Rooted by Amy Good
A YA Paranormal Novel That Will Stretch the Boundaries of Your Imagination
Perfect for Middle & High School Readers
Rooted is the story of Chloe Chastain, a not-quite-average teenage girl living in the Pacific Northwest. Chloe is a tree spirit doing her best to avoid the local werewolf pack, and she’s determined not to get caught up with the werewolf hunters that have descended upon her small town or fail her sophomore year of high school. Or get stuck in detention. Again. But just because she wants to keep a low profile doesn’t mean she’ll be able to! Soon Chloe’s friend is turned into a werewolf, she attracts a dangerous stalker, and she finds herself investigating missing girls and murder. It turns out there is so much more at stake than her permanent record.
Image found on Google
Lay your hands on its bark
Feel the energy humming inside
Place your ear against its core
Listen to what it is saying to you
Sync into its synergy
and start seeing the world
in a different light.
This YA paranormal novel is an excellent addition to any middle or high school classroom library. Chloe is a character that many adolescents would be able to connect to through the typical problems that she faces. But not every teenager has to deal with being a tree spirit. Not every teenager has an undeniable connection with werewolves. Not every teenager has a best friend who becomes a werewolf.
The mythological lore revolving around the two paranormal beings would spark the interest of reluctant teen readers. It also invites thematic connections to other classic, contemporary, and young adult literature in the paranormal region. Within each class of paranormal species, there is an order defined by rules. There is a mystery that surrounds them and makes them intriguing. As one studies Greek mythology and the supernatural powers and connections between the gods themselves and also humans, a teacher could bring Rooted into the discussion.
Who could forget the mystery and suggestion of a darker presence in Wuthering Heights? Hints of the supernatural arise in the collection of stories by Charles W. Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman. Rooted taps into the fantastical canon of literature that demonstrates how things we do not understand cannot always be explained, but only experienced and acknowledged.
Not only is Rooted an extraordinary story that shows how people can never deny their connections to others because they may be of help one day, but the author, Amy Good is an inspirational writer. She establishes her own connections through her words and her videos. Here are a couple of links in which she shares her experiences with aphasia and advice to aspiring writers.
In Rooted, Chloe teaches adolescents the importance of not denying who they are. That lesson is very important for teens and adults to learn and master.
Question#1—How did you come up with the story idea for Rooted? Did you choose the paranormal genre or did it choose you?
I’ve actually been told by a few of my early readers that I shouldn’t have veered into the supernatural with Rooted because I had a good-enough story without it! But in my mind, it was always going to be a supernatural book. When I thought of Chloe, I immediately imbued her with all of my love for the Pacific Northwest and she became the physical embodiment of that, so of course she had to be a supernatural creature!
The rest of the ideas for Rooted evolved over a period of a few months. First and most importantly, I watched a marathon of MTV’s Teen Wolf and by the end, I knew I wanted to write a story about werewolves! I knew I wanted to fill the world with lots of different kinds of shapeshifters, though, and to give the female protagonist something unique that I hadn’t seen before. Around the same time, I had read a news story about an orphaned girl who had been bullied so badly she’d committed suicide, and somehow her story became part of Rooted. And after having my daughter, I found myself wanting to explore how much harder it is to be a teen right now, as opposed to when I was that age. Because let’s face it…. teens today have things so much tougher!!
Question#2–Which characters do you think middle school and high schools would connect with the most and why?
I tried very hard to make Chloe an authentic character that mirrored – to the best of my ability – an actual person that could exist. She has insecurities and strengths, flaws and virtues. She is dealing with the world in the best way that she knows how. I only hope that readers of that age are able to connect with her and see some of themselves reflected back.
Question#3–Many adolescents struggle with some type of disability and may think they are limited in what they can do. What advice would you give to them? How would your experiences inspire them?
So many times, we set the limitations on ourselves. If we really look at the problem, it’s just an obstacle. It’s not a roadblock. There are many ways past an obstacle, and they’re usually not the ways we thought we’d take in the beginning. We may have to think outside the box and test the boundaries we put in place for ourselves. It’s a lot of hard work to get over the obstacles, but once they’re out of the way, it’s so worth it!
Gosh, it’s really hard to think of myself as inspiring. My experiences with a brain injury slowed me down, but I’m just too stubborn to let anything stop me from pursuing my dreams. So I guess if my experiences could inspire anyone, I’d hope they would be inspired to be more stubborn! You can get a lot done in life by just not giving up!!
Question#4–If you could be any supernatural creature and/or have a special power, which would you choose?
Oh gosh! There are so many possibilities… how do I choose just one?? Um, okay, if I absolutely had to choose, I’d want the ability to teleport. No more commutes! Think how much time I’d save!!
Question#5– Tree spirits and werewolves are main characters in your book. What is the relationship between tree spirits and werewolves? Are there any other supernatural beings linked to werewolves or spirits that readers may not know about?
In my mind, they are all creatures of spirit, or creatures of a dual nature. They have a human side, but they also have a spirit side, and when their spirit sides take over, they shapeshift. In that sense, all the shapeshifters are linked…. And I don’t want to say any more because I might spoil something!
Question#6–It is often said that art is the imitation of life. With each book, readers learn at least one thing about themselves or their world. How do you think Rooted will impact your readers?
Many of Chloe’s preconceived notions are tested, and she learns that her world is not what she thought it was, both in the supernatural sense and in the mundane sense. I think that’s an important lesson we learn as we grow up and I’m hoping that’s what will impact on the teens who read Rooted, since they’re in that magical place in life where all of their preconceptions are being challenged as they mature.
Question#7– If you were to write your own epitaph, what would you say?
Survived by a loving family. Outlived by vibrant characters.
Question#8–As writers, we love to create our own reality. Describe the perfect world that you would create.
This world is filled with really terrible stuff. And I’d love to say a spell to get rid of all the terrible stuff, but if I did that, I’d get rid of all of the really wonderful stuff, too. Right now, there are millions of people rising above the terrible things life dishes out; they are actively working, each in their own way, to make the world better. And like any ecosystem, if you get rid of the cockroaches, you may end up inadvertently killing the butterflies too. So I think my perfect world is one where we’re all striving to rise above the terrible stuff…. But now that I think about it, dragons might be kinda cool!! 😉
Amy Good is a writer from the U.S. currently living in Dublin. She writes part-time, but only when her tyrannical toddler allows it! When she is not writing, she tweets about the joys and troubles of being a writer, a geek, a toddler mom and a non-native Dubliner. Her first book, Rooted, is available (at no charge) for download at www.amicgood.com.
Find Amy at: