Good evening everyone! I am bringing you tonight Evelyn Wolff. Her interview is awesome and be sure to check out her book on amazon:
The Emaskan Prophecies (Kindle edition)
Do you write under any other names?
As of now, I only write under the name Evelyn Wolff.
What are you currently working on?
I spend most of my writing time on book two of my ‘The Emaskan Prophecies’ trilogy at present. It’s been exciting to work on this one. I enjoyed writing the first book in the trilogy, but now that the reader has been introduced to the characters and the story, I can just jump into the action on book two from the start and it’s been a nice change of pace.
How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles?
Just one published ‘The Emaskan Prophecies – An Heir to the Throne’, but hopefully there will be many more to come.
What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a short story that developed into ‘The Emaskan Prophecies’. I wrote it while I was at high school and it was ultimately about my pet dog at the time, a collie named Rags. I have always been a keen animal lover and I consider my dogs to be some of my best friends. Rags was a loyal, loving companion and I remember thinking that he would have been the most amazing character if I gave him a voice. So I suppose, back then, he was my inspiration. By the time I published my novel, he had sadly passed away and so I thought it fitting to dedicate the book to his memory.
Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer?
Not particularly. I enjoy most styles of writing but I generally write however I think best fits the story I’m telling at the time. In one of my books yet to be published, (entitled ‘Tristan’) I wrote the whole thing in first person but I had two main characters, so one chapter was written from the first characters perspective and the next chapter from the second characters perspective and so on. The Emaskan Prophecies is written in third person because are so many important characters that I felt using any other technique would limit the action that the reader could ‘see’ so to speak.
How did you come up with the title of your book(s)?
I have to admit it was fairly easy in the case of my first published work. The story is about a prophecy that came from an ancient land called Emaska that has been lost in time, so The Emaskan Prophecies seemed like the best choice. The subtitle ‘An Heir to the Throne’ is more specific to the first book since the characters are trying to locate the heir to Emaska’s throne throughout.
Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp?
Sometimes there is, yes. With the Emaskan Prophecies trilogy, I wanted to make people rethink their opinions on animals. We live in a world where animal life often means very little and I think that’s mostly because people don’t consider what the animal kingdom would say if it had a voice. I think it’s easy to forget that most creatures still feel even if they don’t show feelings in the same way as us. Most animals still experience basic emotions like fear, anger and happiness but because they can’t vocalise these emotions, people often overlook them. As time progresses our treatment of animals does improve but I think that a large amount of people still don’t place enough importance on the creatures that we share this Earth with. Animal welfare is something that matters to me a lot and in my book I was able to let some of my animal characters give their opinions on mankind and the way we behave in a bid to offer a different perspective.
How much of the book is realistic/true?
I tried to keep some elements as realistic as I could but since the book is fantasy, obviously the majority of it is not. I suppose the best way to explain is to use the ‘Narnia’ books as an example. While the children are away from Narnia, their surroundings are realistic but aside from that, it’s fantasy.
Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think every writer puts a bit of themselves into their work and not necessarily on purpose. Some of my characters are deliberately based on people I know, while others have had similar experiences in their lives to me or my friends.
What books have most influenced your life most?
There are so many I could list that I think had some influence on me in one way or another. Jacqueline Wilson was one of my favourite authors when I was younger and I still think she has a remarkable way of telling moderately upsetting, but honest stories, gently enough that children can read them.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a “mentor”?
That’s a difficult question to answer because each writer is different and I think you can always learn from a multitude of people. Even now I rely on certain writers to inspire me if I have a piece of writing that I’m struggling on. For example, if I need to write a fight scene I usually turn to the wonderful ‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ series by Derek Landy. He writes action brilliantly and reading a few of his characters battles never fails to spur me on. Charlaine Harris makes me laugh and can write romance that is realistic and touching. Stephenie Meyer is my reserve for tension and perhaps more intense/naïve romance, while Suzanne Collins does awkward romance and political oppression very well, plus I think she’s very good at thinking outside the box and doing something a bit different. They are all authors that I idolise and I aspire to write like them.
What book are you reading now?
I’m currently on the ‘Darkness rising’ series by Kelley Armstrong.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friends were so supportive of my writing. I’m lucky to have people who take an interest in my work like they do. Another incredible group of people are the Indie writing community on facebook. Some of the writers on there go out of their way to help with promoting my book for no gain of their own and it’s really overwhelming. I’m so glad I’ve been able to network with so many fantastic people on there!
