Apple Valley resident Debbie Kump was in the middle of a home painting project a few years ago when the idea for a book series entered her mind like a wildfire.
The chore chit-chat spun in an inspirational direction when her husband suggested a world where a character could perish in fire, but be reborn in another time and place.
“I remember I was in the middle of painting the front door of our house when he told me: ‘It would be hard to know how long you’ve lived when you can’t remember how many times you’ve died.’ ” she said. “My mind instantly spun with possibilities.”
The sentence her husband said to her became the tag line for her young adult novel and provided the spark the Eastview High School earth and physical science teacher needed to write an entire trilogy — a goal she said she had dreamed of achieving ever since she first began writing stories as a teen, pounding away on the keys of an archaic typewriter.
The second book in The Elementals Trilogy, “Essence,” was released recently by World Castle Publishing as a followup to “Elemental,” in which the main character – 17-year-old Jordan Smith – endures painful, fiery deaths that transport her to another place in history while attempting to save humanity from the power of the other Elementals — Earth, Air and Water.
In “Essence,” Smith is attempting to recover from her battle against the other three Elementals, as she undergoes a series of trials in an effort to control her untamed powers.
It’s the kind of subject matter that’s perfect for Kump, who delves into these topics both inside and outside of the classroom.
While teaching her ninth-graders Minnesota State Benchmarks about the history of atomic structure and natural processes that shape Earth, she weaves these same concepts into a fantasy world where fire, air, earth, and water Elementals use their powers to alter the course of history in the trilogy.
“At Eastview, I teach my students the value of becoming a life-long learner, a belief I fully embrace in my own life,” Kump said.
She said she enjoys researching events throughout history, such as reading first-hand accounts of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried the Italian city of Pompeii in volcanic ash or the Great Chicago Fire that raged through the city in 1871 to set the background for scenes in her book.
She combines these historical events with action and adventure and an injection of science, all in a fantasy context.
Spending the majority of her days around high school students, Kump said she prefers to write for young adult audiences, though her novels offer crossover appeal.
When Kump is not teaching science, she enjoys coaching her son’s soccer, hockey, and lacrosse teams and dog sledding with her three Siberian huskies.
Her experiences with Minnesota’s extreme winter weather and coaching youth hockey also helped her write the young adult contemporary paranormal, “Changing Fate,” which puts a unique twist on the average ghost story.
Kump’s novel is based in Minnesota and will be released July 11 by Fire and Ice YA Books, an imprint of Minnesota-based publisher Melange Books in White Bear Lake.
Kump is the author of nine published novels including The Elementals Trilogy, the 7G Apocalyptic Series, the middle grade paranormal adventure “Transformed,” and two other Minnesota-based novels titled “Exiled to the North” and “Disappearances.”
She will be participating in a 5 p.m. Friday online radio interview on Write Stream Media’s show, “Speculative Fiction Cantina.”
The show is hosted by fantasy and science fiction novelist S. Evan Townsend. The interview will be online at http://tinyurl.com/yd73thqx.
Kump’s novels are available in ebook and paperback.