If the wind could speak, would you understand?
Fantasy author E.D. Tice recently released his debut novel, Whisper, the first in a series aimed towards middle-school and young adult readers.
Whisper is the story of Whitney Roseman and her adventures in the northern wilds. Central to the story is her ability to talk to the wind, and the life-changing things she learns from those conversations. Readers young and old alike will enjoy Whitney’s pluck and verve.
The novel consists of a series of four short stories and novellas, each focusing on a different age in Whitney’s life. While beginning with stories of Whitney when she is 11, the second half of the book jumps ahead several years to when she is in high school. Readers will find that, though the story begins relatively quiet and peaceful (if you call an attacking coyote, a charging moose, and a fistfight with a local boy “peaceful”), the story really gains in volume during the second half with the introduction of a shadowy, supernatural villain, hell-bent on Whitney’s destruction.
An ambitious project, Whisper not only bridges different ages in Whitney’s life, but different genres of literature. Starting out as a magical realism story in the vein of Paulo Coehlo’s The Alchemist, the story weaves together elements of fantasy, supernatural, and psychological thrillers.
A graduate of Shepherd University, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, Tice says he first began work on the story as a character-development exercise, and as a test of his own abilities. “I’d once heard said that men can’t write from a woman’s perspective, and I wanted to challenge that notion,” Tice says. “Originally, my main story centered around a different character, a boy. The current protagonist, Whitney, was in a supporting role.”
Tice says that, as he began writing more stories about Whitney, he found that he liked seeing the story through her eyes. “There was a freshness to writing from Whitney’s point of view—the story had grown almost stagnant in my mind and switching to her perspective really opened up a lot of creative possibilities. Plus, I relished the challenge of writing from the perspective of a young girl, and watching her grow and develop as a character. From there, I chose a short-story/novella approach—as well as going cross-genre—because I wanted to experiment with the structure of novel-writing, and even the concept of ‘genre’ to see what ways altering those conventions can bring out new methods of story-telling.”
Since graduating from Shepherd in 2009, E.D. Tice says that the story has sat dormant on his computer and in his mind, occasionally dusted off as he’s thought about trying to finish it, only to push it back and focus on other priorities.
It wasn’t until E.D. Tice shared his stories with his wife, Amanda, that he again felt a strong urge to finish. “She really encouraged me to get this first book written,” Tice says of his wife. “She keeps telling me I have to finish the whole story because she needs to know how it all ends.”
E.D. Tice aims to have the second book in the series available for purchase by late June 2016.