Author of the Month – Elise Edmonds

Dear Friends,

I’d promised you a special interview with Ms. Elise Edmonds, author of the exciting new novel Where Carpets FlyAnd here it is at last 🙂

For those of you who missed my previous post, here’s a gist of Where Carpets Fly:

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Mystery and adventure meet in a magical land of flying carpets, vibrant cities, and seafaring folk. Follow Elina Faramar’s journey from the village flying carpet shop to magic school in town. What’s her new magic teacher hiding? Why won’t anyone discuss the nearby, volatile country of Pallexon?

The situation turns to a nightmare when friend Kara is mistaken for a spy.

Can Elina’s wits and magic save Kara and unravel Pallexon’s secrets?

I had the pleasure of reading this amazing novel and was really impressed with the way the story was written, the characters and the fantastic story world which was a unique blend of the magical and the practical. So, naturally, I rushed to interview Elise for tips and suggestions 🙂

Without further ado, here are some snippets of our conversation:

Krisna: Welcome, Elise! It’s great to have you with us today.

Elise: It’s my pleasure, Krisna.

Krisna: As I’d mentioned before, I really loved Where Carpets Fly. What inspired you to write this story?

Elise: 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.

Krisna: Flying carpets are one of my favorite things too! Magic and flying – a wonderful combination 🙂

One of the things I love the most about your novel is your story world. It’s a perfect blend of whimsical, magical and practical at the same time. Could you share some tips about creating a believable and gripping story world?

Elise: Thanks! I think it’s important to spend some time worldbuilding before you start to write a fantasy novel. It doesn’t have to be formal or even on paper, but traveling there in your imagination can help you picture the everyday life of your character. What do they eat? What do they wear? What occupation do they (or the adults around them) do every day?

Magic systems are often a key aspect of a fantasy story, and I like to define magic, and give it limits and practical applications so it feels like a tool your characters are using. In the same way that I use a smartphone in my everyday life, my characters use the magic at their disposal to help them through life.

I also find drawing a map very useful: it can focus you on practical things like climate and the positioning of types of terrain and where populations are situated. This can come in useful when your characters travel, to make journey times and methods of transport feel believable. It can be helpful to base fantasy countries on real life countries, and use elements of cultures that already exist to give the reader a feeling of familiarity.

Krisna: Thanks for the awesome tips on world building. I’d recently read an article about magic systems in your blog. It was really insightful and helped me a lot in my story world.

Another thing I really liked in your novel is your characters.  All of them have their own personalities and speech patterns. What is the inspiration behind these characters?

Elise: I’m afraid I’m one of these writers who just lets her characters develop as they choose. I plan the plots, but sometimes character motivation forces me to change the plot, because it doesn’t feel right for the character. It feels kind of silly to say the characters tell me how they feel, but that’s the closest I can get to it.

I knew I wanted a girl who longed to get away from her dull home life, and I wanted to give her a BFF. And that was my starting point!

Aunt Clauda has a little real-life inspiration. I have a single aunt myself, and as a child, I always enjoyed spending time with her. She’s not crazy like Aunt Clauda, but she did represent someone outside the family unit who was interested in me and happy to help out.

Krisna: LOL! That’s really interesting. Speaking of characters, who’s your favorite character in Carpets and what makes him/ her so special?

Elise: Elina is always my favourite. I know that’s kind of boring, but I chose my main character because she was someone I was interested in reading about. I wouldn’t say she’s meant to be me, but she has characteristics in common with me: being keen to leave home (although I was a little older than Elina when I finally did!), a longing to travel and see some excitement, but quite naive about the big wide world. She has goals which teen me would have identified with strongly.

Krisna: It’s not boring at all. I think the main character is the one that most readers are going to relate and connect to as the story is told from her POV. So it’s a great tip to have a main character that the author loves. It definitely shows in the writing.

Thank you so much Elise, for taking the time to answer my questions. I wish you all the very best in your writing career. I’m looking forward to the sequel to Carpets.

Elise: Thank you, Krisna 🙂

CONNECT WITH ELISE:

elise-author-picBorn 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.

You can connect with her via her Amazon Author PageWebsite, Facebook, Twitter,  GoodreadsInstagram and Wattpad.

Check out this amazing novel by Elise Edmonds. It’s available both in paperback and kindle formats.

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Where Carpets Fly – Elise Edmonds

Do you love magic and magic carpets? Then you’re in for a fantastic treat this week! Where Carpets Fly by Elise Edmonds is now available on Amazon.

