Ebook Release of The Worlds Traveler!

Ebook Release of The Worlds Traveler!

If you own an ereader, tablet, and/or smartphone, you can now read The Worlds Traveler! The ebook version is available for purchase at online booksellers like Itunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, & Kobo. If you’re on a smartphone or tablet, check out your favorite retailer app for a chance to read it! And don’t forget, The Magician’s Doll is on sale for a limited time. It’s a good opportunity to pick up both novels! You can click the My Books page here on my blog for links to my catalog at various online bookstores. 🙂

The Worlds Traveler Release Updates

The Worlds Traveler Release Updates

Hi folks, I have updated scoop on The Worlds Traveler! It’s been a busy time getting the book ready and now things are pretty much set and good to go.

I had some early readers come in with suggestions, so the final book has some small tweaks. Nothing too major but enough, in my opinion, to make the story even better!

The paperback release will be December 1, 2015 and should be available through most retailers. It sometimes takes a bit of time to filter through the systems, but ordering it should not be an issue.

The ebook version will release November 11, 2015. The pre-order price of $2.99 is still available. The price will go up shortly after release, so if you’re planning to buy the ebook version, now is a good time to do it! It is available at Itunes, Amazon, Kobo, & Barnes and Noble. Check out my new page My Books for links to my catalog at the various sellers.

Starting sometime next week, for a limited time, the ebook version of The Magician’s Doll will be on sale to give readers a chance to catch up on the series. If you haven’t added it to your collection yet, get it at the sale price before it goes back up!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, read my interview with Julius Camenzind, the artist/illustrator behind the wonderful cover for The Worlds Traveler! I had a great time working with him, and it was so nice getting to know him more through the interview. You’ll like him as well, I’m sure!

Thank you so much, everyone, for your support. I hope you’ll enjoy The Worlds Traveler!

Interviewing Julius Camenzind

I’m so excited, folks. For this post, I have an interview with artist/illustrator Julius Camenzind! As you all know, I am simply thrilled to have his wonderful work on the cover of The Worlds Traveler, and I thought it would be nice to have everyone meet him in the lead up to the book’s release. Julius graciously agreed! So, without further ado, I present Julius Camenzind:

M.L.:  Hi, Julius. Thank you so much for not only doing this interview, but for your work on the cover for The Worlds Traveler.

Julius:  Hi, Maria. Thank you so much for inviting me to participate in this interview. I’m honored and excited to talk with you and answer your questions.

M.L.:  Why don’t we go on ahead and jump right in! What’s it like for you to have book covers go up with your work on them?

Julius:  It’s truly a great honor. I think for a lot of illustrators and designers, knowing that their work will be a part of the enjoyment of others brings a great sense of satisfaction. I want to thank you for allowing me to do that yet again. It was a great pleasure working with you.

M.L.:  How did you first become aware that art was your vocation?

Julius:  A lot of artists will tell you that they have been drawing since they were little, and I am no exception. I hadn’t, however, decided that it would be my career until a year or two after university. Luckily, I had been into art that entire time, and eventually began to learn more about the creative industry.

M.L.:  In what ways does inspiration come to you, and what do you do when it hits you?

Julius:  I get inspired by a lot of things. I think they usually come from sources such as world history, different types of documentaries, cultural references, and science. There is so much inspiration to pull from these and to explore. I also am inspired by great film productions which are usually a culmination of these aspects.

M.L:  An author sometimes struggles with that first word. Do you go through a similar struggle when starting a new piece, and what form does it take?

Julius:  I think artists call this the “blank canvas”, which can sometimes be imposing. There are several ways to get around this such as pre-planning or visualizing a direction I want to pursue with the illustration, and starting with general hues and values. Another way to get started is by putting down and pushing around different shapes and exploring different ideas until something catches your eye, where you will then use fundamental rules/knowledge to extract the idea for viewers to understand. You can also start with a sketch.

M.L.:  What is your process when you are working for a client?

Julius:  When on the job, my first order of business is to thoroughly review the client’s briefing, and speak with them to get a good understanding of the content they are looking for. This includes mood, theme, and elements that are essential to their story or project. I then begin to develop several rounds of sketches or rough paintings, exploring different ways of visually expressing what was gathered from the briefing. This allows the client more options to choose a direction which the final piece will progress towards. After that, I’ll increase the size of the sketch for resolution purposes and begin to flush out the painting. I’ll communicate with the client along the way to ensure that the most important aspects of the painting are as required, or changes can be made. This process continues until we arrive at a level of finish that is acceptable to the client’s needs.

M.L.:  Do you have a site where we can see some of your work?

