Grays Harbor author uses McCleary as the setting for his first fantasy book


JThis isn’t the first time an author has chosen to set up a fantasy book in southwest Washington. The sleepy town of Forks, Washington rose to overnight fame after Stephanie Meyer chose it for the setting of best-selling “Twilight,” along with its sequels. Now, author Amber Vonda has chosen McCleary as the setting for her new book, “Family Crystals,” which is also a fantasy novel and the author’s first.

‘Family Crystals’ is a fantasy novel set in McCleary, Wash. Photo Courtesy: Amber Vonda

Unlike the “Twilight” author, however, Vonda actually grew up in the town she chose for her new book, which gives her a very authentic feel. Born in Juneau, Alaska, Amber and her two older brothers and one sister spent their childhood in McCleary. When her family suffered the tragic loss of one of her brothers, the way the family came together to carry it through stayed with Amber well into adulthood.

Now with three children of her own, Amber faced new challenges that would bring her family even closer together, including having a child diagnosed with non-verbal autism. She became a stay-at-home mom, focusing on the needs of her children and family and tending to her garden. Amber thanks her daughter, Izzabella Schaefer, for pushing her to write a book. The two brainstormed book ideas daily, until Izzabella finally told her mother that she should write one.

“She was proud of me for finishing the book,” Amber shares, “but she said, ‘I thought you were going to quit halfway,'” she laughed. hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

How her family pulls together to face challenges, both when she was young and as an adult, became the theme running through “Family Crystals.”

Amber chose to place her book at McCleary because it is a happy place for the author, full of inspiration. “McCleary inspired me to put it in my book because it’s my home, it’s where I grew up with my friends and family, and I chose to raise my own children,” shares Amber.

author mccleary amber vonda family crystals
Amber Vonda was inspired by the strength of her own family for her first book, “Family Crystals.” Photo courtesy: Amber Vonda

“I love how McCleary has always been a family and loving community,” she continues. “The lush, green landscape is perfect for anyone who wants a quiet, country lifestyle. Above all, the local people and businesses are wonderful and supportive, especially Gordons Select Market who were honored to have me sign books in their store.

“Family Crystals” takes you on a journey with an ordinary McCleary family who find themselves in a mythical realm where they must band together to survive. Of the author :

“From a handful of crystals to a secret from centuries ago, the family discovers they are connected to both good and evil entities in this new world, including a long-established bond of hatred that has the royal head of the kingdom. up in arms over Angela’s mistaken identity.

Unity, fighting with hellish beings, facing life under water and on land in the extraordinary Mood Castle, from beginning to end, this fabulous family shows their powers of love, strength and magic through winds and tides.

Residents of Grays Harbor, especially McCleary, will recognize some of the places Amber put in her book. “Residents will recognize our local grocery store (Gordons Select Market) and coffee kiosks that offer drinks even on holidays,” she says.

And although Izzabella has yet to write her own book, Amber says she writes great stories for schoolwork.

You can find Amber Vonda’s “Family Crystals” on her Facebook page and Amazon.

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