Author Sara Ellie MacKenzie will share third novel at Howard’s Bookstore in Torrington in April

TORRINGTON — Sara Ellie MacKenzie’s third book in her “Wrapped in the Rays of the Sun” series is coming out soon, and she’ll share her work at Howard’s Bookstore in April with several readings.

MacKenzie is a Torrington native who lives in New Britain with her son, Calvin, and husband, Brian. Her first two books, “Casting Shadows: Wrapped in the Rays of the Sun Volume I,” and “The Circle is Broken: Wrapped in the Rays of the Sun Volume II” were released in 2021, and are available on Amazon in print and on Kindle.


The third book, “Through the Meadow: Wrapped in the Rays of the Sun Volume III” is also available on Kindle, and will soon be sold in print.

“The books are an adventure series about an imaginary world and the fight against a theocracy,” MacKenzie said. “It’s about two princesses fighting for a throne, and it just grows from there.”

In the first book, “Casting Shadows,” the story tells of the princess Nora “who was always second fiddle to her older sister, Jayne. Older and prettier, Jayne received more attention from her father, King Gerald, and showered with honors and indulgences. Hardly noticed, Nora spent her time sword fighting, sitting with the servants and farming… She did not want to be near the monster King Gerald turned out to be. Things drastically change when King Gerald dies. With no male heir, Jayne became Queen of Klenard, ”according to her description of her on Amazon.

The stories are for ages 17 and up, and are selling well to her friends and family, she said.

“I started writing these books just before the pandemic, in 2019,” she said. “I wanted to become an author; I went into it totally blind. I just started writing.”

She self-published her work with Amazon. “I knew if I tried to publish it traditionally, I wouldn’t be able to afford it, so I chose to self-publish the books,” she said. “The first time I saw my book in print, it was exciting, like a dream come true. It didn’t even matter if anyone bought it — just to see it, and say ‘Oh my God, I just wrote a 700-page book’ was enough.”

As a child, she made up stories using her stuffed animals and dolls are characters. “I came into an Ann Frank sort of writing, with a diary, and that morphed into writing for a school magazine. Then I started submitting political commentary, fan fiction, everything,” MacKenzie said.

MacKenzie attended Central Connecticut State University, and completed an education studies degree at Western Governor’s University. “I took writing classes, but what I want to write just comes naturally — I just flow with it,” she said. “I guess my style is a free-for-all.”

MacKenzie gave a reading and book signing at Howard’s in September 2021. Her second appearance is April 10.

She heard about Howard’s from a friend. “He said, ‘That shoestore opened a bookstore, check it out,’ so I called (owner John Noelke) and we started planning it out,” she said. “I’m very excited to come back and do this again.”

She has an eclectic list of favorite authors: Harper Lee, Sue Monk Kidd, Stephen King, Hazel Gaynor and Langston Hughes, among others. “Growing up, we read a lot of science fiction, too,” she said. “So what I’ve read is all over the place.”

Her son is high-functioning autistic, and she keeps him in her mind as she creates her characters.

“He has a lot of action figures and he makes up his own stories for them,” she said. “I try to encourage that as much as I can. For me, it’s finding the right words and directing the conversation to communicate with him. In my latest book, there’s a character with autistic characteristics, and I base it on some of the things he does

”With autism, it’s another way of seeing the world,” MacKenzie said. “For example, one of my characters lies down on the ground, to calm down; my son does that too. I lie down with him, and we look at the sky together. When that happens, I think, ‘Look at what he gets to see.’”

Her stories, she said are “very colorful and fantastical.” I haven’t decided what excerpts to read at Howard’s, but I’ll read from the first two books, and maybe a small spoiler for the next one.”

When she’s not writing or caring for her family, MacKenzie works on her family’s genealogy, and reads a lot. She’s also converted her late father’s massive vinyl album collection to a digital one. “It’s a long process — he had hundreds of albums, and some are 78s,” she said.

Her stories, while they are set in a courtly world of royalty, touch on real themes people can relate to — in “. There are also global themes. “In ‘Casting Shadows’ there’s a mention of plagues, vaccine issues… I unintentionally put things in, sometimes, before they really happen,” MacKenzie said. “I have so many story ideas.”

She also published “A World So Bright and Dark: The Journal of Lizzie Colleen MacDougal” about a teenager recovering from a traumatic experience. All her books by her are available online.

To learn more about the author and her, find her page at www.amazon.com/~/e/B07TS4YPVL, or her website at www.saraelliemackenzie.com.

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