I didn’t intend to write a novel when I began writing a short story called, “Johan and the Secret Caves.” My husband, sister and I were creating an online show for children, for which I had written several short stories. This one was different, my main character—Johan just kept talking, until, a bizarre and magical place with kind gentle people was created.
Kortdagbyen Island is a hidden island, north of Norway, its mysterious society of guardians has safeguarded the island’s secrets and resources for generations, under the protection of the kings of Norway for generations.
Now, this once Viking vacation spot.... Kortdagbyen Island and its resources are in jeopardy of being plundered and changed forever by outside treasure hunters.
Eleven-year-old Johan with his friends Anna, Christian, and Mikky (who has Down syndrome) must solve a mystery filled with adventures of poisoned pterodactyls, secret hidden caves, a kidnapped friend, the murder of a father, and the discovery of a treasure.
Johan’s papa died when his lab exploded, but it isn’t until the pterodactyls are poisoned and Mikky is kidnapped, that he learns his father had been murdered.
As adventurers, Johan and Christian plunge head first into each new challenge often with mixed results, but they work with Johan’s family to solve each of Kortdagbyen Island’s mysteries.
Yet, it’s Anna’s cool head that saves the lives of the sick pterodactyls when she call upon her mama and a team of biologists to come to their rescue. When a troll poops on Johan's head, Anna contacts help immediately. Again, when Mikky is kidnapped her quick response brings together people from all over the island to search for him.
And then there's Mikky who doesn't let his Down syndrome get in the way of him helping his friends solve these mysteries. He shows the world that people with intellectual challenges like Down syndrome can be independent and capable by creatively interpreting the world.
None of them can predict the changes that happen when this gentle place is attacked by the evils of the world. Not even Bonnie Solino, who says, “I am surprised by the changes in the island. I guess they reflect the reality of the world today. I am pleased that I took that path.”