My writer’s group split up a few years ago and its members went separate ways; some moved away; some took a break from writing. Then this stupid pandemic came and turned me into a caveman…not that I needed much encouragement. I am not the most social creature to start with, but even a caveman gets tired of waiting for the glaciers to recede and enjoys an afternoon in a sunny place, chatting with a couple of charming ladies.
A friend posted on social media that her daughter just published a book, so I bought a copy and read it.
The title of the book is The Realm of the Fairies by Natalie Wolff, a fantasy about a teenage girl going through the trials of entering high school when she discovers that she has a destiny in the mystical realm of fairies.
I met with Natalie and her mom at Philz Coffee in Cupertino, California on a pleasant, sunny afternoon in August.
I brought a short list of topics to ask about and invited her to tell me about herself.
She began writing as a child; fan fiction and short stories. There was a story from her imagination that she slowly developed and refined and, one day, she decided to bring it all together into a book.
Writers tend to fall into one of two camps; plotters and pantsers. I didn’t make that up. Lots of writers use this expression. Plotters plan the plot of the story in a complete outline before beginning the actual first draft. Pantsers—from the expression ‘fly by the seat of your pants’—simply write what they imagine at the moment and don’t plan what will happen in the next scene.
Natalie tried both ways and found the pantser method work best for her. Like myself, she knows how she wants the story to end. She just needs to write a story to bring her characters to that place.
The heroine of The Realm of the Fairies, Talia Summers is 14 years old and entering a stage of life that can be challenging for anyone: high school. I can relate; it has been decades since I graduated and I still haven’t recovered. The experience is presented in a close, first person narrative, bringing the reader into the life of this young woman who suddenly gets a dose of not only the new world of adolescent relationships, but the wholly unexpected world of fairies.
I asked about Natalie’s education in writing and was surprised that, other than journalism, she did not take writing classes beyond the required English in high school. The quality of her writing suggests lots of experience and training. She says that the recent pandemic forced her to read more than usual, and she learned a lot about sub-plots during the shut-down.
The descriptions on Amazon and Goodreads don’t say who the target audience is but, after reading it myself, I will recommend this for teenage girls or anyone who enjoys light fantasy. It will make a good gift for a daughter or grand daughter.
The Realm of the Fairies is Natalie Wolff’s first published book, but another is in the works as Miss Wolff prepares for college. I wish her all the best in everything she does and I recommend her breakout novel.