Vail Valley author Jennifer Alsever’s Trinity Forest Series is a fast-paced feast | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley author Jennifer Alsever’s Trinity Forest Series is a fast-paced feast

EAGLE — A local author's vision started with a dream, and ended with a dream come true for her.

Jennifer Alsever's Trinity Forest Series hit the shelves this month and is already drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games. The video and audio components she's adding create a multi-media package targeted at young adults.

Her readers indicate it hits that target dead solid perfectly, by letting their downloads do the talking.

Just this week, the first of Alsever's trilogy, "Ember Burning," had more than 3,000 Amazon Kindle downloads. For those of us still kicking it Old School, it's available at the Bookworm of Edwards in the Riverwalk.

The second leg of the trilogy, "Oshun Rising," is available fore pre-order and is selling briskly.

Want to know how she does it?

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Alsever will be hosting a Bookworm event in October. She's also teaching a teen writing class this winter at the Bookworm. Show up for either or both of those events, and she'll tell you how she does it.

"A teenager still lives inside me," Alsever said. "After two decades of working as a journalist, writing serious news, I finally let that teenager out and let my imagination run wild."

She has been a journalist for decades. Fortune Magazine is fond of her work, as are dozens of other major publications, including CNN Money, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Once upon a dream

Alsever's Trinity Forest Trilogy came to her in a dream.

"I'd say it ends with a dream come true for me, in that I get the opportunity to tell a twisting tale that blends reality and fiction," Alsever said.

Alsever was puttering around her kitchen early one morning, getting her teenaged sons off to school, and was telling one of them about her dream.

Her kids are used to seeing her in front of a keyboard, so one of them said, "You should write that, Mom."

So she did.

The story takes place in Leadville and in a fictional forest nearby. The story's protagonist, Ember, is a teenage girl who is grieving her parents' tragic death. She becomes entangled in Trinity Forest, teeming with urban legends of strange disappearances and witchcraft. Once there, Ember, must confront the truth behind her parents' death or lose all free will.

"Ember Burning" is a fast-paced read with a flawed but empathetic protagonist, who deals with tough issues that are relevant to today's teens, including sexual abuse, depression and drugs. At the same time, Alsever weaves in some mysticism, Egyptian mythology, witchcraft and serious suspense. There's a PG-rated love story, too.

"Alsever relates Ember's story using a refreshing first-person present-tense point-of-view, all the better for the reader to step into the protagonist's world. Ember's voice is alternately spunky, wise, brutally honest and beautifully flawed, bringing teen-diary realism to this riveting sci-fi fantasy novel," writes reviewer Mel Finefrock, for GoodReads.

Indie authors rule

Alsever is among a growing number of indie authors who are doing it for themselves. Her Fortune magazine story, "The Kindle Effect," explains why so many authors are moving to self-publishing and the myriad companies that help them.

She started her company, Sawatch Publishing, to give her control of her publishing process.

She, Walter Mather and a team start video shoots next week in and around Leadville and the area. They're creating extra behind-the-scenes content that's designed to enable readers to see the mystery not simply with the mind's eye, but with their actual eyes.

"Readers can hear Ember sing a song, listen to a playlist for the book, see a notebook from the book, see missing persons report, a fake TV news clip and extras on characters," Alsever said.

The ending of the third book, "Venus Shining," satisfies. It'll be available in November. We'd tell you how it ends, but delayed gratification is good for you.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

The Trinity Forest Series

The first book of local author Jennifer Alsever’s Trinity Forest Series, “Ember Burning,” is available at The Bookworm in the Edwards Riverwalk, $13.99, on Amazon, or at http://www.trinityforestseries.com and http://www.jenniferalsever.com.