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Weyburn author plans to extend fantasy novel to a trilogy

A mix of adults and youth listened to a reading by Weyburn author Andrea Sawatzky, under her pen name of Andrea Rae, from her first fantasy novel, “Where Darkness Dwells”.

WEYBURN – A mix of adults and youth listened to a reading by Weyburn author Andrea Sawatzky, under her pen name of Andrea Rae, from her first young adult fantasy novel, “Where Darkness Dwells”, recently at the Weyburn Public Library.

For her reading, she read the first-person accounts by four different characters, and explained how each was different and provided a different perspective on the plot of the story.

A self-published author, Sawatzky explained she has a second book in the series coming, noting how the first novel ends in a sort-of cliffhanger situation. She has nearly finished the first draft, and is looking at perhaps the fall to come out with the sequel, and has plans for a third one to complete the story.

The first book took her about two years to write, while for her second one, she was able to do most of the writing from September to November last fall.

Sawatzky said she has also found a good supportive writing community through a site on Instagram, with the group providing writing challenges that she found interesting and rewarding to do.

Through a flash fiction group, she has written a number of short stories which she has had published in a number of publications, and hopes to one day publish a collection of her short stories.

“It really stretched me to write these stories. That was where I could throw any ideas against the wall to see what sticks,” said Sawatzky, noting she has had five short stories published. They had a limit of 1,000 words per story, and she challenged herself to write in that constraint.

Her fantasy book has been available at the library, but she noted after checking with them that it is checked out a lot in the Southeast Regional Library system. She was gratified to know there is a lot of interest in her book, and said, “To get it into the library system is huge. The book seems to always be out, and that’s good, it’s being read.”

Asked what writing projects she has lined up after her trilogy is done, and she replied, “I want to write science fiction. It’s scary, because sci-fi people are really smart. That is my dream. I also have a soft spot for dystopia stories. The last genre I would want to write is real life.”

In regard to her fantasy novel, she noted, “I wanted this to feel familiar. My goal is for a reader to go, ‘yeah, I could be in that world’. In a sense, it’s an allegory, but I really didn’t write it as an allegory.”

Her first book is about 400 pages in length, and estimates the sequel will be longer, at around 450-480 pages once she’s finished it. The title for the sequel will be “There Bleeds the Light”, as a continuation from the title of her first book.