I have Rachel Hunter on today for an interview to tell us about herself and her book Empyreal Fate. I’m really looking forward to reading it.
Empyreal Fate Blurb:
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.
The land of Llathala lingers on the brink of war between men and elves, a dark history surrounding each race. Stirred by tensions of the land, a shadow of the past reemerges, taking precedence in reality and consuming the very soul of mans’ mortal weakness. Darrion, the son of a poor laborer, is ensnared in a hostile world, forced to choose between loyalty to his king or the counsel of the elves. Yet Fate has other plans in store, tying his course to Amarya, an elven royalblood of mysterious quality and unsurpassable beauty. But this forbidden connection incites betrayal from members of their own kin, marking them as traitors to the crown. In a land torn asunder, only Fate’s decree can allow such love to coexist with an ancient enmity.Behold: A Llathalan Annal: Empyreal Fate – Part One.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’d be delighted! Thanks for having me here today~
My name is Rachel Hunter, and I am a reader, writer, dreamer, yogini, and jedi knight. Okay… so maybe I don’t own a lightsaber, but I do possess the One Ring. Still don’t believe me? Fair enough; but in the realm of imagination, I can be anything I want to be (and, subsequently, own what I wish to own). That’s the beauty of creation, no?
Anyway, I am an author, a poet, and a student attending the University of Oklahoma for a degree in psychology and in the health field. I tend to have an infatuation with words, which has led to my poetry publications, a short short piece (titled, Perfect Nothing), and my recent fantasy novel release, Empyreal Fate.
Was your win in 2007 for the Promising Young Writer award the event that decided you would be a writer or had you made that decision sooner?
I breathe words, so I truly think the aspiration lies is in my genes. Ever since I was but a child, I’ve wanted to write. It began with reading. My father read to me often, and the fascination with winding vibrant tales thus began! In fact, I started writing before I could even spell my own name! Curious, is it not? But I remember – quite vividly – when I would sit down (stand… I don’t like sitting), and I would think of a story I wanted to write, and then I would ask my parents how to spell each and every word. It was painstaking – let me tell you – but that’s where it all began. I would say I wanted to write since the womb, but… *sigh*… childhood hits the mark. So – to answer your question directly – I knew I wanted to be a writer long before my first poetry publication and award.
Do you have a favorite genre to write and read?
I enjoy reading and writing speculative fiction the most – particularly fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk. I do read and write various other genres also, but the realm of the fantastical and gritty ‘steampunkism’ captures my fancy above the rest.
How much time went into Empyreal Fate from that first sentence to the final draft you submit?
Wow – the first sentence? That’s really pulling at my memory there. Well, I began the very first rough draft of Empyreal Fate in the fifth grade. More like, the first concepts, I guess. I’ve since rewritten it numerous times throughout the years, and it wasn’t until high school that I finally decided to work ‘til the end. Needless to say, there was never an official ‘starting point’, for even after the final draft, there was still more edits to be done and more ‘finals’ to be made. So I really couldn’t pin down an exact time-frame. Let’s just say it was several years in the making.
What has the post publication experience been like?
Seeing as Empyreal Fate was released as an ebook late last month, and the print version was just released the other day, I haven’t had a long post-experience yet! I’m still awaiting my first review for the novel; but I did receive my first ‘fan mail’ the other day. I am deeply honored to share my work with others, and there is no greater feeling than to spark appreciation and enjoyment in the hearts of others. Indeed, the entire process has been simply breathtaking, and I could not be more thankful. I have an incredible support system in my publisher, friends, family, acquaintances, and readership. What more could I ask for?
The cover is fantastic! Did you get to be involved in its creation?
As a matter of fact, my publisher allowed me to select the artist, and I decided to ask if the wonderful Peter Bradley would be willing to portray my novel through his artwork. He promptly agreed, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
For those who have not yet read Empyreal Fate, the figure on the cover is the elven royalblood, Amarya. The flower hovering between her palms is the Laymeur – the divine birthplace of the fairykin. Indeed, the Laymeur is a major motif in my series, and it is representative of Fate. It is… well – I won’t spoil it for you.
How many books do you have planned for the Llathalan Annal series?
I’ve actually written the entire series, and there are five books total. However, the other four are only rough drafts, and I’ve yet to go back through them for heavy edits and rewrites. So in the end, the Llathalan Annal may end up with more – or even fewer – sequels. It all depends on whether I want to rewrite the other four books and incorporate new ideas – or whether the Muse wants to guide me with something different. We’ll see…
What about after? Do you have ideas ready or are you focused on the continuation of Empyreal Fate?
I am definitely going to continue my Llathalan Annal series. However, I also have a steampunk novel in the works, so my exact writing schedule is not entirely set. Nevertheless, readers can be sure that there will be more in the realm of Llathala – and beyond.
Thank you most graciously for your time, Jessica. It’s been a blast!