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Author Interview: Sybrina Durant

If there is one underrated fantasy creature out there, it is the unicorn.

Majestic, beautiful, magic at its highest point, this is a creature that needs more books written about it, and, wouldn't you know it...I've found one!

The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm Illustrated Book

And, it comes illustrated so you can enjoy these majestic creatures in depth! How stinkin' cool is that!?!?

BUT, the best part of running across this Unicorn story, is the chance to met and speak with its amazing author.

Sybrina Durant

Why did you first start writing? What was the inspiration for your first book?

I first started writing because a story niggled around in my brain and I had to let it out.My inspirations have come from a multitude of inputs into my psyche, my eyes and my ears from every source that comes at me from the world.Inspiration has come from books, movies, songs, television, billboards, news items, how people behave, science — you name it. Somehow . . . I don’t know exactly how. . . the muses work in such a way that various aspects of every input sort themselves out and coalesce into ideas.

I cannot tell you why I decided that I needed to write a book about a tribe of magical metal-horned unicorns whose magical powers are loosely based upon properties of the metals of their horns. But as I delved deeply into the science of different types of metals, I began to easily associate unique magic for each of them. Not, only did I derive each unicorn’s magical power that way but things like hide and mane color were also based on the metals.

For instance, the color of some of their hides is loosely based on the color of the flame when a particular metal burns. A copper flame burns green so it was a good color for Cuprum who is a copper-horned unicorn. It is also a good color for Cornum, who is a brass-horned unicorn. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc so Cornum is a lighter shade of green than Cuprum. Potassium burns lilac so that’s the color of lightening that comes from the mauve unicorn’s horn. Other hide colors were determined by the color of metals in their natural state. Aluminum is mined from bauxite so the aluminum-horned unicorn's hide and mane are various shades of red and hot pink because of the reddish color of bauxite. Iron is known as the black metal. It gets its black color from magnetite so Iown the iron-horned unicorn's hide color is black.

The names of the unicorns are also based on the word for the metal in other languages. Silubhra is the Germanic word for silver. Style is the Old English word for Steel. Tinam is the Germanic word for tin. Cuprum is the Latin word for copper and so on.

Did you ever consider traditional/indie publishing? Was there a reason you chose the way you did to go about publishing your works? Do you have any insights for future authors trying to make the same choice?

I think everyone wishes to be snapped up by a big publishing company who will spend millions to promote their book all over the world and to have it become a bestselling novel and movie. However, realistically, that only happens to a very rare few who happen to be in the right place at the right time.For the rest of us, if we want anyone besides our immediate family and friends to know our book even exists, we have to take the indie route.Otherwise our books will just languish in a desk drawer or maybe somewhere in cyberspace never to be enjoyed by anyone.

How many books do you have published now?

I have about 15 published works that range from technical to fantasy.My favorite book is “The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm Illustrated Book” for teens and older readers.It contains 42 – 2 page chapters each followed by a two page illustration.My other favorites are “Ned Knows How To Knot A Necktie” and “Nellie Knows How To Knot A Neck Scarf”.Those illustrated Rabbit and Fox Story books teach a child how to tie a simple knot in a necktie or scarf in a fun way.

Do you have any books in the works at the moment?

I am currently working on the expanded novel version of “The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm” and its accompanying glossary, “The MarBryn Compendium”.Many readers have wanted to know more about the unicorns, the land of MarBryn and the world of Unimaise and why I created those worlds and creatures the way I did.So, I am accommodating them with a lot more story plus a huge separate pictorial glossary that should explain everything in great detail.Both are planned to be published early in 2019.

Any advice you’d offer up-and-comers looking to find their place in the literary world?

We are living in the most amazing time.We live in a world where everyone has instant access to millions of other people via social media.There are very many ways that we can promote our books today.My advice is if you want to make the world aware of your book, you must work very hard at that goal.No one is going to care as much as you do about your book.My philosophy is, “Do it yourself and do it now.Don’t wait for someone to come along and offer to do it for you.”And while you’re doing all that hard work, don’t give up on the hope of gaining millions of readers some day.

If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?

I love writing books and I hope that others think I’m somewhat good at it but the reality is I have to work for a living and to support my writing habit.Luckily, I love working in the engineering world of oil and gas.Doing so challenges both the left and right side of my brain pretty much equally.

Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?

I read all of the reviews.Some break my heart.Some have my heart soaring.I never respond to them.That doesn’t mean I haven’t wanted to but from what I’ve heard from many corners, it’s bad business to either say ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to a reviewer. They have their reasons for their opinions.Not everyone will agree with them.Even bad reviews hardly ever stop an interested party from reading a book.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I go for pure originality.After all, readers' likes and dislikes change over the years – sometimes quite drastically.I see no point in trying to be a cookie cutter version of what everyone is reading right now.Views change. Tastes change.Everything comes around again.


Thank you so much to Sybrina for taking the time to sit down and answer all my random and wonky-weird questions. It's been so great having this chance to get to know and meet a new author!

Can't wait to see where your unicorns take you next!


The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm Illustrated Book For Teens and Older Readers

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