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“The first book took me five years,” said Highlands Ranch author Wendy Terrien, talking about her carefully plotted “Rampart Guards,” which was named to Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2016. Her Jason Lex Adventure Series follows with two new titles, just published in August: “The League of Governors” and “The Clan Calling.” In an Aug. 16 book talk at Tattered Cover Aspen Grove, she explained that she had two main characters developed and they each had a story …
“The characters really take over,” she told the group of readers. “In `The Rampart Guards,’ I originally had a different ending in mind.” Someone asked if there was a particular order in which to read the two new ones, and Terrien’s critique group friend answered that she thought alternating would work well. (Jason joins his father and sister London, where they consult the League of Governors, while his friend, Sadie Callahan, is staying in the small town in in the Northwest where they lived, so a different volume covers her story.) The paranormal world surrounds both young people.
“I was watching TV and folding laundry and heard some mention of a `cryptozoologist,’” the author of Young Adult titles recalled. That led her to a world of creatures that most of us can’t see … (Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, etc.). Jason, whose mother is missing, is pursued by a horde of flying creatures, criptids, learns he has remarkable powers, and is affected by a mysterious coin that glows.
His uncle, a nicely conceived quirky fellow, with a fascinating laboratory, helps him understand and deal with an increasingly challenging world, which comes with life-or-death decisions to be made …
Terrien strongly recommends connecting with a critique group when one is developing a book. She meets with one at Tattered Cover, where each member reads aloud from a new chapter and the others talk about it. With another group, she sends pages in advance, which will be discussed.
She said she “had no idea what will happen yet” in the next books. They will also surely appeal to both teens and adults who want to enter a world that combines realism and fantasy.
Terrien has been named 2017 Independent Writer of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.
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