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A book of magic and destiny

First-time novelist gets inspiration from family with kid-friendly book

Posted: May 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Laurisa White Reyes will host a book launch party on May 18 for first published kid-friendly novel “Rock of Ivanore” at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Valencia.

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Santa Clarita Valley native and aspiring novelist, Laurisa White Reyes, finds inspiration and drive within her family as she embarks on her first novel that will launch in days.

“My first profession, if you want to call it that, has been and will be for many years to come a full-time mommy to my kids,” Reyes said. “And I write for them. They inspire me, and I get a lot of my ideas from them. Every time I finish a manuscript, I have them read it. If they like it, then I know it’s good.”

Her freshman kid-friendly novel, “The Rock of Ivanore Book One: The Celestine Chronicles,” centers on a world of magic and destiny, and with its debut will mark a seven year long journey for the mother of five.

Both Reyes and her husband have lived in the Santa Clarita Valley, Saugus specifically, for eighteen years and have raised five children together.

“We have five kids ranging in age from 4 to 18 years,” Reyes described. “We almost moved out of town once when we outgrew our first home, but we couldn’t bear to leave our friends and our neighborhood. So we bought a bigger home a few blocks down the street. We plan to be here for a long time.”

Family is important to Reyes and her profession as full time mother will never be compromised, but her writing defines her passions.  

“I’ve been writing my entire life, but I began writing professionally about 15 years ago,” Reyes said. “I wrote for all the local SCV publications, but about six years ago, I decided it was time to live my dream of being a novelist. So I quit writing for the papers and magazines and spent a year writing my first novel. It didn’t sell, so I wrote another book — ‘The Rock of Ivanore.’ I actually have a dozen completed manuscripts. I’m always writing.”

Her inspiration, for her soon to be published novel, came from her children, specifically her eight-year-old and would involve a bed time story filled with magic, dragons and sword fighting.

“Reading to my kids has always been an important part of my life,” Reyes said. “About seven years ago, my oldest son asked me to make up a story instead of reading one. So I started telling him about an enchanter’s apprentice who bungled his spells. Night after night the story grew. Eventually I started writing it down, and it developed into ‘The Rock of Ivanore.’”

From there, Reyes was inspired and able to transform those stories into a narrative.

“Once I started jotting down ideas from our bedtime stories, the plot came together pretty quickly,” Reyes said. “I spent a few months outlining the book before I actually began writing it.”

Her novel centers on an enchanter’s apprentice, Marcus Frye, who is struggling with his magic and self-confidence.

“He’s not very good at doing magic, so every time he tries to cast a spell, it backfires,” Reyes said. “When he’s given a chance to prove himself by participating in the annual quest, his master gives him a special gift meant to help him hone his skills. However, he must discover within himself the confidence and abilities necessary to face the dangers along the way.”

Reyes describes the theme of her novel as being about overcoming fears and self-doubts.She described the feeling of being “not good enough” as the center of her novel.

“My mom always taught me, ‘If someone else has done it, then you can learn to do it, too,’ Reyes said. “That’s what I teach my own kids and what I hope those who read ‘The Rock of Ivanore’ will come to believe, as well.”

Her long road to publication began in 2005 where she spent the year raising her kids by day and writing her novel into the late hours of the night.

In 2006 she started to submit her manuscript for publication.

“I started submitting ‘The Rock of Ivanore’ in the summer of 2006,” Reyes said. “I received more rejections than I care to admit before Tanglewood Press contacted me in 2008. That was three years ago. It’s been a long road to publication.”

Reyes hopes the release of her novel will be successful enough to continue the story of Marcus Frye, the main character, and eventually open up new opportunities for her to write more.

“I hope kids will love reading it as much as I loved writing it,” Reyes said. “It is the first book in a series, ‘The Celestine Chronicles,’ which I envision to be ongoing. Two additional books in the series are already written, so I hope it is successful.”

“The Rock of Ivanore Book One: The Celestine Chronicles” — for ages 8 and up — will be published by Tanglewood Press on May 15.

The book will be available through local and online booksellers. For those interested in finding out more about the author visit www.laurisawhitereyes.com.

“The Rock of Ivanore” book launch party will be held 7 p.m. Friday, May 18 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 23630 Valencia Blvd., Valencia. Open to the public and will be especially suited for children aged 8 through 13.

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