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Bogue Chitto native to publish book in April

Storytelling can be an art form, if crafted in the right way. It can take a reader to far away places that inspire the mind.

At least that’s what Emily Shotwell, a Bogue Chitto native, hopes her story will do.

Shotwell created another world for readers to visit in her new book, “Blackbird Summer,” scheduled to release April 5 by City Owl Press.

“‘Blackbird Summer’ is about the Caibre family, a group of magical misfits who etch out a living on the fringes of a tiny Mississippi town,” Shotwell said. “The town’s folk both resent and need the family’s magical abilities — and the relationship is rocky to say the least. When someone attacks a member of the Caibre family all heck threatens to break loose as the strained relationship between family and town crumbles even further.”

Shotwell said her story started out as an outline of a story about two sisters who lived on the wrong side of the tracks in a small town and some how magic kept working its way into the story.

“Originally there wasn’t any magic,” Shotwell said. “The family grew stranger and town grew meaner until I had the basis for Blackbird Summer.”

The daydreaming aspect of writing is what drew Shotwell to the profession, she said.

“I’ve always wanted to write,” Shotwell said. “When I was a kid, I always got in trouble at school for daydreaming during class and completely missing the lesson. I guess as I got older, I never outgrew my trips to la-la land, only now I write them down and share them with people.”

“Blackbird Summer” is a heart-wrenching tale of first love, magic and the unbreakable bonds of family. It is sure to appeal to readers who like stories that have both grit and heart, with a little magic thrown in for good measure.

“Honesty, my goal for writing the book was to entertain people,” Shotwell said. “I hope that I created a fun world within the pages of ‘Blackbird Summer’ and that people have a good time visiting.”

Shotwell said if she could give advice to young writers it would be to keep on writing, despite criticism.

“To be a writer you have to be open minded enough to accept criticism and advice, but hard headed enough to never give up,” Shotwell said. “It is a tricky balance.”

Shotwell currently lives in Slaughter, Louisiana, and hopes to continue writing inspiring books. She plans to make “Blackbird Summer” a series. She is currently working on a women’s fiction novel and has a middle grade novel outlined.

“Blackbird Summer” is available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. It will be available as an e-book as well as paperback from all major online retailers, as well as in select book shops.

For more information about “Blackbird Summer” or Shotwell, visit www.emshotwell.com.