Silverberry: I’ve been a licensed Psychologist for over two decades. I work mainly with children and adolescents. How many jobs are there where you get paid to play Sorry or Monopoly! Of course, there’s much more to it than that, but for the younger children, it’s a great way to open the door to helping them.
In the late nineties, I started re-reading the Oz books. One of my babysitters used to read them to me and my brother, and I loved them. After a reading several, I thought I might try writing one. I was hooked. I started attending writing seminars, joined SCBWI, and read books on the craft. And of course, I did lots and lots of reading and writing.
Emerald: What’s your book, Wyndano’s Cloak about? How did you come up with the idea for it?
Silverberry: An image of the climax of the story popped into my mind. As soon as I had the climax, I had the beginning, and the rest of the plot unfolded pretty quickly from there. Here’s the synopsis:
Jen has settled into a peaceful life when a terrifying event awakens old fears—of being homeless and alone, of a danger horrible enough to destroy her family and shatter her world forever.
She is certain that Naryfel, a shadowy figure from her past, has returned and is concentrating the full force of her hate on Jen’s family. But how will she strike? A knife in the dark? An attack from her legions? Or with the dark arts and twisted creatures she commands with sinister cunning.
Wyndano’s Cloak may be Jen’s only hope. If she can only trust that she has what it takes to use it . . .
Emerald: If I’m not mistaken, this is the first of a series, correct? What can we expect in the rest of the books?
Silverberry: Actually, the book was conceived to stand alone. I wrap everything up at the end. That’s been a bit of a pickle for me, because many people are asking for a sequel. I got a third of the way into one idea, but decided to shelve it and think about it some more. Since then, several other ideas have occurred to me. The problem now is that I have other stories clambering in my head to come out.
Emerald: I have been in that situation before. Many people want a sequel for my books, but I started them and stopped because they are meant to be stand alone novels. Who knows what the future will hold.
Was it difficult making up an entirely new world for your book?
Silverberry: So here’s the other thing about why I wrote the book to stand alone. There’s an unpublished prequel. I needed Wyndano’s Cloak to work without anyone having read the prequel. I give enough back story so it works just fine. I love that prequel, though. All the main characters are there, as well as the set up for the issues at stake in Wyndano’s Cloak. But it’s unpublished because, like many first efforts, there are problems. I’d like to try and iron them out at some point. For now, the manuscript sits in my dresser drawer, incubating. Fortunately, the five years that went into the prequel weren’t lost. The world building was a cinch in Wyndano’s Cloak because I had everything clearly in my mind from the get go.
Emerald: Can you tell us how difficult it was writing in two different points of views of two completely different girls? Both are heroines in their own respect, but they are almost polar opposites.
Silverberry: I don’t know my characters until I can hear them in my head. And when I do, they have a distinct voice, and of course, a distinct viewpoint. I could have written the book from any point of view of any of the characters, even the minor ones. As I recall, there are five points of view in the book, but those of Jen and Bit, the heroines, constitute the vast majority of the novel. My goal in writing their sections was that if the reader flipped randomly to any page, they could tell whose point of view it was by the voice of the narrator. Try it, you’ll see what I mean! Jen’s voice is lean and taut, reflecting her anxiety as well as her athleticism. Bit’s voice is softer, reflecting her sensitivity and artistic sensibilities. Even what each of them focuses on is different. So Bit, as an artist, is focused on the colors and moods around her.
Emerald: What are you currently working on? And what can we expect from you in the future?
Silverberry: I’m working on a novel that is part survival tale, part spiritual journey, all set in mythic past. I don’t like to talk too much about what it’s about because so much can change between drafts! I will say this: “Place” is a main character. In fact, it’s the main antagonist. I’m completing the second draft now, and have gotten initial feedback from one of my beta readers. The novel in its current form is for adults, but I think it will appeal to teens as well. Meanwhile, I have another idea for a teen novel, probably a series, that I’m raring to dive into! I’m really excited about it because I got the characters, the theme, and the arc of the plot all in one flash. The other thing I look for in what I choose to write is that the concept behind the story should have an innate hook. This one has it in spades.
Emerald: Those sound intriguing! I look forward to it! Thanks for joining me today!
Silverberry: Thank you, Emerald, it’s always a pleasure to talk with you!
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Silverberry’s family is filled with successful writers, actors, artists, and musicians. He remembers being fascinated at an early age as his father explained how to create a plot by throwing together characters with opposing motives. Before he was old enough to write, he stole away with his mother to dictate a story. The love for fantasy was stimulated by a babysitter, who, with a seemingly endless supply of Oz books, read him to sleep. Fairy tales, Tolkien, and the spine-tingling tales of Robert E. Howard sealed the deal.
Silverberry, the pen name for Peter Allan Adler, has been a licensed psychologist since 1991. He works with children, adolescents, and adults; and continues to balance his clinical practice with writing. Wyndano’s Cloak is his first novel.
My Review of Wyndano’s Cloak:
This book left me contemplating the characters and world long after it was finished!
Wyndano’s Cloak is a tale of heroism, in my eyes. It follows two young woman, Bit and Jenny. Each are thrown into a journey of not only adventure but one of self-discovery, and each discover how strong and how far they will go to protect the ones they love.
Jen has to overcome her fears and save her family, while Bit has to break out of her shell and become the heroine no one thought she could be,even her. Each accepts their own destiny, and they become young women worthy of the title of “heroine.”
The story is full of adventure that will keep you longing for more, and you find yourself wanting to learn more of each of these characters. There are twists and turns that keep you guessing, and you’ll long for another adventure just to stay in the story longer.
Two thumbs up for Wyndano’s Cloak and A.R. Silverberry’s beautiful writing. Every young female (and adult as well!) should read this book!