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March 9, 2012 > Mad Lavender

Mad Lavender

New novel in series chronicles teenagers' quest to save lost mother from magical prison

"Mad Lavender," a young adult fantasy novel by S. C. Williams, tells the story of a mother trapped in a kingdom inhabited by elves and dragons and the efforts of her husband and children to bring her home.

In this second book of the successful Sanctuary series, readers find Christina, the mother who sacrificed herself to save her son in the first novel, "Sanctuary" (ISBN 1453720634), imprisoned in an elf form but still very human on the inside. Bound by magic and renamed Mad Lavender by her captors, she learns the secrets of elfin craftsmanship and uses them to send a message to her family. Her husband, Ben, and teenage children, Marissa and Jacob, begin to plan the journey from their home to the hidden elfin realm that lies somewhere just around the corner.

A contemporary fantasy set in the rolling hills of northern California, featuring the mysterious canyons of Hayward, Castro Valley and Sunol, "Mad Lavender" reveals greater richness in the magical world hidden from sight but right next door. Dragons feature prominently in the novel, with detailed descriptions of their flying and unique abilities. Written to engage and entertain, the book's adventures and somewhat sarcastic humor are aimed at teenage and adult readers.

"Family members, be they human, fairy, gargoyle or even elf, are vital to our survival, whether you live in the magical realm or your own zip code," says Williams. "My book develops that concept with humor and adventure."

She likens "Sanctuary," the first book in the series, to the burst out of the starting gates and felt the race had not finished as she wrote "Mad Lavender" which took only six months to complete and in which the characters have been developed further and now take on lives of their own.

"There are supposedly 200 self-published books, daily," says Williams. "Self-publishing is an interesting field, an a la carte process. You choose the services for which you wish to pay. For example, one can write a manuscript, create a cover and pay for publishing without any professional intervention. I wrote my manuscript, produced my own illustrations and design but paid for editing, professional review of artwork and for independent reviews of my work. So, before final printing, I had a very good idea of my strengths and weaknesses and what to emphasize next time. Buying more services increases the cost but was worthwhile because of the feedback. I also chose a company with a direct affiliation with Amazon. Self-publishing is something I would like to discuss with people so they avoid some of the pitfalls associated with the process.

"Everybody has a story. It's important to share their knowledge and wisdom which they've acquired over time. I have a sort of creative bent and it is fine to be of a certain age and still believe in magic, fairies and wonder. I try to get that message across through my books. Self-publishing enables people to live their dream and share their wisdom," Williams added.

The Brooklyn Art Library invited her to contribute to The Sketchbook Project, a library of artists' sketchbooks from across the globe. She received a blank sketchbook that she filled, artistically, with whatever she chose. The artist and author produced a synopsis of her first two books using a graphic-novel approach featuring all of her illustrations. Her published sketchbook and those of others will embark on The Sketchbook Project 2012 World Tour which will visit San Francisco from June 2 to June 23, 2012.

Fans of "Sanctuary" and "Mad Lavender" can look forward to "Star Man Heart Star Girl," which Williams has already written and illustrated. "Annihilation, By Appointment Only," the fourth and final book in the series, is taking longer to write as the author devises realistic and credible circumstances to provide her characters closure; some might gain stability and happiness while others meet their demise.

S.C. Williams has lived in the San Francisco Bay area her entire life. Although she earned her degree from the University of California, Davis, in the field of environmental planning and management, she chose to pursue the life of an artist and author. In addition to selling her own jewelry, Williams has taught classes in beading and jewelry-making and worked in the craft industry. Her first book in the "Sanctuary" series, based on a dream that she committed to paper when she awoke one morning, earned a four-star ForeWord Clarion review. Future literary plans are likely to evolve following another recent dream that has left a vivid impression. Williams is also a proud wife and mother.

"Mad Lavender" (ISBN 1463692455) is available at The Bookshop, 1007 B Street, Hayward (www.HaywardBookShop.com), online at www.Amazon.com and other channels.

Visit S.C. William's "Gargoyle Times" blog spot at www.sanctuaryscw.blogspot.com. For more information, contact Stephanie C. Williams at scw.sanctuary@gmail.com. For details of The Sketchbook Project 2012 World Tour, visit http://tinyurl.com/89sg4zh.

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