Elizabeth Hull, Thanks for coming to our live interview today, and thanks everyone for following this live, can you please tell us if you are a full time writer, and if yes, how is it like to be one, does it take a lot of work and determination, if not, tell us please about your writing experience a little? — with Elizabeth Hull.
Elizabeth Hull Hi Shah. First, thanks so much for hosting this event! And yes, I am a full time writer. It takes a fair amount of discipline to get the words down each day and some days are better than others.
Shah Fazli Brilliant, how many books have you written, and if you have to live on writing, how many books should you have and how many books should you sell each day, does it work for you like this, or you do other things as well to earn your living?
Elizabeth Hull Darkspire Reaches is the first book to be published. Aside from that, I have a science fantasy trilogy, a science fiction book, two urban fantasies and a traditional fanatasy. These latter are in the state of being finished or polished. I am also fortunate in having the support of my husband, who believes in my writing.
Shah Fazli A question from May-Lin Iversen Demetriou
I know that you worked on Darkspire Reaches for some time. Is the finished novel the same as the one you started out with - or did it change over time?
Elizabeth Hull Opps. Cross posting my answer here.
Elizabeth Hull Yes, May, the book did change a lot over time. I think I had about five different openings before I settled on one. I also managed to lose the the last few chapters of the book in a pc crash, but I think the resulting rewrite is a lot better.
Shah Fazli A question from Joanne Hall
I love your cover art, it's really dynamic. What input did you have into the way it looks?
Shalini Samuel How much have you earned so far, through writing? Can a writer solely depend on writing for his bread and butter?
Susan Elizabeth Curnow Hi Elizabeth, sorry, sending Tom back your way for Uni. My question is how much did you rely on old legends to write Darkspire Reaches, or is everything totally from your imagination?
Shah Fazli Elizabeth Hull's answer, I said what I wanted to have on the cover and then the concept came from Ken Dawson, who is the creative artist as well as a writer for Holland House. The concept was then sent out and the team, together with myself chose Alex Boca's design. We all think it is pretty awesome.
Elizabeth Hull Shalini Samuel, don't give up your day job. I haven't earned any money from the books as the first one is just about to be published. I have picked up a little pin money over the years from the sale of short stories, but not enough to feed a mouse.
Joanne Hall What made you decide to write under a pen name?
Elizabeth Hull Susan Elizabeth Curnow I didn't draw on old legends for the book. I used a little wiccan lore here and there and a tiny bit of Native American heritage. The wyvern is from mythos, but there again, he is totally mine.
Shalini Samuel Thankyou Elizabeth Hull, I am not working, I wish to earn through writing. Whats the secret of a best selling book? Do you have any idea?
Elizabeth Hull Hi Joanne Hall. It wasn't really a choice I had. If you google my real name you will come up with the very nice lady writer of fantasy who is also the wife of Fred Pohl. Johnny come Lately needed to find something else for a name.
Shah Fazli A question from, Gillian O'Rourke
Hi Elizabeth, i was wondering about the influences in your life which have helped shaped your novel?
Elizabeth Hull Shalini Samuel. I will let you know that if I ever have a best seller. LOL. Looking at other author friends, I would say it is persistence and marketing in the right way as well as having a good product.
Elizabeth Hull Hi Gillian O'Rourke. I guess there are some influences. I am deeply committed to the environment, so perhaps take a deeper notice of flora and fauna. I also happen to live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
May-Lin Iversen Demetriou Well, you know I am a fan of your writing. In Darkspire Reaches, Raven is particulary interesting. She's vulnerable, afraid, alone - and yet at the same time, strong, stubborn, and brave. How did she come about? And do you have a special trick for writing realistic and believable characters?
Elizabeth Hull Hi May-Lin Iversen Demetriou. Raven came first, before the Wyvern. The book started off as a short story and got totally out of hand. After a while, I just let the characters have their say and a book happened. As for the characters, I have to be inside their head and looking out of their eyes. No one is completely good, or completely bad, there are many shades in between and I am not going to fall into the trap of using the G word. LOL.
Susan Elizabeth Curnow How much do other writers influence you?
Elizabeth Hull Hi Susan Elizabeth Curnow. I think the style influenced me, but not the content. I have to be different and awkward and do my own thing. I would have to say Frank Herbert's book Dune and J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit got me hooked on sci fi and fantasy.
Jim Giammatteo Hi, Elizabeth. I'm joining the party late. I bet you're excited about launching this baby.
Jim Giammatteo I saw what you said about Dune. I have to agree. I think Dune was one of the best SciFi books/stories ever.
Elizabeth Hull Yes, Jim Giammatteo. It is suddenly starting to become a reality and not just wishful thinking.
Elizabeth Hull Jim Giammatteo, I have a copy of Dune so re-read that I think I am going to have to buy a new one before it dissolves in a cloud of dust. I have to say the mark of a great book is the ablilty to find more to like with each read, even though the ending is known. There is something quite magestic about Dune.
Elizabeth Hull Waves at people. Ask me here.
Shah Fazli Can you read from Darkspire Reaches for us please?
Elizabeth Hull The reflection altered, becoming a woman grown, shifting and maturing. Raven shuddered—this wasn’t her face anymore, not with those hollowed cheeks under brown eyes, and those full lips. The image changed perspective until all of the woman’s body showed against a moorland landscape. Wind howled between boulders that stood like giant bones in scraggy patches of grass and scrub. A gust tugged at the ankle-length green and brown tunic to tease the fringes decorating the strange attire. The figure hurried to a large flat rock, and placed a bundle in the center. Now the thin wail of a newborn carried on breeze.
The great shape of a wyvern blotted out the stars as it swooped closer. Wings as big as the meeting-hall roof flapped with the sound of wet leather smacked on rock, and a huge head on a long neck snaked back and forth, searching. Wicked talons extended from birdlike feet, and flames erupted from the beast’s mouth. Stars, the thing wasn’t even close, and it was clear it could swallow a person whole.
Was this her future? No, for she’d die before she let a wyvern take a child of hers. This was her past.
Susan Elizabeth Curnow The ability to capture readers is to create characters with which we can empathize. Tell me why I should empathize with Connor?
Jim Giammatteo You create wonderful settings, Elizabeth. I can picture every part of your worlds.
Elizabeth Hull Susan Elizabeth Curnow because he has been alone from his teen years and is only now learning how to socialize. Yes, he makes mistakes, but this is from ignorance and not ill intention.
Susan Elizabeth Curnow Hms, thank you Elizabeth Hull. So is there a 'message' within the story, or is it purely damned good fun?
Elizabeth Hull Jim Giammatteo. Why thank you kindly!!! I have to be able to see around the characters and through their eyes. I think the diversity might have come from travelling a fair bit in nicer times. Of course, I am living right by these honking great mountains and that helps. The picture on my website banner and here, on my cnlesley page is a vacation shot I took of Mr Robson at around 5 am, when the mist was just beginning to rise off the snowcapped peacks in the gentle light of dawn. Sometimes the very best pictures of all are the very early ones. Anyhow, this is much how I imagined the mountains in my book.
Elizabeth Hull Susan Elizabeth Curnow the message might be subliminal. LOL. It is listening to people when they speak and when they are silent. Respect needs to be earned, along with love. And I hope it is a fun read!!!!
Shah Fazli The interview is open for as long as Elizabeth Hull is happy to carry on and for as long as you have questions from her, please join 'like' our page to support our live facebook interviews, thanks everyone for taking part in this.http://www.facebook.com/BeInTheSpotlight?ref=ts&fref=ts
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Shah Fazli Order the book from here:http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/2013/03/darkspire-reaches-c-n-lesley.html
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Elizabeth Hull I am still here and on my second cup of coffee. Looking out, I see the sun has just decided to get out of bed.
Susan Elizabeth Curnow Well I wondered because often we 'insert' things without realizing it and then readers find things you don't even know you've written, at least not consciously. Interesting blog by Kate Elliott today about how often writers repeat themes.
Jim Giammatteo So, Elizabeth, I haven't been keeping up, have you announced whether there will be a sequel to Darkspire Reaches?
Elizabeth Hull Susan Elizabeth Curnow well I suppose themes will be repeated. There are a set number of circumstances that will catch the attention of readers. Frex, there could be this character who starts off as someone quite unimportant, but who has some characteristic that has great bearing on the future of a world/worlds/universe. Along the journey the character will grow as a person and probably have a romantic encounter of some sort, which may or may not last. What book am I describing? About half a dozen, probably more. Off the top of my head, this could apply to Dune and to David Eddings Belgariad, or Lord of the Rings .... It is not the theme that sets aside one book from another, but the nature of the characters and the delivery.
Susan Elizabeth Curnow Yes, that individual voice. Thanks! But I have to go to work. Some of us have day jobs *G*.
Elizabeth Hull Jim Giammatteo I am putting together a synopsis and working out a few ideas for a sequel. Let's say it is a work in progress at the moment. I know I left a few threads untied on purpose and I would start by addressing these.
Jim Giammatteo I agree. I think it could be an interesting one.
Elizabeth Hull Susan Elizabeth Curnow, thanks so much for coming.
Jim Giammatteo And I agree about themes. Think about a broad one like 'vengeance.' that theme could permeate a series by one author, but another series - from a different author -- might use it in an entirely different manner.
Elizabeth Hull Jim Giammatteo what I am looking for is a really good antagonist for the sequel and it can't be someone I used before. Those people could be sacrificial spear carriers, but I need a really nasty biggie. Having said that, something just popped into my mind and I will presently scribble it down before I forget. Yep, that will do nicely and no, I can't share as it would be a spoiler. LOL. Thanks for sparking the idea.
Jim Giammatteo I live to be the spark in other peoples' lives.
Jim Giammatteo While you scribble your thoughts on the next masterpiece, I must go make some calls. It was great being here. We'll chat tomorrow or soon. Good luck.
Shah Fazli Thank you once again everyone for joining, and our special thanks go to Elizabeth Hull for taking the time to answer everybody. It was a real pleasure for us.
Elizabeth Hull Jim Giammatteo, yes, it is all about the tone and flavor of the book. If it were a detective book, frex, it could be a murder and no way could a reader type person connect the same theme from an Agatha Christie book and your honor and friendship series. How can one compare Murder at the Vicarage to your Murder takes Time? There is a wholly different atmosphere to both and great enjoyment generated by each.
Elizabeth Hull Thanks so much Shah, for putting this event on and also to Catherine for setting up the blog. Thanks to all the people who came to the event! I will be around if you have any more questions.
May-Lin Iversen Demetriou I need to take out the dog. Thanks for a great and interesting interview!
Elizabeth Hull Thanks for coming, May-Lin Iversen Demetriou.
Lisa Blackwood Sorry I missed your event. Was at the horse rescue longer than I thought. Sounds like you had a great event, though.
Lisa Blackwood Bye for now.
Sylvia Volk Aww. I also missed out; I have to go in unexpectedly to work. But at least I can drop in now to say congratulations!
Elizabeth Hull Thanks Lisa Blackwood, it was so much fun. Sorry you got tied up.
Elizabeth Hull Thanks Sylvia Volk. It was a blast. Sorry you missed it, but when work calls ...
Shah Fazli We are making these interviews into a book where hundreds of authors from around the world would take part, please anyone who doesn't want their names in the book, contact me or Elizabeth.