Do you see writing as a career or a hobby?
I think it can be both but I’d say it’s a career. I want to write for a living, unfortunately at this present moment, that’s not possible so I might refer to it as a budding career but still a career.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think I would, is that too confident? I spent a long time on it and I’m sure there will be something in there that a year or so from now, I’ll wish I’d changed, but as it stands at the minute, I just hope readers like it (*makes “eeeek” sound)
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I love stories and storytellers. I think it came from that and probably an overactive imagination. My mother read to me at night when I was young and my primary school teachers would gather us all together for ‘story time’ in the afternoon. I’ve also always had a love of film. Once a good book, film or TV show captures my imagination, I find myself picturing the characters from those stories in different situations, sometimes, this leads to ideas for my own works. The best thing about being a writer is that you can make whatever you want happen in the world you create and I love that. I expressed a desire to write in high school and was lucky enough to have a fantastic English teacher who encouraged me to look into publishing. It was years later when I finally held my book in my hands but her encouragement had a big influence on me.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Ok, why not. This is an excerpt from ‘The Emaskan Prophecies – Revenge is Sweet’ where the main character, Amelia is being attacked by an evil sorcerer:
“You should speak to me with more respect” he snarled
She didn’t reply. She couldn’t. She was hurting too much
He twisted his hand again, increasing her agony once more. Now her voice returned in a blood curdling scream
“Just kill me already” she cried
He chuckled “Not until you watch what I have in store for your friends”
He clicked his fingers and Amelia saw all of the Sirelak army emerging from their huts and lining up before her.
Each one of them was surrounded by a soft red glow, she knew what it meant. He had used some sort of curse on them, that’s why they weren’t running, why they obeyed him. But in their faces, Amelia could see that they were still aware of the situation, each one of them was filled with emotion. Fear, horror, anger, hatred, sadness and then she met her mother’s eyes. She could see the pure rage that Harriet McCorvey was feeling towards their attacker but when mother and daughter made eye contact, Harriet’s expression changed to one of pity and Amelia knew why. It was becoming clear that while some of the Sirelak may be granted a quick death at this monster’s hand, Amelia was his prize and he intended to make her suffer to her last breath, for her, death would be drawn out and agonising.
‘I love you’ Amelia pushed the thought to her mother
‘And I love you’ came the reply
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I struggle with descriptions all the time, doesn’t matter if I’m describing a room or a person, I have to work really hard to get it right.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
It varies depending on who I’m reading at the time! But I have to say that ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins was just breath-taking and I couldn’t put it down! She’s so good at keeping the reader interested, she could write about paint drying and I’d probably still bury my head in her work!
Who designed the covers of you books?
A friend and fellow author called Antony Kelly. He painted the images and then they were enhanced on computer by me. Antony is a good guy who wrote about his battle with multiple sclerosis in his autobiography ‘Multiple Sclerosis – My Story’ (Shameless plugging there Evelyn!)
What was the hardest part of writing your any of your works?
For me, the introduction to any book is tricky. When stories come to me, I tend to imagine the most exciting parts first and I build the rest of the book around that part so occasionally I grow impatient when I’m introducing my characters because there is usually a scene to come much later that I’m itching to write!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I’m no expert so I can only advise on what I try to tell myself and that’s simple. Don’t quit. Just keep at it, keep reading, keep learning and always aim to improve.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Just thank you so much for reading my work!
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your stories to to life?
Research for The Emaskan Prophecies was tough. There was so much I had to find out, everything from the migration pattern of certain birds to the speed of different vehicles. My characters make a long journey and I had to ensure that their travel times and rest times were realistic enough. I spent a massive amount of time plotting the journey and researching different climates. I also spoke to family members to gain insight on how they thought certain characters would react to their situations. My main character faces a lot of drastic changes in her life in a very short space of time and her mother is along for the ride. Since I’m not a mother, I spoke with my own mum (or mom if you’re in the states reading this) to get a better perspective.
What character from your writing is your favorite and why?
Tough question! I have so many favourites! If I had to choose I think I’d pick Byron because I really enjoyed writing him. Byron is a black stallion and the leader of my animal army. I love him because although he is tough and brave, he is also incredibly gentle with those he loves. Byron has suffered a massive loss by the time he comes into the book and he didn’t deal with it particularly well at the time but he picked himself up and carried on eventually which I think takes real strength. He’s a gentleman and an all-round good guy.
To connect with Evelyn: