Local author launches teen psychic mystery series

 

By Jolene Perron

 

“Imagine a teenager possessing a psychic ability and struggling to cope with this freakish power, all the while trying to lead a normal life. Now, imagine being uprooted and forced to live in a small tourist town where nothing much ever happens. It’s bores-ville from the get-go. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected.”

Local author Sharon Ledwith has just launched her first novel in a series, and will be having a book signing at Amherstburg’s Pet Valu this Saturday from 12-3 p.m. Ledwith will be hooking up with S.N.A.P. (Spay Neuter Assist Program for Cats), who will also be running a bake sale from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. that day, and she will be donating 25 per cent of the sale of each book to that organization. Having her book signing at a pet oriented store is incredibly fitting, because her book is also centered around animals.

Local author Sharon Ledwith is launching her new novel, which she describes as a teen psychic mystery series. She will be having a book signing at Pet Valu July 29 from 12 – 3 p.m., with 25 per cent of the proceeds going towards S.N.A.P.

Local author Sharon Ledwith is launching her new novel, which she describes as a teen psychic mystery series. She will be having a book signing at Pet Valu July 29 from 12 – 3 p.m., with 25 per cent of the proceeds going towards S.N.A.P.

“The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble,” explained Ledwith. “It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.”

The 56-year-old author started the publication journey in the 1990s, when, after an evening of inspiring thought, she took a writing course where she met a large group of “great-minded would-be writer gals.” She said they started what she calls a writing support group, and she wrote her first novel – a paranormal romance. She said it caught the eye of one agent, but she was hardly ready and recognizes that now. After many rejections, honing her craft, and continuing with her writer’s group, she finally reached an epiphany.

“One night, during my writer’s group, one of my friends said something that floored me,” said Ledwith. “She mentioned that I hit my twelve-year-old character’s voice bang on. So, this got me to thinking—how hard would it be to write a young adult novel? It was a stupid question. Of course it was hard. After thinking about what my friend had said to me, I decided I’d challenge myself and write not just a novel—but a series—that would appeal to my son, who at the time was the target age of my audience.”

The animal shelter idea spoke to Ledwith because of her year-long stint as an animal care attendant where she learned about the inner workings of animal shelters. Her creative imagination lead her to thoughts about what the animals she worked with may say if they had a voice.

“All the shelter animals in Lost and Found are based on an animal I cared for in some capacity at the shelter,” said Ledwith. “I observed certain quirks, how each animal behaved, what were they afraid of, what they liked, and so on. What I found was that every animal, even kittens born in the same litter, was different. Just like people. When I was ready to sit down and write their story, I compiled a list of shelter animals that readers would emotionally relate to and connect with. Many came to me as a surprise, others were firmly planted in my imagination from the very beginning.”

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Thus the idea of her novel was born. It all begins with her main character, Meagan, who is forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls. When Meagan is caught stealing, she is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Knowing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of the shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well.

Ledwith wrote the book for one year, and after waiting nearly 10 years to publish it, she is excited to get the book out into the eyes of the public.

For more information about Ledwith and her book, visit sharonledwith.com.

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