Unwritten by Alicia J. Novo
Publication date: May 8th 2021 ~ Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis: Books whisper to Beatrix Alba. But they aren’t the reason she has never fit in. Bullied at home and school, she keeps a secret—a power of violence and darkness.
When the spell that keeps her hidden fails, she’s catapulted into the Zweeshen, a realm where all tales live, and her dream of meeting her favorite characters comes true. But wishes are tricky, and behind its wonder and whimsy, the Zweeshen is under attack. A character is burning bookworlds in pursuit of a weapon to rule both stories and storytellers. To succeed, he needs a riddle in Beatrix’s possession.
Now he’s hunting her down.
Joining forces with William, a cursed conjurer, Beatrix must face an enemy who knows her every weakness in a realm where witches play with time, Egyptian gods roam, and Regency heroines lead covert operations. And with her darkness as the only weapon, she may have to sacrifice everything to save a world that rejects her.
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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Unwritten
Unwritten is a YA fantasy novel set in the Zweeshen, a realm where literary characters live after their stories end.
When I was offered this post, I was delighted. As a fantasy writer, worldbuilding is crucial to any story, so I spent many hours developing the world of Unwritten. Eventually, I had so much material that I organized it in an “encyclopedia” that includes locations and customs and rules and artifacts. I created a mini language for Beatrix’s (the main character’s) mom, and I paid special attention to naming. But a writer doesn’t get to share those thoughts in a book, so I’m thrilled to have the chance to highlight some of the things you might not know—or even get to know if you read Unwritten.
So here they are:
1. When I was offered this post, I was delighted. As a fantasy writer, world-building is crucial to any story, so I spent many hours developing the world of Unwritten.
2. In Unwritten, the Zweeshen is the realm where characters live and interact with each other after their stories end. The word Zweeshen is a close phonetical spelling for Zwischen (pronounced Zzzvishen), which “between” in German. The Zweeshen is the hub for all literary bookworlds, the in-between.
3. There are at least 40 references to specific characters, books, or authors in the Unwritten. Some are mentioned by name, some hinted at, and some hidden in plain sight.
4. A famous literary character speaks using only sentences from her/his book of origin.
5. Prologs are experts appointed by the Genre Guilds who help characters recently arrived in the Zweeshen learn the rules. They’re magically bound to answer any question asked.
6. The chapters in Unwritten are named after people or entities, while the part names are locations.
7. Eventually, I had so much material that I organized it in an “encyclopedia” that includes locations and customs and rules and artifacts. I created a mini language for Beatrix’s (the main character’s) mom, and I paid special attention to naming
8. There are rumored to be 1001 neighborhoods in the capital city of the Zweeshen, Læsting. Of those, one is invisible, and one hovers over the city, constantly changing location.
9. Neither time nor the seasons follow regular patterns in the Zweeshen.
10. In the Zweeshen, the moon is often a different color. It periodically collapses and is reborn in a different hue.
I had so much fun creating this world and playing with its contrasts: the fun and the serious, the dark and the light. I hope Unwritten readers will enjoy the journey as much as I did.
Alicia has a weak spot for happy endings and transformative journeys. She spent her teenage years
in Argentina and Europe, speaks several languages and loves to travel.
An eclectic reader, she grew up on a diet ranging from Lucy M. Montgomery and Jane Austen to Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, Raymond Chandler, Hermann Hesse, Jorge Luis Borges, and many classics. She's never been cured of reading a bit of everything and is as likely to geek out about Mr. Darcy as Dr. Who.
She is a history and astronomy aficionado, who walked the Camino de Santiago in Spain, completed her Masters in the Netherlands and worked for Google in Ireland. She decided to become a writer at six but took a full, winding road here. Along the way, she learned if there’s one thing that cuts across cultures, one unifying thread that pulls everyone together, it's a good story.
A big-city girl, she now lives in the Midwest, where she occasionally picks apples and pretends witches exist.
Author links: Website ~ Instagram ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads ~
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