08 November 2017

The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm by Sybrina Durant

About the Book:
“The metal horned unicorns are doomed!” That’s what Lauda Lead Horn wailed when she first saw the tribe’s new savior. OK, so his horn was not metal. . .and he did not have a magic power. . .and he was really a puny little runt. But doomed? Were things really that bad? 
Well, things were pretty bad in the land of MarBryn. Magh, an evil sorcerer utilized unicorn horns and hooves to create his magical potions and spells. Those he used, to increase his power and to conquer everyone in his path. All of the unicorns from the Tribe of the Metal Horn were now gone . . . except for twelve survivors. 
Before the blue unicorn was born, Numen told Alumna, the aluminum-horned oracle, that he had a plan to bring the tribe back home to Unimaise. His prophecy was, “Only the blue unicorn can join with the Moon-Star. Until then, no new unicorns will be born.” Blue was the last unicorn born. Twenty years later, his horn was still covered with a plain blue colored hide. There was not a glint of metal to be seen on it or his hooves. And he still didn’t have any magic. But he was no longer scrawny and he had his wits. Though no one else in the tribe thought he had a chance, Blue felt ready to make Magh pay for his evil deeds. And he went off to do it alone. That was Blue’s first mistake. If the entire tribe was not standing horn-tip to horn-tip at the proper time and the exact place to help usher the Moon-Star Spirit into Blue’s horn, he would die. Then, the rest of the tribe would really be doomed. 
Readers will follow along two journey paths in this book. Blue is joined in his travels by his mentor Gaiso, the Stag and his friend, Girasol the Firebird as they try to find their way across a danger-filled MarBryn to Muzika Woods. The rest of Blue’s tribe is forced to follow another route due to Nix Nickle Horn’s unfortunate incident with a Manticore. Nix, the great unicorn defender must safely lead the way for Ghel, the Golden-Horned unicorn; Silubhra Silver Horn; Cornum the Brass-Horned unicorn; Steel Horned Style; Cuprum the Copper-Horned unicorn; Tin-Horned Tinam; Dr. Zinko; Iown the Iron-Horned unicorn and the others in an action packed adventure to their destination in Muzika Woods. Both journey paths converge there in the Nebulium Circle.


When did you decide to become a writer?  
I wanted to be a writer from the time that I learned to read.  I started writing an actual book in my early 30’s.  It was this book, The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm.  I did all of my character development and world building by detailing each character, place and thing on index cards.  I wrote a very long outline and in-depth summary and I even drew a map!  Then, I started writing the story – got about 50 pages into it and completely stopped for 30 more years.  Life just got in the way.  I finally decided to become a self-published writer a few years ago.  My first book was “Learn To Tie A Tie With The Rabbit and the Fox”.  It is an illustrated book that I had translated into Spanish and Tagalog.  I even had it translated into Chinese but after working with several different translators, I decided it was best not to publish that particular translation because some of the sentences were hilariously off-base when translated back into English. Example: "The little rabbit lived snug as a bug in his little hole" becomes "the little rabbit lives in a hole with bugs!"  Illustrated books are one of my favorite mediums so almost all of the books I’ve written contain illustrations.  But just because pictures are prominent in a book doesn’t mean it is meant for children.  The language and concepts in The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm Illustrated Book are written for teens and older readers who love unicorn stories and the lavish artwork will appeal to anyone.

What are your ambitions for your writing career? 
For more people to know my books exist than for those who don’t.  I am very interested in finishing the novel version of this blue unicorn story so that I can focus more on the marketing and promotion part of introducing people to my books.  It is so time consuming but I find I really enjoy that aspect of self-publishing.  Of course, my biggest ambition for The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm is for it to someday become a lifelike animated musical movie.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? 
He is different from the other unicorns because he does not possess a metal horn or magic power like the rest of them do.  He is special because despite his “handicaps” he persists in a valiant effort to save his tribe from extinction.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? – I work away from home 10 hours each day so the only time I have to write (or promote) is before I go to work, when I get home and on the weekends.  

