Author’s name: Julie Elizabeth Powell
Title of book and/or series:
The Star Realm #1 The Avalon Trilogy (#2 Invasion #3 Secrets Of The Ice). The Avalon Trilogy is the whole story but each is an adventure in itself.
Brief summary of the story:
Five children – Davie Jenkins, Ben Jenkins, Chrissie Abbott, Anne Miller and Billy Kennedy – are chosen by the Time Keeper of Avalon (Ezrin) to redress the balance of both his world and theirs (called Elsewhere by the inhabitants of Avalon). They must find seven elements and save someone in time, before everything is lost and DarkStar consumes them all.
The further two books of the story see them battle a myriad of creatures and puzzles – the ending should be a complete surprise; everything is answered in the final few pages of Secrets Of The Ice.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The Star Realm is just one world that makes up the Orb of Caprice, an orb that houses billions if not trillions of heptagonal worlds; each one created through imagination via Elsewhere (from either a story, a song, a poem, a dream or a spark of an idea, forever increasing in size). The Star Realm has locations such as the Elysian Forest, the Rainbow Pool and waterfall (where fairies and other magical creatures meet and play), on the right of the Meadow and Star Hamlet, which is a longer walk to the north. There is also Melodise, where the Drawfrons reside, which is filled with music, in addition to the secret fairy site – and much more. But it also has Puzzle Woods – a dangerous and mysterious place.
The children visit another world within the Orb in #2 Invasion (The Dark Reaches) and the Dominion Of Ice, in the final book of the trilogy, #3 Secrets Of The Ice. Each has their own dangers and wonders.
Avalon is the heart, while the Orb of Caprice is classed as encasing numerous outer worlds.
If we were to visit the Star Realm as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Melodise, for sure, where concerts take place daily and are a wondrous spectacle. You mustn’t miss out on the Elysian Forest where you might spot a fairy, if you’re lucky. If you visit Star Hamlet, there is a bookshop, and small bakery, where the most delicious fare can be tasted. There is also a blacksmith and John Smith is a marvel at making almost anything. If you visit the apothecary, however, it is worth noting that guests must be careful not to touch anything – a heavy lesson learned by Billy. Sometimes the bandstand is filled with musicians and magicians, but that depends on the time of year. For those of a sturdy physique, then a climb through the mountains would be worthwhile, however, I cannot promise that they will find the magical entrance so to visit the scribe.
I would not recommend Puzzle Woods for any with a weak heart, but those with adventure in their veins may enjoy a brief visit – and you may even meet Brogan, one of the goblins that live in a secret underground realm. He often tramps the Woods, so you may be fortunate.
Warning: please beware the Watchers. Actually, it may be a good idea to stay clear of Puzzle Woods altogether; it’s easy to spot the dense collection of trees on the left of the meadow, where sits Chamber, the Gatekeeper; so visitors are unlikely to wander in by mistake, although anything is possible within these worlds.
What dangers should we avoid in the Star Realm?
Puzzle Woods and watch out for Melpomene’s Trap – Ben will tell you in detail all about that dreadful place. And if someone is trying to bar your way, then there may be further ‘traps’ and holes that lead to the Below Worlds, and I wouldn’t suggest any of those for the unseasoned traveller.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in the Star Realm?
The wonderful thing about the Star Realm is that you can wish for any type of food or drink – that in itself is unusual enough. However, this is not the case for the other worlds they visit, so, unless you really understand your magical prowess, and spirit heart, please refrain from visiting.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in The Star Realm?
Swords. Magic. Potions. Spells. Intelligence. Bravery. Friendship. Belief.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to the Star Realm?
It depends on where you go. The royal family has a carriage and unicorns, but mostly magic is used to travel. Time is a strange thing in the Orb, for one minute you can be walking away from, say, a tree, and the next, that tree looks a speck in the distance. There are portals too, but it’s best to search the map for the correct landing locations – you don’t want to end up in the dragon’s jaw.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in The Star Realm that we don’t see on Earth?
Odd plants of various colours, shapes, sizes and textures. The most unusual ‘creature’ I would say is Kimeranet (K –ime – ee –ran – eh). His story is complex and sad. He is a mixture of more than one animal, including: bear, lion and human. Although his nature is kind and he has compassion for every living thing.
The Star Realm is home to goblins (some good, some evil), gnomes, fairies, angels, drawfrons (lesser and greater), witches, talking flowers and a complex range of seemingly human-type inhabitants – to mention a few.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in The Star Realm? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic is hugely important, as is Time. Nourishment can be ‘wished’ by visitors. Star Hamlet, however, grows food in the fields and uses horses to plough etc. – it is much like a medieval lifestyle, as of Elsewhere. That’s not to say a sprinkle of magic is not used.
