Escape into an adventure-fantasy in where two best friends find themselves in their made-up world in the book The Firefly Rescue. In this Creator Conversation QA session, author Ariana Haight a.k.a. Kaitlyn Noble talks about her book series, The Laminar Chronicles, what readers can expect, why wolves are good, and more.
What can readers expect when they pick up a copy of The Firefly Rescue?
The Firefly Rescue is an adventure-fantasy tale that goes much deeper than that. Annabelle and Lewis, the main characters, find themselves with real-world problems that feel insurmountable to a teenager. This translates directly into the world they use to escape these problems. Even there, there are problems that seem impossible and well beyond their capabilities. And as they try and do their best, the reader gets to experience it all right along with them. Everything from the high-stakes situations to the imaginative landscapes. There will also be lots of talking animals, and of course, fireflies!
How do you describe yourself and what you do?
I am a writer of fantasy. I put feelings and emotions onto paper that may be hard to voice at times. I talk about things that are important to me. I pour my heart and soul into the world and its characters to make them as real as possible. It’s not an easy skill to do, but one that a lot of people today seem to take for granted.
What got you interested in writing stories?
Ever since I was a child, I loved to read. I was reading books above my grade level and soaking in everything I could find. After a while, I started wanting to write my own, so I dabbled in fanfiction when I was a teenager. I finished my first full-length story in two months, and I remember being super proud of it (even though looking at it now is a bit embarrassing!). In high school, I experimented in poetry and my first original short story. This is also when I first began working on The Firefly Rescue.
What was the greatest challenge you overcame in writing The Firefly Rescue?
Finishing it! The entire book started out as a 5,000-word short story. After that, I rewrote it to make it longer. Every time I would rewrite, I would get new ideas and improve in my skills as a writer. After about six or seven drafts, it finally became what it is today. I still have many unused ideas, however, and those I am saving for the sequels.
What inspired the book?
I distinctly remember listening to the song “Fireflies” by Owl City when I first got the idea to write the book. I got the image of two unlikely species – wolves and fireflies – playing together and knew I just had to write something about them. So that was the main inspiration.
Other things that helped shape the story were the concepts of other fantasy-world stories such as Alice in Wonderland and the Chronicles of Narnia, though I can’t say I’ve read either one of them. Also, anything involving wolves, like Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild were huge.
The theme of escapism is big here, and I feel I should mention that writing is an escape for me as well. My mother grew sick with breast cancer, and writing The Firefly Rescue was a way for me to cope with it, just like the characters in the story do.
What are some of the biggest takeaways you wish readers would learn from the book?
“I want readers to know, especially young people, that running away from life’s problems will not actually solve anything. Escapism, however, is a viable coping mechanism that can help you gain the courage to deal with these issues.”I want readers to know, especially young people, that running away from life’s problems will not actually solve anything. Escapism, however, is a viable coping mechanism that can help you gain the courage to deal with these issues. Losing oneself in anything enjoyable, be it a book or game or even an imaginary world, can help de-stress yourself and better focus on your problems. Sometimes they may even give you the answer you’re looking for. These outlets and escapes are not a permanent solution and should not be treated as such. But it’s okay to step back and take a breather sometimes.
Also- learn to respect wolves because they are amazing!
You describe the book as featuring “wolves in a positive light.” Why?
I just told you: because they are amazing! Okay, all joking aside, wolves are an extremely misunderstood creature. The media is to blame for this in many ways, for the way they portray wolves is outdated and inaccurate. There are countless films and books that have wolves or werewolves as villains, bad guys, flesh-eating monsters, and incapable of living alongside humans in peace. The “big bad wolf” is still a common saying. This stigma about these animals has hurt them. Real wolves will run when they see a human, not attack. They live in family groups and keep our ecosystem in balance. Many people make the argument that wolves purposefully kill livestock and cattle, but they don’t realize that over-developing the land where they live has given wolves no other choice if they want to survive.
I hope that by featuring wolves as good guys and showing things from their point of view that people may grow to learn more about them and appreciate them more.
What are great places to go in Oklahoma for inspiration?
Parks are fantastic places for inspiration. Find a shady spot under a tree and just enjoy the fresh air. Maybe listen to children play or watch a game of frisbee golf. Maybe watch people playing with their dogs or having a picnic. Oklahoma has been very hot lately, so outdoors is kind of a hard thing to do right now. My absolute favorite place for inspiration though is the library. Being surrounded by books just makes me very happy!
What’s in store for the rest of the series?
More characters, more wolves and more adventure! Additionally, the theme of escapism will become more apparent in the next books as characters come to their own conclusions and find ways to deal with problems.