One wizard, a flying house cat and multiple elements of romance, fantasy, mystery and Gothic horror make up some of “The Hidden World of Wysteria” book series.
Sequim author Owl Willows, going by her pen name, said she didn’t intend to make her first book — “The Paperback Writer of Central Park” — into a series, but felt drawn to a light in the new world.
“People really enjoy the books, and I hope the series helps them on some level,” she said.
“The messages are about caring and helping people. I think we need to hear more of that because the world is scary right now.”
Willows, a 31-year-old Connecticut native, moved with her family to Sequim last December and started self-publishing the Wysteria series in 2015. She said the books may seem “out there” but go through multiple genres focusing on different themes, such as compassion and mental health.
“I’m hoping people with mental health issues can find some solace,” she said.
When people think fantasy, she says, they think “Lord of the Rings” or “Game of Thrones” while Wysteria takes place in the afterlife and was created by the wizard Zefarus.
“He’s very old and traveled the universe to collect memories from different souls that he weaves together like a tapestry into Wysteria,” she said.
All four of her books take place in the world, which she describes as having a lot of rain, castles and talking animals and plants.
The first two books, including “Paperback Writer” and “Into Wysteria” focus on different characters that end up in the world, while books three and four, “Beneath Rain and Stars” and “As the Moon turns the Sea,” focus on couple Edgar and Aleka’s love story and adventures.
In book four, they travel to a museum in Rhode Island to help a girl with help from Zefarus and Cloud, the flying cat, to stop a demon named Dathatel who travels through parallel worlds.
Willows reiterates that at the heart of each book is people caring and supporting each other.
“The world has gone through a lot lately and I want to write about characters who are caring,” she said.
“The Paperback Writer” took more than two years to write, Willows said.
Her father was a writer who self-published his own books, and she wanted to follow his efforts, Willows said.
With help from a writers group, the world and ideas grew, she said.
“This was always the route I wanted to go,” Willows said. “I don’t think these books would be commercially viable, (but) I hope over time it does grow more of a following.”
She anticipates releasing her fifth book this winter.
Willows recommends the books for ages 16 and up.