Four Corners Trilogy Book 1
by Kristin Durfee
Genre: YA Fantasy
Levi always knew he was different. The fact that he could smash a light bulb without touching it was only one clue, but he’s about to find out how special he really is…
Sought after by those in a magical land, he meets Aura, Queen of Esotera. Her kingdom is in trouble and he’s the only one who can help. But the powerful sorcerer who cursed Esotera will not give up easily. A collision of magic and fates, sealed long ago, will catapult the two into a race to save Aura’s kingdom. Will they make it in time, or will they lose everything they love, and possibly both their lives?
It all happened so quickly. The sound of movement was all around them and Aura was terrified. This was it. This was the moment they had been preparing for and hoping would never happen, though it felt all wrong. They were expecting any type of ambush to occur when they were either close to the portal or in the other world. Instead, they were only a half-day’s ride from the center of the kingdom, in woods that were protected by her guards. There should not be bands of outlaws here. The only danger they should be facing should be from Winester, but there was no way he had caught up with them. Her eyes were trying, to no avail, to adjust to the low light. The sounds, though! The sounds kept continuing until she felt dizzy. They seemed to be coming from everywhere. An army, she thought. It sounded like an army trampling the ground around them.
“Resbuca,” she said again in a panicked voice.
She felt Resbuca move beside her and felt another body saddle to her other side. Kolas breathed heavily, his own panic making him lose his breath. She felt the other bodies close in on her as well in a reassuring protective manner. As much as she wanted them to run and save themselves, she was embarrassed to admit she needed this crush around her to keep her from screaming.
The sounds were now coming faster and closer. Aura took a deep breath and prepared herself for whatever onslaught was to come. She didn’t even have time to react when the bag was placed over her head. A second later, she felt a sharp pain coupled with a loud crack and everything went to black.
Four Corners Trilogy Book 2
Four years after his adventures in Esotera, Levi’s life is unrecognizable. Now an accomplished author for his “fantasy” story Saving Esotera, a visit from someone he never expected to see again has put his new future in jeopardy. Esotera again needs his help. Familiar faces, along with some new ones, greet him upon his return, but it’s not all happy homecomings. A threat from their past is rising to power.
Will Levi, Aura, and the rest of our heroes be able to defeat their enemies once and for all? Or will it not just be Esotera at stake, this time, but the world as well?
Levi chuckled and looked over at Theirra. He could see something else in her eyes—past the grief, even deeper down. It seemed like a desperation hid in them. For what? It could not be just for Emily. Could they have gotten that close in the years since Levi had left? Revenge, he concluded. She wanted to get back at the person who took her love away. That had to be it. Emily was probably not even in any real danger. It probably was gypsies or whatever Aura had said, but Theirra wanted a war. Another war. A war for him.
“Theirra—” he started, his voice low and soft, but she held up her hand.
“This has nothing to do with him,” she said bitterly. “I know I am right. I just need to convince Aura of it. If you come back with me, she will realize that I am correct and something needs to be done to protect not only Esotera, but the entire Four Corners.”
He sighed again. Did he owe them all something? Did he owe Theirra anything? He walked into their life and battled to save a land he was, unknown to him, the heir of. He came close to losing them that land as well. He’d been kidnapped and brainwashed. Aura had almost lost everything, but he escaped and Emily found him. She found him and brought him back to his senses and they were able to help save Esotera. Levi came back home and wrote about his adventure, his true adventure, and audiences fell in love with the characters as he had. Did he owe it to them, the people who had enabled him to actually make something out of his life?
“I can give you one week,” he said, “but then I must come back. I have a life here. I will do what I can to help find her, but then I must come back.” He gathered his thoughts. “I need to know, what makes you think we will be able to find Emily? And if we do, what hope will we have in getting her back safely? Someone clearly wants her for something. How can you assure me that we will be successful?”
A smile broke out on her face. “I will do better than that,” she said, “I will show you.”
Kristin Durfee grew up outside of Philadelphia where an initial struggle with reading blossomed into a love and passion for the written word.
She has also been a writer since a very young age, writing short stories and poems, though now is focusing on longer works. She is currently working on several short stories and a novel for adults.
Kristin currently resides outside of Orlando, FL, and when not enjoying the theme parks or Florida sun, she spends most of her time with her husband, son, and their quirky dogs.
She is a member of the Florida Writers Association.
What inspired you to write this series?
I was at thanksgiving with my in-laws a number of years back and my niece was reading a book and remarked about how neat it would be to live in a fantasy type world. An image of her with a dragon popped into my head so clearly, I literally began writing that night and became obsessed with these characters. Theirra is actually based on her.
How long did it take you to write Four Corners and Two Worlds?
I finished the first draft of Four Corners in four months. Though, before you go being impressed, it took another four years of hard work in editing and shopping it around before a publishing house accepted it. Two Worlds took about six months to write and came out about a year after that.
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
The names are a mixture of purely made up (like Aura and Kolas) and names taken based on their meaning. Levi was one of the first named characters. His name means “joined” in Hebrew. I wanted to give him a name that really reflected his role in the book and in the kingdoms, that he really is the bridge between these two worlds. Aldric means “old ruler”, again, a nod at his character. Sometimes I found the name first and waited for the character to come along that fit that meaning. So, I’d say it’s about 50/50 made up and meaningful.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Four Corners and Two Worlds?
Aura is the Queen of a magical parallel land to ours called Esotera. Levi is a descendent of the rules of the two worlds, but doesn’t know it. Aura’s land has had a curse placed on it and it turns out Levi is the one person that can help her break it. And Lady Grustmiener is married to the ruler of another, competing land to Esotera. She is also interested in Levi, but to prevent him from helping Aura and to use his powers for her instead.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I don’t, and as of right now, don’t plan to. I started writing the first book in 2009, so I’ve been living with these characters for a very long time. When I finished writing the third and final book (will be out Spring 2018!), I bawled my eyes out, but in a good way. It was hard to say goodbye to characters that have meant so much to me, but it was time to move on to other things. I am deeply satisfied with the ending, I’d be afraid of messing it up if I keep meddling in their worlds!
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
A bit of both. For the first book, I didn’t do any outlines, so while I had a few characters in my head, most of them just came to me as I was writing. For the second and third book, since I knew I needed an end goal and a definitive way to get there, I wrote outlines to loosely follow. For those, I did have characters to introduce included just so I could keep straight who was supposed to do what. Series are their own beast! You really need to have some type of organization to be able to do it!
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I really enjoyed the process and discovering about these characters. Four Corners was the first book I completed writing. I didn’t have a plan with the first one, just let the characters who me where they wanted to go. For the final two, though, I did write out more detailed story lines so I could first, make sure that the story made sense, and second, make sure that I tied up any loose ends with the final book.
Who designed your book covers?
I am lucky that my publisher allows me to have my own cover artist. I have an extremely talented friend named Matt Conway who did both covers, and will be doing the third. He’s hand drawn all the images and I am blown away by his talent. I give him the basic idea (and a terribly drawn stick-figure rendition of my vision), and he makes magic out of it.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wrote Four Corners so many years ago, when I go back and read it, I think many authors feel this way, I find about a million things I would change or wish I could do different, but all in all, I am really happy with how the first book set up the series. Regret is a fickle thing, because who’s to say that those choices didn’t make you the person you are today. Are there things that I wish were different? Sure, but maybe those differences would have trickled down and made the last two books different, and I wouldn’t dare risk that.
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
That I really need to be disciplined on my outlines! I am really impatient and want to delve right into everything I’m working on, so it’s hard for me when I have an idea to take the time to write it all out, but I am so much more successful when I do. When I’m in the thick of writing and I can just turn to my outline like a checklist, I thank past-me for sucking it up and doing the work. And try to make a mental note for future-me to not slack!
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I had characters in mind when I first wrote the book, but they are too old now ? I’d probably want someone who isn’t known to play the characters, though Theirra is someone who I’ve pictured as the same actress from the beginning, Nathalie Emmanuel.
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
The fight scenes in the first book were so fun to write. Sometimes sad, but really enjoyable to put the story lines together. As for the second book, I won’t give away specifics, but there are a few reunion scenes at the beginning of the book that were so fun to write. It felt like a homecoming of sorts.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
Amaline. She’s my absolute favorite character to write. It’s funny, she crept into the story and I wasn’t expecting her to play such a large roll, but her personality really stuck with me after the first book so I made sure to find a way to let her play a bigger role in the next two books.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Not people, per se, but some of my characters were inspired by other literary characters, though not even all people. One was based off a rabbit and the other a dog. You gotta find inspiration everywhere!
Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
Oh, they totally hijack. I was CONVINCED that I would only write two books in this world. I even had an entire outline for the second book, but at one point the characters presented an alternative and I was curious enough to see where it went that I let them have at it. And yeah. I’ve got a trilogy now. That’s totally their fault.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read. I think it has universal themes. Everyone knows what it feels like to think they aren’t good enough, heck, sometimes people are eventoldthey aren’t good enough, but you’ve gotta learn to rise above. To trust yourself and those around you and realize that yeah, you might not get it right 100% of the time, but you have to try. I hope readers walk away from my books feeling in some small way understood and impowered.
If Four Corners had a candle, what scent would it be?
I picture the smell of woods and water, so probably some pine with some clean water smells. Esotera, the main Kingdom I write about in my book, is very lush, so it would have to smell like the crisp outdoors.
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