Author Gail Levine enchants with new book, “Stolen Magic.”
Carson to visit, discuss work at Hudson library April 25
by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published: April 19, 2015 12:00AM
Hudson — Award-winning author of the children’s book “Ella Enchanted” will visit Hudson library April 25 at 2 p.m.
In celebration of its 10-year anniversary on Library Street, the Hudson Library and Historical Society will feature author Gail Carson Levine, who will discuss her new book “Stolen Magic,” to be released April 21, as well as the writing process and her experiences as a successful author.
In “Stolen Magic,” Elodie, dragon detective Meenore and kindly ogre Count Jonty Um travel to Elodie’s Home island of Lahnt. Replica, a statue preventing the island’s deadly volcano from erupting, has been stolen and must be found in three days to save everyone. Elodie must use her wits to unravel a web of lies to discover who is guilty.
Booklist calls the book “A satisfying mixture of fantasy, mystery and adventure.”
“Stolen Magic” is the sequel to “A Tale of Two Characters,” which is based on the fairy tale “Puss in Boots,” Levine said.
Levine’s first book for children, “Ella Enchanted,” was selected as a Newbery Honor Book and later made into a feature film starring Anne Hathaway. The Hudson library will show the film, “Ella Enchanted,” on April 22 at 4:30 p.m. in preparation for Levine’s appearance.
“I loved fairy tales when I was little and would read them by the hour,” Levine said. “I adored the magic, the exoticism and the non-stop action. As an adult I like to explore the illogic, like, why does the prince kiss Sleeping Beauty when all he knows about her is that she’s pretty and doesn’t snore?”
She also has garnered praise for her New York Times bestseller “Fairest,” which was a Best Book of the Year for Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal; “Dave at Night,” an ALA Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; six Princess Tales books and many others.
Levine creates fantasy worlds with fairy godmothers, gnomes, jealous queens and magic mirrors.
“I love to invent magical creatures,” she said.
Her stories discuss topics relevant to all ages, including self-acceptance, bravery and love.
She teaches creative writing to students when she finds the time.
“I love to see what kids come up with,” Levine said. “I’m constantly surprised and delighted by their originality and their insights.”
In teaching adults and children, Levine emphasized not being “over-critical” and to be specific in improvement.
“This spot needs more tension; this bit of dialogue could be more natural; the setting isn’t developed enough in Chapter One,” she explained.
Levine, who received rejection notices for nine years, said she writes a few hours each day and writes wherever she can. Patience is a quality writers need most, she said. Books take a long time to write.
“Sometimes we get stuck and have to work out the kinks, which refuse to be rushed,” Levine said.
In addition to her children’s chapter books, she has penned the nonfiction books “Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly” and “Writer to Writer: From Think to Ink, “and the picture books “Betsy Who Cried Wolf” and “Betsy Red Hoodie.”
Her books have given Levine travel opportunities to Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Mexico, Canada and Europe.
“When I’ve been somewhere as an author, I come back with fresh insight,” she said.
Levine said she knew she was successful when she visited her old New York City neighborhood two years ago and stopped at the public library, where she had borrowed hundred of books and paid late fines.
“The library had my books,” Levine said. “That was a thrill and sign of success.”