m-bathbook-012309 Author draws from multi-racial family life for 1st book
BATH — In writing her first book, "Travels to Fahdamin-Ra," Chaz Young took several pages from her own life, incorporating her experience in a multi-racial family into her book.
"My husband's black ... I'm white, and my kids are brown; that's what they call themselves, ‘brown,'" Young said Tuesday.
The dearth of adventure stories about African American children prompted Young to write a short story six years ago based on a family like her own, featuring 14-year-old Celestine and her brother, 12-year-old Joel, two Bath youths who happen upon a family secret that leads them to a far-off world and plenty of adventure. The story evolved over time into a full-length novel.
After shopping the book to one publisher and making extensive edits, Young obtained an agent and then a New York City publisher, Eloquent Books, which released her book last month.
Also an artist, Young created the image of a tiger that graces the book's cover.
She said she hopes that people will learn acceptance from reading her book. "Even if people are different," she said, "we're alike in more ways than we think."
Celestine and Joel, who find they have superhuman powers such as curing the sick, flying and creating animals, encounter three tribes on Fahdamin-Ra with their own set ways of life and self-imposed barriers.
The children find that one of their ancestors had created the world and its tribes – the Harum, made of rock, male chauvinistic, inflexibly set in their ways; the Mosamba, secretive, equal among its members and made of wood; and the Jabulani, made of clay, flexible, artistic and run by the women.
Fahdamin-Ra came from the name of a horse; it's an Arabic term that means "followers of the sun," Young said.
Along with helping the tribes learn to co-exist, the children and their new Fahdamin friends must overcome the evil Shadow Men, who inspire fear and have powers rivaling those of Joel and Celestine. They will either find victory, or they will be forever expelled from the new world they have found.
Either way, the future of Bath's young fictional adventures is primed to continue: Young has already written a sequel, "Return to Fahdamin-Ra," and plans three more books in the series.
"Travels to Fahdamin-Ra" can be found on amazon.com.