Monday, December 30, 2013

Pamela Kelt, Ice Trekker, plus #giveaway

AUTHOR: Pamela Kelt
BOOK TITLE: Ice Trekker
BUY LINK: Ice Trekker
WHAT IS IT? Ice Trekker, a teen fantasy ebook.
WHO WILL DELIVER THE PRIZE TO WINNER? Ms. Kelt will send a copy directly to the winner so be sure to leave your contact information.

Tell me a little about your book.
Ice Trekker is a teen fantasy, set in a far-off land, inhabited by friendly Grells and their not-so-friendly rivals, the ruthless Minax.

But the Grells of Hinderland are facing a bleak future.

Supplies of Blackfrost, their one remaining fuel source, have run out. Food is scarce, jobs are hard to find and worse … the greedy Minax are poised to invade from the south.

For the sake of his family, young Midge leaves home and treks north to the frozen wastes of Krønagar, an uncharted land to the north, in search of work. Set upon by thieves, he ends up as dogsbody on the Ice Trekker, a small, shabby cargo vessel that runs into trouble from the start.

Despite evil omens in the sky, monsters from the deep, desperate sea battles, treachery on board and a constant war with the worsening weather, the plucky crew members press north …

But Midge soon discovers that the Ice Trekker is not what it seems. The crew has a secret mission to save the Grells – and Hinderland – from doom.

Trapped by ruthless Minax, he and the crew end up risking all in a desperate battle for survival as they take on a mysterious quest in the icy wastes of Krønagar.

What gave you the idea for this particular story?
A visit to Trømso. It’s 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle and pretty epic.

Is there anything in your story based upon a real life event? If so, tell me about it.
The terrifying Boar Fish in the story is based on the real-life ugly wolf fish that we saw in the Polar Museum. These wolf fish are definitely the ugliest aquatic life form I’ve ever seen. Feeding time was gross. They half clamber out of the water, jostling with each other. I knew I had to work that into a book.

Why did you choose to write a story with a Christmas or winter theme?
The icy wilderness that we saw from the plane when we arrived in Norway took my breath away. I found out more about the exploits of the Polar explorers and was astonished at what they endured. It struck me as a wonderful location for a fantasy tale where I could let my imagination run riot.

Do you see special challenges to marketing a book with a seasonal theme?  If so, what are they?
It’s always a risk, isn’t it? However, I think the cover emphasises adventure first, and icy wasteland second, so I’m hoping it will have a year-round appeal. Besides, part two will be further south!

How long before December did you submit to your publisher?
Interesting. I submitted Ice Trekker in November last year, not really thinking about seasonal issues, truth be told. The fact it came out mid-September is an advantage, I hope.

How and why did you choose this publisher?
Well, I’d already had success with two adult titles, so that was the first thing. The story has a transatlantic slant, with characters from different continents thrown together, so I thought it might be well-received. And there’s a lot of snow and ice in Canada!

What about your book makes it special?
It’s a mix of adventure, mythology and an ecological story that I’m hoping will appeal to a young audience. I liked the idea of bringing the quest theme up to date, with a worthy message tucked away, just waiting to be found.

What does Christmas and/or winter mean to you?
I like the colder weather, I really do. I breathe a huge sigh of relief late summer. As I live in the UK, I’m lucky. Summer is blessedly short.

What is your favorite Christmas or winter memory?
My mum and dad bought me a swing for Christmas when I was three. I happened to see the men from the department store when they delivered it, so they pretended to be elves, which was so sweet. And they were huge! They convinced me that I’d seen Santa’s sleigh disappearing behind the clouds. Aaaaah.

What was your favorite stocking stuffer?
A Christmas album, the old-fashioned sort full of stories and quizzes and ‘things to do’.

What was your favorite Christmas present?
My first watch. I felt very grown-up.

Where can people learn more about you and your work?
My hub of activity is my author page: It has links to all of my books, for children and adults. Each one has a separate site. I like potential readers to have lots of background! I also have a blog, with more informal info about me and my writing. I also enjoy inviting fellow authors to have their say: Then there’s the usual raft of social networking sites, including Twitter and Facebook, plus my FB author page: Finally, I’ve just joined Google +:

Thanks, Penny. I feel quite Christmassy!


