Since The Paperback Writer of Central Park, I have self published two more novels in The Hidden World of Wysteria Series, with more to come. They are Into Wysteria, and Beneath Rain and Stars. When I first wrote The Paperback Writer on my old Thinkpad computer, I did not imagine it would be the first in a fantasy series. At least not initially.
Beneath Rain and Stars was released in late 2018 and while the old characters are present in the book, two vital people are introduced. Aleka is a troubled woman who has a good heart but cannot seem to move past her problems. She lives in the fictional Connecticut town of Whispering Trees Village which has been recently shaken by a hurricane. Amongst many others who have lost everything they had and everyone they loved, she lives in a homeless shelter. Her only friend during this time is the shelter counselor, Bernie.
Haunted with loneliness and by the loss of her father, she spends her days wandering around the graveyard and marina of her town. Armed with her sketchbook, she creates an imaginary friend to spend time with. After all, she has nothing.
Edgar is alarming. Alarmingly lovely in an understanding and kind way. Alarmingly real and personable.
The two fall in love with each other and the depressing beauty of the leafless trees, the towering historical buildings and the quiet emptiness. Both have a very gentle, gothic, and poetic way about them, well aligned with my writing style which has been described as laid back.
Aleka and Edgar are important characters because they embody unconditional love and kindness, toward each other, others, and The Universe. They are thoughtful of their feelings and of the well being of all. My series takes place before cell phones, ipods, and related technology because I feel what is most important is being forgotten.
While evolving technology is helpful, society has become too deeply entrenched within it. My characters embody a deeper meaning, each has their own path and have come to Wysteria because of their uniquely positive qualities.
Aleka is an introvert, a wanderer, and a sufferer of Major Depression. I knew that with the recent mental health crisis and awareness of it, readers would connect with her. Homelessness and crisis is a serious problem across the world, and I wanted to acknowledge that in the book as well. I want the reader to feel less alone, and for them to know that there is someone out there who cares.
Despite his messy dark hair and black clothes, Edgar is an angel with the purest of hearts. He looks after Aleka from the moment he enters her life, and resides with her in the homeless shelter until they enter the realm of Wysteria. Edgar travels with Aleka to find closure with relatives she has lost, and she meets his father in the realm from which he originates. Their dedication to each other is an important detail which I include in all of my character relationships.
The dream-like, willowy world of Wysteria welcomes them with an old stone castle and English garden of their very own, which is paradise after the ordeal Aleka has been through. Although Edgar and Aleka prefer to be alone, they are visited by many of the caring inhabitants including Cloud, the wizard Zeferaus, and others. These souls encourage them to practice Earth Magick, which is inspired by Paganism. At the New Thought Academy, they learn to communicate with trees, and to slowly work through their shyness among the others who live in Wysteria.
Zeferaus the wizard is a vital character because he represents guidance and wisdom, and is often depicted in a gentle, lighthearted way. He is the creator of Wysteria, which he wove together from the fond memories of others, and enchantments. His character is one of love and concern for all souls, even those on Earth which leads into the fourth book.
Another significant character to note is Cloud the enormous, blue and gray striped cat. He is starbound and enjoys transporting others around Wysteria and into other realms. Cloud’s character is representative of friendship and protection, for there are times he offers a paw when the going gets rough.
As an author it is crucial for me to write characters who are juxtaposed to today’s societal norms. Dedication, compassion, integrity, and a connection to The Universe and each other are ingrained in each of them.
I am often clever with naming my characters. Aleka was inspired by the indie band Aleka’s Attic, Edgar was named after Poe, Cloud because he is the most experienced at flying, and Zeferaus was named after Zephyr Street near my childhood home. It is important to note that Zephyrus is a Greek God of the Wind. Recently I made the decision to change my pen name from Stella Brians to Owl Willows, since the latter held more meaning for me because of my connection to Earth and animals.
About the author Owl Willows is a New England author who now lives on the West Coast with her significant other and their lovably kooky cats. She loves nature, music, and the arts. Her favorite things to write about are wizards who drink too much tea, introverted main characters, and nature.
You can reach her here:
All her books are available through Lulu.com, Ingram, and Amazon.
Lulu (paperbacks): http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/OwlWillows
Smashwords (ebooks): https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/missowl89