The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister
We are pleased to announce that B.I. Woolet will be sending five signed copies of The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister to be given away at AstroCamp this year! Learn more about this epic adventure story below and visit www.worldofarcas.com. Ila Woolet writes:
My husband and I grew up torn between two worlds. Outside, there were woods, frogs, dirt, and sunshine. Inside, there were video games, TVs, instant meals, and computers. In both worlds, we were surrounded by lights. While all the man-made lights could serve a noble purpose, they dimmed the most ancient and powerful lights in the evening sky. As the world became ever more distracted by screen lights, we found ourselves drawn back toward the natural night lights. We bought our first telescope, studied constellations for star hopping, then began exploring the night sky for deeper objects.
About the same time we began studying the stars, we became inspired to write a fantasy adventure story. During the day, we were creating a fantasy world. At night, we were gazing at the stars. As we searched the dark sky one night, the powerful figure of Orion—the hunter—almost demanded to enter the story. We knew there were already stories about Orion from various cultures throughout human history, but those stories seemed so removed from our world, so distant. It was time for the stars to come to life for a new generation. After all, the constellations do not just belong to the ancient world; they belong to those of us who are breathing, and seeing, and enjoying them right now. These wonderful heroes and terrible beasts needed a new story for a new age. Thus, The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister was born.
Now, of course, we didn’t get rid of the old legends all together. We did what most people do while forming a creative work: borrowed, altered, and added. Otava (which comes from the Finnish name for the constellation) is the great bear Ursa Major. Many in American culture today think of it merely as the big dipper (which makes up the back half of the bear). So, we made our great bear into a culinary enthusiast who carries around his favorite “big dipper.” The end result is a loveable, powerful, and quirky character!
Another example of merging science with fantasy is found in the chapter “The Ring and the Lyre.” Benji’s go-to constellation is Lyra when we stargaze. He first uses a trick from his uncle to test optics out on the “double-double” (a set of two double stars in Lyra that you can “split” with the telescope). Then, we immediately look for the famous Ring Nebula (M57). It’s an amazing nebula, and we wanted something special for it. For the musical fans out there, the idea formed out of something similar to the dream sequence in Oklahoma.
We turned the stringed Lyre into a magical instrument. So when Sulafat (Gamae Lyrae – the second brightest star in Lyra) plays the lyre, a cloudy magical ring appears that is reminiscent of the Ring Nebula: “Upon reaching the bank, the cloud formed a ring swarming round and round, displaying blues and greens in the center along with golds and reds on the outside. The colors were vibrant yet muted by the white haze. A beautifully haunting tune quietly radiated through the ringed cloud.”
Creating own own story around the stars has forever changed our perspective. Now, when our family gazes at the night sky, we don’t just see Orion the constellation; we see our friend The Hunter. He’s a strong and fearless man who is quick to protect others but also quick to protect his heart. We see the Pleiades and hear Merope’s enchanting song echoing, “Mira, Mira, one name for two; the river Eridanus a playground for you.” It’s part of a song in our book about the constellation Cetus and the double star “Mira the Wonderful” that appears to ride upon his back.
There are many amazing star connections to be discovered as you journey to the World of Arcas. But don’t worry! Even if someone knows nothing about astronomy, he or she can enter the world and enjoy the ride of a great adventure. The backbone of Arcas may be the celestial universe, but the life of Arcas radiates through its memorable characters and never-ending action. It’s a fun story for the whole family, and just maybe, it can help inspire a new generation to explore the wonder and beauty of the ancient lights. These heroes still shine out of the expanse for us to enjoy. Join the adventure as we discover them anew!
B. I. Woolet (Benji & Ila Woolet) is the author of The Hunter, the Bear, and the Seventh Sister, the first book from the World of Arcas series. Benji studied Music Composition leading to a Bachelor’s in Music, and Ila studied English leading to a BS in Education. When they aren’t working, writing, or chasing their four little girls around, they are active in their local community and church. The couple enjoys creating lyrical and literary arts, playing music together, and exploring nature. They are happily married and live in Indiana. The second book in the series Arrows of Darkness is set for release in Fall 2015.