“Hide!” hissed the old sailor, eyes white with fear. He slithered across the icy decking and burrowed into a tangle of fishing nets lying on the dock.
Midge turned his face upward. The navy night sky turned green, laced with purple and orange like oil in water. “What is it?” he asked, ducking into the doorway of a battered wooden boathouse. A rippling movement swept over his head in a giant tidal wave of light. He held his breath as though he were being sucked under water.
“Skythons!” came the terrified reply. “You gets them in Krønagar. But never seen ’em so big before. Horrible things. Horrible!”
Midge stared upward to watch a shimmering snake-like pattern weave and twist across the sky. The effect of long, rippling muscles struck him as so strange and beautiful that he forgot to feel afraid as he gazed at the shifting colours.
“They mean bad luck,” howled the sailor, arm over his eyes.
Up in the cold sky, colours still shimmered. “Surely it’s just superstitious nonsense?” Midge said, still staring. “They can’t be real. Just a trick of the light.” He couldn’t drag his eyes away from the sight as the shape swooped toward the dark line of mountains, arched up, over, and back toward where he stood on the little jetty. He jolted as he thought he saw a giant violet eye, bloodshot and terrible, staring right at him. It was so close he could see it gleam.
Looking round quickly, he found an old fish head. He scooped it up and flung it as far as he could into the harbour waters where it landed with a loud splash. The purple eye swivelled, following the movement of the bait, and the Skython swerved, changing direction with the ease of a supple salmon, skimming the dark waters. Then it snatched at the water, and zoomed upward, the fish head in its claws, before cresting the distant hills.
After a few minutes, the night sky returned to normal, and the glistening moon returned, lighting up the huddled weatherboard huts that formed Siegfried Harbour.
The old sailor clambered out of the foul-smelling nets. “That was close.” He held out gnarled fingers. “The name’s Jegget.”
“Midge.” They shook hands.
“Where d’ you learn that trick, young feller?” he asked, dusting himself down.
“In our corner shop. It kept the rats out of the cellars, except there I used old bacon bones.”
Jegget gave a toothy grin.
“I lobbed them in the landlord’s barn next door. Seemed to work.” Midge shifted as the watery eyes, pale with age, swivelled and stared, eyebrows raised, at the scar on his cheek. He touched the old wound. “Our landlord’s a Minax. He didn’t approve.”
The old mariner grunted and clamped his unlit clay pipe between yellowed teeth. “Them Minax don’t care for anything but themselves,” he grumbled. “And that ruthless new leader of theirs. What’s her name?”
“Empress Koya,” said Midge.
“Yes, her. See how she’s taking over Hinderland! Hardly anything left now.”
“I know, I know,” agreed Midge, shuffling his feet, but too polite to leave.
“No wonder us poor Grells are all trying to scratch a living up here on the frozen edges. While the pesky Minax have the best of everything, eh? It’s not right, is it?”
“No, no. It isn’t.”
“Could turn a decent old sailor to piracy, it could.” Jegget let out a long, world-weary sigh and shouldered open the tatty door of the nearest tavern, before vanishing inside.
Midge shrugged and swallowed a sudden yawn. Sky monsters or not, he needed somewhere to bunk for the night. The tavern looked dark and uninviting, so he decided to head into town to see if he could find anything better.
Checking his satchel was properly closed, he tied down the flap with two round turns and a half hitch, and made his solitary way toward a smattering of distant lights glowing green in the deep turquoise dusk. Apart from the sound of his boots on the icy surface, it was quiet. The other Grells from the ferryboat that sailed earlier from Hinderland were long gone.
He hoped to find a spare bed somewhere. He didn’t take up much room. Anything would be more comfortable than the narrow bunk in the smelly cabin that he’d shared with five others on the choppy crossing.
As he trudged along, he thought about his encounter with old Jegget and the Skythons. In truth, the sailor was right. Life was harder for the Grells than it had ever been.
For centuries, the Grells and Minax rubbed along, clumped in settlements in neighbouring Soderland and Hinderland.
Lately the Minax were throwing their weight about, seizing land, trading posts, villages, towns, and then whole cities…while the mild-mannered Grells just grumbled and retreated.
Midge remembered perching on the landing, listening to his mother and father talking long into the night about how the Minax were demanding more and more rent, while refusing to fix the leaking roofs and damp cellars. It was the same all over. The old king seemed to have given up and retired to his palace deep in the woods of Hinderland, leaving his subjects to struggle.
Midge passed a wooden post outside a run-down boathouse. A torn poster was pinned to it. Ice cutters wanted, he read, smoothing it down as it flapped in the wind. Good rates. Minax, youngsters, or time-wasters need not apply.
Midge snorted, and his nostrils tingled with the unfamiliar smells of fish, salt, oil, and damp wood. It was all quite different from home. He already missed the warm scent of fresh biscuits in his mum’s kitchen.


  1. adventure, mythology and an ecological story - hmmmm I love the fact the story was inspired by a trip to Norway. Great blog
    Heather G - The Natasha Saga

    1. Hi, Heather,
      Every time I travel, I take a very large A4 pad and pens with me, as I just know inspiration will strike.

      Thanks for dropping by. All the best for the New Year.