Christie: Hi Betty! Norm And Ginger Enter The Hidden comes out today (happy book birthday!) Can you give us a brief synopsis of it, please?
There is a secret hiding inside a remote Vermont farmhouse where eleven-year-old Becky and her family move after her father is fired from his job under mysterious circumstances. A guardian emerges with an ominous warning that someone is coming through a mirror to take Becky from the safety of her new home, and leads her to the discovery of artifacts hidden under her bedroom floor. That same night she finds an abandoned puppy destined to protect her, and whose collar causes the artifacts to turn on. An ancient battle resumes for control over a secret once thought buried too deep to be uncovered. As more mysterious creatures arrive, how will she know who is there to help and who means her harm? Becky and her new puppy must race to interpret the warnings, overcome their fear of sinister forces, and trust in new alliances to solve a mystery that has been hidden from her family for generations. But is it too late?
Christie: Can you tell us the idea that inspired the book?
Betty: I love walking in the woods and I find that nature is a treasure trove of beauty and inspiration. Our children when they were younger enjoyed the stories I made up as we spent time outside together.
Christie: Did you have a character that you most enjoyed writing?
Betty: That is hard because I love many of the characters in this book. I would say Rothschild, the praying mantis. He is often misguided and headstrong. It gets him in trouble!
Christie: What was one of your biggest challenges writing this story?
Betty: As a debut author I found the editing process challenging at times. It is hard to cut characters or scenes in the initial phases. Even though the editing process is challenging it is worth it. I was fortunate to work with a wonderful editor at Koehler books.
Christie: What do you think it’s important for young readers to know about this story?
That it is safe to dive into the world of The Hidden. It is scary without being too dark. I want them to know that they will laugh with these characters and learn a lot about friendship and trust.
Christie: What has your debut publishing journey been like?
A big learning curve! It has been fun, mostly. I am so happy to be working with my publisher. I feel they are supporting me and my success.
Christie: Is there something unique about you or your story that you’d like to share with our readers?
So many fantasy young adult and even middle grade books are dark. Our world is dark enough. I think this book has all the elements that readers of fantasy will enjoy without the overly dark themes in so many other books. This is book 1 in a series. I want readers to feel tension and explore the mystery, but feel safe. The reader will ask themselves which characters are trustworthy? Who is good? Who is bad? Even with the tension there is humor throughout.
Christie: What’s one thing that I haven’t asked you about your book or your writing process that you could share with us?
When I would reach a slowdown in writing or a block about where I wanted the story to go, I would take a walk in the woods and find my inspiration. Maybe I would see a garden spider weaving a web or crawling on a branch and ask myself questions about the spider, what should her name be? Where is she going? Those trips deep into the woods always jump start my writing!
Christie: Where can we go to find out more about you and your writing?
My author website is https://bettyfudge.com/
On Facebook: Betty Fudge, author
Instagram: @ bettyfudgeauthor
Betty Fudge graduated from N.C. State University and has enjoyed a career in healthcare, sales, and consulting. Inspired by her childhood spent exploring the woods with a pack of neighborhood dogs by her side, she writes stories about adventure, friendships, and mysteries.