The Book Monsters are excited to welcome H.B. Bolton. Ms. Bolton is the author of The Serpent's Ring.
Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum … that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.
Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous bird and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.
Describe your book in five words or less.
Mysticus – Latin for enigma or puzzle (each relic is a piece of the Mysticus Orb)
What has your road to publication been like?
I completed my women’s fiction novel, Glimmers, in the fall of 2010 and immediately started sending out agent queries. I had three “nibbles,” but in the end, Glimmers was rejected and ended up in a dresser drawer. It didn’t help that while I was actively sending queries, my husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. My writing, not to mention my life, went on hold for the entire year of 2011. After my husband had his (successful) stem cell transplant in June 2011, our “normal” lives slowly returned. In the middle of it all, I had to “escape.” My second novel, The Serpent’s Ring, was brought to life in about three months (I had A LOT of escaping to do.).
With 2012 approaching, I was ready to take control of my life. I had a husband in remission (Yay!), two novels for two completely different genres, and assumed two completely different pen names. I read many fabulous posts by successful indie authors and decided to self-publish Glimmers. After doing well on my first launch, I published The Serpent’s Ring.
I have learned something new every step of the way: I can complete a novel; I am capable of approaching self-publishing like a business; and I am determined to continue down this path — speed bumps, detours and all.
How did the idea for The Serpent's Ring come to you?
I wanted to write a fantasy series similar to Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson, and so many others. Although I modeled my writing after J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, my story needed to be fresh and new. I wanted to include a quest where an average kid could encounter supernatural creatures, trinkets and foods. I considered how to tie multiple books and multiple adventures together. That was when the idea of visiting a land where all of the great myths existed came to me. My characters would be able to visit multiple realms of mythology where they would be able to have many exciting escapades.
In The Serpent’s Ring, Evan and Claire travel — via the “rainbow bridge” — to Asgard and encounter their first goddess, Vor (she knows literally everything). I chose Norse mythology because of my family’s heritage — my father’s name is Thor (short for Torval). I have always felt connected with Norway and needed to start there.
In each book, Claire and Evan will visit a new realm. *Spoiler Alert* The next book will take Evan and Claire into the realm of Native American myths and legends, The Trickster’s Totem.
What was the research process for The Serpent’s Ring like for you?
Thank goodness for the Internet. I was able to better understand Yggdrasil (an enormous tree that is central in Norse cosmology), and learn about the multitude of gods, goddesses, creatures, places, and terms from Norse mythology.
What is your favorite part of the writing process? Least favorite?
My favorite part of the writing process is imagining and developing the story — sculpting the first draft and living in the moment with the characters.
My least favorite part is the number of times needed to revise and perfect the story … and still not getting it right.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating The Serpent’s Ring?
I knew very little about Norse mythology when I started. I had heard of Odin, Thor and Loki, but didn’t really know their story. The sea serpent, Jormundgand, surrounds Midgard (Earth) and bites his tail. If he were to let go, then the entire planet would flood. This is predicted to happen at Ragnarok, end of the world, when Thor slays the giant serpent. I was surprised to learn that Jormundgand was one of Loki’s sons. Actually, the entire story is both interesting and surprising.
What is one question that you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
What advice would I offer to young readers?
Pay attention to your dreams and keep a journal; draw and write in it every day. Imagine the unimaginable. Wish upon a star. And never stop pursuing your heart’s desires.
Discover more about H.B. Bolton and The Serpent's Ring at:
Author on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6150459.H_B_Bolton
You can find the book on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15769991-the-serpent-s-ring