Thursday, August 9, 2012

Author Interview & Excerpt: Elisabeth Wheatley, author of The Secrets of the Vanmars

Today we have the pleasure of talking to seventeen year old Elisabeth Wheatley, author of The Secrets of the Vanmars, the second book in the Argetallam Saga. We also have an excerpt from the book! Here's a brief synopsis so you know what it's all about:

After her adventures with the Key of Amatahns, sixteen-year-old Janir Caersynn Argetallam returns home to find Brevia on the brink of war with a neighboring country, Stlaven. Her foster-father and even Saoven—a brave young elf warrior—think it will be safe at the castle where Janir grew up. However, while trying to unravel a looming mystery, Karile—self-taught wizard and Janir’s self-appointed best friend—becomes certain that there is danger in the mountains surrounding Janir’s childhood home and that it has something to do with Stlaven’s most powerful family, the Vanmars… ~ Courtesy of Goodreads

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a devout Whoovian. I’ve only ever had crushes on fictitious characters. I bottle raised a donkey when I was seven and now he’s the epitome of a “problem child.” My goal is to infuse the internet with my consciousness via social media and thereby achieve immortality.

Being younger, was it difficult getting published?

Not really. But it was unusual. The tale of how I got published goes like this: Once I finished The Key of Amatahns, my mother persuaded me to admit it’s existence to my father. Being a supportive daddy, he asked around for advice on what to do next. He was recommended to a professional editor in West Texas, Suzanne O’Bryan. Ms. O’Bryan was so impressed with my work that she recommended it to a friend who has a small publishing house as a side-business. They picked me up and here I am.

Name one book that inspired you to start writing and how it inspired you?

Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Paolini was only fifteen when he began writing it and it showed me that I didn’t have to wait until I “grew up” to start writing a book. I could just do it.

Your novels, The Key of Amatahns and The Secrets of the Vanmars, are about sixteen year old Janir. Tell us what you think makes her a great character.

Janir is determined and strong, even if she doesn’t believe it and even if it’s not obvious. She can be a bit pig-headed, but is fiercely loyal to those she loves. She isn’t a sap, but she still tolerates the annoyances of Karile, her best friend. Which goes to show she’s a better person than me because I’d have brained the boy a long time ago.

What is your favorite line from one of your books and why?

“Te valde amo ac semper amabo.” As to why it’s my favorite...well, because it’s so different from the usual, cliché declarations of love in other books and, honestly, I’m proud of it.

Excerpt:

“What is it?” Janir whispered.

“Listen,” the enchanter responded, stepping in front of her.

Janir was silent, trying to hear through the din of the wind in her ears and the wind’s whipping sound of blowing through the grasses. She heard it. A faint humming sound.

Shivers of dread and fear resonated up her spine. She instinctively grabbed Karile’s arm to pull him back.

“Come on, Janir,” the wizard prompted. “We have to go check it out.”

“Really? And why is that? Exactly?” Janir retorted. “We should go home and let my master or Saoven or...someone else handle this.”

Karile sighed and gave her his sideways look that conveyed deep disappointment. “Janir, what are we going to tell them? ‘We heard a singing sound and are certain that it must be the Stlavish coming to kill all’?”

“No, just tell them and—”

Karile was already scrambling toward the peak of the slope ahead of her.

Janir angrily raced after Karile, the humming sound becoming more distinct and clear the further they went. “Karile! You dim-witted, pea-brained, imbecilic—” She wasn’t watching where she was stepping and tripped over a stray stone. Janir tumbled to the ground while Karile bounded ahead of her, nearing the peak at a steady pace. Furiously sputtering incoherent nonsense, the maiden picked herself up and charged after the enchanter. She forgot her anger as she reached the peak a few steps behind the wizard and saw the source of the clanging.

Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to us today, Elisabeth.

And for more about The Secrets of the Vanmars and the Argetallam Saga check out these sites!


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