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Where Carpets Fly is a YA Fantasy Adventure novel with a gripping story, loads of magic, magic lessons, and an underlying theme of enduring friendship. I fell in love with the characters, the amazing story world and the way the story is revealed to the readers.

And the cover is simply divine 🙂

Want to know more?

Here’s the story blurb:

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.

Check out this amazing novel by Elise Edmonds. It’s available both in paperback and kindle formats.

Elise has also graciously accepted my invitation for an author interview where she shares tips and tricks on the writing process.

Look out for a special author interview with Elise on 18th February 2017.

CONNECT WITH ELISE:

elise-author-picElise Edmonds is a new writer from the South-West UK. Reading and writing have always been her doorways into another world—a way to escape and spend time walking with wizards, flying with fairies and dealing with dragons.

By day she is a finance professional, and in her spare time she pursues writing as a creative outlet, to put the magic back into everyday life. In addition to reading, Elise enjoys watching movies, playing the piano, and going to Zumba classes. Her greatest loves are God, her husband, her family and friends, and her two beautiful cats.

You can connect with her through her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Wattpad.

 

YA-NA Parley: Shannon Leigh Rivera

Dear Friends,

For this month’s YA-NA Parley, we have with us author Shannon Leigh Rivera.

Shannon is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University’s Creative Writing program and a YA/NA fantasy author. She graduated Summa Cumme Laude in June of 2016, and plans on returning to finish her MFA in Creative Writing in the near future. For now, she is working on her own publications.

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Her work can be found in YA Seven Deadly Sins AnthologyEnvy and Gluttony editions available on Amazon and at shannonleighrivera.com.

Without further ado, here are a few snippets of our conversation.

Krisna: What would be your hero’s favorite real-world book? Your villain’s?

Shannon: If Talshae lived on Earth, she would probably be a huge fan of Joseph Campbell because he was a scholar of myths and legends, which is something she considers herself in her own world. The villain, not to give away too much about my antagonist, he would probably love anything that had to do with weapons- Jane’s Military Digest or anything that had to do with tactics or war.

Krisna: Are there themes you’re trying to bring out in your YA/NA that you feel are underrepresented?

Shannon: I believe that my writing really focuses on the importance of learning to love oneself. I want my characters to learn how to rely on themselves, rather than feel that they need to have another person love them in order to see their own worth.

However, I also focus on purpose over things, finding purpose over chasing things, which also plays into that. And the theme of duty, honor, and sacrifice, which isn’t something people really like to write about these days. Most YA/NA is about rebellion and breaking from traditions, while I explore the importance of traditions and the reasons for rebelling against the right things, or standing up for the right things, even if they are unpopular.

Krisna: Loving oneself, duty, honor and sacrifice – wonderful themes that are much needed in this world. It’ll resonate with a lot of readers. Speaking of readers, what can you tell us about your imaginary reader? Do you write with a specific reader in mind?

Shannon: I suppose this would be more like my imagined fan base. I suppose when I write, I am hoping that male and female readers will be able to relate to my characters and the world they live in. I tend to write more for a female audience, probably on the mature end of YA/NA, but I certainly don’t feel like the younger end would be turned off by the themes or mood of the story. Guys might not like the lead, Talshae, but they will certainly be able to get behind the male characters, especially Kaji and Lord Yu.

Krisna: If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose? Why?

Shannon: I would live in the world of Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin’s brainchild). Why? Two reasons- first- lots of water and islands. I am a sailor at heart. I love the ocean and I love being near the ocean. The water culture in her book appeals to me. Second- dragons.

Krisna: LOL! I’m a great fan of dragons too. *glances at clock regretfully*

We have time for one last question. Who was your favorite author as a child? Do they influence your storytelling now?

Shannon: The one author that has really stuck with me since my youth has been Anne McCaffrey. I remember the first time I read Dragonriders of Pern, I was just blown away. She was the reason I started writing fantasy, but also the reason I started reading more fantasy. I still branch out and read from every genre, but she is the one that introduced magic to me in such a way that I knew “this is it, this is what I want to do.”

Krisna: Thank you so much, Shannon, for taking the time to be with us and sharing insights into your writing.

Shannon: It was my pleasure…

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CONNECT WITH SHANNON:

When Shannon isn’t teaching writing classes or homeschooling her four children, she is writing serialized short stories for her fantasy blog. In addition, she is working on her first full-length novel, Of Rebels and Ruin, due out later 2017.

You can connect with Shannon through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads and her website.