Voyage Publishing’s first adult novel, it tells the compelling story of two young men who band together in a valiant quest for freedom.
It can be hard to find modern books for teens that are well written, engaging, and imbued with good values. But Voyage Publishing gave us such a read with Sarah Robsdottir’s new novel brave waterwhich will be released in paperback on September 28 and can be pre-ordered online now.
brave water It is the first young adult novel at Voyage Publishing, founded in 2018 by Philip Koslowski to create positive, faith-filled entertainment shaped by Catholic values.
With beautiful cover art, the book tells the story of two East African teens, Talitha and Musa, who battle a human trafficking gang to rescue their kidnapped friend. While the subjects and subject matter are serious, Robsdottir manages to share the realities of human struggle and tragedy in a way that respects the younger reader and inspires hope, love, and courage to anyone who picks up the book.
This is Robsdottir’s first novel, and it’s an impressive feat. Her creative and descriptive prose and engaging characters bring the story to life. However, the best endorsement may come to the teens themselves: My 14-year-old twins have gotten caught up in this story, waiting every night for the next few chapters. Robsdottir shared with Aleteia how the book came to be.
Writing a novel is a major achievement and that’s the first thing for you – what’s the hardest part about writing it?
start. I have always dreamed of writing novels but I was more comfortable with vignettes for magazines, websites and blog posts. I had to get out of my comfort zone to work on something that could take more than a few hours to finish, like brave water Research and completion took many years.
What kind of research did you need to do?
I’ve read everything I can get my hands on about human trafficking, starting with accounts like this one from DeliverFund. While these stories have influenced my book, I have been keen to present hard facts in a way that enlightens readers but won’t leave them shocked. I also read the biography of St. Bakhita. She is the patron saint of survivors of human trafficking and her story has touched me deeply. She also influenced the characters of many of the main characters in the book.
In addition, I read many encyclopedias about East African countries to learn about their culture, topography, and tribal customs. I have watched documentaries and interviewed many people from East Africa as well. A large number of those interviewed read my manuscript and gave notes that were meticulously applied; This last part – the actual East African Voices input – was the most important component of writing a book that I am most proud of.
The book is aimed at readers aged 13 to adults: what book makes it ideal for teens but also appeals to adults?
brave water He has a lot of heart-fluttering romance but no sex. It has some violence, but nothing superfluous to accurately present the topic of human trafficking; And again, nothing leaves the average reader overly annoyed. I wrote most of the book in my room at home where one of my personal goals for teaching my children, ages 4 to 18, was that my instructions would leave them innocent – not ignorant. I am sure brave water is a good example of this ideology. The difficult subject is dealt with in a meticulous manner.
What do you hope the reader will get out of the book?
I hope that readers’ imaginations will be captured by the story of heroic people who sacrifice themselves in a way that continues in their own lives and out into the world. I hope the characters in the book will inspire readers by giving them concrete examples of what it means to be brave in times of trial, but also in everyday life.
My family has committed to donating 25% of the book’s proceeds to charities that help get water and combat human trafficking, so it would be great if readers could also be inspired to join this type of philanthropy as well.
How did you conceptualize and develop your characters?
The biography of Saint Bakhita fueled the development of some characters. The way she was kidnapped when she was a young girl and suffered so much trauma that she forgot her mother tongue. In addition, the heroine of the book Talitha is based on my best friend from college who had the same name. My friend Talitha has lived abroad as a missionary for most of her life. Another heroine of the story, Clara, is based on my mother-in-law – a small, strong, generous woman. In fact, most of the characters in the book are based on someone you’ve known at one time or another.
Have you always known you wanted to write novels?
I’ve always been fascinated with storytelling, and I have a couple of novels running through my mind. My father, Donut Man Rob Evans, is a Christian musician and brilliant storyteller. It is by far the biggest influence in my life. When my oldest son (who is by nature a bit pessimistic) told me when he was 12 (and is now 18), “Your book will never be published; why would you even write it?” I pulled one of my father’s CDs off the bookshelf. I said, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m Rob’s daughter! I can do anything!”
Robsdottir and her new book brave water Recently featured on a local news show:
BRCNews13 Author “Brave Water” Discovers Success – YouTube