A Dose of Inspiration from Edith Cohn, Author of SPIRIT'S KEY (plus a giveaway!)

Earlier this month, my writer friend and middle-grade author Edith Cohn celebrated the debut of her novel SPIRIT'S KEY. A few weeks before, she shared a video of the moment when she held her book in her hands for the very first time. 

As an aspiring author, I found the video to be incredibly inspiring. All writers dream of that moment when their first book is published. The road to publication can be long and tough - and it is for most of us! - so when I see a fellow writer reach that dream, it gives me hope that I'll eventually get there, too. It also motivates me to work harder to make it happen.

Since many of you are in the midst of the Fall Writing Bootcamp, I'm sharing Edith's video in the hopes that it gives YOU that extra boost to keep going, even when it gets hard. As Edith explains in the video, she didn't reach her dream overnight. This can and WILL be you someday if you never give up!

[Edith was also generous enough to offer up a signed copy of SPIRIT'S KEY for a YAB reader. Details are at the bottom of this post!]

Take it away, Edith!

So inspiring, right?!

Here's some more info about SPIRIT'S KEY in Edith's own words:

Spirit’s Key is a mystery about a twelve-year-old psychic girl named Spirit who works with the ghost of her pet dog to solve a crime on a remote island filled with magic keys, wild dogs and superstitious characters.

The book had several inspirations. The first was a dog named Marisol who went missing. Marisol belonged to my dear friend, and I helped her search the city for her lost pet. I saw Marisol everywhere, even though it was never really her. It was kind of like seeing her ghost, which led me to the idea of a ghost dog. I have a dog myself, and I like imagining that while my fur baby won't live forever, maybe her spirit will come back to play with me!

The setting of SPIRIT’S KEY, the fictional Bald Island, is deeply inspired by the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I grew up going to the Banks. But I also read a lot of history about their hurricanes, their whaling, and their one room schoolhouse. I even read about an islander who was a hermit and wore furs, which inspired Spirit’s eccentric neighbor Mrs. Borse. And it seems so unreal, but in SPIRIT’S KEY, the islanders’ belief that yaupon tea can cure anger actually comes from something real.

Of course, I took fictional liberties. I decided my island would have wild dogs instead of wild horses like the real Outer Banks. I live in the hills of California, and I have coyotes in my backyard. They want to eat my little dog Leia. Every spotting takes my breath away–reminds me of our mortality, the wonder of nature and what it means to be a wild thing.

My niece at the time was becoming a vegetarian. And I also got to thinking about how kids are still figuring out what they believe. One of my favorite things about SPIRIT’S KEY is this discussion about animal rights and beliefs.

The idea of magic keys that can tell the future is one of the only things that didn’t come from something I read. Spirit and her father have a gift. If they hold someone’s house key, they can see that person’s future. That fantastical idea came straight from the wilds of my imagination.

Thank you, Edith, for sharing this special moment and inspiration with all of us. Congratulations on your debut!

If you'd like to win a signed copy of SPIRIT'S KEY, use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!