An Interview with Eoghan Kerrigan, the Illustrator of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest – Part 2

Hi Meredith! Thanks for having us on your blog today. My name is Keira Gillett and this is part two of three of an interview series with Eoghan Kerrigan, the illustrator of Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest. Read the first part at Creatyve Books. Learn more about the book in this quick one minute book trailer:

Keira Gillett (Author): What is your favorite part of being an illustrator?

Eoghan Kerrigan (Illustrator): Drawing in itself is fun, and being able to draw the things that only exist in your head is very satisfying.

Keira: What’s the most important part of your job as an illustrator? What aspect of it means the most?

Eoghan: I think being able to share your imagination and inspire other artists to do the same is very important.

Keira: So, I know how much I hoped you’d join me in telling Zaria’s tale. Why did you decide to illustrate Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest? What drew you to the project?

Eoghan: You promised me I’d get to draw trolls, which are one of my most favourite subjects to draw.

olaf

Keira: Yay! And your trolls are how I found you on Deviant Art. What is your favorite illustration for the book and why?

Eoghan: Hmm, I’m pleased with quite a few of them, such as Norwick carrying Zaria and Geirr, but I’ve grown to like the portrait of Kafirr the troll king. I had drawn a near finished version beforehand, but I didn’t like how it turned out so I started on a new one, which was much more subtle and handsome in his own way. I’m not sure if that was your intent though.

king kafirr

Keira: I know! It would be hard to pick a favorite for me too. When I saw Norwick I was over the moon ecstatic. It took me seeing your drawing to realize that I had described how his wings attached to his body was wrong (and probably impossible) so I rewrote the passage. That’s the power of your art! Do you have a favorite character in the story to draw? If you do, which character and why?

Eoghan: I had a lot of fun designing and drawing Olaf. I like drawing disheveled creatures with gnarly teeth and spindly proportions.

Keira: Hehe. Olaf is phenomenal (and Jorkden, Kafirr, Mangus, Yorgish, and Groul.) Your trolls are fun and so full of personality. I am so happy you joined me for Zaria’s adventures to Gloomwood Forest. It’s been such a blast to see how you brought the story alive visually.

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood ForestBook Blurb

“Come here Princess, and let me eat you.”

On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Reviews:

Are you in the mood for an old fashioned magical jaunt? Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett is a classic “perilous adventure” book for middle grade readers. 4 Stars – Jennifer Bardsley, The YA Gal

I really enjoyed Zaria’s story. It reminded me a lot of Percy Jackson series… Middle school children will absolutely like this one! 4 Stars – Anjie Basi, Love Thy Shelf

This book will have young listeners hooked right from the start. In fact, if parents are planning a driving holiday this summer, I highly recommend purchasing this audiobook. It will definitely keep the kids entertained while traveling. Michele Carpenter’s narration is terrific. 5 Stars – Amie Gaudet, Amie’s Book Reviews

Excerpt:

Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too. They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.

“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. “Let’s head back to camp.”

“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.

“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”

“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”

Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.

“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”

Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can Marco Polo our way back to the others.”

“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”

Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.

“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”

“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.

“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Keira Gillett author pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

Website: http://keiragillett.com

Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (keiragillett)

Eoghan Kerrigan IllustratorIllustrator Bio: Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures. He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects. He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls.

Website: http://eoghankerrigan.blogspot.ie/

Social Media: Twitter (eoghankerrigan), Facebook (eoghankart)

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Book Review – Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest

I just want to say a quick sorry that things have been slow on my end recently. Last week was busier than usual so I didn’t even get a chance to post for Teaser Tuesday or WWW Wednesday… D; But, things have calmed down a bit so I’m working on book reviews, since this isn’t the only one I have to do, and a few other things as well. So expect a bombard of posts from me in the next couple of days!


NOTE: I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.

This review will be on Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett. After reading the review on this book by Analee @ Book Snacks, I added this book to my TBR list on Goodreads. I have to say I was quite surprised when Keira sent me a message on Goodreads, asking if I’d like to read her book in exchange for a review. This was the first time an author has approached me so I was definitely excited, if not a bit nervous! But anyway, on to the actual review!


My Rating:
4/5 stars
four-stars

The plot in this story focuses on 13-year-old Zaria as she travels far from home in order to rescue her best friend, Christoffer, from a river-troll. Accompanied by three of Christoffer’s other friends, she runs into all sorts of mystical creatures she never knew existed. The story is fast-paced and filled to the brim with action. If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure dipped in fantasy, look no further. This book kept me on my toes with its many cliffhangers and plot twists; it was quite hard to put down at times. Plus, I’m all about fantasy stories and this one definitely wasn’t lacking in that department.

As for characters, Zaria was a fantastic main one. She was a bit more timid at first, but as the story went on she opened up and became more confidant in herself. She knows how to think on her feet in difficult situations and shows empathy towards others while her companions don’t. The three boys that joined her on her quest are also enjoyable, having accepted her as part of the group and always doing their best to keep each other safe. However, I do wish there was a bit more distinction between them. All three of their personalities seemed rather similar so that sometimes I wasn’t able to tell who was saying what during conversations, unless it stated who was talking.

Gillett’s writing style was superb. It flowed well, was descriptive in all of the right places, and her use of dialogue was great. Although at times I felt like the way the kids spoke was slightly odd. Maybe because I wasn’t that mature at thirteen? xD Also, there was one part where I felt it might not have been entirely realistic. MINOR SPOILER AHEAD. At one point the group was being chased but then had to stop and fight, having been given weapons by an older character. They were able to use the weapons a bit too well, in my opinion. If, having never used one before, someone had handed me a bow and arrow at thirteen I wouldn’t have been any help at all. That’s just my opinion. However, they didn’t have any time to sit there and learn how to use the weapons, so I suppose it’s understandable in that situation. SPOILER ENDED.

Overall, this was a fantastic read with likable characters and an engaging story line. I am most definitely looking forward to reading the second book in this series. There is going to be one, I hope! Otherwise I would be very sad. If you’re looking for a fun, easy read filled with fantasy check out Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest!