An Interview with Author Lenita Sheridan!

Today, I'm very excited to be interviewing Middle Grade fantasy author Lenita Sheridan! Lenita grew up in Alaska, and she now lives on Whideby Island, in Washington state. You can find her on Facebook, or on Goodreads.

Lenita is the author of the Guardian of the Gauntlet books, and from what I can see they are really quite fantastic, so go ahead and check them out on Amazon.

Thanks for chatting with me today, Lenita!

First, tell us a bit about yourself.

I was raised in Fairbanks, Alaska in the Goldstream Valley. The Alaskan woods were my playground and a source of imagination. I decided to become a writer when I was in fifth grade. I had a wonderful fifth grade teacher who had us write. My grandfather had published in science fiction in the pulp magazines of his day and I wanted to take after him.

When I was in my twenties I moved to Washington state to look for a teaching job. I substituted there and started my first book during a snowstorm. Later, I entered graduate school at the University of Washington where I finished the book and graduated with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

I now live on Whidbey Island where I have three jobs: writing, caregiving, and substitute teaching. My interests include crafts, singing, and walking my dog, a Japanese Spitz named Haley.

What books have you written, and what genre are they?

I have written two books, "Guardian of the Gauntlet" and "Guardian of the Gauntlet, Book II." They are both fantasies.

Tell us more about your books!

The main character of both books is the princess Camari. In the first book she has been turned invisible by a special gauntlet. This gauntlet only works if one has faith in a higher power. Camari must learn to make herself visible again and outwit two wicked characters.

In the second book, Camari goes on a quest with Isryk whom she met in the first book. They are going to help the Gnomes of Nurrocon retrieve crystals from the Magnite Sea which is guarded by a monster named the Great Vanthor. They are joined on the quest by gnomes Eldon and Dantor. The group encounters many perils along the way to retrieving the crystals. Even when they think the quest is accomplished there is still more to come.

What ages are your books for?

My books are for children ages nine and up.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get my inspiration from places I've lived, the Alaskan woods, the British Isles (I went to school in Northern Ireland for nine months), and Whidbey Island where I live now.

What was the inspiration for your first book?

I had a dream about a princess being kidnapped.

How did you come up with your characters?

My female characters are parts of myself. My male characters are composites of men I have known, but don't take after any one person. My non-human characters are figments of my imagination.

When did you first start writing?

I started writing in first grade when I wrote a picture book. I didn't decide to be a writer until fifth grade.

Where do you like to write?

I like to write at home, usually on my couch. I don't type directly into the computer at first. I like to write a first draft in long hand, that way I can make changes and the typed in copy is a second draft.

What are some of your favorite books?

"The Chronicles of Narnia," "The Princess and the Goblins," and "The Wizard of Oz" (the whole set of Oz books).

Do you have any tips for up-and-coming authors?

Think about how the public would view the blurb of your book. Step outside yourself and pretend you were a stranger reading the blurb. Do you think they would want to buy the book? If not you may need to make changes to the blurb or even the book itself.

Another piece of advice I would like to give beginning writers is to join a writers' group if you can. I have. It's a lot of fun and you'll get great editing done in it.

Thank you so much, Lenita!

To find out more about Lenita and her books, take a look at these pages:

Lenita's website:

Lenita's Facebook page:

Lenita's Amazon Author Page:

Lenita's first book, Guardian of the Gauntlet
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