I’m so excited to have D.G. Driver here today with the third, and final book in the Juniper Sawfeather series! As a huge fan of this environmentally-themed series, I hate to see it come to an end, but I’m also anxious to see where this new book takes Juniper and Carter. Look for my review in the next few weeks.
This is the third book in the Juniper Sawfeather series – what was your inspiration?
The original book, Cry of the Sea, was inspired by a real oil spill, the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. To keep the series going, I focused on American Indian mythology to tie the stories together. I found this story about warriors that go on a journey to ask for wishes from the sun. One is turned into a merman, one into a tree, and the third into a stone. I thought it was perfect for my series. So, the third book is partly about Juniper’s quest to find the magical stone. I had to find more mythology for this book to make it work, and I was amazed to find so many wonderful legends that fit like puzzle pieces into the story I was telling.
Also, I wanted each novel to focus on a different environmental aspect. The first was about an oil spill. The second was about protecting Old Growth trees. While I was figuring out how to write this 3rd book, I saw a documentary called “Garbage Island” about scientists searching for the giant mass of plastic and garbage supposedly floating about in the ocean. It was fascinating, and I decided ocean pollution would be at the forefront of this book. Then I read about killer whales in the Northwest Pacific and Strait de San Juan region being killed by the toxicity of the water due to construction run-off pollution, and that was the final thing I needed to know before putting this plot together.
Will there be more in this series?
This trilogy is now complete. My publisher and I have discussed doing a New Adult series focusing on Juniper and Carter in their college years, but it’s all just talk right now. I do, however, have a short prequel story called “Beneath the Wildflowers” in the free anthology Kick Ass Girls of Fire and Ice YA Books, and I will be have a holiday-themed short story featuring these characters for a Christmas anthology coming out at the end of the year.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned when writing this series?
The coincidental mythology was the biggest surprise. I tried to focus on myths specifically from the Pacific Northwest tribal nations, and I wanted to keep them as intact as possible. This should have made it tricky to find stories that matched the one I wanted to tell, but miraculously, I kept finding the perfect legends. I did have to massage them a bit to fit. For example, the warrior myth mentioned above has 5 warriors not 3. I found a myth about a heartbroken girl who jumps off a cliff and changes into a waterfall, and it shaped the direction of my novel. Even in the final editing round I found one more piece of mythology that filled a hole I had in my plot.
What is something memorable you’ve heard from your fans/readers?
In general people seem to like that the stories have environmental themes but that they don’t overwhelm the story. I hope they still continue to feel this way with Echo of the Cliffs. One fan has told me that she wants to major in Marine Biology when she goes to college because of Juniper. That thrilled me to pieces.
Which Hogwarts house do you consider yourself to be in?
I think I’m a Ravenclaw. (Okay, I just took the test and verified that I am, in fact, a Ravenclaw.)
What book would you want with you if stranded on a desert island?
Well, there is a book called How to Survive on a Desert Island. That appeals to my practical nature (hence me being a Ravenclaw). If we’re talking fiction, I might opt for Swiss Family Robinson for similar reasons.
Haven’t started the series yet? Begin at the beginning with Cry of the Sea. Visit www.dgdriver.com/cry-of-the-sea.html to learn about this award-winning 1st book of the series. Read an excerpt, reviews, and find links to purchase your copy.
Want a freebie? Try Kick Ass Girls of Fire and Ice YA, a little sampler of stories by authors published by Fire and Ice Young Adult Books that includes the prequel to the Juniper Sawfeather series “Beneath the Wildflowers”. Available at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZKLW59 and Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/718080
D.G. Driver is a multi-award-winning author of children’s and young adult books. She loves to write about diverse characters dealing with social or environmental issues. Often her stories have a touch of magic to them as well. Aside from her Juniper Sawfeather Novels, she has published a YA romantic ghost story called Passing Notes, a middle grade novella bout autism and bullying called No One Needed to Know, and has stories in several anthologies ranging from romance and fairy tales to horror. When she’s not writing, she is either teaching or can be found singing in a local community theater musical in Nashville with one or more members of her talented family. Learn more about her and her work at www.dgdriver.com or follow her at www.facebook.com/donnagdriver or www.twitter.com/DGDriverAuthor