"Sydney Morgan is no wimp. A black belt in karate, her defensive moves help keep her tough, even when her mom is diagnosed with cancer and her long-lost dad shows up to play nice guy. But when an unexpected gift transports her through space and time to the land of Zarahemla, Syd just might be in over her head. Accused of being a spy, she has to prove she’s no threat to the locals—including Captain Helaman himself!
As war quickly approaches, Helaman calls on Syd to help his stripling warriors prepare to fight. Torn between concern for her family and for her new friends, Syd musters her wits, strength, and faith to face the coming battle—but her feelings for Chief Warrior Tarik put her heart on the line. Who will survive the Lamanites’ fierce onslaught? And will Syd ever make it home again?"
This is an interesting fictional look at the strippling warriors through Syd Morgan's eyes. Syd is fun character to read about with problems she can't do anything about, so she just has to learn to survive. I enjoy reading Book of Mormon fiction and trying to get a picture in my head of what things may have been like for the people I read about in my scriptures. I was a little disappointed in the time travel part. It seemed too abrupt and too convenient. And her first few hours with Captain Heleman, I didn't quite believe. But once I got past that, I got into the story and enjoyed the book. I especially liked the character Lib and his efforts to prove he could fight with his big brother and the rest of the strippling warriors. The cliffhanger at the end caught me by surprise, so now I have to wait for the next book to find out what happens to Syd and Tarik.
Kathi was kind enough to answer a few questions:
Have you always wanted to be a writer? I have always enjoyed reading novels, but the writing bug didn’t bite until after I’d had my first child. My first book was dreadful. I’ve written many unpublished books and with each one I’ve learned more.
Tell us a little bit about your book(s). Which ones are your favorites if you have more than one, and briefly let us know what they are about. Pay particular attention to your most recent book and/or your first book: The first few books I wrote were romantic suspense. I love the challenge of plotting a good suspense and I’ve always been partial to romance. When the time comes, I hope I can revisit those books and make them marketable. The Forgotten Warrior, which is my debut young-adult novel, was a pleasure to write. My son suggested I write about the stripling warriors. I wanted to have a young woman as my protagonist, and I wanted her to be from our time. So, of course, she had to travel through history. The story really took off from there. I loved imagining what Captain Helaman was like. I used Friberg’s famous painting of Captain Helaman with the stripling warriors for inspiration, but a picture really doesn’t tell a lot, so I did as much research as I could and from there I developed my version of Captain Helaman and his warrior sons. I also wanted to use actual events from the Book of Mormon and write the story around the battles and trials the warriors lived through.
What inspires you and motivates you to write the very most? I don’t believe it is one thing. I have to have the beginning and ending of a story firmly in mind before I start a book. The middle seems to take care of itself as I write and do research. So I guess to answer the question for me a good idea with a beginning and ending inspires me most.
Is there an established writer you admire and emulate in your own writing? Do you have a writing mentor? For years I adored Mary Higgins Clark. The first book I read of hers, Where Are The Children, grabbed me from page one. I even met her once in Omaha, Nebraska at a writers’ conference. Very inspiring woman, who has paid her dues for the success she now enjoys. I’ve also admired Francine Rivers’ novels especially her Voice in the Wind saga. I have many mentors. I belong to a wonderful writing group with many authors. We’ve been meeting for over 20 years. They are all my mentors.
Currently who is your favorite author and what is your favorite genre to read? I enjoy YA books. Mainly fantasy YA. I don’t have to worry so much about coming across offensive words or pornographic scenes and they always have wonderful adventures to share. Some of the YA authors I’ve enjoyed are Sharon Creech, Karen Hesse, Lloyd Alexander, Madeleine L’Engle, and Lois Lowry to name a few.
How long did it take you to write your most recent (or first) book? When you started writing, did you think it would take that long (or short)? I worked on The Forgotten Warrior a little over a year. Midway into writing I realized I had two books when it felt like the story climaxed just after the Battle for Cumeni, so I thought that would be a good place to stop book one. Book two could then climax with Syd fighting in the Battle for Zarahelma alongside Captain Moroni. I think it worked out for the best that way. And there’s the possibility for a third book that would follow Tarik coming to our time for a while then going back to help Moroni capture the City of Nephihah.
What is your main goal or purpose you would like to see accomplished by your writing? My deepest wish is to inspire young adults to believe in themselves, have faith in God, and to read, read, read!
Is there anything you want your readers to know? Wow, what a set up…to say anything I want my readers to know. I’d really like to write something profound…something that would inspire them. However, the only thing I can think of is a very old, cliché saying that rings so true: believe in your dreams.
Anyone who wants to find out more about me and what I’m up to can go to my website: www.kathiorampeterson.com. For those who want to read more of my writing, you can go to my blogsite: www.kathiswritingnook.com. The Forgotten Warrior can be ordered online at http://www.covenant-lds.com, http://www.barnesandnoble.com, and http://www.deseretbook.com.