The Realm of the Lost by Emma Eden Ramos, a middle-grade fantasy novella about a 13-year-old girl, opens up a new world to readers, but also gives them pause about how they act and react in their own real lives, especially when angry or disappointed. Ramos has an uncanny talent for creating a feisty young woman who is growing up and finding it hard to balance the changes that happen in her family life.
I reviewed Ramos’ novella in October 2012, and really enjoyed it, hoping the author would write more about these realms and the people Kat meets. You can check out my review.
Today, I’ve got a treat for you, dear readers, a character interview and excerpt from Ramos’ novella, plus a giveaway of 2 e-copies; without further ado, please check out the interview and excerpt and enter the giveaway:
Today I am joined by The Realm of the Lost’s eight-year-old Mikey. Hey, Mikey, How’ve you been?
Pretty swell, I think.
Well, you know. I just…I still get into trouble sometimes.
Still? I know that was a big issue for you in the past.
Yea, I know. I guess I talk too much.
Let’s say you sometimes speak out of turn. Have you been in any trouble lately?
No, but I will be.
I shouldn’t even be talking to you. You know that!
Okay. We’ll make this quick then. I’m just checking in.
Alright. I just hope no one around here finds out.
In The Realm of the Lost, you are one of Kat’s guides, her realm brother. What was that like? A lot of responsibility, I bet.
Oh, yea! Realm brothers and sisters are very important. And I’m an old-timer, you know. Sure, I’m only eight, but I’ve been here a long time! I know this place better than anyone.
I don’t know if I’d go that far.
I would. I know this realm better than you do!
Can you briefly explain what a realm brother is?
Sure. Realm brothers and sisters are like regular brothers and sisters, only they’re not related to you. They were never part of your family on earth. In fact, you probably didn’t even know them when you were alive!
So when Kat came to The Realm of the Lost, did you immediately like having her as your realm sister?
No. Well, I did until she got bossy. Then I didn’t like her for a short time. But I got used to her.
When people read Kat’s story, they may have some questions about your past.
Because it’s interesting! You’re interesting. Still, The Realm of the Lost is mainly Kat’s story.
Does that mean she’ll get all the attention?
Well, yea. As I said, it’s her story. She tells the story.
Can I tell a story, too?
Maybe, if you want to. It’s a lot of work to tell a whole story.
I don’t think it’s that hard at all. I tell lots of stories.
Okay. We’ll have to talk about that a little later. Before I let you go, is there anything you’d like to tell those who will be reading The Ream of the Lost?
Yes. Tell them that I tell stories too! But not now. Darkness is on its way. I have to go!
Bye, Mikey. And thanks for chatting.
Goodbye. Don’t forget to tell them. I’ll see you all soon.
Yes, you sure will.
It was warm when I came to, and I felt no pain. Standing with ease, I bent over and inspected my pant-legs, searching for some remnant of dirt or ice. Nothing. Could this be a dream?
Then I noticed a bright orange ray reflecting off my necklace. The glare almost blinded me. I surveyed my surroundings.
Positioned atop solid dirt ground, I gasped in awe. Pine trees stood skyscraper high, haloed by dusty golden light. The sound of chirping birds echoed all around, and I spotted, to my left, what looked like a duck, but with a sharper and more pronounced beak. Bending down to inspect the creature as it waddled past, I heard a small voice from behind me.
“If you’re a poacher, you belong in the under realm.”
“What?” I asked, turning to face a boy who couldn’t be more than eight. He wore navy blue shorts that folded at the tips of his scrawny knees. His white-collared shirt, grey vest and checkered cap reminded me of something out of an old movie. I couldn’t help smiling as he stood, arms crossed, with an air of authority.
“If you’re a poacher, you are in the wrong realm,” the boy said.
“I’m not a poacher. I’ve been in an accident and–wrong realm?”
The boy sighed, twiddling his thumbs in a way that made me think of my brother.
“Okay,” he continued, after an awkward pause. “Well, first, do you know where you are?”
“Like I said, I was in an accident. I guess I passed out. I don’t–I’m not sure if my mother knows–”
“Oh. No. She wouldn’t know a thing like this.”
“A thing like what?” I demanded, stomping my foot.
“That you’ve come to the Realm of the Lost.”
Chapter two: First Journey
I opened my mouth to respond, to tell the odd boy I wasn’t in the mood for fantasy and games but I was cut off by a more grown-up sounding female voice. “Mikey! Mikey, how many times has Miss A told you? You’re not to explain anything to the newcomers!”
“She asked,” Mikey protested, fidgeting with his hands. “I can’t help if people ask me. And you can’t blame me this time because I was the first one here.”
“Shush!” the voice snapped, its owner walking out from behind one of the tall trees. She was in her mid-teens and had beautiful olive skin. Her thick black hair fell past her waist, and I immediately felt captivated by her deep-set brown eyes. “You can be such a pest.” She glared at Mikey. “And she didn’t ask. I know that be–”
“Excuse me,” I interrupted. “My mother is home with my brother. I should be with my sister Ellie. We were supposed to walk to school together, but we had a fight and Ellie–”
I have 2 e-copies of the novella up for grabs. For those interested, leave a comment here asking Mikey a question. Deadline to enter is Feb. 10, 2013, at 12 PM EST.