Interview: Elisabeth Wheatley, Author of Fanged Princess

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WheatleyFangedPrincessEveryone, please welcome Elisabeth Wheatley who is a teen author of the Texas Hill Country. When she’s not daydreaming of elves, vampires, or hot guys in armor, she is wasting time on the internet, fangirling over indie books, and training her Jack Russell Terrier, Schnay.

If you could, what book/movie/TV series would you like to experience for the first time all over again and why?

I think The Lord of the Rings Trilogy because I saw the second film first and had no idea what was happening. I thought there were only two hobbits and they were bouncing back and forth from being with Gollum to being Orc captives. I was like twelve or something and wasn’t paying attention. It was all just very confusing and I didn’t properly enjoy it.

Who are your non-writer influences?

I listen to a lot of music from the country, alternate, and world genres that are a great inspiration. Often a line or a theme in a song will connect with what I’m writing at the moment and then I’ll listen to it on repeat until I hate it. Fantasy artists also provide great imagination fuel, particularly the likes of Anne Stokes.

WheatleyFangedOutcastWho are your favorite hero duos from the pages?

Saphira and Eragon are on the list as well as Éowyn and Merry. Of my recent reads, I would have to say it’s Darmik and Neco from the True Reign series by Jennifer Anne Davis. They had that whole bromance thing going and I adored them!

Is there a book to movie/TV adaptation that you found excellent?

Quite a few actually. Once I went and watched them, I became enamored with the LOTR trilogy. My Favorite Television Show of All Time, Legend of the Seeker, was based off Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth series. (Still devastated it was cancelled.) The Mord’Sith were a big inspiration for Argetallam society in my Argetallam Saga.

Is there a PC game to book adaptation that worked for you?

My brother was into the HALO novelizations for awhile, but I can’t really say because I’ve never read one. Though I do want to give the Assassin’s Creed adaptations a shot. Just because I have a thing for assassins and the fanart is phenomenal.

WheatleyKeyOfAmatahnsIn this age of publishing, self-promotion is really necessary for the author. What do you enjoy most about advertising yourself and your works? What do you find most challenging?

I love meeting people who are as geeky as me. It can get lonely for a little nerd Deep in the Heart of Texas. Especially one living, to quote Captain Reynolds, at the corner of No and Where.

The most challenging thing is just figuring out what readers want to see as far as promos. Sometimes I think they’ll love a post or a giveaway and they really don’t. Other times, I’ll do something out of desperation and it’s a hit.

What is your favorite fictional holiday (from books, movies, or tv)?

Durin’s Day! Or the Gondorian New Year. (Have you noticed the LOTR theme yet?)

If you were asked to create the syllabus for a college class in SFF literature, what books would be on there as required reading? As passing discussion?

WheatleySecretsOfVanmarsI would definitely put the John Carter of Mars books on there along with The Chronicles of Narnia, The Once and Future King, and (naturally) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. One thing I’d like to get the students talking about is how you can tell when a book was written by the political correctness they were either trying to meet or defy at the time. I think that is something that still dates books today.

Care to share an awkward fangirl/fanboy moment, either one where someone was gushing over your work…or one where you were gushing over another author’s work?

I met Christopher Paolini at a signing for Inheritance a few years back. I was kind of mad at him for the way the series ended (still sort of am), but when he asked me I just said “Um…yeah,” grabbed my autographed books, and ran. It was like being in the presence of King Arthur. Was I supposed to say “you crushed my hopes and dashed my dreams, you miserable wretch”? Not really.

Now I have the privilege of having several of my favorite authors as colleagues and friends, but I still feel a little awkward at times when we hang out or chat online—sort of like a mortal asked to ascend Olympus and dine with the gods.

Cover art can be so important for a book, making or breaking sales. What cover art has caught your eye, that you found stood above other books?

I’ve had love at first sight with covers before. For examples of covers I could stare at all day, Ashes, Ashes by M.A. Bronson, Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, and Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas. I can’t really put my finger on what it is that I like, but if a cover screams “SWORDS! MAGIC! DANGER! AWESOMENESS!” I’m very liable to buy the book just because.

Side characters can make or break a story. What side characters have you enjoyed in other works? What side characters in your own work have caught more attention than you expected?

WheatleyChaliceOfMalvronIn T.L. Shreffler’s The Cat’s Eye Chronicles, one of my favorite characters is a side villain that goes by Krait. I think I like her for the same reason I like the Mord’Sith—sometimes it’s fun to play the baddie.

In my Argetallam Saga, when I was working on the second book’s prologue, I wrote in this young healer, Genvissa. Suddenly she’s the crush of a main character with her own subplot, two short stories, and a huge part of the series storyline. She’s very assertive.

Finally, what upcoming events and works would you like to share with the readers?

Well, the fourth book in my Argetallam Saga is set to come out sometime this year along with my third in Fanged Princess, my vampire novella series. Besides that, I’m editing/rewriting an Epic Fantasy Romance for summer 2015 about an assassin who ends up falling for the prince she was hired to kill. (Very excited about that one!)

Lots of fun stuff! I give regular updates on my blog as far as writing progress and cover reveals and releases.

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