Ezrin is the Time Keeper and uses magic in many ways – he does not have a wand, but can use Time to manipulate where he must. Apollone, too (the owner of the apothecary) uses the magic that is set deeply within the Realm, for all manner of things. Every inhabitant of the Star Realm can call upon magic, but each differently from another. Magic is not always used for good. I cannot say too much here so as not to spoil the plot of the story. But if magic is manipulated in the wrong way, for example, to steal another’s youth or beauty, then you can imagine the consequences.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in the Star Realm? If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Ezrin has what he calls a gyro-monitor, for when he examines the Orb of Caprice from Avalon (the Orb sits in the atmosphere outside of the heart of Avalon) and it is from here that visitors would have to launch into their adventure. In addition to this, the gyro-monitor allows him to move easily up and down to keep an eye on the Utopian Passage and Thoughts, which are in the shape of clouds. It houses a lectern where he can scrutinise Time on many levels and possibilities.
The underground realm also has what has been named a Tramvolator – this allows easy passage to and from Puzzle Woods for those who have the golden dust. The Tramvolator was created from the White, which makes up much of the secret underground tunnels of these friendly goblins – secret because they must hide from Stubbling, a terrible goblin with a lust for power. Seer Bowls are also a means of ‘watching’ and ‘finding’.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in The Star Realm.
Brogan’s underground world has a few, and I’ve mentioned Star Hamlet’s and Melodise’s fun with music.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in The Star Realm as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
No. Time has its own beat in the Star Realm.
Is there a particular religion practiced in the Star Realm? Please describe what it involves.
What is the political or government structure in the Star Realm? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
There is the Star Council – twelve members including Ezrin, Kimeranet, Somat, Ea’s, Monanic, Privithis, Psyche, Talocan, Asshuran, Mithraw, Lokian and Sivan (head). This council decides many things to help with the running of Avalon and its outer worlds. This is where it is decided what to do about the unnerving counter-balance and how it’s destroying not only their worlds but that of Elsewhere. Each member has an important role for the running of Avalon and its outer worlds.
Sivan has charge of a special staff that can push back the ravages of time upon the holder – he is extremely old and wise; hence why he is ‘leader’.
There is also a king, queen and princess in the Star Realm who have lost control somewhat because… no spoilers.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit The Star Realm?
Respect the lands and those within it. Although this sentiment is not held by all.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
The Star Realm was inspired by a book I’d written, called Gone. This was written in answer to the question: Where had my daughter gone? after she’d been severely brain damaged at the age of two. She was left an empty shell for seventeen years and that question haunted me until she died a second and final time. For if she was no longer ‘here’ then where was she? I created a world and went in search of her – the Star Realm was born.
The world was too good to waste (Avalon and the Star Realm from the Orb) so I used it to create an epic fantasy adventure. The story became so big that I had to break it into three – The Avalon Trilogy. #2 Invasion takes place in another, darker world of the Orb, as does #3 Secrets Of The Ice, so to complete the story – I hope those who read it will love or at least appreciate the ending.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Environment (its ruination) corruption, the loss of the imagination and power-hungry individuals.
Please share a brief author autobiography.
I cannot ignore my dreams, so many of them, with names and places and ideas that spark my imagination and compel me to write; to create stories, whether fantasy or horror, or mystery or psychological thriller or murder or even humour and adventure. So, my garden is sown, flourishing, with all manner of growth, and still the dreams come.
Julie Elizabeth Powell, my soul lingering within my imagination; maybe you’ll join me?
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?
Each of the books is available separately or together as a trilogy; omnibus edition. I live in England but I’ve included USA links too.
The Star Realm is available in theUK
in Kindle format as well as in the USA
If you prefer paperback, then Lulu
has a copy.
For #2, Invasion it’s also a Kindle edition in the UK
The same goes for #3, Secrets Of The Ice, as a Kindle edition in the UK
and USA. Lulu
has each of these in paperback.
If you’d like the Omnibus Edition, in the UK
, it’s only offered in Kindle format because it is too big for paperback.
Where can readers connect with you online?
I hope that The Star Realm, Invasion and Secrets Of The Ice will soon be audiobooks, as are my other works.
I also read many, many stories and review them all – not that they are all good, but most are and they come from the independent pool of writing rather than the bland and formulaic books you find in shops.
There, that’s little about one of the many worlds I’ve created. The Star Realm – and the rest of The Avalon Trilogy – can be read (or read to) from 8-100. It is directed at a younger audience (12+) but then I think it could suit YA and, of course, those young at heart.
Thank you for reading this, and special thanks to Annie Douglas Lima for including some of my work in Realm Explorers.
I do have 19 titles in a variety of genres (soon to be 20, with a whole range of other projects on the go), but only The Avalon Trilogy and Knowing Jack are for a younger audience.