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Mother and Daughter Cope With Grief and the Pandemic While Writing YA Fantasy Novel About a Compassionate Vampire.

When Debra Keller’s autistic son left home five years ago, she was suddenly without a job and a purpose

Press Release

updated: May 17, 2021

“Like many things in life, if you haven’t had the experience it’s difficult to understand what it’s like to raise a child with special needs,” said Debra. “The bond between parent and child is very intense, because the level of care is so high and unrelenting. As a mom, you give everything you have out of love, and because it’s necessary, but when the child leaves, you’re left with a huge void to fill.”

Debra found other work, but was unhappy and still missing her son, when her adult daughter Katie, asked for help developing and publishing her novella about an atypical vampire.

“When I first read Katie’s story, I was intrigued, but wasn’t sure what to do with it. I had never written anything close to fantasy,” said Debra, who has been writing in one form or another, most of her life. “Still, I wanted to help her realize her dream of publishing, so I dove in. Little did I know the novella would become a novel and my daughter and I would become co-authors.”

They wrote for over a year and finished more than half the book when Debra’s husband David, became ill. Debra took care of him for a year and a half, until he passed away in 2019.

“David was an incredible husband and father and our biggest fan. When he died, Katie and I lost all interest in writing.” said Debra. “But I knew we had to finish the book, so three months later, I started writing again. Katie wasn’t ready, so I’d write and we’d share ideas as the book progressed.”

Soon, the pandemic hit and the book became even more important while sheltering at home.

“Frankly, the book saved me. Writing it was a journey filled with creativity and joy, and compelled me to think about something else besides the pandemic and my grief. It also gave Katie and I a shared goal and one her dad would be proud of,” said Debra.

Skyler of Fanticlear, is available exclusively on Amazon.

“It’s a story about a ‘Kihnalta’ vampire princess,” said Katie.

“Kihnalta” is a play on the Irish word for compassion. These vampires envision a kingdom that embraces diversity and equality. But ‘Fiante’ vampires (Fierce in Irish) are brutal adversaries and oppose that vision, and therein lies the conflict,” said Debra.

“I’m glad my mom and I finished the book. I wish papa was here to see it,” said Katie.

Skyler of Fanticlear, can be read for free if you have Kindle Unlimited. There is also a paperback version available. You can learn more about this mother-daughter writing team on www.katieanddebrakeller.com. They are currently writing a second novel in what is becoming the Fanticlear series.

Source: Debra and Katie Keller

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