The Runaways Of Missing Lake by Tanya Fyfe
Publisher: Kindle Direct Press (September 1,, 2020); 394 pages
Category: Young Adult, Teen, Fantasy, Dragons
Tour dates: Oct-Nov, 2020
Luke Houser and his friends enter their junior year at Missing Lake High School under extremely unusual circumstances after a tremendous forest fire kept the community on edge for months. The memory of the fire permeates all aspects of everyone’s lives, including those of the incredible secret dragon family who live up north. Luke makes a new canine friend through his step-mom’s veterinary clinic and Chase plays an important role despite not being one of the family’s beloved sled dogs.
The silver dragon, Zagros has some serious news for his young Dragoneer that will impact the entire dragon realm, particularly the young dragons, Helios and Cassiel. Luke has to process this information all while a crisis unfolds during English class. Luke has to make some serious choices that challenge the sometimes awkward sixteen-year-old but he cannot share them with anyone without risking the discovery of the magnificent dragons.
This is the fourth book in the Missing Lake series that follows a reluctantly intrepid young man’s journey into adulthood with his family, friends, dogs, cats and dragons by his side.Buy Links: Amazon ~ BarnesandNoble
‘Where do you get your ideas from, when creating personalities for your characters? How to Make Your Characters Believable?’
I try to stick to the old saying, ‘write what you know’. That doesn’t necessarily mean my story characters are actual people who really exist, but I do draw upon a lot of people and also animals when I create individuals for my books.
I also try to create individuals as tributes to people and pets I have known or cared for as their friend or veterinarian throughout my life. To my friends and family, some of these are pretty obvious (especially for my husband and my step kids) and to some of my friends and veterinary clients, one or two of them might recognize I am showing my appreciation for someone they know (or themselves.)
For example, the Dragoneer character, Oscar, (who is integral to Luke and his veterinarian step-mom meeting the dragon, Tabitha,) is named after one of our first cats. Oscar the cat had wild grey and white hair and was well loved by everyone who ever visited our farms over many years. He moved with us from Watford City, ND to Creston, BC, Canada, to Hazen, ND, then to Bismarck, ND and, finally, to Seeley Lake, MT where he lived out the rest of his long, cuddle-filled life. He had a big, loving, kind personality and I felt by naming my book character after him I was honoring his memory. I also gave the book’s Oscar the same wild, grey and white hair that our kitty maintained throughout his life.
Another example is the fact that the fictional community of Missing Lake seems to have a lot of Great Dane dogs in Jackie’s veterinary practice. Luke has commented on that in a couple of the books and I try to bring it up during random times when he is helping his step-mom at the clinic. This is in tribute to a litter of Great Danes I was fortunate enough to be involved with in my own tiny real-life town of Seeley Lake. I was the litter’s veterinarian and became very involved when the puppies’ dam died within a day of childbirth. I got my pet food company’s top nutritionists on board for recommendations and we built a small community of local people who worked in shifts to feed, clean and care for the rapid-growing pups. The book’s Great Danes didn’t necessarily have the same challenging beginning to their lives but they are in honor of this magnificent local litter that I continued to care for throughout most of their lives.
A lot of people tell me that my character, Jackie, the veterinarian, sounds like me when they read her dialogue. I won’t lie- I have a lot in common with Jackie, like our love of 70s Disco music and my ‘ten-and-two’ driving posture. Jackie sometimes struggles with the emotional toil of being a small town veterinarian just like I did and I try to bring some of that to light when I write but it certainly is not a main focus of the stories. And the book isn’t written from Jackie’s perspective because the book isn’t about me. It’s not about my own husband or step-son, either. In fact, their personalities in the books are very far from who they are in real life.
The book is written from Luke’s perspective because I wanted to challenge myself when I began the series and I also figured the literary world needed a cool, moral young man as a role model, even if he didn’t know it.
In Luke and his friends I tried to make them as believable as possible by drawing upon my memories from high school as well as my connections to many young adults throughout life. I was a figure skating and hockey coach for many years and I got to spend hours with teens from all walks of life before I became a veterinarian. I was lucky to hang out with young women on and off the ice and young men, as well, on Varsity bus rides and on the bench during their games. As an elite coach I spent a lot of close contact time with these athletes in vehicles, dressing rooms, hotel rooms and restaurants and often times I know that I knew more about these kids’ lives than their parents did.
I was close to my step-kids and many of their friends when they were teenagers and I have tried to draw upon my memories of our discussions and interactions when I give voices and actions to Luke, Ben, Derek, Bethany, Gwen, and the others. I think back to the kids who hung out on the periphery in real life and try to give them a voice through characters like Anne-Marie, Nick and Josh. Eventually these particular characters shed light on why they are the way they are and I think that helps make them that much more believable.
As for the dragon characters in my book… well, I’m working from nothing but research and fantasy there. I’m enjoying putting theories and beliefs into these magnificent creatures and I can only hope they are as believable to my readers as they are to Luke, Jackie, his dad, Oscar and me.
About Tanya Fyfe
Award winning author, Tanya Fyfe was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada and trained and performed as a professional figure skater and coach for many years. After working briefly as an English Teacher in Japan, she met her husband, Dr.Alistair Fyfe and moved to North Dakota in 1994.
She completed her BSc and then got accepted into veterinary school in Saskatchewan which she graduated from in 2005. Since then she has worked as a veterinarian in ND and Montana.
Tanya has written stories since she was a little girl and enjoyed completing a course with the Children’s Institute of Literature several years ago. She began writing her teen fiction series in 2013 which began with Lost and Found in Missing Lake. The Dragons of Missing Lake followed and then Secrets Abound in Missing Lake came next. Around the time of publication she started selling real estate in Montana (because, clearly, she was not busy enough) but was still able to jump back into the story to complete Book 4, The Runaways of Missing Lake.
She enjoys hanging out with her characters and tries to give readers a sense of what it is truly like to live in the beautiful mountains of western Montana. She enjoys spending time on any golf course with her husband and they canoe, hike and ride horses as well. They share their world with 5 adorable cats, several horses and 3 ridiculously personable ferrets.
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This giveaway is for 1 copy each for 3 winners and is open to Canada and the U.S. only. The winners will have the choice between print and ebook. (Ends November 26, 2020,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted by Rafflecopter only.)
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