April 28, 2018

The Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway


The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm 
Author: Sybrina Durant 
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy - illustrated book for teens and older readers   

“An illustrated unicorn fantasy – from the unicorn’s point of view.”  

***Please Note*** This is the “Plain Text” with illustrations version of this book. The illustrations for this book are much smaller than the illustrations for the jpg only version of this book. The print version provides the most pleasurable reading and viewing experience. 

This chapter book is a collector’s dream containing page after page of lavish artwork. It contains nearly 100 pages of story text by Sybrina Durant and the same number of pages of magnificent water-color illustrations by Dasguptarts. This book, written by Sybrina Durant and illustrated by Dasguptarts, offers readers a visual feast of over forty beautiful water-color pictures that each span two pages. Forty-two – easy to digest two-page chapters are chock full of adventurous and entertaining morsels. This illustrated book will become a favorite of teens and older fantasy readers. A companion coloring/ character description book is also available at any online bookstore.

Buy Links:
Ebook – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Unicorns-Journey-Plain-Ilustrations-ebook/dp/B06XD8KZVJ 
Ebook (Looks like printed book) – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Unicorns-Journey-Illustrated-Book-ebook/dp/B06X416LGX 
Audio book (Listen to free sample) – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Unicorns-Journey-Osm/dp/B071SDJQNW 
Hardcover – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Unicorns-Journey-Osm/dp/1942740093 Softcover – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Unicorns-Journey-Osm-Illustrated/dp/1535127856 
Black and White Print Book – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Unicorns-Journey-Black-White/dp/1543073514 
Coloring Book – https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Unicorns-Journey-Coloring-Book/dp/1537021842 
Soft Cover – Unicorns From Unimaise Children’s Picture Book – https://www.amazon.com/Unicorns-Unimaise-Magical-Metal-Tribe/dp/1548375098 
Hard Cover – Unicorns From Unimaise Children’s Picture Book – https://www.amazon.com/Unicorns-Unimaise-Magical-Metal-Horn-Tribe/dp/1942740174
The firebird hovered at the entrance of the canyon watching the three of them.

Blue was crunching on a rock. He giggled and said something that sounded like “silly bird” to the pendragon and they all laughed.

It was ridiculous. Girasol felt completely powerless and her feelings were hurt, too. She had no idea how she could help them.

“How can I make them listen to me?” she asked the mountains. Her normally bright orange flames had become a faint red glow.

"You can't," a voice which seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere at the same time answered. "I have induced hebephrenia into their feeble minds."

"Who are you and what is heb-phren-whatever you called it?" Girasol flared, melting some of the ice from the nearby rock faces.

"My, aren't you a hot-head?" the voice chuckled at her display of anger. "I am Yegwa. They call me the spirit of false springtime. I have put your friends and the pendragon under a spell which makes them think this is a wonderful place to live."

“Let them go," the firebird demanded, blue-white sparks spouting from her feathered crown. She could not see the spirit and was very frustrated.

"Let them go? I wouldn't dream of it. It’s not often I have this much fun," Yegwa said in a voice hungry with anticipation. "My magic doesn’t seem to work on you though,” she said thoughtfully. "It must be that hot blood of yours."

"What kind of spirit are you? How can you enjoy watching your victims freeze or starve to death?" Girasol asked. "You are so wicked. I don't know what's worse—you or that evil sorcerer, Magh," she shouted disgustedly.

"Magh? Sorcerer? Do tell…he sounds like someone I would like,” Yegwa asked with interest. “Is he single?”

“Single? What?” Girasol blazed. “Forget about Magh! I don’t have time for this back and forth with you.”

“Ooh, well, la-ti-da…aren’t you the peppery dish,” Yegwa said, letting loose a shrill cackle. “If I had teeth, I’d eat you right up!”

"What about my friends?" the firebird asked again. She looked around the top of the canyon walls trying to find the owner of the ghostly voice.

"You're welcome to keep company with them if you wish. I don't keep anyone imprisoned, you know," Yegwa said, trying to sound sugary sweet.

“Thanks a lot,” Girasol said sarcastically. She tapped her head with her right wing, trying to figure out a way to save her friends. “Hot blood...hmmm...Warmth...that’s it,” she realized. “If they’re going to snap out of this, they need to be warm!” she thought suddenly.   

They were going to freeze to death if she did not help them soon. She remembered seeing Blue pick up some pepo seeds earlier. She searched the bag hung across his shoulder and brought one out. He was so far gone, he did not even notice her. One seed would give her enough energy for five days. “In this cold, I might need this and more to keep them warm,” she thought, while chewing the seed.
 Fancast for The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm

I’m delighted that one of the topics offered to me for discussion is Fancasting.  To be honest, I did have to look it up because I didn’t have an exact certainty as to what the term meant.  I was excited to find that it alludes in a skewed kind of way to the very method that I used to develop my characters, thirty something years ago, when I first started writing The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm.

As has been pointed out to me quite a number of times by editors, reviewers and others, there are very many characters in my story.  The unicorn tribe alone has twelve members. In addition to those unicorns, there at least twenty other key players in the book. There are a few more unicorns, a few other magical and non-magical creatures. . .and many other characters known as “two-leggers”.

The truth is, when I first began writing the blue unicorn’s story, I was actually going for an epic fantasy novel in the vein of J.R.R. Tolkien.  But after becoming acquainted with the amazing illustrator, Steve Dasgupta, I knew I had to mind-meld with him to first bring a shorter, fully illustrated version of the story to the public.  It took about a year for him and his team to complete the 42 watercolor masterpieces (for the color version of the book) plus the 42 wood-cut look drawings (for the “read and color” version of the book) but the final products are breathtaking.  By the way, for anyone interested, the epic novel IS still in the works.

