As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre.

Her fantasy novel Dust (Enclave Escape) was the first book in her Heirs of Neverland Series. In this interview, Kara talks with us about book 2 in the Heirs of Neverland Duology, Shadow.

FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book, Shadow?
One is Peter Pan so—expect a lot of mischief and danger and sword fights midair. There’s also several Lost Boys, a beautiful tribal culture of treehouses where Tiger Lily lives. Also, a one-armed pirate, a girl who is part pixie and part siren, and more twists than even J.M. Barrie could expect.

FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
I think we can convey emotion and soul-depth in an accessible way by crafting characters that are sympathetic and relatable, and allow us to touch on a variety of topics that don’t feel “preached” at, but instead experienced and earned.

FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
The reminder that we cannot often choose the struggles we endure, the childhood losses we face, but we can choose how to move forward from those experiences, and whether to let them lend us compassion, insight and courage. That there is a place where even the most lost of boys and girls can be found. And that none of us are alone.

FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in your specific genre?
Specifically with these Peter Pan retellings, by far the most difficult thing was doing Peter justice. Wanting to convey the essence of J.M. Barrie’s Peter in a way that fans of the original book, as well as lovers of the Neverland mythos, would feel like Peter was not only conveyed well…but that reading Dust and Shadow felt a bit like coming home.

FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
So many! J.M. Barrie, for one. C.S. Lewis, for another. I’m also very blessed to count many of the YA authors that have inspired me as friends—Nadine Brandes, Mary Weber, Lisa Bergren, Sara Ella, Shannon Dittemore, and countless others.

FF: How has your faith impacted the way you tell stories?
One of the biggest ways faith has impacted my writing is in crafting stories that touch on soul-deep topics and weave in hope and light. I also enjoy finding subtle, allegorical and moving ways to work in reminders that we are created with purpose and intention, and that you have value, you matter, just because you exist. The Ever One who spun the stars also created you, put a spark in you—and He doesn’t make mistakes.

Heirs of Neverland Duology #2
Kara Swanson
Enclave Escape
Genres: YA/Teen, Fantasy, Fairytale/Folklore
Release Date: July 21, 2021

ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 162184126X
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1621841265

Book Summary:
The truth about Neverland is far more dangerous than a fairy tale.

Claire Kenton believes the world is too dark for magic to be real—since her twin brother was stolen away as a child. Now Claire’s desperate search points to London… and a boy who shouldn’t exist.

Peter Pan is having a beastly time getting back to Neverland. Grounded in London and hunted by his own Lost Boys, Peter searches for the last hope of restoring his crumbling island: a lass with magic in her veins.

The girl who fears her own destiny is on a collision course with the boy who never wanted to grow up. The truth behind this fairy tale is about to unravel everything Claire thought she knew about Peter Pan—and herself.


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