Stuck in the Middle with You
Greetings, readers! I’m hoping by now you’ve had a chance to check out Chantarelle, the second (and middle) book of The Five Stones Trilogy, from Islandport Press. When I first began writing the story about Ayda, the Five Stones, and my five protagonists, I thought it would be one book—an epic one, to be sure—but a single volume. As I wrote, the characters in the world of Ayda came alive, and I knew it would be impossible to get it all down in one book. As a reader, I am a huge fan of trilogies. I think they resonate with us because they mimic how people feel as they move through a major transition – beginning, middle, and end. When I thought of the ten-to-fourteen-year-olds whom I wanted to write the book for, I realized that this was middle-school age: one of the greatest trilogies of all! When you enter sixth grade, you are one person, and when you graduate eighth grade, you are someone else . . . and what happens along the way is always a test. I don’t care how popular you were in middle school; nobody goes through that transition without battle scars.
Writing Chantarelle was more difficult then I imagined it would be. I knew what I wanted to say, and I knew where the characters were going, but it turned out that getting there was complicated. In any transition, the middle part is where you often feel stuck and panicked, or — as the great 14th century Italian writer Dante Alighieri describes in his poem, Inferno — you find yourself in the middle of a dark wood where the straight way out is lost. Add to this that so many people really loved the first book and I didn’t want to disappoint them. So, my characters and I found ourselves in a dark wood (and desert), beset by danger, and forced to do a lot of things we never thought we had the courage to do. But here’s the cool part: everyone just kept going. I kept writing, my characters did the best they could in a bad situation. Now, on the brink of the final book, we are all different: older, wiser, and definitely stronger.
As for Chase, Knox, Teddy, Evelyn, and Frankie, they are poised to emerge into book three with their daylights glowing. I hope that whatever it is you are going through, you just keep going. Eventually, you will find your way. And if you ever need a friend to keep you company on your journey, I advise you to pick up a book. It will make a very reliable companion.
I’d love to hear about your experience about being in the middle of something, and how you found your way out. You can write me at my website, ga-morgan.com.
Shine on, good people, and onward to the finish.
G. A. Morgan is the author of The Five Stones Trilogy, which is two books in, and the nonfiction book Undecided: Navigating Life and Learning After High School. She began writing stories when, on a cold, foggy day, she told her shivering children a tale about brave kids stuck in a mysterious fog. Check out her website: http://ga-morgan.com