Spotlight | Gloria Tesch, author
By Ashley Grant / Times Correspondent – Associated Press
A Busy Young Novelist
14-year-old novelist at work on third ‘Maradonia’ book
While most kids are goofing off with texting, MySpace and Facebook, 14-year-old Gloria Tesch is writing, editing and preparing the story boards and concepts for her third novel. Maradonia and the Battle for the Key She published her first book, Maradonia and the Seven Bridges (Liberty’s Book Press), at 13.
Her second novel, Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir, was published with 14. Gloria is now working on her third novel in hopes of a release at the age of 15. • Not a fan of television or “wasting time,” Gloria spends most of her day writing and answering e-mails about her books.
Gloria Tesch, 14, is home schooled.
She spends her time reading and writing.
What made you want to write a full-length novel at such a young age?
Well, anything can suggest a story to me. If I hear just one sentence, that would be all I need to create a whole story. I see real pictures and I write them down. Also, my love for fiction and fantasy played a role to inspire me. I love reading lots of books, sometimes up to five different books per week.
Did being home schooled have a role in your writing?
I have more time for writing, so I spend more time writing. When I was in regular school, I didn’t have a lot of time. I was doing homework and tired after eight hours of school.
Do you have plans to go beyond a trilogy?
Yes, I have plans to go to at least nine different books with the Maradonia Saga. My current book, “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges,” shows the direction in the chapter: The Nine Windows. My second novel: “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir,” is published and my third novel: “Maradonia and the Battle for the Key” is on the way. I am working recently on my fourth novel: “Maradonia and the Lost Secret of Kra” and on book five: “Maradonia and the Unleashed Beast.”
Do you think the Maradonia-Saga will ever be more than a book?
Well. I am pretty sure that you will see some day several different Maradonia Products on the market. North of Tampa we would like to see our Maradonia Adventure Park (MAP) and we are in contact with professionals to launch the Online Magazine-Gloria. I had a Movie Offer from New York, but we didn’t take it because the offer was too low. We found out afterward that they wanted to buy my rights and sell them to a bigger movie company. I wouldn’t have known what would or could happen to my story.
Do you have any advice for writers who want to write a novel?
I think they should first know what they are writing about. Otherwise, they are sticking to one chapter at a time and find themselves constantly in a position of editing and redeveloping. I think they should just write it all out and then go back and develop what they have.
When did you start reading five different books a week?
I started reading up to five books in third grade. We had this big treehouse in our garden in Miami and I had gotten a whole pack of books, ‘Magic Tree House Books.’ The interesting part is that I had my own tree house. I sat up there day by day. I read aloud until I had no voice anymore and devoured more than sixty books during vacation. Then I came back to school with an entirely new reading level, and after that I had always loved reading.
Do you think the amount of reading you did had an impact on your imagination?
Certainly! I have a saying which I tell younger people all the time, “Today a reader, tomorrow a leader!”
Book Review – Book 1:
by Leah G. Dallaire
“Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” by Gloria Tesch
Young author’s debut novel is not just kid stuff
Tampa Bay, FL — Murder, revenge, intrigue, conspiracy. All these little nuggets that take a novel from being just a mere story to becoming an epic journey are packed into “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges.” The mystical Maradonia is a world between worlds, a Technicolor place filled with more magic than Harry Potter could shake his wand at.
And… the author is just 14 years old and has already finished her second novel, “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir.” From the never-ending imagination of young Gloria Tesch comes an adventure of legendary proportions. Two ordinary teens, Maya and her brother Joey, discover the way to the Land of Maradonia while on a Goonies-like expedition to the forbidden Pebble Beach. The world they uncover is full of turmoil, its people in peril from the evil King Apollyon.
Up until this, Maya and Joey had led ordinary lives in an ordinary place, where their greatest challenge had been the everyday minutia of fitting in at a new school, a trial most children can readily identify with. Now, the fate of an entire kingdom and its faithful dwellers is up to them.
In this, Tesch explores the very adult issues of responsibility and faith, and the age-old theme of enduring strength in the face of temptations and tough tests. Maya and Joey discover their true inner selves along the way, battling an underworld capable of deceit, revenge and murder.
“Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” is a story of substance, richly written with lush description and imagination. Its visual nature begs for the cinema. Plan to invest time in this saga, though: your trip to Maradonia will run over 800 pages, ninety chapters full of twists and turns and surprises around every magical corner. And while Tesch provides a satisfying ending for readers, don’t get comfortable just yet. Not all loose ends have been neatly tied; “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” is the first leg in a trilogy.
Filled with mystical illustrations and scenes of pure whimsy, this debut novel is aimed at an audience of young adult readers. However, the timeless theme of good versus evil will appeal to any age group. And through this, a lesson: ordinary people can do the extraordinary. Children can lead a nation of people.
Hefty issues for such a young author to tackle, but Tesch smoothly accomplishes this and more in her freshman novel. No doubt, more fantastic tales are to come from this untapped talent!
Book Review – Book 1:
by Mary F. Dado
“Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” by Gloria Tesch
“Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” is a classic but contemporary story depicting the battle between good and evil. This morality tale is about two people who literally have greatness thrust upon them one sunny and unassuming day when the fate of an entire civilization is handed to them.
When Maya and her brother Joey stumble upon a secret portal, they are transported to a mysterious place called Maradonia. Their appearance in this World between the Worlds fulfills a prophecy which propels them into a strange and very dangerous world of power and magic. Here, they are believed to be the leaders whose arrival was foretold. They are heralded as saviors destined to defend a nation and protect it from destruction and domination.
What makes the sage really interesting is that the two protagonists are siblings. Their natural rivalry and animosity as brother and sister creates a perfect foundation for the dramatic tension; not to mention their preconceived notions of how the other will handle crisis situations.
What ensues is a brilliantly told fable full of well-crafted characters and jaw dropping twists and turns. This is not a typical adventure yarn but a taut and provocative parable that is pure entertainment. Maradonia itself is a completely new world painted with magnificent detail and color. The book very believably inserts the newcomers into the plot and the setting. This is one of those books that will completely transport the reader to an “other worldly” experience.
Another element that makes this book so enthralling is the portrayal of the teenagers. In their own world they content with all the high school and adolescent pressures that shape and scar them emotionally and socially. But with no warning and little life experience, they are placed in very perilous positions where their confidence in one another and their perceptions of themselves are tested.
What this book does very well (without being heavy-handed) is to illustrate how the characters contend with the challenge of dealing with situations that are so much larger than any troubles they ever had in school.
These characters are fresh and genuine and are not born heroes.
This work is actually an allegory for growing up and learning to see beyond selfish needs. It also illustrates the experience of suffering social indignities endured by young adults and depicts how strength of character is built when the needs of others surpass your own.
For the young reader, “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” offers insight into life beyond our borders and takes an authentic look at real struggles and social mores with the simplicity and clarity of the innocent.
This extraordinary narrative is not just a book for younger readers, though. It divulges many different levels of insight and can be appreciated by anyone for its spectacle and its entertainment value. Fans of Stephen King, Anne Rice, Stephanie Meyer and J.K. Rowling will have to prepare another shelf to collect the treasured works of this outstanding new author.
The story behind the story is just as riveting. Gloria Tesch started writing when she was eleven years old. She wrote short stories, poems and was a frequent visitor at the local library. Her love for fantasy and fiction inspired her to write her debut novel.
Gloria is an intuitive storyteller who writes from the heart and charts her complex characters and ambitious storylines with talent and a gusto that is rivaled by few. Gloria celebrated her thirteenth birthday with the printing of her first book, “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges.”
Her entire family is part of the experience. Her mother, Marina Terkulova Tesch is a gifted painter and illustrator of books. She created all of the art for the book covers and all of the illustrations for each chapter. Gloria’s father, Dr. Gerry Tesch, is a teacher upon who she relies for research of her works. Her brother Jonathan contributed many dialogue suggestions while their youngest brother Benjamin will be old enough by Book Nine to bring his talent to the mix. Gloria dedicated her first book to this talented family.
With the second book, “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir,” completed and her third novel, “Maradonia and the Battle for the Key,” in progress, this nine book series is already mapped out for an unbelievable thrill ride in sweeping epic style!
REPORTS AND REVIEWS
“Maradonia territory…breathtaking…couldn’t put it down. The style and the storyline matched so perfectly that you don’t even think about it. Maradonia territory flows like a well directed “feel good” movie.
– Richard W. Film Production –
“I give the Maradonia saga by Gloria Tesch my recommendation for anyone who wants to lose themselves in a grant sweeping epic fantasy that can stand up against the finest of the genre.”
– Brian Mc K. Publishing –
“The world’s youngest novelist Gloria Tesch launched a promising fantasy series with her Maradonia chiller…fast pacing, superior characterization and a sound story line… a winner!”
