Arts and Entertainment

Novel brings Pandora’s box to Whidbey

Sherry D. Ficklin  - Courtesy photo
Sherry D. Ficklin
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Thanks to its towering evergreen trees and surrounding bodies of water, many believe that the Pacific Northwest is a mysteriously beautiful place to live, but few realize how many mysterious creatures are actually living in its forests.

In the past few years, people learned of a vampire-werewolf-human love triangle that was playing out in Forks. And more recently, people have heard that a battle over Pandora’s box is taking place on our very own Whidbey Island.

Sherry D. Ficklin, an author and self-proclaimed former military brat, just published a teen fiction novel entitled “Foresight,” which was inspired by the scenic treasures on Whidbey and neighboring Goat Island.

“Foresight” is the first book in the “Gods of Fate” trilogy and is currently available in hardback. The story is about a girl named Grace Archer who lost her parents at a very young age.

The novel begins with Grace living in Colorado with her Aunt Phoenix. When Grace is attacked at her graduation by a band of gruesome characters, she learns she is the last living mortal daughter of the Greek goddess Pandora, and that it is her mission to save Pandora’s infamous box from evil beings.

The monstrous task leads Grace to the islands, and as the story unfolds, Grace discovers she has powers of foresight which bring their own set of dangerous challenges.

Though Ficklin now resides in Colorado, her husband used to be stationed on Whidbey Island and that’s when “Foresight” began to develop.

In her press release, Ficklin said, “I made my husband drive me from the (Mukilteo) ferry up the whole island one day as I wrote. What I saw, I detailed in the book.”

Ficklin said she was constantly inspired by Whidbey’s scenery and after a day trip to Goat Island, she felt she had happened upon a truly magical place.

“It was important to me to have the story there because of all the places I’ve ever seen, it was the most likely place for this to happen,” she said.

Islanders will recognized places like Coupeville’s Captain Whidbey Inn, Oak Harbor’s Pot Belly Deli and Cornet Bay, which are all featured in the book.

Ficklin chose to write about Greek mythology because she thinks it’s important for teens to hear the tales, but knows how hard it can be for kids to understand the language of novels like “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey.”

“I love the idea of telling that kind of classic story to younger audiences,” Ficklin said.

Ficklin said people from ages 13 to 30 would enjoy the book and that teens can look forward to aging alongside Grace throughout the series.

The next book in the trilogy, “Secondsight,” should be available in May of 2011, and Ficklin hopes to be at Oak Harbor’s Wind & Tide Bookshop for its release.

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