HAZEL WETHERBY & THE ELIXIR OF LOVE is an urban fantasy / thriller aimed primarily at ages 10-14, but which readers of all ages should enjoy. My (tongue-in-cheek) description of the concept is: ‘Nancy Drew meets Men In Black’.
Bill Defelis bio: An erstwhile corporate droid, I was lucky enough to escape the pull of the Dark Side and am now hoping to make a career with my writing. Hazel is my second novel, though the first one - an adult romance/adventure set in China during the Boxer Uprising - still sits unfinished on my hard drive. But I’m glad I switched genres with Hazel. It's been fun creating a slightly off-kilter world and surrounding myself again with teenagers, both of which are great ways to keep the mental batteries charged.
Thirteen-year-old Hazel has a rough life: two nerdy rocket scientists for parents, a kid brother convinced he’s an alien, and a housekeeper only Voldemort could appreciate. But when her parents vanish, the housekeeper turns into bits of charcoal, and the police only shrug their shoulders, Hazel realizes she’s still got a lot to learn about rough.
As days drag by with no news, Hazel decides she’ll have to find her parents herself. And she’s determined nothing’s going to stop her – not her complete ignorance of how to do it, not her brother’s ravings about alien kidnappers, not even the dead guys trying to kill her.
But first she’ll have to join in a race to find something small and red and jolly. Winning that race will be her only chance to save her family. And a lot of other families as well.
Q: What will readers like about your book?
It’s a fast-paced, original story that will keep them excited to see what’s coming next. I also expect most of them will really, really like Hazel and the way she deals with her problems.
Q: Why did you go indie?
Largely because I don’t think traditional publishers add enough value nowadays. Writers simply don’t need them to manage the production and distribution like they once did. And I’d rather sell my work at 3 to 5 dollars than the 15 to 20 a publisher would want.
Q: Favorite authors in my genre?
Probably Terry Pratchett, Dave Barry/Ridley Pearson, and Caroline Cooney.
Links to the book: