THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Neverlore by Taya Okerlund

When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week children’s book author, Taya Okerlund, is sharing the WHY she wrote her book, “Neverlore”. Take it away, Taya…

Nevorlore by Taya Okerlund

“Neverlore” is my first middle grade novel. I have published and won awards previously, but I wrote this book for my daughter. She loves all things fantastical and is a very precocious reader, having taught herself to read at two years, before she could speak spontaneously. My daughter adores books, though she is also very particular. She doesn’t favor realism, and she loves dragons, but whatever the story, it had better be full of wonder. 

I had my work cut out for me, because not only did I have to satisfy her high standards, but I also had to satisfy mine. It wasn’t enough for me that this book should be magical–it also had to be honest. I wanted it to be morally bright without becoming patronizing. It’s taken years, folks, years of hard work. And it ultimately became a family effort. Naomi insisted on the inclusion of hyenas–at the time she was four-years-old and experiencing great sympathies with these less favored creatures. I wrote the hyena scene and then my husband got hold of it and lit that scene on fire! He and my daughter are mostly editorial support, but I take many of their suggestions and corrections. Naomi can read over my shoulder and catch spelling or grammatical errors. She’s nine, almost ten, presently. 

“Neverlore” is not yet published. I decided I wanted to do an audiobook for the project, so I have been honing my voice acting/recording skills, but it is freely subscribable on Youtube @bookerlunds, where you can listen to the story in chapter segments. I hope you will. 


Book blurb…

Warning: rebel boys and indomitable girls are a combustible combination in this Neverland spy thriller of unlikely friendships and swashbuckling adventure!

Annabelle Silvers is no Childerbridge orphan–her father is all-too-well-known, and she may never live down the shame of his incarceration–but she’s dead certain he is innocent–most of the time. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find out the absolute truth…about Never, about her father, and ultimately, about herself.

YouTube Link…


About the Author:

Taya Okerlund won several awards for her adult Japanese mythological fantasy SHIN. She’s an author, a teacher and a homeschooling mom. In her youth she traveled through Asia extensively and speaks both Japanese and Mandarin Chinese.

Want to connect?

YouTube channel: