Monday, August 22, 2016

Interview - Truthsong by Elisabeth Hamill

Do you write in different genres?

I write primarily fantasy and science fiction. Usually, there’s at least a mild element of romance to the story.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write? 

Fantasy seems to be my most prolific genre, but I’m starting to re-discover my love for science fiction.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

I always have a working title, but I wait until it’s finished before I make that final. I had originally titled this one LORD OF THE WOOD, but as I got in, I realized that the third book should have that title.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Moon, read Lloyd Alexander’s THE BOOK OF THREE out loud to our class. I was hooked immediately and read the rest of the series. Then, my dad gave me a copy of JRR Tolkien’s THE HOBBIT when I was about eleven. That cemented my obsession! Some of my favorite authors are Marion Zimmer Bradley, David Brin, Ursula LeGuin, Madeleine L’Engle, Nina Kiriki Hoffman and Zenna Henderson. 

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I am currently writing an adult sci-fi called DALI. The story takes place about two hundred years in the future as a third gender for the human race has emerged. It’s largely a space opera/adventure, with allegorical issues similar to those faced by the transgender community. My main character, Dali, can choose their gender.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Every night I stood over the graves of my husband and wife. I screamed until my throat bled, and scarlet fell like rubies into the mounded silt of lunar soil. I knew it was a dream, because they didn’t have graves. None of the victims did.

I didn’t sleep much anymore. Instead, I prowled the underbelly of Rosetta.

There’s a place on every space station no one admits to knowing about, ignored by the crew because it keeps the ugliness from spilling over into public areas. Spacers who haven’t seen planetside for a long time get…hungry. On Rosetta Station, the place they go to satisfy their hunger is The Labyrinth. It’s a maze of ducts, plumbing, supply lines and tanks that constitute the veins and arteries of the station, running under the metal skin of the bottom level. Beneath my feet, less than an arms-width away, lay the vacuum of space, frigid and infinite. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding time! I’m a hospice nurse in my non-writing life. I get up early on my days off to write when nobody else is awake. I guard my time like a sleep-deprived dragon. It’s important to me.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

Only in my own head! That is one of the best things about writing fantasy and science fiction. Worldbuilding is tricky, but how else will you travel through time, to other planets, or to mythical realms? If my writing doesn’t make pictures in my own head, it won’t for my readers either. I take those mental trips as often as I can, LOL.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Caroline Andrus did both covers for the Songmaker books. She is so easy to work with, and an expert at channeling the atmosphere of the books into a cover.

Book 2
Elisabeth Hamill

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Fire and Ice YA

Date of Publication:  July 26, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-68046-326-2

Number of pages: 236
Word Count: 80K

Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Book Description:

The long awaited sequel to SONG MAGICK

When Telyn’s song magic freed ancient spirits of the Wood, it also awakened a long-slumbering evil. Now she and her beloved Mithrais must battle a spreading shadow that ignites crippling fear, and deal with the unexpected consequences of magic’s return.

More danger arrives with a royal delegation to the forest realm, sweeping Telyn back into court intrigue and the sights of a murderous lord. Mithrais may be forced to choose between his service to the Wood or the obligations of his royal blood.

As Telyn’s bond with Mithrais grows, she is torn between her love for him and the freedom of a wandering bard’s life. But when dark magic plunges the Wood into chaos, she must balance the two halves of her heart—or the Fates may take Mithrais from her forever. 

Amazon     Smashwords     BN    Fire and Ice
Excerpt 2:
“Old One?” He kept his voice soft. “What’s out there?”
            “Fear.” The sprite cocked its head and never took its eyes from the darkness. On the fringes of the grove where Mithrais’ light did not reach, the shadows were thick and impenetrable.
            Something blacker than night moved against the trees.
            His breath and pulse quickened with a primal terror he’d never known. A new reflex took hold. Power leapt to await the cast of a spell without his conscious assent, and he tamped it down. Cold sweat broke out on his forehead.
            “You are safe, Magian,” the sprite murmured. “It cannot stand against us in this form, although it can make itself known.”
            “What is it?” Mithrais could not tear his gaze from that terrible nothingness.
            “A projection of what was once vanquished, long ago. A creature of elemental form. It has no shape of its own. It simply is.”
            “What does it want?”
            “To be free, within a shell of flesh. There, it can wreak the havoc it once fed upon.”
            Mithrais fought to replace fear with reason and action, but it slowed his thoughts. With supreme effort, he turned his focus to the magical knowledge the Gwaith’orn had imprinted upon his mind. “How do we defend against it?”
            “It is yet contained. Some things are best left alone.” The sprite looked at him at last. “It can do nothing but spread fear in this form, but that is how it draws a vessel to it.”
“This form is only a projection?” He did not want to imagine facing what produced this fearsome shadow in the dark.
“It will fade with the light. Breathe, Magian.”
The light… Mithrais seized the lantern from the front of the wagon and thrust it in front of him. The magelight flashed in blinding, silver-blue radiance, a captive star in the depths of the Wood. It dispelled the darkness in the grove, and the dark shape fled to slip between the trees until it was out of reach of the magelight.
The terror fled as well, leaving him hollow as it drained from his body. He could think again and was deeply troubled. Around him, small sounds of night began to re-emerge—crickets, the trill of a frog on the river’s edge. He allowed the light to fade to its previous pale glow and attempted to wrap his mind around this encounter. First dragons, and now dread shapes in the night: What else had been wrought in the wake of the spell Telyn and the Magians cast in the Circle?
“Mithrais?” Telyn’s sleepy voice sounded from the wagon. “Is something wrong?”
“I’m not certain.” It was as if the dark shape had never existed. Even the sprite had disappeared when he turned around and looked for it. He hung the lantern back on the front of the wagon and reclaimed the space beside his lifemate.
“You’re shivering.” Telyn moved closer and wrapped her arms about him. “I was having a nightmare.”
“So was I.” But his had been waking.
“Too many ghost stories from Kendric and the sprite, I think.” She sighed and relaxed again into sleep. But Mithrais lay awake until dawn’s approach outshone the light of his spell.

About the Author:

Elisabeth Hamill is a nurse/wife/mom by day, unabashed geek/chocoholic/closet sci fi and fantasy novelist by night. She lives with her family, dog, and cat in the wilds of eastern suburban Kansas, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.

Song Magick, her first novel, won first in category for Teen Fantasy in the 2014 Dante Rossetti Awards for Young Adult Fiction.

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Elisabeth Hamill said...

Thank you for interviewing me today, Roxanne!