Monday, October 31, 2011

Chatting with YA author, Elizabeth Mueller

 Today, my guest is YA author, Elizabeth Mueller.  She's here to talk about her latest relese, Darkspell.
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Mueller
BOOK TITLE: Darkspell
PUBLISHER: TreasureLine Books

Please tell us about yourself?
I started into the world of magic when I was very young. I expressed it by illustrating talking animals and forced hardships upon them just so that I’d feel better.

I also turned to the game of “pretend” that extended into a series of days or even weeks and months. I had an active imagination. It was my way of escaping.

I stared writing when I was 9 with short and choppy poems. When I was 11, I wrote a handful of short stories that would make me laugh now and started my first epic high fantasy novel at 17—which I completed 8 years later! It’s collecting dust right now until I decide to edit all my grammar mistakes.

The common theme in my writing is enduring tragedies, failing, and then coming out strong. It’s similar to my life story, and without a doubt, it shows in my every book that I write.
My trials have made me compassionate. I love sharing what I’ve learned as any real friend would.

It is my goal, as an author, to let you know that there is hope, love, and strength in this life that seems to batter and beat and abuse our poor souls.
I’m a passionate writer holding no secrets, and a friend willing to share everything I’ve learned.

Tell us your latest news?
Darkspell releases October 31st! I’ve been keeping a careful countdown over at my website by posting every one of my illustrations that will appear in my book—all hand-sketched by me! I’ve started writing the sequel, Darkwraith. My upcoming goals are to write a 3rd book along with companion books, as well as a Darkspell Graphic Novel—illustrated by me!
When and why did you begin writing?

This is related to how my interested originated with writing. I lost myself in writing as it was a way for me to deal with the ugly realities of my childhood. I didn’t turn to drugs or sex but I turned to writing. I forced my characters to endure huge problems just so that I could relate and grow with them.  My love for writing only grew stronger as I’ve grown older. It doesn’t surprise me how my books reflect my life story of tragedy, failing and enduring.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve been writing over 20 years, but I started announcing to my friends that I was such until 6 years ago. It all boils down to the belief of turning my talent into something more than just hobby. That is a brave step because many people didn’t take me seriously. They would just look at me and change the subject as if I’d never spoken. Once overcoming that hurtle, it all just went down hill. Believe in yourself!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Enduring tragedies can make us stronger if we don’t give up!

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I’m going to answer this question in a strange way. It’s always been a challenge for me to find a writer willing to mentor me. They are so busy with their projects and have their tight circles of other writers.  I know how it feels to hang onto thin air, to feel lost and alone every step of the writing career. If you read my blog’s bio, I truly am passionate about helping others succeed. I’m here if anyone ever needs a mentor!

What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
I just read Christie Anderson’s Deep Blue Secret. It’s a sweet romance that had me turning its pages to find out what was going to happen next! I love YA romance!

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
For sure! CK Bryant’s Bound, Melissa Kline’s My Beginning, Ali Cross’s Become. Did I mention that I love debut authors?

What are your current projects?
I’m currently writing Darkspell’s sequel, Darkwraith. I have the 3rd book in mind as well. When I’m done with those, I plan to start Darkspell’s graphic novel illustrated by me. I also have intentions to write companion books. During this craze, I plan to push my other books along into publication: Eros, Rockstar for starters.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It started as a fun little hobby in the 4th grade. When I was 11, I decided to try short story writing and loved the escapism I found in it. I took a creative writing class my senior year and felt right at home! At 17, I started my very first novel, but I didn’t finish it until 8 years later. Writing has always been a pleasurable way of escaping.

What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I love to spend time with my children. We watch movies and go out for long rides.  I love to draw—as you can see within the cover of Darkspell! Dancing is also a great way of escapism for me. I love to talk on the phone, text, and make friends, too.  Books are my next favorite thing!

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Honestly?  The process of getting any kind of rejection: I clump critiquers in this category, too. If you really think about it, when someone says you need to improve a sentence, they are still rejecting the original one in its smallest form. I would say that this applies to all my works, not just Darkspell.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
To answer the question at face value, it would be the growth of learning along with the characters, the experience of completing an entire book—it’s a huge sense of accomplishment! Deeper than that? Well, getting it out there is a lot of work. Readers only see what’s on the shelf. Like a movie, there are tons of people that the book must go through as well as many changes woven with heartache and drama.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Belief in yourself is half the battle. Literally. I didn’t get this far until I decided that I could do it. Once I believed, I took the steps to getting myself here! Also, you must connect with other writers. It’s true!

Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
I will be presenting for Writers Cubed Teen Author Boot Camp March 10th, as well as LTU&E—a fantastic conference for writers—date not set! I am also presenting at the Brigham City Library in the spring, I will talk about setting up and the importance of networking!

Who is your publisher and how did you connect with them?
My publisher is TreasureLine Books. This is a very interesting question to ask! I followed my intuition to set up an illustrating blog, and there a good friend of mine raved about my drawings. It turns out that her publisher loved my art as well and invited me to submit my query letter. It all happened so fast, my stomach was left queasy. I’ve done tons of growing since then.

How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.

You can find me in lots of places!

Email me at AT gmail

Alex reached out and took my hands. A spark of magic passed between us. I didn’t resist and his gaze deepened. Another wave tore through me and I felt his powerful drive to protect me and the desire to share the rest of his life with me. I could see forever, eternity was wide and deep.

I would never be alone again.

Having tasted Alex so strongly, so close, so dear, left me empty; a starving sensation that could only be filled by him. I had no idea he felt so intensely for me. His love washed away all doubt from me.I leaned into Alex as my world spun fast on a crooked axis. I breathed him in. I was intoxicated with his burning hold, I was so alive. Every sound was louder, the wind richer as it flowed through me. I was so free, so alive, so untainted by any wicked thing.

 I closed my eyes, shivering with desire, and imagined the breeze encircling us; bringing us to our feet and drawing us closer like a child’s ribbon.

Just as I opened my eyes, he whispered, “Listen, Winter. Listen to me.”

He brought me to him and gently pressed my face to his heart. It was a wild thing, trapped and yearning to be free. My blood sang and my eyes drifted closed. It felt as if my feet lifted from the ground. One hand was soft in my hair as he caressed my back with the other.

“How have you come by such magic? Such power to control? Can I come into your world? Can you teach me?” I trembled, savoring every sensation.

You can read chapter 1 here!

Purchase link is found at my website.