AUTHOR: Rachel Hunter
BOOK TITLE: A Llathalan Annal: Empyreal Fate (Part One)
PUBLISHER: Hydra Publications
BUY LINK: (Not yet available, but will be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and hydrapublications.com)
1. Why don't you start with telling us a little about yourself? What genre do you write in and why?
Greetings! My name is Rachel Hunter, and I am a fascinated with words and the intricate way in which they combine. Since a child, I have been an avid writer, winding vibrant tales and elaborate stanzas on folded bits of paper. Currently, though my interest in writing still abounds, I am pursing a degree in medicine and psychology at the University of Oklahoma. The human psyche intrigues me greatly, and I appreciate reading a work in which the personality of its characters are reflected with realistic emphasis. A touch of insanity never hurt anyone either.
As far as genres, I take most fondly to works spanning science fiction and fantasy, but I appreciate any work that ensnares my imagination and traps me in a world of its own. I also delve deeply into poetry and lyrical works, and I have had two poems of my own published thus far: It All Starts with Creativity and Sestina of Elven Regret, followed by my first short story, Perfect Nothing.
2. Tell me about your current book which you are promoting.
Ah – yes! I would be delighted to share a bit about my book: Empyreal Fate – Part One of my Llathalan Annal fantasy series. I’ve included a blurb below:
Filled to the brim with forbidden love, an ancient evil, and a nation in disrepair, Empyreal Fate is a tale of riveting bravery and mortal corruption.
Behold: A Llathalan Annal: Empyreal Fate – Part One.
3. How long have you been writing?
What could be more magical than transporting oneself into realms of the impossible – the enchanting? Since I could but only grasp onto the covers of a book, I have been reading and writing to my heart’s content; therefore, I cannot give a specific age. Although I enjoy works spanning all genres, I have found that fantasy beckons my attention far above all. There’s something in the nature of the fantastical that draws me in; there’s something about the feel of alternate worlds and mystical planes that ensnares me. And this is why I write. I want to make others feel the way I do about words: to breathe in awe at their elusive connectedness – to marvel the fluid way in which they bind. It’s this internal delight that delivers life upon a sheet of parchment. And it is this feeling I wish to instill.
I wish to add a side note here, as I have also a penchant for poetry. ‘I dance with words,’ as some may say. As a poet, I have incorporated my fascination of speech within Empyreal Fate, thereby bringing to light the lofty language and mystical tongue of an epic world. Every sentence I wrote flowed through my head along with a beat, and I recounted my tale accordingly. Thus, I wish to share with all the beauty of words and the unique way in which they breathe.
4. What got you interested in writing, and what inspired you to write your first book?
Reading is what initially piqued my interest in writing. Oh, yes. Reading – adventures of ink and pages of mystery. My father has always been a reader, so books were never for lack in our home. Role-playing games have also lent a hand, for they have allowed me to extend my creative influence in unique and alternative fashions.
5. Do you outline before you write? If not, what’s your initial process?
No; I do not outline. I first obtain a sense of what I wish to write about – I close my eyes and feel the characters beside me; I hear the sounds of the world in my brain – and then I just… write. The words seem to come to me. (Although, sometimes the right words are difficult to beckon). I find that if I limit myself to an outline, I am only limiting the extent to which my story may blossom. My characters are not intended to be static representations of my imagination, but rather abstract individuals with multi-dimensional facets of interests. Quirks, if you will. Even the side characters play their part. I just find that if I set my characters and their actions in stone, their developmental growth throughout the tale is stilted. Besides, my mind changes from day-to-day. Who’s to say my initial idea won’t be replaced by something more powerful the next time I sit before the monitor? No. I let the Muse guide me. Not an outline of strict ‘rules’.
6. Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most and why?
I am most fascinated with Amarya – dear Amarya (of the elven race of Androth). I won’t give too much away at this point, but she represents those qualities which I covet most. She is perhaps the most serene, beautiful creature I have written thus far. And though she has her share of flaws, she holds herself with elegance and poise.
7. Describe your writing space.
Silence. I dislike writing with distractions, even music; though on the rare times that I do listen to music as I write, it must not contain lyrics. (Enya or classical music is fine). Although music does feed my soul, I feel it only distracts me when the words are seeking escape from my inner core.
Darkness is also a comfort when I write. For some reason, it extends a kind of embrace that encourages the flow of imagination.
8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Nature is the epitome of divine essence, no? When I’m not writing, I like to connect with the inner peace of myself and the world. I enjoy delving into my inner conscience – whether through music, yoga, or art – and I wholly enjoy taking part in Nature’s wonders. Kayaking, hiking, and mountain climbing beckon me, even in sleep. The warmth of the summer air caresses me through my adventures.
9. What books or authors have influenced your writing?
Ah! A difficult question indeed; for I have been influenced by all works in which I have come into contact: whether they taught me techniques I adore or whether they expressed a concept I now avoid – the list is ever-lengthy. Although, perhaps the first true fantasy epic I have ever read that influenced me positively was The Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks. But I also share an infatuation for David Eddings, JRR Tolkien, and Stephen Donaldson.
10. What are your current books out right now and what are the books coming up for
Currently, I have a short story published, titled, Perfect Nothing. It is currently available on Amazon here, and I am donating 100% of my proceeds to Give Kids the World. It was published on the first day of spring (and a lovely spring like day, I might add); although, Perfect Nothing is anything but spritely. It is instead an abstract (though true) account of my past relationship with an eating disorder, specifically, Anorexia Nervosa. Indeed, it is the first time I have been open about the disease - for mental affliction it truly is - and I wrote it not without some trepidation, intending to rend the past from its sick and twisted façade in order to spark within others the common urge for internal resistance… and emotional release. Yes, Perfect Nothing is a tribute to the harrowing darkness I discovered within me - a part of the disorder - a darkness that distorts reality and sets upon the victim a set of standards: a sort of… perfection. Though perfection it is anything but. It is instead the voice of weakness – when the discomforts of the world cannot be tolerated and one’s own body becomes the scapegoat for abuse. Anorexia. It is… insidious. An internal plague. And, though it no longer claims me as its own, I am still bound by its shadow – ever aware of its existence, though it rules me not. Always will the eating disorder be a part of me – nigh a distant breath – but it is as a tug of thread rather than a link of chains.
And, as you know, Empyreal Fate will be my next publication. Its release date is scheduled for this April by Hydra Publications. Please visit my Facebook Fan Page for relevant updates!
11. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Read much. Write often – and write nonsense. Jot down the first thing that comes to your mind and expand from there. Don’t think about what makes sense or which direction the flow will take you. Just allow the Muse to guide your hand. Once you have a start, you’ll know what to do. Perhaps not right away; let the words sit awhile. But make sure to come back to it, and then will you find the beauty within. The beauty of madness.
12. Where can people learn more about you and your work?
Feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, Goodreads, my blog, my website, or even Amazon. Also, keep an eye out for updates from my publisher: Hydra Publications. Although it’s difficult to maintain a consistent schedule with college, I will be sure to reply to any comments or questions in a prompt fashion.