A foray into middle grade involving wombats (this is actually happening)

Howdy all! Sorry I have been MIA—crises of various sorts and sequel due dates have kept me away (yes, I just turned in a revised version of LIFELESS, the sequel to my YA sci-fi-/fantasy debut, WORDLESS, to my editor!).

But, now I’m back and I have some wild news involving wombats and writing middle grade fantasy adventure.

You heard correctly: wombats!

In case you didn’t know, wombats are adorable, furry, and, at times, ferocious marsupials that live in Australia. Check them out:

Wombat small

Or, for my purposes, sometimes they look like this:

Kita wo logo

The wombat above is roughly what the star of my new middle grade series, The Way of the Wombat, looks like. The first installment, THE QUEST FOR GRAY IRONBARK, kicks off February 2nd, 2015! But first, there will be a cover reveal Dec. 22nd—coming right up, so keep an eye out for it! Not only that, but I’ll be revealing some a few of the amazing illustrations along the way and giving away cool prizes.

Check out the book’s description below:

Which Way would you follow?

When Laz, a young wombat, goes from playing a game with his friend Kita in their idyllic tribal village to witnessing the nightmare of a Tasmanian devil attack, he reacts in the only way he can: he fights back. He accidentally kills a devil while trying to save his sister, but his sister is still taken captive. To make matters worse, the tribal elders banish Laz, Kita and Zeeg—the three youths who fought back—for failing to follow the way of the wombat.

Frustrated and adrift, the three friends embark on a quest through red rocky deserts and deep eucalyptus jungles to discover their own way. With a cheerful koala warrior as a guide and a wise platypus as their trainer, they hope to survive long enough to find a legendary weapon that could save their tribe and Laz’s sister from the devils. But danger lurks around every tree…

Add it to Goodreads here, or pre-order the ebook on Amazon here!

How did this happen, you might ask? It’s a valid question, since I typically write YA.

The truth is, I wouldn’t have done it on my own. WhomBatz, LLC, a foam sword company, approached me to write the backstory for their line of toys, geared toward ages 8-12 and based around their mascot, a wombat. As I’ve said, middle grade isn’t usually my thing, but I’ve always wanted to write a story about anthropomorphic animals, since I essentially grew up ingesting Brian Jacques’s Redwall series (I even wrote a poem around said-series in fifth grade that was published in my elementary school anthology *looks self-important*).  Not only that, but I would get to explore a whole new type of animal—marsupials!—in a less common landscape—the Australian outback.

Also, one of the founders of WhomBatz just so happens to be my husband, and he asked nicely.

Since WhomBatz wanted The Way of the Wombat to be entirely in their control as far as release, distribution, marketing, branding, etc, they’re acting as the publisher. It’s fun—while I get more control, too, I still have an editor, an illustrator, a book designer, a marketing plan, all funded by someone else, so it’s been a pretty new and exciting experience.

I’m really proud of this book and WhomBatz’s incredibly awesome line of toys, and I hope you all will enjoy them too!

So, like I said, keep an eye out for The Way of the Wombat: The Quest for Gray Ironbark, coming February 2nd, 2015, and its cover reveal on December 22nd—there will be all sorts of fun prizes, including free books, gift cards, sneak peeks at the art, and foam swords! And check out WhomBatz here!



adriannestricklandAdriAnne shares a home base in Alaska with her husband, but has spent two cumulative years living abroad in Africa, Asia, and Europe. While writing occupies most of her time, she commercial fishes every summer in Bristol Bay, because she can’t seem to stop. Her YA sci-fi/fantasy, WORDLESS, launched August 8th, 2014 from Flux Books. You can follow her on Twitter and like her on Facebook.

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