Julius:  http://juliuscamenzind.blogspot.com

M.L.:  What part of the creative process do you enjoy most?

Julius:  I think my favorite part of the creative process is the loose “idea generating” phase. I get to explore a variety of shapes, forms, and mood.

M.L.:  So, as an artist, are you really good at playing Pictionary?

Julius:  I actually haven’t played that game, is that strange? I’m always up for a challenge!

M.L.:  Are you available for freelance work? If you are, where can one reach you?

Julius:  Yes, I am available to take on freelance work. The best way to reach me is through my email at juliuscamenzind @ aol.com (remove the spaces).

M.L.:  Thank you again, Julius, for taking the time to do this interview. It’s been one more great experience on top of a wonderful previous experience working with you.

Julius:  Thanks again for inviting me to do this great interview with you, it’s been a great time and pleasure. I wish you the best of luck and great success with the release of your new novel, The Worlds Traveler.

<span class="entry-title-primary">Cover Reveal</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">The Worlds Traveler</span>

Cover Reveal The Worlds Traveler

Presenting…the cover for The Worlds Traveler!!

Thank you to artist Julius Camenzind. He was a pleasure to work with and I am absolutely thrilled with the final result!

Life on the run from a madman named Martin gets in the way of everything.

For fourteen-year-old Phillip, it means having to stay hidden, unable to use his gift of moving through maps to search for his missing father. But the arrival of a stranger named Delroy brings unexpected opportunity, for Delroy is a man with the ability to travel worlds hidden within our own, and he was sent by Phillip’s father. Now Phillip will do everything he can to find his dad, even if it means tricking Delroy into helping  him, or a quest through those hidden worlds.

Even if leaving home means Martin can now find him.

Follow in the adventures of Phillip Stone and Natalie Bristol from the award-winning book, The Magician’s Doll!

As a reminder, the ebook is currently available for pre-order at Itunes, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble. It will go up on Amazon as well, so keep an eye out for the listing there. I’ll announce it here on my blog and social media when it does.

From Fear to Finished

I happened to find a rough draft of a blog topic from early 2013 that I never got around to posting. It was about fear. Fear that I would not be able to write the sequel to The Magician’s Doll. To read it now is a bit of an eye-opener. I figured it’s as good a time as any to finish the post and put it up. So, from 2013, here it is:

Fear – oh, it’s there all right.

It hit me recently. I have another novel to write after The Magician’s Doll, and I found that even though I have ideas for it in my head, I wasn’t sure how to make them fall onto the page. Sorting them out suddenly seemed like a task so impossible, I froze. And once I froze, it all hit the fan.

I am in HUGE trouble, I thought. I am going to fail! What the heck was I thinking, trying to write a story that was going to require even more story? I wanted to crawl under the covers and huddle in a tight ball.

Yes, fear will shut.you.down.

Fear stuck with me for days. At times I could push it away, but it stood by, waiting for the moment my guard was down to steal over me and remind me that I had nothing.

Darned fear.

I finally started writing my worries down. If I couldn’t write the story, might as well write something, even if it was a jumbled mass of pessimism, right?

One thought stuck out from all the clutter on the page: the story I wanted to tell was there. Maybe it wasn’t clear to me just yet, but it was there. And even though I was terrified, on some level I could feel it.

So the next morning, I let the mind wander.

And suddenly the beginning was clear. And I was excited with the idea. And other ideas started to flow…

Now I find myself in 2015, and the first draft is finished and moving through the process for publishing. It took a while, but who would have thought?

As it turns out, not me in 2013.

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” 

~Eleanor Roosevelt

For Children’s Book Week, Enjoy an Excerpt From The Magician’s Doll!

For Children’s Book Week, Enjoy an Excerpt From The Magician’s Doll!

The Magician’s Doll – Excerpt

Phillip walked over to the map. He hesitated for a second, then took a deep breath and focused on the spot where Parker’s Field lay. He stared for several seconds.

Natalie was not sure what they were waiting for, but nothing shook or stirred or vibrated around them.

Mrs. Blaine patted Phillip on the back. “That will do for now.”

Phillip stepped back. His lips were a crooked line of disappointment.

“Nothing to be upset about,” Mrs. Blaine said. “We just need to keep exploring. Sometimes it just takes time.” She gestured Natalie over. “Why don’t you give it a try, dear? Take the other map from Phillip.”

Butterflies fluttered in Natalie’s stomach. She took the map from Phillip and moved around the table. “What am I trying to do?”

“At this point I’m not too sure. I’m trying to recreate what happened when you said you felt something unusual with the maps.”

