Ella Selvaggio made the most of her time in the remote learning period last spring.
It was during that time that she expanded what began as an 8,000-word story created for the Young Authors contest into a 25,000-word novel. That book, Legends of Morana: The Dark Threat Rises, has been published and is now available for purchase.
“After reading a lot of fantasy books and learning about the Young Authors program, I wanted to write a story of my own,” Selvaggio said. “I had a lot of extra time to write and expand on my Young Authors story.”
The book is an epic fantasy tale in which dragons work to protect a newborn dragonet with rare powers from nefarious forces, ultimately revealing themes of the friendship, love, and family-like bonds shared by dragons.
Some of the fantasy books that inspired Selvaggio include the Wings of Fire series by Tui Sutherland, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, and Eragon by Christopher Paolini.
“Our family loves fantasy movies, so Jurassic Park, Pete’s Dragon, and How to Train Your Dragon are also some movies that influenced me,” Selvaggio said.
She also credits her family with helping her in her writing and editing process.
“I first get an idea and I start going with that. I continue to write until I feel like the book has enough content and a good ending point. Then my father and I sit down and we comb over the book,” she said.
Together, they analyze the plot for holes, shore up loose ends, and fill in more details where needed.
“Then once I feel like the book is good enough, I let a couple other people like my mother read it. They may find something that doesn’t work so I fix that. At that point we hand it off to an editor who goes over the punctuation and grammar,” she said.
For The Dark Threat Rises, a professional editor proofread the book, and a professional designer created the book cover.
The final result is now available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and locally at Read Between the Lynes in Woodstock. It soon will also be available for checkout to students in the Marlowe Learning Resource Center.
If you enjoy the book, take heart. Selvaggio said she plans for The Dark Threat Rises to be the first in a series, with two additional Legends of Morana titles underway for release in 2020 and 2021.
“I am planning to release at least three books, but it is probably going to be more since I have so many ideas and things I want to get to!” she said.
Learn more about the author at https://ellaselvaggio.com.