A Woodley author is celebrating the launch of her new book, which is sure to captivate all of your senses.
Brigitte Morse Starkenburg published the first of her trilogy series The Sensorians: Awakening last month.
The writer, whose day job was put on hold due to the pandemic, said: “Lockdown has been the perfect opportunity to work on the publishing side of things and finally decide what I want to do with my book.
“I made the informed decision to self-publish as I wanted to have control over my work and ensure it is interpreted by my readers the way I intend.
“I’ve already had some great feedback from readers and many of them are looking forward to reading the next instalment of the trilogy.”
The fantasy fiction novel tells the story of strong-willed teenager Eliza who discovers the reason for her differences following an encounter with a stranger which leads her to a new, secret community.
Throughout the book, Eliza unveils truths about her family while having to make challenging decisions and dealing with the complex realities of teenagerhood.
And although Brigitte describes her book as fantasy fiction, she adds: “While there are elements of fantasy in the plot, it is set in a normal world.
“There isn’t magic or creatures, but the characters do have something unique about them.”
Ms Morse Starkenburg’s work also explores topics such as mental health, bi-sexuality and self-discovery which she explains link closely to her target audience of young adults.
She said: “The idea for the trilogy came from my personal experience of family members who have ASD.
“People with ASD often have strong sensory experiences such as things smelling too much or not liking the feel of things so I wanted to make something positive out of their experiences.
“My characters in my book have heightened senses which put them at an advantage to others.
“This is fantastically communicated by the cover of the book which shows all of the senses coming into the brain.
“It’s quite freaky, but really effective. I have fashion designer Miguel González to thank for it.”
The author added: “The main character Eliza finds herself falling in love with a boy called Zack. As the story develops Eliza is also introduced to Zack’s twin sister Zaphire who she thinks she might also have feelings for.
“This is a sub-theme in the book but an important factor in Eliza’s decision on whether she can live in a community like the new one she has found herself in.
“Eliza is a very complex character who is headstrong but has a lot of challenges to face.
“Meanwhile Zack has both good and bad sides which we discover throughout the story. This made him an enjoyable character to write about.
“The first book is written in the first person and alternates between the perspectives of both Eliza and Zack.”
Brigitte also explained how having teenage children of her own has been valuable to the writing process.
She said: “I read the first draft of book one out loud to my 13-year-old daughter, so when we came across something she didn’t understand or the wording of my teenage lingo wasn’t completely right I was able to jot down some points for correction.”
And readers won’t be waiting too long to discover the rest of the story as Brigitte has spent lockdown working on her second book as well as promoting the first.
Now in the final stages of editing, the writer hopes to publish the second instalment of the series in December providing the first book is a success.
Brigitte said: “I’m now in the final stages of editing my second book which I can’t wait to publish.
“In the time between now and December, I want to continue pushing book one online and get it on to local book shelves.
“I’d also like to visit book clubs and libraries in the area once such gatherings are allowed and of course, start writing the final book.
“The writing is the best part.”
To find out more about Brigitte’s book or to purchase a copy log on to amzn.to/2W5YHDo.