Author Interview: Elisabeth Wheatly Author of Fanged Princess
- Where did the idea for Fanged Princess come from?
I got the idea from reading romance stories and noticing that in some of them there is a "third wheel" character who is usually a brother or sister to one of the lovers and who often tries to help them out. So with Fanged Princess, I took a love story and told it from the perspective of the "third wheel."
- Was it easier writing your third book compared to the first and second?
Fanged Princess was one of those extremely rare stories that seemed to shoot out my finger tips and onto the keyboard. With my other stories, I usually have to put a lot of effort into them, but FP was much easier. I think it had something to do with the length. *sheepish grin*
- What kind of research did you need to do for Fanged Princess?
Well, most of the research involved the climatic scene at the end which takes place on a dam. I looked into different dams in the area where the story takes place, trying to find the right one. I think I did other research, but I can't recall right now.
- What about an outline? Do you map your way through a story or go by the seat of your pants?
I wrote Fanged Princess pretty much on the seat of my pants with just a very generalized outline. But normally, for my full-length novels, I write out a sequence of events to keep me focused.
- What was the most important thing you learned while writing Fanged Princess? What have you learned in general about writing?
I'm not sure I learned anything new about writing itself, but FP definitely had its own set of challenges in that it was written in the first person present tense and takes place in this world (whereas all my other books take place in a fantasy setting).
- What was the hardest part about writing Fanged Princess?
The hardest element of the story was, I think, trying to figure out just how traditional/non-traditional I wanted to make my vampires. But I'm very pleased with how they turned out.
- You're a young writer at seventeen and write exceptionally well. What training have you had if any? Does anyone else in your family write?
Why, thank you! I have had very little training, actually. I took a few basic high school level courses on general writing, but not much else. As for other members of my family, my mother has a creative writing degree from the University of Washington and she definitely encouraged my writing.
- Is anything in your story based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
There's probably some elements from my experiences in there, I just don't recognize them. The whole redneck aspect of the vampire hunters is certainly based on people I know, but I think for the most part, it's all my imagination.
- Your book is published with Chengalera Press. What made you decide to go with a small press instead of self-publishing?
I thought it would be better to have the guidance of editors and more experienced writers, particularly for my early novels.
- How do you market Fanged Princess? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Does your publisher help you with advertising?
Right now, my focus is mainly on the cyber-circles of social media, blogs, etc. I think that social media works well for my genre because of the targeted age group (13-18). My publisher does very little by way of marketing, but I still love them.
- Are there any other self-published authors that have grasped your interest or inspired you to self-publish?
Well, of course there are self-published authors who've caught my notice! Intisar Khanani, Erica Stevens, and JD Field to name a few. They've definitely gotten me curious about self-publishing and were the ones who made me realize that all those stereotypes about self-published works not being worthwhile were complete poppycock.
- I saw your interview on Fox News. How did that happen? Tell us about the experience.
I was at a signing/reading at the Texas Children's Hospital and the same lady who helped arrange that also was nice enough to put us in touch with the news station. I was very excited to be there, though I couldn't appreciate the experience very well because of those darned butterflies in my stomach.
- What format do you prefer to read in, eBook, paperback, or hardcover?
I prefer paperbacks, though I confess to having a (not so) mild addiction to Kindle books.
- Where do you think the writing world will end up in the future, your predictions?
Oh, darn, I don't know. From what I can see, the traditional "Big Six" publishers are in an ever-worsening relationship with their No. 1 distributor/competitor, Amazon. I can't really say were the publishing world will end up, but it appears that if the "Big Six" don't change their business model (mainly their bookstore return policies and their eBook pricing standards) they will be in trouble.
- What new projects are you working on now?
Right now, I've just finished a series opener for a new YA Fantasy and am now returning to work on my original series, the Argetallam Saga. After that, I should be back to working on the next Fanged Princess novella!
- Is there anything about writing you find particularly challenging?
Writer's block. I know everybody hates it, but when I get it, look out world! I become whiny and most difficult to live with, I'm afraid.
- Who came up with the cover design and where did the art come from?
I came up with the cover design from stock images and some basic graphic manipulation. A graphic designer did the art for my first book, but I've since been learning to do it myself.
- Did you hire anyone to help you edit? Why?
My publisher has an editor who they contract with. He has a great deal of experience and definitely knows how to spot the flaws in a story.
- What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? Your best compliment?
My toughest criticism was when a reviewer said that the storyline of one of my books "never went anywhere" or something along those lines. I was a little let down by that. But that which does not kill us makes us stronger, right?
My best compliment was, I think, when another reviewer said that people who enjoyed Sarah J. Mass' Throne of Glass would enjoy my Argetallam Saga. I absolutely adore Ms. Mass' books, so you can imagine how happy that made me!
- Do you have any advice for other writers?
My advice to other writers is "keep writing." No one else can write your story like you can and every single bestselling author was once an amateur who was just too stubborn to quit.
- Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
You people are AWESOME!
- How can fans that enjoyed Fanged Princess find out more about you and what you have coming out in the future?
I can be found in all these places. See you there!
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ElisabethWheatleyYAFantasyAuthor
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5139754.Elisabeth_Wheatley
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/elisabeth-wheatley?keyword=elisabeth+wheatley&store=allproducts