What inspired you to become an author? A- I’ve always been a storyteller at heart, but when I was younger, I had a difficult time translating what I had in my head to words on a page. Then, about 8 years ago, I had a profound experience. Some might call it religious or spiritual, others might have a different name for it, but the long short of it is, I was on a walk and got caught in a thunderstorm, and something just clicked in my head, and from then on I found it much easier to write, and have been since.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? A - There are a few messages, however the most prominent one is rather simple, but powerful, and very important in this day and age; that Love is unconquerable.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? A - I think the list would be shorter if you asked me what WASN’T based on something in reality. The main characters are all facets of my personality, or are based on the personality of friends, family, or others. In particular, in Chapter 6, Lessia comes across “trees" that are made of glass; this was inspired from a moment in my childhood. There had been an ice storm the night before, freezing everything over. There was a single tree in our front yard which got covered entirely, and the way the light refracted through the ice, made it appear as though it was clear, like glass.
Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favourite and why? A - Oh wow, that’s a tough one… I’ll answer that twofold. Zethras is my favourite character because he’s simultaneously one of the least relatable, and most relatable, and he’s also based around my physical appearance. My other favourite character is one that you won’t meet in book 1, but book 2. Without giving major spoilers, she’s a rather unassuming lass, but is immensely strong, think Pippi Longstocking, but without the extroverted personality. In fact she’s quite introverted, and has Ochlophobia; the fear of large crowds. I drew upon a lot of personal knowledge I possess about how someone with a specific fear experiences that fear; their physical and mental reactions, and how to push past a panic attack.
If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? A - Very much so, Eluramance Chronicles is planned to be a trilogy, though it may evolve into a tetralogy but I’m not sure at this point. I don’t have a title set in stone yet, but my working title is “Unity.” You’re going to be reuniting with the same characters, while also meeting some new ones, some somewhat typical, others very different. I’m probably around 65-70% of the way through the skeleton of the manuscript for book 2 at this point, and I am very pleased with the direction it’s going.
What books/authors have influenced your life? A - I know she’s not a very popular lady right now, but J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter were the first large sized books that I got to experience as a child; my mom, dad, sister, brother and myself would have story time before bed, and the first of those books were Harry Potter. Christopher Paolini and the Inheritance Cycle were the first large sized novels that I owned myself, and were my gateway into the high fantasy world. And of course, J. R. R. Tolkien, who is the grandfather of modern high fantasy. And although he’s less of an author, and he hasn’t written a book per se, Matthew Mercer from Critical Role in an inspiring storyteller.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? A - For me, the two hardest things are having to juggle the multiple, and very distinct personalities of my characters when they’re interacting together in a large group, especially when it’s a very emotional moment. I need to separate myself from… myself? It’s difficult not letting my own biases or opinions, or emotional reactions filter into the equation. The other thing I often have trouble with is coming up with names for characters. Names are powerful, and they need to sound right, and when they don’t, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
Do you have any advice for other writers? A - Creativity is like a garden. If you leave it unattended for too long, it will wither. If you give it too much of what it needs, it will drown. If you give it exactly what it needs, it will flourish, and produce an endless supply of what YOU need. You may go for a long time between the seeding of a garden, but the earth will always remember what to do; so will the seeds, the rain, and the sun. All it needs is something to bring them together. It needs a gardener. Be your creativity’s gardener. Tend it, nurture it, allow it to grow, bud, and blossom, and then enjoy its fruits. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? A - Eluramance Chronicles: Lessia is set to release to the public soon. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, I can’t give a definite date as to when you’ll see it on a shelf or on a web store, but it will be soon. As for works in progress, Book 2 of Eluramance Chronicles is well underway, and taking shape nicely. I hope very much that you, your followers, audience, and the rest of the people out there will enjoy it.
July 17 The Book Junkie Reads . . . Interview with Lucas R. Maloney
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work? A - I try to paint as clear a picture as I can with regards to the world I’ve crafted. I leave some of it open to interpretation, but I try and be as specific as I can. When I read, I get a little movie playing in my head, and I want as many people to experience that with Eluramance Chronicles: Lessia as I can.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation? A - All of those things are true to differing degrees. Some characters I plan out before they’re introduced, so I prepare a character sheet before hand. Others pop out of nowhere and become a significant character all by themselves. Sometimes I take inspiration from people around me, sometimes I don’t. It’s all a rather chaotic process, giving life to characters only you have access to.
Do you feel that writing is an ingrained process or just something that flows naturally for you? A - For me personally, it flows naturally. Trying to force creativity - especially writing - is like trying to cut something by hitting it with a hammer. Sure, you might succeed in the broadest sense, but it’ll look ugly, feel wrong, and probably fall apart after a short time. Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character(s)? If so which one(s)? A - I share a rather strong bond with most of my main characters, as they are all fragments of my own personality. There is one character in particular that, unfortunately you won’t meet in book 1, but in book 2, that I’m quickly gaining a lot of respect for. She gets a lot of page time, so you’ll know her when you meet her.
What are some of your writing/publishing goals for this year? A - My goal is to sell 100,000 units at the end of the first year of Eluramance Chronicles: Lessia being released. That includes hard copies, and e-books. I also want to have the main body of book 2 done before winter, and then have most of the fleshing out done before spring 2021.
Can you share your next creative project(s)? If yes, can you give a few details? A - Aside from book 2 and book 3 of Eluramance Chronicles, I’m in the brainstorming stage of a completely different series that doesn’t have a name yet, this one will be set in a “Hard Science Fiction” genre. For those who might not know, Hard Sci-fi is science fiction that is based around plausible technologies of the not too distant future, such as nuclear fusion power. A great example of such a thing is the show The Expanse.
July 23 EventParanormalists Author Interview
What is your “day” job if you are not a full time author? A - I actually work in a pizza place just down the street from where I live. It’s mostly mindless work that I can do while still devoting most of my brain power to pondering what to write next.
If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be? A - Hmm, I think it would be called; “No rhyme or reason, just absolute f**king chaos.” Haha, but seriously, I’ve actually given this some thought, and I think it would be called “Stepping stones.” Because a stepping stone is important, because it keeps your head above the water. But be careful you don’t stay on it for too long, as you might lose your balance and fall into the river, then the stepping stone becomes pointless.
What is the best thing about being an author? A - Planting an idea in the ground of your first page. Watching that idea sprout, grow, branch out, rise and spread out until you see an entire universe before you, full of thinking, breathing people that you created. I think writing books is the closest that human beings will ever get to experiencing what a deity is like.
What is the hardest thing about being an author? A - Having days where the ideas don’t flow freely; writers block will always be the arch nemesis of any storyteller. Have you ever been star struck by meeting one of your favourite authors? If so who was it? A - Unfortunately I have not, though I feel like I wouldn’t be the type to be star struck; they’re human beings just like me, with the same emotions and feelings. The best thing you can do for someone who has any amount of fame and renown is to treat them like people, not as celebrities.
What book changed your life? A - Eragon, by Christopher Paolini, I got it as a Christmas present from my grandmother Jessie when I was 12, (thank you Grammie!) And from then on I was nose deep in high fantasy.
What were your some of favourite books growing up? A - The Inheritance Cycle most certainly was my favourite in my teens, but a pull from when I was much younger was the Deltora series, I read those sporadically throughout my elementary school years, and enjoyed them quite a lot. What books are currently in your to be read pile? A - Currently I’m rereading the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud, and just finished the Great Tree of Avalon trilogy by T. A Barron, and The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm by Christopher Paolini.
Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audio books? A - Hard copies, every day of the week, and twice on Fridays. There’s something about the heft of a book in your hands, the feel of the paper on your fingertips, the smell of the pages laden with a story, the warmth of your reading lamp in a dark room.
E-books feel too… detached from those experiences. Phones and tablets are light with very little heft to them, their smooth glass doesn’t feel like pages, there’s no smell, and you don’t need a reading lamp; it’s just not the same.
If you could live inside the world of a book or series which world would it be and why? A - I don’t think I would, and here’s why. Earth on the face of it, is a wonderful place to be, full of life and culture and science and everything in between. But, the thing it doesn’t have, is magic. I can’t snap my fingers and make a little flame in my hand, or wave a wand and make something float in the air. But that’s ok, because we have the magic that is humanity instead.
I see Earth as a hub, similarly to how the norsemen of old viewed the universe as Yggdrasil, the World Tree, a structure that holds the portals to the nine realms.
On Earth, each person is the potential for a door to be opened into a whole other world, filled with all manner of fantastical things. And when someone puts their story down on a page, they’re giving someone the key to that new world. So as I sit here, I have access to nearly infinite worlds, borne of the mind of an individual, each so disparate from the last, at the tips of my fingers, waiting for me to enter into it. And that is something truly special; magical even. Living in a world where all of the above ISN’T magical, would be a tragedy.