“Great,” Natalie muttered.

“Remember what I said. Please keep your mind open about what we are trying to accomplish. It’s important,” Mrs. Blaine said.

Natalie nodded. She focused on Parker’s Field. She braced herself for something to happen, waited for the map to shift and evolve like it did before, but nothing did.

“That will do for now, dear,” Mrs. Blaine said.

“Sorry,” Natalie said.

Phillip looked relieved that he was not the only one who failed the test.

“Oh, honestly,” Natalie said, exasperated, “could you want anything to happen more?”

Phillip chuckled. “Probably not,” he admitted. “But I’m kind of glad the map thing didn’t work for you. Maps are my thing.”

“You are such a weirdo. Does it really matter what we can or can’t do?”

Phillip looked as if she had sprouted horns. “You’re kidding, right? I mean come on! I’ll bet you can’t even find your own house on a map.”

Natalie did not have much of an argument there, but darned if she was going to admit that. She grabbed the map and searched it for her house. Unfortunately, all she could see was a series of criss-crossing lines and squiggles and none of it made any sense. She tilted her head this way and that, trying to make heads or tails, but it might as well have been a foreign language.

“Give up?” Phillip teased.

“Fine,” Natalie said grudgingly.

“It’s there.” He pointed to a spot on the map. Natalie looked at where his finger was and recognized the street names as the ones surrounding her area.

“Oh.” It was starting to make a little sense. “Which way do we go to get to your home?” she asked Phillip.

Phillip moved his finger down the map. Natalie looked at the street name.

“Cullom Lane,” she said. “I get it now.”

She followed with Phillip as his finger traced along the road they took to get to his home.

It was then that the map started to move. Cullom Lane had widened, become larger. Natalie blinked. Could her eyes be playing tricks on her?

But no, Cullom Lane was growing, shifting the other sections of the map aside and coming into sharp relief.

“What the…” she heard Phillip say.

Details emerged from the map. A sidewalk appeared, and then a stop sign. She recognized the fire hydrant she always passed when walking to Phillip’s house. Street lights lined the sidewalk for blocks and blocks. There was the shrubbery from the Winterbell’s house.

As the details appeared, they grew large—the way things grew big as you got close.

There was a rushing sound in her ears, as if a wave of water had crashed. A ball of heat slammed into her and then surrounded her in a warm cocoon, pulling her towards Cullom Lane. The Winterbell’s shrubs loomed large, and her body glided towards them as if she were a plane coming in for a landing. She opened her mouth to scream, but there was a blinding flash of light. When the light receded, Mrs. Blaine’s study had disappeared, and she was standing in the middle of the Winterbell’s shrubs.

Her stomach dropped, her knees almost followed, but a hand clamped around her mouth just as she was about to cry out.

“Shhhh!” It was Phillip. He held a finger to his lips. He was pale, but his eyes glowed with delight and amazement.

copyright © 2013 M.L. Roble

If you’d like to read more, click here for another excerpt or see below for ways to purchase The Magician’s Doll!


The Magician’s Doll is available for purchase as a paperback and ebook. You can find it as an ebook through most retail outlets including AmazonBarnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo and Itunes, and through subscription on Scribd and Oyster. You can order the paperback through most book stores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Bin and Town House Books (Town House Books may even have a couple of copies in stock at the store!). You should be able to check with your favorite bookseller. A great reference for independent booksellers is www.indiebound.org. The Magician’s Doll is listed on its site here. Locate your local book store and have them order it for you! I wanted The Magician’s Doll to be as widely available for purchase as possible, so hopefully you won’t have to look too far to buy it. 🙂

If you’d like to receive an email announcing the release of the next book, sign up via my contact page here.

Right Book Right Time

I first came to Ivan Doig’s work when I read The Bartender’s Tale for book club. I loved that story and resolved to read more of his books. Just last month I finished The Whistling Season. At the time I’d been having difficulty finding something I wanted to read. Ever hit that wall before? It’s like craving something to eat, but every food that comes to mind or makes it to the belly just won’t hit the spot. I had checked online for recommendations, sampled all sorts of reads, all to no avail. Finally I went through my TBR pile and found The Whistling Season. Starting it was like settling into comfort food, nourishment for the reading soul. The storytelling is pure and rich, borne of a love of people and place and time, with the actions, the humor, the choices all rooted in warm observation. It was the perfect book at the perfect time and it cemented Ivan Doig as one of my all-time favorite authors. To hear of his passing hits hard; I’m so sad there won’t be more writing from him. I can’t wait to dig into his other works, but I also think I’ll save them for those times when it feels like a craving won’t be satisfied.