Author Guest Post: Jeanelle Frontin (The Unmarked Girl)

Posted February 28, 2024 by Jen in Author Guest Post Tags: ,

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From Jeanelle…

I’ve often wondered why my maiden journey into fantasy was in the Young Adult genre. Yara, my protagonist, enters her not-so-sweet sixteenth year of life haunted by a voice beckoning her to find her true origins. Yara’s an orphan. An outsider. And with her blue hair and iridescent eyes, there isn’t another being on the planet who looks like her. Worst of all, her skin is unmarked, devoid of the divine symbols that adorn all that is living and blessed. There isn’t a single historical record of an unmarked person or plant on Mira. She’s the only one of her kind, and at sixteen years old, there is no greater loneliness.

book cover of The Unmarked Girl by Jeanelle FrontinWhat is it about that age? We begin to come into our own, only to realise how alone that makes us feel. Once the shadow of adulthood casts a dark gaze on our childhood, the closing window pressures us to find out who we are and where we belong. I think we know it best then, even if subconsciously. We sense what we are on the tail ends of chilly winds and in the sunsets of the disappointing days during which we departed most from our uniqueness. I also suspect that once we’ve come face-to-face with even a hint of our reason for being, we do everything in our power to unknow it thereafter. We fight against it, whether willfully or through self-sabotage. We resist what it means to be different because then we must be accountable for the role we are meant to fulfil, the very purpose for which we are born.

Perhaps this story was my own fantastical form of therapy. In many ways, The Unmarked Girl (and The YaraStar Trilogy) maps the very journey we each must make to find ourselves, know ourselves and ultimately—hopefully—be ourselves. Yet, to craft a message in a capsule like this meant reversing time so that my inner child could pick up where she left off. I think that’s why I had to write this story as a YA Fantasy, so more inner children could find these breadcrumbs back to themselves. Thankfully, I wasn’t wrong in this sentiment. To date, while The Unmarked Girl has been read by many young adults, there has been equal readership from adults of all ages. The connection to Yara that most express has shed great light on a host of inner children waiting in line for their reawakening. Still, there are many paths a person can take to go up that particular mountain. Yara’s story is one of so many. May all choose one and climb.

About the Book:

Unlike everyone else on Mira, Yara has no birthline markings. She was found as a baby by a Photak and taken to the Photak village, despite how strange she looked. With an unknown origin, unmarked skin, and unusual features, the Elders were extremely wary that the baby could be a secret weapon of the Skotads. Mysteriously, however, Yara could withstand the rays of Sunstar, which no Skotad ever could. She was allowed to stay. Sixteen years later, still without any clues to her origins, Yara is training to be a warrior for the Photak Tribe. Now, an eerie, soft voice begins to haunt her dreams. It asks only one question every time:

“YaraStar… do you know who you are?”

Book Title: The Unmarked Girl
Author Name: Jeanelle Frontin
Publisher: Mark Made Group Ltd.
Publication Date: June 27, 2018
Series: The YaraStar Trilogy (Book One)
Genre: YA Fantasy
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About the Author:

Author photo of Jeanelle FrontinJeanelle is an award-winning author, having now published five books in five years. Her debut book, The Unmarked Girl (Book One of The YaraStar Trilogy) won the 2019 CODE Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature. This Kirkus-starred book also made two of Kirkus Reviews’ lists in 2019: The Best 100 Indie Books and the top five Best Indie Middle-Grade & YA Books. Her other offerings include “And She Calls It Worship,” her intimate, face-it-all memoir, and “The Order of Ja’el”, a fast-paced New Adult Fantasy.

Jeanelle Frontin is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Mark Made Group Ltd., a company specializing in entertainment, technology, and the arts with this sole purpose: to enable adept humans and choice projects to make their mark on the world. Actively involved in various fields, from engineering to the creative industries, Jeanelle holds a BSc (Hons) in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and a MSc (Dist) in Engineering (Project Management). She recently gained her MIT professional education certification in Applied Data Science and soon begins her PhD in AI and Engineering.

Jeanelle is blessed to be the mother of Alyxander (the Great) and wife of Kevin Licorish, and she dedicates her work to them in gratitude for their unwavering and loving support.

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