Isybilla Gee

 

Isybilla is a high school junior in Wilmington, North Carolina. Her love for reading and writing stories started at an early age. At age five, she created a group of characters that would be used to create the Issy Books. The Issy Books were a collection of emergent readers written by Issy’s grandmother, Pat Calfee, a retired educator. Issy illustrated all eleven books in the series. She has continued to write stories since then. Over the years, she developed a passion for medieval history and archaeology, which led her to the topic of Medieval England for her first novel. Issy spends most of her free time reading and piecing together new storylines. She also enjoys volunteering with the Wilmington-based Public Archeology Corps, where she digs for new artifacts and helps to process them in the lab. She hopes to major in medieval studies in college and to continue to create stories in her free time.

Pattrick Garrow

“Issy is a remarkable young lady who will find tremendous success as she goes forward. Her novel is extremely advanced for her age and a good read.“

Jonathan Schleier

“Issy is a brilliant and driven young lady, and we know that she will do big things with her life. I am so proud of her, and happy that we can help her along her way“

WWAY comes by to interview Issy for her novel and volunteer work at PAC

When did you start writing the book?

I started writing Love for Legacy in May of my sophomore year of high school.

What is the storyline of the book?

Love for Legacy follows the very beginning of King Æthelstan’s rule of England. The main
conflict is between Æthelstan and the brothers Uí Imaír, Vikings whose reign of York
overlapped with King Æthelstan's ascension to the throne. It focuses on that overlap, on the tug
and pull between these two powers. It’s heavily fictionalized, of course, but most of the main
characters are versions of historical figures.

How did you get involved with PAC?

At the beginning of my junior year, I started looking for volunteer opportunities that aligned with my distinctly history-centered interests. It’s relatively easy to find STEM-oriented volunteer
opportunities, and I knew that the history-oriented ones were out there somewhere. Then I found the Public Archaeology Corps, and, after that first dig day, I was hooked.

Why should people buy your book?

People should buy my book because it delves into more than just the stereotypical Viking story.
The word ‘Viking’ only shows up in the prologue, and everything else is between the Saxons and the Northmen. It’s really easy to fall prey to this assumption that the Vikings were only raiders, or that all they did was raid England. That is a gross oversimplification, and I try to show the
nuance to their history and their relations with the Saxon royal family. Love for Legacy focuses on the Vikings, and the major part they played in the societal and political intrigue of the time,
not just their role in its conflict.

What do you see yourself doing in five years and what do you hope to be doing?

In five years, I see myself in the last year of an undergraduate degree in medieval studies and/or archaeology. I hope to be applying to graduate school to get a Phd in medieval studies, with a specialization in the Viking Age.