Where do the ideas come from? 
Ideas come from everywhere.  Real life, television, my dreams.  Once I wrote a song because of a line I had heard on a television commercial.  The line was “Whatever It Takes…we want to sell you a car!”  It was so annoying but the “Whatever It Takes” part stuck with me until I finally made myself write that song!  Most of my stories have accompanying songs.  That’s why I mentioned earlier that I would like for this one to someday become a musical.  In fact, the book ends with a song called “Home”.  You can hear it and see the book trailer at https://youtu.be/CordwltbeTY if you are so inclined.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?  
I don’t always have an outline or a summary.  It all depends on the story and how long it is.  When I got back to writing this book a couple of years ago, I barely referred to the outline or summary that I mentioned earlier.  It has turned out to be a completely different book from the one I originally started writing.  It was originally meant to be a full-fledged fantasy novel for adults but after becoming acquainted with the artwork of Sudipta Dasgupta, I decided that this book absolutely had to have illustrations.  It ended up with 42 of them - in full color.  Unfortunately, that made the price of the printed book exorbitant and out of the price range of a lot of potential readers.  I was really at a loss about what to do.  The book didn’t really have a good stopping point in the middle so I didn’t want to split it up into two volumes.  Thankfully, ebooks can be offered to the public at really low prices so people can read the story without too much of a dent in their wallets but the visual experience is just not the same as for a print book.  Finally, I got the bright idea to have all of the pictures also drawn in black and white.  That gave me the idea to create a “Read and Color” book which I could offer for sale at about 1/3 the price of the full color version of the book.  How fun is that?  Read a chapter and then color the following illustration.  It’s amazing where ideas can take you. 

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?  
When I am feeling particularly uninspired, I will reread what I’ve already written from the beginning.  So many things begin to jump out that before long I find myself rewriting or adding new information with ease.  I use the New Review Comment feature of Word a lot to give myself memory joggers when ideas appear out of nowhere.  Strangely enough…writing something seems to be the best way to overcome writer’s block.

What can we expect from you down the line? 
More Blue Unicorn is in the future.  I’ve just finished a version of the book for little children called Unicorns From Unimaise – The Magical Metal-Horn Tribe.  And I’m hoping to publish the novel early next year.  There will be a companion book published at the same time called The MarBryn Compendium.  It is a very long glossary featuring everything a reader might want to know about the land of MarBryn and the world of Unimaise.  I’ll also be adding much more Unicorn Bling to the products I already offer on Zazzle.com.  Check it out at https://www.zazzle.com/collections/journey_to_osm-119557554153312638.  You can already find trading cards, t-shirts, mugs and much more.

About the Author:
I'm Sybrina. . .. . .Just one of millions of wannabe author/singer/songwriters out there but I hope, after reading or hearing my books and songs, you'll think my contributions to the world have as much value as any other famous artist out there today. 
Fame is all in being in the right place at the right time but at least with the internet and venues like this, all of us have opportunities to share our creativity with the world. I'm so happy that I am able to share my works with you. That is awesome!
The books I’ve written span a wide range between illustrated picture books, coloring books and YA novels to technical and how-to books. If you’re so inclined you can read a little bit about the inspiration for each one below.
My latest effort is “The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm. It is a book I started writing 30 something years ago and never finished. At the time, it was meant to be an epic fantasy along the lines of novels written by Tolkien, Piers Anthony, Ursula K. Le Guin and other amazing fantasy writers. I’ve pulled out my notes, dusted off the outline and began rewriting and expanding upon the 50 pages I had began. This story is now available as an Illustrated Book for teens and older readers in full color and in black and white, too. The black and white version is a "Read and Color" book. Read a chapter, then color the following pages. How fun is that? There is also a picture book for pre-schoolers called Unicorns From Unimaise - The Magical Metal-Horn Trobe. A longer version of the chapter book will soon be available as an Illustrated Novel with a companion glossary called, The Marbryn Compendium. All of the fantastic fantasy illustrations are by Dasguptarts. There is also a companion coloring/character description book, edited by Calyie Martin. It will introduce potential readers to the myriad of characters, places and things in the story.