Gerald Lund's new novel 'The Guardian' shares adventure of a teen girl, her enchanted pouch and outsmarting criminals
And they were honest in their feedback as they read drafts and he made changes and edits based on what they told him, including when they said he wasn’t using TMI (shorthand for too much information) quite right.
He also noted how young adults were portrayed in movies that he watched, too.
And then there was developing the character of the pouch.
“From the very first, I didn’t want this pouch to be like a genie in the lantern or the wizards and their wands and invisibility cloaks,” Lund said.
In certain situations, the pouch helped make her invisible, produced a toy gun that then shot real bullets, created a one-of-a-kind bobblehead and changed the lettering on a traffic sign — among other unexpected things. But there are times when the pouch does nothing in a situation when she expects it to.
And Lund also weaves in the stories of Danni’s ancestors and their remarkable experiences with the pouch.
“What could I have the pouch do that would blow Danni away?” Lund asked himself as he developed the pouch’s “character” and actions.
Danni is never quite sure what the pouch will do in a given moment as she tries to learn how the pouch works.
Embroidered with the words “Le Guardian” and several fleur-de-lis, “it’s an influence watching over her, not intervening, but letting her bump her nose and learn stuff, sometimes in a remarkable way,” Lund added.
It’s an entertaining story that is difficult to put down after the first few chapters of history and background.
The bedtime stories make up about seven or eight chapters of “The Guardian” and there are some other differences from the original stories, which had her father as a widowed billionaire with a trusted servant (who later became the grandfather). He also set “The Guardian” in Hanksville, Utah, instead of a much larger city.
“I wanted it to be a strong family,” Lund said. “She’s a pretty resourceful girl and I had to make that believable.”
Yet, the name Carruthers is one that he’s only heard one other time — and it was the name of a servant in a movie.
“I wanted it to be really unique and for her to have ambivalence about her name,” he said.
But, he still doesn’t remember how he originally came up with the name when he was telling those bedtime stories.
There are still more adventures to share about Danni and her pouch as he has been working on a sequel.
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