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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Blog Tour, Book Review & Author Interview: The Wolves' Keeper Legend by Sylvia Weber

Today I have the pleasure to bring you Sylvia (Silvia) Weber and her book The Wolves' Keeper Legend, a story that she wrote at the tender age of 12 and transcribed into English for publication. I would like to welcome her to Morbid Romantic, and thank her for taking the time to let me ask her a few questions. Enjoy!

About Sylvia Weber

Silvia Weber was born in Abrantes, Portugal, on 20th June 1968. She started writing at the age of twelve, sending articles to newspapers and participating in school contests. Graduating in Modern Languages and Literature, her whole career was dedicated to teaching and developing the youngsters greatest potential. A wide diversity of interests took her to a life of researching and studying a variety of subjects such as Languages, Phytotherapy and painting. A strong belief in dreams took her to England at the age of thirty-nine, searching for a place to call home.

About The Wolves' Keeper Legend

From the beginning of time, it seemed that rivalry between man and wolf was at the root of man s dislike for the animal, discovered only too well by Sealgair. Was his fate forever to be condemned to isolation, to see terror and hate in the eyes of the ones he once loved? All he could see in his mind was the last picture of Awena s beloved face, which he carried in his heart for all his life. Was the only way out to discover the special secret held by the papyrus-pearl in the stone pot - what secrets could this hold? And which stone pot could keep that precious secret when there were so many of them? Seanns quest to find the pearls and uncover the secret ended with tragic consequences, resulting in him not only discovering the truth of his birth and who his real mother and father were, but the realization that his father lived among the wolves.

My Review of The Wolves' Keeper Legend

Genre: Fiction - Fantasy
Finished: July 3, 2009

The Wolves' Keeper Legend by Sylvia Weber is a fantasy tale, full of magic and heroism. It is a story about love lost and a boy becoming a man. Because of the jealousy of the sorcerer Fiosaiche, Sealgair was cursed to roam among man's most hated creature: wolves. Separated from his home and his love Awena, his curse is a constant torment to him and he wants nothing more than for the curse to break and to be allowed to be human once more. Of course, being a wolf has given him a great respect for the misunderstood wolves, but that is no consolation for what he has lost. Enter young Seanns, friend to Awena. When she whispers a secret to him about papyrus-pearls in a stone pot, he sends himself on a quest to find these very things in hopes that they will cure her of the malady that has kept her isolated and silent for so, so long. Seanns travels with his friend Maise and elderly wiseman Cibeir, who is brother to the evil Fiosaiche. To be honest, I am not sure what the plot is supposed to focus on specifically because it is scattered all over the place. Was Seanns supposed to be seeking out Fiosaiche to make him break the spell? Or was the purpose to find the papyrus-pearls to break the spell? Or both? I just don't know what the ultimate goal of the trio is. There is a lot about this book that left me confused and disorientated. Weber is excellent with her descriptions of nature, and she describes the world around the characters in vivid and lustrous detail. But I had a lot of trouble with the fluidity of events as they unfold. A lot of the time while reading the book, I was perplexed as to what was happening, how someone got where they were, and how one event led to another. Along with that, most of the dialogue is left without any clear cut indication of who or what is speaking, so most of the time I wasn't sure who was saying what to whom. Apparently in this world, trees and spirits talk, which added a whole new complication to the 'who is talking' issue. From out of nowhere, things that were not human would talk, but it would never state what these things are. And then there are confusing plot elements like the sword Cibeir gets from some traveling merchants that he said was important… why did Cibeir have it when it served no real purpose in the end? He didn't DO anything with it, and neither did Seanns. And why did Awena say that her child with Sealgair had been killed when we were told that Seanns was their son? These things were never explained or developed and I have no idea what the deal is with Seanns being their son. If the transitions were better and the dialogue were more clearly assigned, The Wolves' Keeper Legend would be a great fantasy book for kids and adults. Weber has a lot of talent with words. Like I said, her descriptions of the physical world are quite lovely. The book just needs to be bit more focused, less erratic, and better defined to eliminate confusion or holes.

Interview With Sylvia Weber

Q: You wrote your book when you were only twelve years old. Why did you wait so long to have it published?
A: I was living in Portugal, by then, and the Portuguese publishing market was much different from the English one; I don't know how it is now. The truth is that I tried to publish it several times. I remember sending it to many contests; for example, or the City Council of Sintra or to the Fnac, and I did never get any reply. I tried the publishing magazines for advice, but I was told that, to publish the book anywhere, I would have to pay for all the publishing costs, so I didn't have a chance.

Q: What sort of research went into finalizing this book?
A: I researched a lot about wolves -- their habitat, the way they behave, what they eat, the way they relate in the pack, their breeding process. I read books from the Middle Age, particularly about the day-to-day life. Then, I tried to improve the information contained in my book, though the most of it doesn't come from research, but from imagination.

Q: What do you do to prepare to write? What is the process that gets you ready to sit down a lay out a story?
A: I must say: it used to be a piece of paper and a pen; now I have my precious computer. Then, take a deep breath and dive. There is no preparation, just let the imagination flow. The improvements come later.

Q: Is it your goal to ultimately become a career writer? Or would you like to teach again?
A: Teaching and writing would be amazing. I couldn't see myself, at the moment, separating those two parts of my life. But it can happen; I guess there must be so many other interesting jobs to do, so many things and worlds I don't know yet. On the other hand, if ever I could afford to spend all day in my computer writing, that wouldn't displease me too.

Q: What is it about your story that appeals to children the most? And what appeals to adults?
A: The action -- this book isn't boring, and its pace becomes more thrilling as it evolves. The characters are very colourful and varied, specially the most legendary ones, such as the griffin or the dragon-snake. At last, it has an open end, leaving a thousand possibilities in the horizon.
How much of yourself do you put in your characters? Are they extensions of you, or are they independent creations that take on a life of their own after coming from your imagination?
They are absolutely a product of imagination. Of course I got involved with them and I couldn't treat them in a cold and objective way, but I tried to keep a distance. What most surprised me was exactly that they took a life of their own – I was expecting something like that to happen, but never in such a autonomous way.

Q: What is the most valuable piece of knowledge that you've picked up after becoming a published author that you wish you knew from the start?
A: If I knew, I would have written my book in English before and sent it to publishers outside the boundaries of Portugal. I didn't have a realistic vision of the world by then.

Q: What is one thing you've never done but would love to do?
A: Travel the Road of Silk. It would be absolutely fascinating.

Q: What would your "theme" song be on the soundtrack of your life?
A: "One moment in time", by Whitney Houston. It is overwhelming, extraordinary, beautiful.

Q: Finally, could you share with all of us a quote that you love?
A: Einstein said once "Imagination is more important than knowledge". It doesn't mean that knowledge isn't important and who knows his work goes further in the sense of those words. To me it means that only knowledge combined with imagination can lead to innovation, discovery and achievement.

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