- Tabitha Caplinger
A Unicorn Book For Unicorn Day
"When a unicorn waltzes into Daisy’s pasture, a poacher shows up, who will stop at nothing to gain the unicorn horn and its tears."
My friend and fellow, former Vox Dei author, Kandi Wyatt has a new book releasing just in time and perfect for National Unicorn Day! She was kind of enough to stop by and give us all the details.
In my full-time job, I’m a teacher. I have dream class sizes, but not the dream schedule. Most high school teachers have over 100 students a day they come in contact with but only teach one or two different classes. We have a total of 75 in 7th-12th grade at my school, but I teach seven different classes a day. In a rural town, many kids feel like Harley, my main character for An Unexpected Adventure.
“Why would anyone famous want to come to little ol’ Myrtle Beach, Oregon? Sure, it was rumored that Brad Pitt (or his mom, depending on who you talked with) had a house in the town south of us, but that wasn’t Myrtle Beach where the sheep, cattle, and cranberries outnumbered the people.”
With that mentality, most of the kids want to escape when they’re out of high school. They don’t see the value to our rural area, or the worth of the traditional jobs. So, I decided to write about our area to inspire teens and pre-teens to be who they are, where they are. Thus was born Myth Coast Adventures, a science-fantasy trilogy based on the Southern Oregon Coast.
Harley Maegher is the main character in book 1 and everything is seen from his perspective (my only first person book I’ve written). In April, Harley and his friends, Chase and Will, discover what they think is a thunderegg, Oregon’s state rock. To their surprise, they realize it’s a real egg from a creature that’s not supposed to exist! They vow to protect the baby dragon that hatches and soon find themselves running from a government agent, and trying to hide a rapidly growing dragon.
After the boys solve their dilemma, fall rolls around, and our attention shifts to eighth grade girls, Daisy and Ana, and a unicorn that has come to live in Ana’s horse pasture. The girls enjoy its company until the government agent shows up claiming he can protect the unicorn from a poacher. As the girls juggle junior high, a unicorn, government agent, poacher, and a new friend, they have decisions to make regarding friendship and family.
A year after the first book, Franklin Benson disappears from sleepy (or not so sleepy) Myrtle Beach. When he returns with a Sasquatch following him, the characters from the first two books vow to help him protect the portals from humans slipping into the realm of Shinwano where mythical creatures live. However, the poacher from book two isn’t going to make that easy. Where books one and two focus on Myrtle Beach, book three turns into a portal fantasy.
With this series, I wanted to showcase different characters. At first I wasn’t even sure if the same characters would be throughout the whole trilogy, but specific ones came through strong. Will is one of those. He’s a quiet character who came from a family who fights to make ends meet. Yet, he’s loyal and a hard worker. His position at the crab shack brought him into a key place for helping Harley in book 1 (no spoilers here). That same job puts him in contact with Ana in book 2. There he blossoms into a faithful friend who’s there for Ana as she needs him. By book 3, he’s more in the background, but there are still some scenes I love as he tries to protect Ana from the horrors of the poacher.
I also wanted to have believable characters with real-life issues. Harley struggles with asthma and uses an inhaler. Daisy stutters, and Ana’s family has health problems that make her reevaluate what family means to her. My goal is to have pre-teens and teens see how these characters deal with life and be inspired, just as my students have inspired me.
Each of the characters is inspired by different students. These teens made an impression on me in some way or another. One wanted to become a logger and had others make fun of him for the way he dressed and spoke. Another refused to read, and I wondered if I wrote him into a story would he read it. (I was told he didn’t want to put it down when the bell rang to move on to the next class!) Yet a third has a faith that is solid and unwavering. One eighth grader faced the death of both her parents in less than a year with more bounce in her step than I could ever imagine being able to have in her shoes. A final high school student spent time in my room over lunch and told me about basketball, hunting, and life. To these kids, I say thank you for entrusting your days to my care. I hope I did you justice and that you see the good side of your life portrayed through Myth Coast Adventures.
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
Ana and Daisy have been friends since third grade, but a rift in the space-time continuum in their little town may change that. When a unicorn waltzes into the pasture with Daisy’s appaloosas, a poacher, who will stop at nothing to gain the unicorn horn and its healing tears, shows up. Daisy is focused on saving the unicorn while Ana’s parents face sudden life-threatening health issues. When Ana learns about the healing tears, she’s forced to choose between friendship and her family’s health. Can the girls find the grace to compromise and save Ana’s parents and the unicorn?
Doesn't this book sound super fun? Oh, and I forgot to mention there is a GIVEAWAY!!!