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Set My Mind Awhirl

Donan Berg
Donan Berg Author Interview

Find the Girl follows a young girl on a magical adventure to free a boy who’s stuck in a weasels body. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

For years I participated in a worldwide project to distribute books. One of the years, there was this book about a princess encountering a frog at a well. It turned out to be fairy tale “mashup.” That the frog was a prince, didn’t inspire me. However, I appreciated the imagination, but veered off to think my own thoughts. I live in the United States Heartland. Caves are not uncommon, nor are caves along the Antrim Coast in Ireland, close to where I was born. Fairies and leprechauns are not far from the stories my mother and grandmother shared. Add to that I traveled to Greece on a ship formerly owned by one of my US employers. That set my mind awhirl.

Eta is an interesting and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

While I’m a male, strong female characters inspire my writing. Not the women who dominate the national headlines, but those who everyday care for the persons around them. Eta, a teenager, can’t demonstrate these ideals initially but she, in my mind, could challenge her present anxieties while she possessed the future potential to change the world, if only for one person. And that person need not be a stranger, but one closest to her, i.e., her grandmother.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

You present an interesting question about themes. First of all, I wished the story to grab the imagination of a young reader. That is to say a reader I’ve been. Yes, if only in my past and present imagination. And, isn’t that what reading is all about, to explore what may happen? To answer the question I pose, yes. For all who read this, I agree. To answer your question about a theme, I join all who try to expand one’s mind, to live in a world not ours, and to experience the constraints of a prior world. I try by my writing to offer this.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

My answer is both hard and easy. I’m working on, as the excerpt to Find the Girl, A Fantasy Novel, teased, a follow-up fantasy novel that stars Lucia who wishes for a Christmas tree. If the tree is but an image that hides supernatural forces is yet to be explained. When it will be available is open to my work ability to complete. While I’m well along with it’s writing, it is challenged by a murder/mystery that preceded “Find the Girl, A Fantasy Novel.”

Thus, while I don’t wish to be evasive, the accurate answer is we’ll have to, along with me, have to wait and see.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

Seventh grader Eta Dorcas captures a weasel in an Iowa cave. The weasel speaks.
And, Eta’s fingertips glow blue and she dares not tell Dad, Grandma, sister Daria, nor brother Nathan.
Ian, a seventeen-year-old sailor in the 1800s, is cursed to live as a 21st Century weasel unless he collects the silver, gold, and pearl spelled out by an anagram: ‘Find the Girl.’
Eta doesn’t believe she has magical powers. Yet, she’s an empowering spirit as she and Ian propel themselves on three separate trips to 1859 Greece, Ireland and the Mississippi River. The adventures blend harrowing intrigue, bond-building, and enlightenment without romance as Ian’s collectibles are not freely given. Eta’s family dynamics build and reveal her empathy.

Find the Girl: A Fantasy Novel

Find the Girl: A Fantasy Novel by [Donan Berg]

Find the Girl by Donan Berg immerses us in the whimsical story of Eta Dorcas. Eta’s world opens with a shocking discovery; after a trip to local caves with her grandma and younger sister Daria, Eta’s fingers suddenly begin to glow a bright blue. This shocks her—but she’s even more surprised to find that a creature has snuck into her backpack and escaped the cave with Eta and her family. We learn that the creature is a weasel who once lived as Eighteenth-Century Sailor, trapped in his animal form by a vicious curse.

Find the Girl takes a magical turn into an expansive world where anything is possible. Eta and Ian, the boy-become-weasel, are suddenly entangled in a quest to free Ian from the curse that’s been put upon him by Greek seafarers. This quest leaves him with three important words: find the girl. We travel around the world and through time with the protagonists as they encounter different trials and creatures, challenging them to discover a cure for the curse before time runs out.

This book was such a fun read. Eta’s voice is entertaining and joyful despite the strenuous trials she faces, and I loved seeing this magical world from her perspective. The bond she forms with Ian felt genuine and touching, and I found them both to be nuanced characters with relatable emotions among the fantastical setting. I enjoyed that the story left some open avenues where future tales could develop further from this intricate and well-constructed universe.

I found the world presented in Find the Girl so unique. It was unlike any fantasy stories I’ve read previously, and I loved the specialized voice that came along with this brand-new view. However, I did find the beginning confusing as we’re thrust into this magical world without much description. Berg makes up for the heavy information by providing detailed fantastical occurrences later in the story, as we meet new characters who give more context to the universe that’s been constructed.

If you’re looking for a joyful and inspiring story that’s great for all ages, Find the Girl is your next perfect read. The story emphasizes how special it is to embrace wonder and change. It shows that when we care for one another and have the passion to help them, we might discover beautiful corners of the world along the way.

Pages: 151 | ASIN: B091FZBQTG

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