Anyway, with so many characters tramping around in my head, I desperately needed a way to keep them all straight while writing.  Not only did I need reminders for myself, but in the final outcome, I wanted readers to always be certain about whom they were reading.

The way to do that, for me, was my own made-up version of Fancasting.  I assigned a different popular actor or actress to each character in the book, effectively giving each a unique personality.  I even went so far as to create index cards for everybody in the book. I referred to these very valuable resources constantly.  The character development cards helped me consistently and clearly show how each unicorn or other character would convey individual attributes like grumpiness, sense of humor, cool under pressure and so on.  Fancasting my characters was an excellent way to flesh out subtle nuances of how each would look, sound, move, turn a phrase and so much more.

All of the actors I selected were greatly loved by the viewers of the ‘80s television programs they starred in.  Although their individual looks appealed to me, their physical attributes were not my main concern. I was more interested in their personalities and mannerisms.

Younger readers may have never viewed any of the hilarious sitcoms or action packed dramas from that time period so the names of those actors and actresses probably won’t be recognizable to them.  But here are a few just for fun:

Cornum the Brass Horned Unicorn was based on John Ritter who played “Jack Tripper on Three’s Company”.  Cornum comes across as a self-centered oaf at times but like Jack Tripper, he works hard to please who he loves the most even when it has the effect of making him look and feel clownish and uncomfortable. The whiney brass-horned unicorn provides most of the slapstick style humor in an otherwise semi-serious group of unicorns. Keywords:  persnickety, whiney, preening, klutz, slapstick, clumsy, accident-prone, loyal, caring, people-pleaser.

Style the Steel Horned Unicorn was based on Jackee’ Harry who played “Sandra on 227”. Style is big and bold and beautiful just like Sandra.  She is a unicorn fashionista who does her best to look good at all times. She’s not stingy with her magical styling talents, either, as she always tries to bring the latest unicorn fashion trends to the other fillies in the tribe.  Her magnanimous efforts are not always appreciated, though. The flashy steel-horned unicorn’s motto is “When you look good, you feel good, too.” Keywords: vamp, witty, flashy, fashionista, mile-high teased hair, wiggle in her walk.

Nix the Nickel Horned Unicorn was based on Bruce Willis who was starring as “David Addison on Moonlighting” at the time.  Like David, Nix has a unique awareness of things that can’t be seen by anyone else. In fact, that ability acts like the needle of a compass that magically points him in the direction of any unicorn in immediate danger.  With confident bravery, the nickel-horned unicorn always arrives in the nick of time to nix most any looming threat to a fellow unicorn. Keywords: confident, sensitive, witty, hero, brave, action, adventure

Alumna the Aluminum Horned Unicorn was based on Shelly Long who played “Diane on Cheers”.  Alumna is intelligent and book wise, just like Diane. She knows little about the real world because she spends most of her time alone, learning through books and the big glass orb on her desk.  She dutifully records the things she sees in the glass ball and reports them to the tribe so they look to her as mystic. The aluminum-horned unicorn exudes confidence when she speaks but inside, she is pretty insecure.  Keywords: intelligent to a fault, book wise, long-winded, eloquent, high-minded, leader, mystic

Well...that’s a little of the fancasting background of four characters from the book.  I’d love to know which actors and actresses your readers would pick to play their animated movie characters in today’s world.

Last thought on the subject:  Regarding animated movie styles, I would love to see my story come to life with animation in the vein of the 2013 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – with Dave Clayton as the Animator Supervisor.  I’d be just as happy if Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok’s animation team, working under the supervision of Director Taika Waititi took it on as a project. Animators of today are all supremely capable of wielding their own powerful magic.  I would be ecstatic for any of them to animate The Blue Unicorn’s Journey To Osm.

I am the author of the “Learn To Tie A Tie With The Rabbit and The Fox” series of instructional books for boys and girls. I also co-write, edit and publish children’s books by other authors, Sandi Johnson (Children’s books) and Britt Brundige (Tween graphic novel). For the older crowd, there’s a little bit of romance by Historical Regency Romance author, Gina Rose. 

I am also the publisher of the 4 volume set – Sybrina’s Phrase Thesaurus. Check out all of these books and if you like them, please recommend them to other Good Reads members. 

Author Bio + Social Networking Links:
Amazon Author Central – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009K3WGMS   
Youtube (Book Trailers) – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLybqF-7D4W3FTbEZF_rZ45b7A1xJdubni 
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/The-Blue-Unicorns-Journey-To-Osm-794155627353303/ 
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/102965665530138163417 
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sybrinablueunicorn/ 
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Sybrina_spt 
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/sybrinad/boards/ 
Zazzle – https://www.zazzle.com/collections/journey_to_osm-119557554153312638 Website – http://www.sybrinablueunicornbook.com/ and http://www.sybrinablueunicornbook.com/index_Blue_Unicorn_Book_Reviews.htm Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6455676.Sybrina_Durant


  1. I enjoyed getting to know your book; congrats on the tour, I hope it is a fun one for you, and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. The artwork is amazing and the story sounds unique and fun to read.

  3. This sounds really neat & interesting! I love that this is illustrated. Thanks for giving me a chance to learn about this book!

  4. Thanks to everyone for your kind comments and especially to Steph for sharing space about the Blue Unicorn's Journey To Osm on her beautiful blog.