Hello, everyone! I’m here today to announce the publication of a much-anticipated YA fantasy adventure with Arabian tendencies. Where Carpets Fly, by Elise Edmonds!
Elina Faramar finally leaves her family’s flying carpet shop when her father reluctantly agrees she can take magic lessons in nearby Kamikan. Urban life promises adventure, and new friend Kara shows her the sights.
However, Elina soon sees a darker side of life: a foreigner arrested at the circus, forbidden schoolhouse rooms with odd comings and goings, and unsociable pupil Simeon’s shady deals at the docks. Everything seems connected to the volatile neighbouring country of Pallexon, but no one will tell her why.
When Elina and Simeon develop a magical mind link, he seems close to confiding in her. But an unexpected voyage takes Elina and Kara away from answers and towards unknown danger in Pallexon.
Alone in a strange country, with no identity papers, the situation rapidly turns into a nightmare when Kara is mistaken for a spy. With her own freedom at stake, Elina must rely on her wits and magic to save her friend and unravel the secrets of Pallexon.
Corinne: So let’s get on with the interview! Heya, Elise!
Elise: Wahey, Corinne! Thanks for hosting me today. 🙂
C: No problem! I remember marathon-critiquing Carpets way back when it was still Uprooted! I’m so excited for you to finally publish it, and it’s definitely a book worth reading!
So why not start by telling us what inspired the idea for Where Carpets Fly?
E: Sure thing.
I’ve always been a fan of both children’s fantasy books and school stories – long before Harry Potter came into the world. I grew up on Enid Blyton and Narnia. So writing a fun, immersive fantasy story full of adventure but also including school and coming of age themes is basically me writing the book I wanted to read as a kid! It’s got a bit of everything I enjoy reading about.
Flying carpets have always held a fascination for me. There’s something exciting and exotic about them, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my world. I read a Diana Wynne Jones book about flying carpets (Castle in the Air – the sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle), and I can say she’s also influenced my writing.
C: I read Howl’s Moving Castle recently and loved it! I had no idea it had a sequel!
*adds to my to-read list*
Being inspired by such classic novels must come with some drawbacks, though. What do you say you struggle most with in your writing?
E: Action scenes are probably the ones I find the hardest to write: fights, battles, chases etc. I find it difficult to visualise the action and then reproduce it on paper whilst keeping the tension high and the boredom factor low. I have to have a few goes at it and get other people to read the scenes as well.
C: I’m afraid I’m guilty of tearing apart your battle scenes when I read them. xD I leave all sorts of red and green comments on them when I critique them.
E: No problem! That’s exactly what I need to make them the best they can be.
C: After reading Carpets (then Uprooted) I must admit I came away with more than a few feels. Which got me to thinking: is there anything you want your readers to take away from your books after the last page has been turned?
E: To be honest, I’m mostly writing to entertain. I don’t have an important message to get over to people. I do have a couple of themes in this book which I hope people will take a little something away from: the importance of both friendship and freedom. But if they come out the other side and ask me when book two is coming out, I shall be quite happy!
C: Remember when I bugged you after reading Uprooted/Carpets to publish the darn thing already?
*Elise and Corinne chuckle in unison*
C: I think my favorite characters to read were Mr. Jaxon and Clauda. Mostly because I’ve been shipping them together since Chapter Two of Carpets. They must have been so much fun to write for! Especially because Clauda is so quirky and fun to read. Were they your favorite characters to write?
E: Actually, Elina, my main character, has always been my favourite to write for. I’ve spent most of my time inside her head, so I know how she feels and reacts to situations.
C: What about your least favorite character?
E: I found her father the hardest character to write. It was hard to get a balance between showing that deep down he cares for her, but on the surface he just wants to control her life and do what he tells her. I didn’t want people to side with him, but ultimately he’s not the real bad guy of the story, just a flawed father.
C: Flawed is kind of an understatement. I did not like Mikal one bit. It wasn’t until just recently, after many, many chapters of reading the sequel-in-progress that I started to come around to him. *laugh*
I probably already know the answer to this one, but Who or what would you say is your biggest inspiration during the harder parts of the writing process?
E: My writer friends, of course 🙂 I have an amazing mutual support group and pool of critique partners. We found each other through the critique site, Scribophile. If I lack inspiration or need advice, or just want a moan, there is always someone there. And I mean always, because we’re an international group and day or night, someone is awake!
C: I knew it. And I’m your favorite inspirational person, probably. xD
E: Well, no one’s admitting to that. 😉
C: Well, I’m afraid that’s all the time we’ve got today! Thanks so much for stopping by today.
E: My pleasure! Thanks for having me!
Want to know more about Elise and her work? Follow her on her various social media sites! And don’t forget to pick up your copy of Where Carpets Fly on Amazon today!
Born in Staffordshire in England, Elise Edmonds has always been an avid reader, especially of fantasy and young adult books. Elise moved to Bristol in her teens, to attend university, and undertook a career in the finance world. Now living in a quiet South Gloucestershire village, she spends her free time with her husband and two cats, and enjoys attending local fitness classes, watching movies, and playing the piano. Pursuing writing in her spare time as a creative outlet is a way to bring the magic back into her everyday life.