– Donald T. –
“A dynamite read… Young author Gloria Tesch brings strange, supernatural creatures to the scene to help her characters to conquer temptations. This is Maradonia dynamite. A journey that many readers may wish to share.”
– Earl J. –
“No doubt, Tesch takes with her second novel, “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir,” another step forward becoming a major player in fantasy fiction.”
– Gordon B. Book distributor –
“The Maradonia saga is literary enough to keep the mind interested. Large print, written with an easy reading style, smooth story line… pretty much anyone can understand and enjoy this series of books.
– Charles H. Book sales –
“I read “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges,” twice already and I’m looking forward to purchase “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir.” Gloria’s fascinating stories may bring back the art of reading for many young people.”
– Jeffrey W. –
“I met Gloria during a Book Signing at Countryside Mall and I am so very impressed with her work. I found her book captivating and a true joy to read.”
– Cindy L. –
“This travel is usually the stuff of mainstream fiction, but Gloria Tesch proves it has a unique place in the realms of fantasy fiction. Gloria is with her 14 years an immensely talented writer who just keeps getting better!”
– Natalie W. Writer –
“Your book cover looks awesome! Thanks for coming to Pinellas Preparatory School at ‘The-Great-American-Teach-In.’”
– Amber B. Student –
“One of those novels that started off good and got even better as it went along. I really like the large print of the Maradonia books because I can read them without my magnifying glasses.”
– Andrea M. English teacher –
”I enjoyed the article on the front page of The Suncoast Newspaper about Gloria Tesch. Very encouraging and inspirational… Can’t wait to see how Gloria’s career continues to grow!”
– Roger T. Wholesale –
“I have been reading your book along with my siblings! They just love it and they can not get enough from it! We want to let you know that we are enjoying “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” so much!
– Sarah S. –
“I am eleven years old and I am already on Chapter 26. Love your book!! My teacher says it is really making a big difference in my reading. Thank you for signing my book!”
– Angela T. Student –
“Along with many other people, I do support you and your writings. Keep writing those wonderful stories and people that appreciate a well written and fascinating novel will soon know your name worldwide! “
– Jeff W. –
“I purchased Gloria’s book, “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges” as a present for my grandchildren. I read the book by myself and I have to say: After reading it, I felt younger again and I should have read this kind of literature earlier.”
– Gladys T. (94) Educator –
“Gloria, you are an inspiration! I am absolutely thrilled to be on your team. Just had to tell you that I read your book and it is unbelievable! It is a blast! I can’t put it down! Just had to tell you how amazing it is!”
– Mary D. Editor –
“Hey Gloria, I bought 2 books at the Seminole Mall. So far, my daughter is reading the book to my 6-year-old granddaughter, who absolutely loves it. I am so impressed that someone your age has written such a book.” – Gael G. – “I enjoyed it so much meeting you at the Expo. Gloria, you are truly an inspiration. Don’t ever be discouraged. Make the most of it. You are truly talented far beyond most students!”
– Frances S. Creative writing teacher –
“The Maradonia saga will knock your socks off with its brilliant dialogues, the truthful characters and its plot – especially in the second novel – which always leads you exactly where you would never think you were headed.”
– Roy L. –
“I am amazed at how much you have accomplished for such a young person. Your books are filled with excitement, texture, character and imagination. The world will soon recognize you.”
– Steve H. (97) Author –
“I have a degree in journalism, and I have worked for many years on a book draft but I never finished it, though, and I am so proud that you have done so with such a young age.”
– Richard C. Journalist –
“Gloria, I am so excited about your coming to our school. You are a true inspiration for all of us. Your book is fabulous and my son is enjoying reading it! Lots of hugs.”
– Cheryl M. Language arts teacher –
“I purchased “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges“ for my daughter. When her uncle came, she didn’t want to put the book down to go shopping. She was so into it and thanks me all the time for getting the book for her.”
– George M. –
“Hi Gloria, OMG, I LOVE YOUR BOOK! It’s amazing! I got into a fight with a substitute teacher and he sent me to the office because I read the Maradonia book during class and couldn’t put it down.”
– Vanessa S. –
“Your second novel, “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir” is just wonderful, so full of life and substance … I can’t wait to see what you do with the rest of your trilogy.”
– Leah D. Editor –
“I had the humbling experience of meeting Gloria Tesch, the world’s youngest novel writer. When Gloria hefted the signed Maradonia book over to me, it was one of those speechless moments I’ll remember forever.”
