The cover of Sylvia Bell's book, Truthstone. Submitted image.
Greg Amos, Editor
Local author Sylvia Bell has plans in the works to complete a sequel to Truthstone, her fantasy novel published last summer.
“I have started; I have the first three chapters of the sequel written,” said Bell, who is principal at Chetwynd’s Windrem Elementary school, and a former teacher at both Tumbler Ridge Elementary and at the high school.
Truthstone, a fantasy novel in the Lord of the Rings style, was self-published by Bell through Xlibris Book Publishers, a company that operates on a print-on-demand basis. The book was finished about ten years ago, she said, and was pitched to agents and publishers for two years after its completion.
After reading a segment of the book out loud to her Grade 7 class, Bell realized the book could benefit from a re-organization. On the advice of a friend, she decided to self-publish the new version of the book.
“It’s about a young boy, who at the death of his father, leaves town and sets off to start his own life and adventure,” explained Bell. “Along the way, he meets interesting characters that are not all human. He gets drawn into this dark web, and he’s sent on a quest to find the Truthstone.”
“I don’t actually get a lot of time to spend with my creative writing, but I’m definitely looking at doing a Truthstone series,” she added. Bell is occupied during the school year, and is currently writing for the Reading Recovery journal. (Reading Recovery is a program used in this school district to help slow readers catch up to their peers.)
Bell said she might find some time to write over the summer, but the sequel is likely a year or two away from completion.
The first book has been “very well received by people who have read it,” she said, and many readers have encouraged her to do a follow-up effort. The book was featured at the Frankfurt International Book Fair (the “Frankfurter Buchmesse”) last October, through a marketing effort on the part of Xlibris.
“The publisher really believes this is a book that could be a movie,” she said. ““It’s aimed at teenagers, teenage boys in particular, so there’s lots of action and adventure. And yet, the people that are reading it are adults, and they love it. It has that broad-based appeal; fantasy fans are often the young men in society, but not always.”
“I have ideas for book two,” she said. “In the first book, they find a truthstone, but there is the legend that there are three truthstones. I’m going to work on what happens to the second truthstone in book two, and of course, the third truthstone in book three. That’s a long way off.”
Bell said she hasn’t profited from the book so far.
“I would like to have a major publisher pick it up,” she said. “That would be a sort of a public acknowledgement; that would be a financial acknowledgement. I do have some international sales, but nothing to generate wild enthusiasm.”
Truthstone can be purchased at KC’s Dollar Store and at Shop Easy.