Elise Edmonds Interview

Elise Edmonds Interview

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!

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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!

Where Carpets Fly on Amazon
Amazon author page
Elise’s blog
Elise’s Facebook
Elise’s Twitter
Instagram
Wattpad
Goodreads profile

photo-of-elise

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.

 

Author Interview – Kristen Kooistra

My good friend Kristen Kooistra has just announced the release of her first book, Heart of the Winterland. Today, I was able to interview her about her upcoming book.

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Tell us a little about your book, Heart of the Winterland.

Heart of the Winterland is a journey told primarily from the point of view of Princess Calisandra. Cali and her guardian, Voice, have been suppressed by a spell for nearly 200 years. Their land is constantly covered in snow, devoid of all other humans, and Cali’s not really bothered by any of it. Nothing rattles her, nothing makes her curious, it never even enters her head to question her life or to leave—until her 200th birthday.

For some reason, she wakes up on that day feeling different. She questions things, and a sequence of events lead to her and Voice deciding to set out on a journey to really nowhere but “not here”.

Heart of the Winterland is about people. It’s about the journey they’re all on. It’s a mystery to be unraveled, a puzzle to be solved. It’s about love and loss. Wishing for things, but finding that what you wished for isn’t really what you wanted. It’s about forgiveness, and sorrow, why anger, fear, and pain make people react in strange ways. It’s about one young woman’s discovery of the world outside what she’s always known.

Which of your characters do you most relate to?

Fun little side note, originally I did have a cameo character that was based after me, but found it didn’t fit the story and deleted that scene.

I would say I most relate to Amee. She’s one of the point-of-view characters and tied for my favorite. Amee’s the character I could see myself being if broken. If I lived her life, then I can see myself making the same choices. The big “what if you went to the dark side” question. What would you be like? What would you do? I think I’d be like Amee. And I think she’ll be a character that a lot of people feel conflicted about. You can’t help rooting for her, even when you know you shouldn’t. You want her to win, but she shouldn’t.

What are you writing next?

I’m eight chapters into a sequel for Heart of the Winterland. Since I’m incredibly creative I’m calling it Heart of the Sorceress. *audience oohs and aahs* I know, right!!! Be impressed.

Anyway, I originally planned on having Heart of the Winterland stand alone, but as I was writing the last two chapters, I kept thinking about how many more stories were yet to be told. So Heart of the Winterland does stand by itself. It is a complete story that you could read and not be left with any sort of cliffhanger.

But “Sorceress” does build on that and though it’d be possible (at least that’s the plan) to read it without reading “Winterland”, you would miss out on some things.

After Heart of the Sorceress, I’ve got a sci-fi saga that I’ve been wanting to write for over 10 years and now that I know I have what it takes to finish a novel, I’m going to tackle that challenge because it is the story of my heart. (so many hearts right now!)

I wouldn’t be surprised though if there ends up being at least one more story in the “HotW world”. With release of book two, I’ll be adding a series title and numbering the books.

How about giving us a sneak preview of Heart of the Sorceress?

I can’t say too much without giving away key elements of HotW. I’ll say that it takes place in a new country with three races who isolate themselves from each other. Two characters from Winterland will travel to this country in an attempt to shake things up and bring down a tyrant.

What are your goals for your writing? What do you hope to accomplish with your books?

Financially? I want to support my writing with my writing. I don’t want to feel like I’m taking money away from things my family needs, or things I should be spending on.

Personally. I really, really, really want to get my saga published. I know at my current rate that’s a huge goal, but that’s what I’ve always wanted.

Past that I want people to enjoy my stories. I hope someone out there gets whisked away into my world just like I’ve done with so many other authors’ stories. I want to be on the giving end of adventure dealing for once!
Along the way if someone happens to be truly and deeply impacted by something I wrote, or maybe it resonates with them and changes their life, um yeah that’d be awesome. I can’t say that’s really a goal though as I can’t imagine ever having one of my books make that big of a mark on anyone. It’d be like me shooting for a movie deal.

Why should people read your book? What do you hope readers will take away from your story?

Why? Well, since I’ve mentioned how precious time is I have to say, no one should read it. Goodness knows there are more important things to do in a day than read. And should is a strong word. But if you’re making time in your day to read, then I can tell you why Winterland might grab that slot.
*takes deep breath for pitch*
Heart of the Winterland is a clean fantasy for all ages. It appeals to children, teens, and adults. It’s an adventure that isn’t mired in romance or love triangles. It’s got a diverse cast with strong female characters at the forefront. Heart of the Winterland is engaging, emotional, with characters you can connect with. This is the story for anyone who enjoys characters, regardless of the fantastical setting.

It’s the story that made my fantasy-hating mother cry. It’s a tale that even a historical fiction author who is a non-fantasy reader said she couldn’t get enough of—that I was “channeling Dickens”(best compliment I’ve ever had). Not to mention a writer who told me after reading HotW that she had a book hangover.

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I would like to thank Kristen for indulging me in this interview today. Don’t forget to check her out on all her social media outlets and pre-order Heart of the Winterland! Paperback and e-book copies are available for pre-order and will be released June 15!

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Buy Heart of the Winterland on Amazon today!

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About Kristen

Kristen Kooistra fell in love with reading at a young age and never resurfaced. She loved solving mysteries, riding across the prairie, and sailing on the open sea. But her favorite books were those that held the fantastical. So when the time came for her to seriously approach publishing a book, it had to be fantasy!

Living in Michigan(her own winterland) with her husband, three kids, and two cats, she has lots of free time . . . Okay, so more like she squeezes in writing time late at night when only the cats are awake to pester her.

“Heart of the Winterland” is Kristen’s first novel, and though it started as a whim, it grew into so much more and has inspired a sequel(in progress), “Heart of the Sorceress”.

Tucked into a quiet countryside, Kristen spends most of her time being Mommy. She loves spending time with her family and hopes that her writing will entertain and inspire them as well.

Besides writing, Kristen enjoys reading(of course!), chatting with her writer’s group, sewing, swimming, gardening, and cooking(please no baking!). She’s also developed a fondness for water gun fights with her three year old. Actually, she’s found that most everything become a lot more fun with little kids.