This week’s guest is E. Rawls, who dwells in imaginary worlds, and dreams of becoming an epic swordsmaster, learning how to ride a wild dragon, mastering the art of drawing, painting, and to one day fluently speak Tolkien’s language of the Elves. Rawls lives off of chocolate, iced coffee, good humor and fantasy, and is a Speculative Fiction, Epic Fantasy, Steampunk and YA Christian author in the making: taking readers to other worlds and inside the lives of unique, interesting characters. Her stories are character-driven, speckled with comedy, surviving tragedy, slice-of-life and perseverance.
Hi, Cathleen! Thank you for inviting me here on your lovely website. I look forward to your questions.
My first question for you is: What is the single most important quality in a novel? In other words, what must an author do to win you over?
For me that would be character development. No matter how much action is going on in the story, I won’t care much for it if I’m not already in love with the characters. Because of this I like to write stories that are more character-driven.
Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
A rather long quote, but one of my favorites, is from The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien. It’s an encouraging thought to remember, especially when times are rough:
“It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end… because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing… this shadow. Even darkness must pass.”
How did you decide on your genre?
Much of my childhood was spent living in Italy, and while there, I and my parents would go on road trips through Italy and neighboring countries—places filled with castles, mountains, imagination and wonder, the stuff from which fantasy was born. So naturally I was drawn to the fantasy genre. But it was the trilogy Lord of The Rings that fully convinced me it was the genre I should not only read in but write in.
How much do you structure your stories before you write them?
A lot! I’m the type of writer who needs a firm foundation and structure set before I dive into writing. This sometimes means that it takes me longer to finish a story, but the end result is worth it.
Have you done any projects that took you way out of your comfort zone?
Yes, in a way, and it also happens to be in my first novel series WIP—which I’m very excited about! One of the characters in my current Epic Fantasy series “V. Chronicles” had a past that was difficult for me to write. Difficult because many children and young people have suffered through similar abuse. But instead of living as a victim, this character grows up to be a hero, and I hope that will be encouraging. If you are interested, you can learn more about V. Chronicles on my website. 🙂
Do you have a favorite line or two that you’d like to share from V. Chronicles?
This humorous quote takes place when my main character, Cyrus, is asked if she has any memories of her deceased mother. She was only two-years-old when she died, and so her memories of her are few and brief. Here she describes one such childhood memory:
Cyrus swallowed to smooth her voice. “I remember Mother’s scarlet hair—my hand reaching out to touch it. It was long and beautiful…and I think I mistook it for spaghetti covered in tomato sauce, once.”
What’s the craziest story idea you’ve ever had? And did you write it?
Haha, my craziest has got to be “Madnes Solver”—And yes, I am writing it! Currently it’s a blog series for the #BlogBattle, but in the near future I plan to polish it up into a book! You can read the rough draft version now on my website under the page/tab titled: Madnes Solver.
Thank you for the interview, Cathleen! It was fun. 🙂
You can find out more about Elizabeth Rawls at www.rawlse.wordpress.com