– Yvonne R. –
“Gloria’s books are scholastic! Every child should be given a chance to read Gloria’s Maradonia books. Many public libraries carry her books, but schools should also make an effort to get them into their libraries. Gloria is a person of human interest, a role model for many young people in our generation! She needs our support.”
– Edward G. Teacher –
“I finished your first novel and I was enthralled. It was a beautiful experience and I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to meet the authoress. Gloria, you are gifted and the world needs to meet you. I will exercise my total commitment to make sure that this is accomplished.”
– Bob S. Attorney –
“If you are looking for something that’s out of the ordinary in almost every chapter, seek out the books from young author Gloria Tesch… Maradonia territory… a world between the worlds. A fast-paced, energetic saga, filled with a wide variety of enthralling characters.”
– Terry S. Author –
“I had the pleasure of meeting Gloria at the Festival of Reading and I was so impressed by her enthusiasm and commitment to writing at such a young age.”
– Sigrid W. Supervisor P. County Schools –
“I enjoyed Gloria’s book immensely. It was easy to read in its entirety over the weekend. With so many thoughts and images bombarding us, it was refreshing to read something sanitized with virtue and honor. I was impressed that such a young writer was able to capture the vision and emotion contained in the story and that as an adult, I could feel and see the meaning of the words on each page. The fantasy and magic in the story were alive and entertaining. I would not hesitate to read it to a child without censure and would think it entertaining for anyone young at heart, tired of negative themes thrust upon us daily. I think we will be hearing for years to come from Miss Gloria Tesch, who is a sweet, unassuming, innocent young lady whom I had the pleasure of meeting at her book signing at ‘Books a Million’ in Port Richey, Florida.”
– Nancy B. –
“I saw your picture and an article about you on the front page of the Times. Honestly… back in 8th grade when you brought your first manuscript to class I doubted that you would make it as an author…Sorry,I was wrong!”
– – Elizabeth W. –
“Saw your article in the paper. What an inspiration to everyone! Keep up the good work!”
– Brandon M. –
“Hi Gloria, I just read about you today in the St. Pete Times. Congratulations on your new book “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir.”
– Sandra T. –
“Keep it up Gloria! We can’t wait for “Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir” to come out!”
– Byron S. –
“Hi Gloria! I just finished my second read-through of Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir. IT’S A TRIUMPH!!! Gloria, my love, your writing has evolved so much. The dialogue is fantastic, and your transition from chapter to chapter is very smooth. I have a couple of favorite scenes: When Alana and her mother Lindsey meet their respective demises, and the storm that takes over the ship at sea. You got the tension in these two black moments perfect. What a magical, epic journey! I truly got lost in it and swept away in the story. Gloria your imagination is limitless! There were so many aspects that I enjoyed, that there are too many to list here. It’s incredible how Maradonia has an unexpected surprise around every corner! The writing is true literature here. I feel humbled to be a part of this…”
– Leah D. Editor –
“Gloria Tesch truly outdid herself with her latest addition of the Maradonia series. The dialogue is robust, the characters well drawn. Just another unique Tesch Chiller that is well worth reading. The fast-paced fantasy adventure of Maya and Joey in the Land of Maradonia appeals to legions of fans. Gloria’s second novel,
“Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir” is even more chilling than her first installment, “Maradonia and the Seven Bridges,” and… her third novel is already on the way. The readers will wait patiently for the throat gripping third installment of Gloria’s first trilogy of the Maradonia saga, “Maradonia and the Battle for the Key.”
– Phillip R. Editor –
“The stories of this 14 year old novelist are just overwhelming because of the simplicity and they show from their psychological proportions in the life of the siblings, Maya and Joey, and in their fight between good versus evil a far deeper substance – basically a story behind the story – and this is one of the reasons why I believe that the Maradonia Saga will certainly have a longer life line in the future than the Twilight or the Harry Potter series. But there are other reasons:
• Maradonia is not just entertainment! Maradonia is a life style because it meets our longings to experience the truth of life, love and death.
• This Maradonia New-Life-Style is able to help the reader better to understand life itself and his role in his own family, the nation and in the universe.
• The Encouragers are able to encourage every reader to discover their own gifts and abilities.
• The Maradonia books, I believe, will play sooner or later an important role for fans, middle readers and young adults, and they are a must-read for parents, teachers, and librarians that will serve as a bridge to growth in knowledge, faith and in the understanding that there is power in positive thinking.”
– Armando N. Psychologist –