Processing Grief Through Reading and Writing with Sarah Arthur
Nearly a decade ago, during National Novel Writing Month, bestselling nonfiction author Sarah Arthur let her imagination run free when she began writing Once a Queen, a novel that had been living in her imagination since the early 2000s. On January 30, 2024, her sparkling YA fantasy will be published by WaterBrook, the Penguin Random House imprint behind the Wingfeather Saga, the bestselling middle-grade series which has sold more than one million copies.
Arthur’s first venture into the world of fantasy makes sense, as her extensive knowledge of Lord of the Rings and active involvement in the C.S. Lewis Festival and Madeleine L’Engle Writing Retreats can be felt with the flip of every page — the story is richly woven, atmospheric, and captures the cozy magic akin to classics like The Secret Garden, The Chronicles of Narnia, and A Wrinkle in Time, while also telling a fresh and delightful world-weaving tale for wonder-hungry young minds.
Readers are transported to the English countryside alongside Eva, the American teenage protagonist who secretly wishes fairy tales were true. Nevertheless, while spending the summer at her grandmother’s mysterious English manor, unusual happenings in the gardens at night lead Eva to wonder if portals to alternate universes exist…and if her grandmother was once a queen in one of those worlds. Arthur was working through grief while writing this novel, and she hopes the intricate themes of generational wounds, redemption, and imagination will ease the young minds that pick up Once a Queen.
Mentioned in This Episode
Once a Queen | Sarah Arthur
Walking with Frodo | Sarah Arthur
A Light So Lovely | Sarah Arthur
Breath of Bones | Tricia Goyer and Nathan Goyer
The Little White Horse | Elizabeth Goudge
Trust the Stars | Tricia Goyer
The Magician’s Nephew | CS Lewis
Daily Bible Podcast
Get the pre-order goodies for Once a Queen
Join the Once a Queen launch party on 1/30/24
Connect with Sarah Arthur
In all the old stories, in those fairy tales I still half believed, this was how it happened. Ordinary kids were visiting relatives, maybe. Or stuck at boarding school. Alone. Uncertian. Yearning for adventure. And before long, adventure came to them. They took a wrong turn,were chased away from everything familiar—and suddenly a door opened to another world.
That summer, at age fourteen, I was too old to believe anymore, of course. But the ache, the yearning, was still there.
It never leaves us, really. The question is whether it will become our truest hope or deepest wound.
Or both. — Sarah Arthur, Once a Queen
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