Christine Norris' Visit to My Blog

Hi, how’s it going? I know, right now you’re asking yourself if you’ve clicked the right link, or if you perhaps mis-typed the blog url. Nope, this is Marilyn Meredith’s blog, but I’m not Marilyn. My name is Christine Norris, and I’m a YA fantasy author. Marilyn has been kind enough to allow me to mooch her blog for today and pimp my new book to all of you.

When she agreed to this, I asked what I should write about. She said, ‘why don’t you write about the inspiration for the book?’

‘Good idea!’ said I. ‘Sounds like a plan.’

Wait, I guess I should tell you the title of the book first, huh. Return to Zandria. So, you’ve probably guessed there is another book, since this one is about Returning. You’d be right. The first one is called Talisman of Zandria. That’s really where I should start, because the two are interconnected, inspiration-wise.

The first book came about really as a bit of a lark. I had finished reading the first three or four Harry Potter books. I came late to the game on that front. I fell in love with the stories, like most other people, but read about how JK Rowling was a welfare mom, writing about Harry in a café. I decided if she could do it, so could I. I could try at least, right? I only wanted to get to the end and see if it was good enough. That’s all.

Okay, so now you know about that. But what inspired the world of Zandria, and Ivy, the shy heroine (who is not so shy in the sequel!), and all the rest of it. You’ll probably be able to tell if you read the books that there is a lot of fairy tale romanticism in them. Pseudo-medieval setting, much like Narnia or Middle Earth. Elves, fairies, a twinkly-eyed old wizard and his apprentice. Years of reading C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkien and JM Barrie (Peter Pan still being one of my favorite stories ever) were my guide, as well as a deep love of the stories of Hans Christian Andersen and The Brothers Grimm. I have prized hardcover editions of their complete works, and re-read them often.

I also have a bit of a thing for the real Medieval and Renaissance periods. Just ask my husband, who dutifully dons a ‘silly costume’ and trudges around the Ren Faire with me every fall. (Don’t let him fool you, he likes it!). Again, it’s more of a fascination with the trappings of the period, not so much the history, although I’ve kind of got a thing for William Shakespeare. Why else would I take a college course on his writings, not because I had to, but for fun.

Return to Zandria’s story was a little more difficult to write than Talisman’s. It took me a long time to come up with a reason for Ivy to go back. In fact the whole first chapter didn’t really fall into place until I was almost finished with the book. Then it became so clear I wondered why I didn’t see it earlier. I suppose I was focused on the latter half of the story (which is really good, by the way. Even during the final proofing, when I’m usually sick to death of a book, I still loved it.)

Once that last puzzle piece was in place, I saw the picture. There are themes, although I didn’t really plan them that way. If the theme of the first book is ‘believing in yourself’, then the theme of this one is ‘family’. It’s buried in there, underneath all the Dragons and adventure and wizards and fairies.
I guess what really inspires me is the desire to see the characters change and grow, and taking them on the journey is its own magic.

Much thanks to Marilyn for letting me suck up some of her space, and to you for listening to my rambling.

Make every day magical!


Christine Norris is the author of several works for children and adults. She spends her time divided between her writing, substitute teaching, and caring for her family of one husband-creature, a son-animal, a large dog whose greatest achievement is sleeping in one position for an entire day, and a small feline who is very adept in his position as Guardian of the Bathtub. She also works at English Adaptations of novels translated from other languages.

She is also available for school visits and to give talks to other writers, book clubs, and anyone who will sit still long enough to listen to her.

To learn more about Christine Norris, please visit Send an email to Christine at or through her MySpace page, at

Ordering information - from LBF Books ( or from Amazon ( )


I've followed Christine during this Virtual Book Tour {I'd even hosted one drop-in date} and I've learned so much about the craft of writing, and about this individual writer. Amazingly Christine never tells us the same thing twice: every blog entry is new and different, refreshing and educational, inspiring and very well worth reading!
LOL. I try to keep it new and fresh, I don't want to bore people, and I want them to keep coming back!

You guys rock.

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