Montoursville author releases 2nd book
Montoursville author Carrie Ann Noble simply wanted a chance at a Publishers Weekly manuscript review when she entered her first book in an Amazon contest. She was more than surprised when “The Mermaid’s Sister” went on to receive the Breakthrough Novel Award for Young Adult Fiction.
Just two years after its release, Noble has announced her second novel, “The Gold-Son,” which sweeps readers away to the underground realm of the leprechauns. There, Lorcan Reilly has plans for his “gold-children,” Tommin and Eve. The fate-crossed teens are forced to find a way to outsmart a centuries’ old magical curse before they lose everything they’ve ever known.
Fictionist Magazine has called the book “an enchanting and magical and whimsical tale that will immediately grab hold and will keep readers captivated,” while the School Library Journal shares that, “taking place mainly in Ireland, this stand-alone novel uses traditional leprechaun fables to flesh out the fantasy world … Noble effectively brings the Irish brogue to the page.”
The 47-year-old Montoursville Area High School graduate said she always has enjoyed making up stories, but started writing them down in earnest when she was in fifth grade.
“I had a few great English teachers over the years,” the author said. “Mrs. Susan Sprout, a teacher I had at McCall Middle School, is one I particularly remember encouraging my imagination and creative writing.”
Noble studied theater at Penn State University. She went on to pursue various occupational paths, working at Williamsport Regional Medical Center in the pharmacy and surgical services and then in a nursing home as a certified nurse aid, before she became a stay-at-home mom to the three sons and one daughter she shares with husband John Noble. She later wrote for the Muncy Luminary for a small stint.
She wrote the first version of “The Gold-Son” in 2011, the year before she started “The Mermaid’s Sister,” which, from draft to print, took a little under two and a half years to complete. “The Gold-Son” would become a sporadic project for more than five years.
“I rewrote the leprechaun story from scratch at least three times before it became the story it is now,” she said. “One of the things most people don’t realize is that authors do a lot of rewriting and a lot of mental wrestling with words and plotlines before a story is ready to send off to a publisher. It’s very grueling mental work, but if it’s what you were meant to do, you also get great joy and satisfaction from it.”
Noble takes an interesting approach when considering the details of her books, using “what if” scenarios in otherwise normal situations.
For instance, she said she got the original idea for “The Gold-Son” while watching the bearded gentleman who walks his dog past her house each day, walking stick in hand.
“I wondered, ‘What if he’s really a leprechaun looking for a place to bury his gold?’ and the story evolved from there,” she said.
Some content was crafted from traditional Irish folklore, while other details she simply made up.
“For example, according to lore, there are no female leprechauns, so I decided that my villain leprechaun would be determined to create one as part of his plot to gain power,” she said. “Of course, things don’t go as he planned. Osbert, the wyvern in ‘The Mermaid’s Sister,’ was based on my sister’s dog. Other than that, my characters so far have been purely fictional.”
Although most of Noble’s readers are adults, “The Mermaid’s Sister” and “The Gold-Son” both are considered young adult fantasy novels, meaning the characters are teens and the books are appropriate for readers 12 years old and older.
“I’d also categorize them as magical realism, since they largely take place in real world settings, but contain magical elements, such as fairies or dragons,” she said.
Readers will be excited to learn that Noble is working on another young adult fantasy that blends elements of “Cinderella,” “The Three Bears” and the Selkie legend.
A book signing for “The Gold-Son” will be held from 5-8 p.m. Aug. 25 at Otto Book Store, 107 W. Fourth St.
For more information about author Carrie Anne Noble, visit www.carrienoble.com or follow her on Facebook @CarrieAnneNoble.