Local author, Kelsey Norton, creates a fantasy world

Local author, Kelsey Norton, creates a fantasy worldLocal Author Kelsey Norton created a fantasy world using such vivid descriptions that it is easy to visualize the universe in which her characters live. Welcome to the Dells, a land inhabited by humans and mystics who are identified by a color streak in their hair. The mystics have special powers and are surprised to learn in their final year of school they only study the development of their powers. Norton says, “The color of their hair correlates with their power: blues control magic, yellows control light, pinks control emotions, oranges control fire, but there’s a girl, Alina, who’s born a red mystic and nobody knows what red mystic is because there’s never been one before.”

Norton writes for young adults, “The genre is young adult fantasy but fifth graders could probably read it pretty easily. I’ve had my 10 year old niece read it and she loves it.” She explains, “I essentially wrote it for myself at 14; I would have wanted a book like this.” The protagonist, Alina, deals with issues of identity and self-acceptance.

Alina sprung to mind when Norton was going through a tough time in her life. “This character just came into my mind very vividly. I wondered, Who is she? What does she do? Why is she so insecure? It went from there.” Norton realized, “She’s insecure because she doesn’t know her worth and doesn’t know her magic.” From these imaginings emerged the world, the characters, the story, the plot and all the conflicts to resolve. At one point she realized, “I can’t write a fantasy book without dragons, so I had to redraft the whole thing and add in dragons.”

Writing the book not only provides readers with a great story and perhaps some self-compassion, it also was a self-awareness process for Norton. “I feel like a lot of my own insecurities showed up in the main character. Oftentimes she learns an aspect of herself, but then she falls back into the old version of herself. Doubting what she can do. Why do you keep on thinking that you’re awful when you’re not awful? Or that you’re worthless or things like that? It really helped me see the positive side of trials and tribulations. That’s why I titled the first book Truth because I’ve learned the truth of my worth. That’s what Alina learns in this first book.”

Norton’s flare for imaginative writing showed itself as a child. “My mom would probably tell you I started writing in third grade, when I wrote a story about a how a skunk got its stripe.” She wrote a few things as a teen, which she says were “awful.” Majoring in English Education in college earned her mixed reviews from her professors. However, throughout the years her mother was her greatest supporter, “I would always send a few of the things to my mom who is a big, big reader. She would push me and say, ‘You could do this, you could do a little bit better.’”

Norton’s husband is also a great support, “Allowing me to chase this crazy dream of publishing and doing my own thing while still trying to figure out being a parent and dealing with our crazy kids.” Norton’s youngest just started preschool, so she looks forward to three mornings per week to work on her third book.

Overcoming obstacles is part of Norton’s life. Suffering from fibromyalgia offers its own challenges, “Some days I have tons of energy then other days I have brain fog.” Yet, she persists and has created a wonderful fantasy world inhabited by relatable characters. During a time in her life with postpartum depression, a therapist gave her the nudge she needed, “Why is it just a hobby? Start calling yourself a writer. You write. You’re writing a novel. Your goal is to be an author.” Within the next year Norton completed and published her second book. “That was a huge push that I needed in switching my mindset because anyone can do anything if they believe in themselves. That’s a big part of my book; understanding your own power, even if you don’t think you have any, you do.”

Norton hasn’t been able to nationally promote her book yet, but teens have given her great feedback, “‘A few girls in town say that it’s now in their top three favorite books of all time and a few girls in Utah are obsessed with it. One of the girls did a book report on my book. I never thought I wanted that to happen, but it did!”

Many of us can relate with Norton, “I think if I were to pick one of my powers that are available in my books, I would really love green because greens can help things grow in any climate. I would be able to have anything I want here in Ridgecrest, and it would work perfectly. I could grow everything and they wouldn’t die.”

Norton’s first two books Dragon Scale Prophecies: Truth and Dragon Scale Prophecies: Courage are available at Red Rock Books and on Amazon.com. They are available in e-format and soft cover. Her third book, Dragon Scale Prophecies: Hope, is in the works.

Laura Austin photo: Author Kelsey Norton creates a fantasy world in her novel, Dragon Scale Prophesies: Truth.

Story First Published: 2021-10-22