I want to thank and welcome fantastic fantasy author, Carol Browne for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. Carol’s book The Exile of Elidel is the first book of a trilogy and can be purchased from Musa Publishing, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores. Bonus: Stay tuned for a chance to win an ecopy of The Exile of Elidel at the end of this post. So let’s get this interview started…
How long have you been writing, Carol?
I started scribbling when I was about seven years old. From that point on I always wanted to be a ‘proper’ writer. It was a very long time before I achieved that goal – we’re talking nearly five decades!
I feel you, Carol. It sounds like we’ve been on the same path. Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Exile of Elindel?
In 1976, I was listening to a jukebox in an English pub when Mike Oldfield’s In Dulci Jubilo came on. The music conjured up an image in my mind of two fantasy characters who seemed to be nearing the end of some kind of quest. I felt compelled to write their story and find out who they were and what was going to happen to them. I set them in Dark Age
because Anglo-Saxon had been part of the English degree I had just completed at
University and the era appealed to me. I felt I was going with these characters
on their adventure, watching as they collected back stories and companions
along the way. Britain
What sets The Exile of Elindel apart from other books/series in the same genre?
I have to confess to not being a great reader of the sword-and-sorcery type of fantasy genre, so there’s little I can compare mine with. I like to think my elves are a bit different, though. They’re vegetarians and they talk to animals and have tremendous reverence for nature. They would definitely join the Green party if they were around today!
I also like to add humour to lighten the mood. Too much angst and jeopardy can get very tedious. I mixed up the genres a little too. In Book II there is an element of sci-fi as well as fantasy, while in Book III there’s a good dollop of horror. I’ve added some light romance as well; so something for everyone!
You’ve certainly thought of everyone, Carol! As a fantasy author, what is your writing process?
I write my first draft in longhand and have all my notes and research Blu-tacked to the walls of the room where I work. Once I commit myself to writing something, it is with me all the time so I take a pen and paper out with me in case I get any fresh ideas. I have a housekeeping job and frequently have to stop to jot something down. I hate it when characters start talking to each other in my head. I have to say ‘Shut up! I can’t write all that down now.” It’s infuriating that I can’t set aside regular time slots for writing. I guess I’ll have to hang on till I retire.
Seems like you’re always prepared when your characters come a-calling! How long did it take for you to start and finish The Exile of Elindel?
That’s a difficult question! I can’t remember that far back. (Those files have been deleted!) I do remember the first draft being ENORMOUS. It rambled on forever; more padding than a king-size duvet. I wrote it in the summer of 1977 and spent the next thirty-odd years lugging it around in suitcases, storing it in attics, taking it out to rewrite it and submit to publishers, putting it back in the attic.
Thirty years? Now that’s dedication! Do you have any advice for other writers striving to write in your genre, Carol?
Use your own original voice and ideas. Don’t try to be the next Tolkein.
Brilliant advice! Everyone is unique in their own way. So, what’s next for Carol Browne the author?
The rest of the trilogy will be out next year: Book II, Gateway to Elvendom, in March and Book III, Wyrd’s End, in December – as long as everything goes smoothly with the editing process. Meanwhile, I’m nearing the end of my work in progress, a paranormal thriller. I recently wrote myself into a corner with this one and so lost a few days while I worked things out. I have discovered over the years that if you are stuck with a plot or character, there’s always a solution, but it might have to simmer away in the old brain pan for a while before it bobs to the surface.
It sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?
If I could go back to the Battle of Hastings in 1066, and somehow make sure the Saxons won instead of the Normans, I would. But let’s be realistic! I have always admired Horatio, Lord Nelson, and I love those old ships of the line. (I stood on board HMS Victory myself during a visit to the Naval Dockyards in
a few years
ago, and it is a day I will never forget). If I could, I’d like to go back to
the time of the Napoleonic Wars and meet Nelson. I’d love to know if he was as
charismatic as everyone said he was. Portsmouth
Thank you very much for having me on your blog, Sharon. I did enjoy the experience!
Elgiva, a young elf banished from Elvendom, must seek shelter among the Saxons as her only hope of surviving the coming winter.
Godwin, a Briton enslaved by the Saxons, is a man ignorant of his own inheritance and the secret of power he possesses.
A mysterious enemy, who will stop at nothing to wield absolute power over Elvendom, is about to make his move.
When destiny throws Elgiva and Godwin together, they embark upon the quest for the legendary Lorestone, the only thing that can save Elvendom from the evil that threatens to destroy it.
There is help to be found along the way from a petulant pony and a timid elf boy but, as the strength of their adversary grows, can Elgiva’s friends help her to find the Lorestone before it falls into the wrong hands?
Carol Browne first appeared on the planet in 1954. She regards Crewe,
Cheshire, as her home
town and graduated from in 1976
with an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living in the
Cambridgeshire countryside with her dog, Harry, and cockatiel, Sparky, when
she’s not writing fiction, Carol spends her time as a housekeeper, proofreader,
and ghost writer in order to pay the bills. Pagan and vegan, Carol believes it
is time for a paradigm shift in our attitude to Mother Nature and hopes the
days of speciesism are numbered. Nottingham
ENTER TO WIN: Carol has her magical elfin hat cleaned out and rearing to go. All you have to do is leave a comment along with your contact information, and Carol with add your name into the hat for a chance to win an ecopy of The Exile of Elindel. You have until midnight EST Monday, October 6th 2014 to submit your comment, and then POOF— the magical elfin hat picks the winner! Good luck, everyone!