Welcome to Realm Explorers! In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors. Enjoy your travels! And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.
Kandi J Wyatt
Title of book and/or series:
Journey from Skioria
Brief summary of the story:
Tania is lost, shipwrecked on an unfamiliar shore. With no friends or family, the nine-year-old girl must make her way through the realm of the woodland people to a town she’s never heard of. With unexpected allies from the forest, Tania departs on a wild adventure where storms rage and the forces of nature do their very best to end her journey before it has truly begun.
In a land full of forests, oceans, and small people, what will it take for one young girl to make it home alive?
Lord of the Rings meets Narnia in this standalone middle-grade fantasy by author Kandi J Wyatt.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Skioria and the rest of the world Tania travels through are based off the area where I live, the Southern Oregon Coast. Skioria itself is almost like the Redwoods with large trees, old-growth forest, and space between. The forest is next to the ocean which enables the characters to enjoy strolls on the beach or even the hazards of a spring storm. You can find out more about the trees of the forest on my website.
If we were to visit Skioria as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
You’ll definitely want some help getting up the trees to go visit Trilicious and Kern. These two Skiorians are accustomed to travelers and will gladly welcome you into their home and share some nut bread with you. They’ll even accompany you to a storytelling hour you won’t want to miss.
Storytelling takes place in a large tree with a window cut out that looks out to the stars. You may even hear the story of Aryx and his dipper. If you do, you’ll want to be sure to allow him to guide your journeyings.
What dangers should we avoid in Skioria?
You’ll want to be careful to stay on the pathways because Skiorians live twenty to thirty feet up in the air. Their homes are carved out of large trees and walkways connect each home to the next.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Skioria?
Pine nut flour is common. It’s used to create pancakes, bread, and many other dishes we know. Acorn soup tastes wonderful especially accompanied with a nut bread.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Skioria?
Skiorians live in peace with each other and their surroundings. If they fought it’d be with their retractable claws that they use to climb the trees.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Skioria?
To get to Skioria you need to use your own two legs. The wooded paths from human civilization to Skioria don’t allow for any technology. You might be able to take a horse part of the way, but the horse would have to be willing to walk down river, across a lake, through the woods, down a long, steep embankment, along the beach for several days, over a mountain filled with trees and ferns, and then through thick huckleberry bushes. I think walking and having a boat available at the first part would be best.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Skioria that we don’t see on Earth?
If you visit Skioria while a council meeting is held, you’ll get to meet all the woodland people. The Skiorians although fully-grown still are only as big as nine-year-olds. Think of a stocky dwarf and you’ll have the idea—complete with beards, long hair, and hairy arms and legs. Just north of Skioria among thick huckleberry bushes lies Terra. Terrans are shorter than Skiorians to accommodate their surroundings. They also have shorter and less hair so they don’t get caught in the huckleberry branches. The most exotic people who visit during council meetings are the Avarians. You may mistake them for three-year-olds until one turns around and you see a blond beard! They’re short and slender people who love wearing bright colors. The other shock you may have is watching how they leave the pathways of Skioria. Don’t let your mouth drop open, and most definitely don’t scream when they step off the tree and float down to the ground.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Skioria? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
The Skiorians wouldn’t even know what you meant by magic. They live ordinary lives fishing, gathering berries or nuts, and weaving using the fibers in the forest. If they’re superstitious it’s more along the lines of sharing myths and stories of how things came about.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Skioria.
The kids enjoy making their way to the bottom of the trees and finding a clear spot to play tag or other chasing games. Trilicius’s favorite activity is to go fishing. He has a special song he sings at the top of his lungs and off-key. It makes him happy, and he still catches fish.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Skioria as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
The days and months roll by the same in Skioria, except they track them by the cycle of the moon. As for holidays they celebrate the longest day and the shortest day of the year as well as the first sighting of various constellations.
What is the political or government structure in Skioria? Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
The council leader has the most say in the community. Conifer is the current leader who abides by the rules and holds all others to those rules. As a leader he’s fine, but as a father he fails. His son, Fyrh can never live up to his father’s expectations.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I live on the Southern Oregon Coast. As I gazed out my window at the tall evergreens and old-growth forest with ferns, ivy, rhododendrons, huckleberries, and myrtlewood, I wondered what creatures would live in. The sound of chipmunks chattering, the sight of squirrels winding their way up the trunk of trees, and the flicker of birds’ wings among the rhododendron gave way to the people of the forest. As for their cultures, I tried to go with the personalities of the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds I saw.
The various encounters along the journey all come from places between Gold Beach and Langlois, Oregon. The mountain resides south of us as Humbug Mountain. The brownish-red water in the ocean actually happened the year I wrote the story and was from a landslide. The lake they cross is famous in our area for windsurfing, and has a river that spills out of it and flows north. Our family kayaked the river and found where a creek (as big if not bigger than the river) met the river. The goal of the journey is to reach a town where humans live and find the store owner. That store was patterned off Langlois Market. If you ever find yourself on the Southern Oregon Coast, be sure to stop in and have a hot dog or the Cransan, a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce, both are excellent with the homemade mustard.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
The book is a middle-grade fantasy journey. It really has no ‘hot-button’ or controversial topics. Instead I focus on friendship.
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that’s her own five or the hundreds of students she’s been lucky to teach. When Kandi’s not spinning words to create stories, she’s using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)? Please include links.
My books are available in all formats—ebooks and print—and can be found on most outlets.
The Dragon Courage series: Where dragons and humans live at peace with each other most of the time, and dragon riders learn to survive they must rely on family and friends and set aside justice for mercy, revenge for peace, and bitterness for forgiveness.
The One Who Sees Me: A stand-alone Biblical retelling set in medieval times. When life doesn’t make sense Faru learns there is One who cares about servant girls as well as masters.
Where can readers connect with you online?
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Skioria. Questions about the world or the book? Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!
Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.
Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week’s edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima