Jaclyn Weist is an Idaho farm girl who grew up loving to read. She developed a love for writing as a senior in high school, when her dad jokingly said she was the next Dr. Seuss (not even close but very sweet). She met her husband, Steve at BYU and they have six happy, crazy children that encourage her writing. After owning a bookstore and running away to have adventures in Australia, they settled back down in their home in Utah. Jaclyn now spends her days herding her kids to various activities and trying to remember what she was supposed to do next.
Title: The Gates of Atlantis: Magicians of the Deep
Author: Jaclyn Weist
Page count: 345
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Tell us about your book:
Thirteen-year-old Colin knew nothing of the magic world until he is bitten by a mischievous pixie. He meets thirteen-year-old Alleya on a secret website devoted to magical creatures. Before he knows it, Colin finds himself thrust into a whole new world.
Alleya has been hidden away from the rest of Atlantis because she's half-mermaid, half-Atlantian. Her father tries to ease her boredom by getting her a computer and finally allowing her to go to school. She accidentally lets slip a dark secret--the gates to Atlantis are being shut and it's destroying magic. Alleya is exiled to Indiatlantis.
There, she learns mermaids are getting sick because of the lack of magic, and the tunnels are beginning to collapse. Together, Colin and Alleya must find a way to bring back the old magic and fight to save Atlantis.
How long did it take to write the book?
I wrote this book during NaNoWriMo last year and had it done within the month. Then we continued working on the series through June of this year to make sure everything worked right with the rest of the series.
What inspired you to write the book?
A group of us wanted to do a series together and we came up with this idea about Atlantis. One of my friends suggested an online chat where a character from Atlantis and character from on land could meet. My story was born.
Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I love to write on the comfort of my couch with my children surrounding me. I listen to Pandora on the Piano Guys channel. It keeps me writing. My character went to Ireland so I had to do research for the country. I also researched Hawaii since that’s where Colin is from. One day I’d love to visit both places so I can see where my characters got to visit.
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
I love to write about strong families and working hard for what you want most. Colin and Alleya had a lot of odds against them and they developed their abilities to defeat those odds. I want readers to believe in themselves—and magic.
Excerpt from book:
“Did you hear that?” Colin asked.
“Hear what?” Ben grunted. He trudged along behind Colin.
Colin heard the small voice again. “That. You don’t hear it?” He stopped again, trying to find the direction of the voice.
“Oh great, Colin’s hearing voices. Just what we need.” Ben shoved his way past Colin and continued up the path.
“Colin. Come here. Colin, we need you.” This time it was louder and more insistent.
He glanced one more time toward the family before running down the path toward the voices. He stopped a few times to listen for them calling. He hesitated, not wanting to leave the path, but the voices pulled him. They became more urgent and Colin stepped off the walkway and ran deeper into the forest. The giant leaves rustled as he ran between the thick, large trees. The air had a strange, almost magical quality to it.
Colin was sure the voice came from a plant next to an ancient tree and moved closer. He reached to move a branch and something pierced his hand. He yanked his arm back. A small, red bite mark appeared on his finger. He tried again and found a small pixie-looking creature. It was green, with large eyes and small wings. It laughed.
“Got you! Let’s play.”
“Why did you bite me?”
The creature shrugged. “You looked yummy. Now come catch me!” It darted away and Colin chased after it, trying to figure out what it was.
The game continued until Colin suddenly heard his name being called. He didn’t want to follow it. He wanted to keep playing.
“Colin, please come back!” Mrs. Layton sounded like she was crying. The need to play warred with the need to make Mrs. Layton happy again. He ran for the walkway, looking back to see the creature pouting. “I’ll be back!” he called back to the creature. He came to the walkway just as Mrs. Layton got to him.
“Colin. Oh, honey, you scared me. Where did you go?”
“I was trying to find what was calling my name.” He glanced back at the woods. Part of him wanted to go back and join them.
Where can we go to buy your book?
My Atlantis book is found on Kobo, Createspace, iTunes, Google, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. My other books are found on Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Any other links or info you'd like to share?
Here are my other other links: