthcoming under several pen names. Visit Laurie at her website for more information.
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