(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Becca was written by Becca Bates. To stay caught up with these interviews, be sure to SUBSCRIBE.)
Kelly seized the door hands of the huge double doors of Cuskelom’s palace library, and she pulled them open then sighed at the majestic sight of the towering bookshelves and the multiple floors lined with books. Passing between two bookcases and trailing her fingers along the spines of ancient books, Kelly soon came to a huge open space reserved for reading and studying where great windows let the sunlight it.
There she saw Lorrek sitting at a table with a mountain of books around him looking down at what appeared to be a map. Kelly cleared her throat as she approached, and he looked over his shoulder at her then straightened and turned to her. “Lady Kelly, it has sometime since you last visited here.” He bowed to her.
Kelly bowed her head to him. “Not by choice of my own—“
“You have a guest coming.” Lorrek knew well, and Kelly thinned her eyes and looked over her shoulder in time to see a portal ripple in the air and open. There stood a woman who looked curiously at the portal, and Kelly greeted her with a smile.
“Becca Bates?” When they locked eyes, Kelly motioned for her to come through the portal. “It’s perfectly safe. Come on through.” Once Becca stepped into the library, Kelly gestured toward Lorrek’s direction. “Becca, I’d like you to meet…” Then she trailed off when she realized Lorrek was no longer there. She frowned and dropped her hand then gave Becca an apologetic look. “Sorry about that. Lorrek tends to pop in and out of places.” But then she smiled and shook Becca’s hand. “It’s fantastic to meet you! How are you today?”
Becca took in the vast quantity of books as she answered. “I’m doing well. How are you?”
Kelly smiled. “I get to visit Cuskelom today, so I’m brilliant. Thank you!” Then she motioned to the library. “We can wander through the library while we talk if you’d like, or we can have a seat.” She motioned to the tables with chairs. Even though Lorrek disappeared, he hadn’t put away all the books he had gotten out, but thankfully there were other places to sit. “But tell me about yourself–what it is you do exactly?”
Becca moved to sit at the table. “Well, my main job is to remodel grocery stores, but I also have a freelance editing business on the side, and of course, I’m a writer in my spare time.”
Kelly sat across from her and shook her head. “I don’t know how you edit and manage to write a the same time because I can imagine how overwhelming being an editor may be.” Then she smiled at Becca. “So what inspired you to become a writer? Or have you always been one?”
Becca chuckled. “Yes, it is hard to balance the two, but I manage the best I can. I’ve always made up stories since I was a little kid, though back then I usually put my made up characters into the plot of a show I liked. Eventually I worked my way into creating the whole setting and plot for my characters, so the story was unique to itself. Still, it took until the middle of high school before I decided to start putting them down on paper.”
Kelly nodded as she heard this. “Did you start writing things down in high school just because you wanted to, or did a teacher or so encourage you to write?”
Becca, leaned back in her chair. “Well, I was in some creative writing classes, but the real turning point was when I got inspiration for a story that I was simply too excited not to write down. Of course, by now it’s changed so drastically it’s hardly the same idea, but it was the start I needed.”
Kelly grinned at her then pushed aside a few books on the table, so she could lean forward and rest her forearms on the table. “So, what are you writing now? Have you published any work? Or have something specific you’re aiming to publish?”
Becca nodded, an excited smile spreading across her face. “I actually just published my first story ever! It’s a novella called A World of My Own, sort of along the lines of Alice in Wonderland or Coraline. It’s pretty exciting! But I’m currently bouncing between a five-book fantasy series called the Humani Chronicles which I hope to start publishing soon, and another series called Satyr Wars, an epic fantasy satire of Star Wars. I’m really excited about that one, but it’s still in the early stages right now.”
Kelly beamed when she heard Becca had published something. “Congrats on the publication! That’s just awesome! I hope it does well for you.” Then she honed in what Becca had said about her other stories. “Ohh, fantasy! Love it! So which of these two do you want to talk about first? Because I want to know all about them!”
Becca blushed a little. “Thank you. I hope so too.” She shifted in her seat. “I’ve been working on the Humani series for a long time, so that one should probably come first. What would you like to know?”
Kelly lifted her eyes to the vaulting ceiling of the library as she tried to pluck questions out of the air, and then she looked back at Becca and smiled. “Okay, first of all, what exactly is it about? Who are the characters and the conflicts they must encounter?”
“Well, each book stands on its own, while taking part in an overarching storyline, so it’s about several different things. The first one, The Blood Bond, is about a man named Milo who falls in love with a slave girl and tries to help her escape, but there’s a lot of trouble along the way. He eventually learns how to make a bond to an element, which sparks much of the rest of the series as others use his method to get powers of their own and pass them on to their descendants. I’m working on the second on now, which is about the children of the first set of people to get them after they’re older, reconnecting and dealing with the threat of a new powered person. The third will be about a person who can see people’s memories, the fourth about the descendants of the characters in the first a few hundred years later after they’ve become a whole colony, and the fifth is about a time traveller.” She grinned. “I’m especially looking forward to that one.”
Kelly had to share Becca’s grin. “Time travel—I love that. It is hard to write because you’ve got to keep a lot of things straight, but I’m confident you will do well!” She gave a confident then pulled back in her chair. “This series sounds intriguing! What inspired you to write it? I know a lot of writers may hate that question, but still…I need to ask.”
Becca laughed. “Oh, you have no idea how many times I felt like banging my head against the wall trying to figure out how to keep my time travel rules consistent. And I haven’t even written it yet! But I see fascinating things happening in that one. As for the inspiration, I actually wrote the fourth book first. I had this idea of a person who could control wind teaming up with a person who could create illusions and another who could turn into shadows. The way all of their powers work in detail both compliments and adds conflict just by being thrown together. So I wrote that story, and then I wanted to know where these powers came from and why their clans didn’t like each other very much, so I wrote a prequel, which became the first book, and by the time I was finished with that one I had the fuel I needed for the other three.”
“And if I’m being totally honest, the reason I came up with those powers in the first place was because I discovered Naruto. Though mine are quite different than theirs.”
“People that could turn into shadows?” Some reason that just gripped Kelly’s mind, and she shivered. “That sounds awesome and creepy at the same time.” She chuckled but then focused once more. “Okay, so, you wrote the fourth book and then went back and wrote the first one? Isn’t amazing how those things work? But I’ve got to ask, there are a lot of stories out there with people having the ability to control elements and such, and yours sound different, but how exactly are they different?” She furrowed her brows.
“That’s a good question, and something I sometimes worry about. But my powers themselves are different, for example the wind power also allows the user to sense movement in the air surrounding them. Another difference is the way these powers come to be and why. It’s not just chalked up to magic. Then the plots themselves, while containing a few concepts that are used in other stories, are largely unique. They aren’t the typical epic fantasy adventure story. Besides, the powers that are represented aren’t often used together. I didn’t stick with the standard four, wind, water, fire, and earth, like Avatar and other such stories. Although earth does show up at one point, which I debated about, but again, it’s just one of many unrelated powers.”
“Very interesting.” Kelly nodded. “Okay, now though I need to ask you this…what is the one thing you’d like your readers to walk away from and remember about your stories? Anything in particular?” She raised her brows.
Becca tilted her head in consideration. “On an entertainment side, I hope they remember the how the powers brought interesting conflicts and situations. On the moral side, an emphasis in my story is how people have the capability to change themselves–for better or worse.”
“Change themselves for better or for worse….that’s an interesting way of putting it. I sense there’s a character or two who change for worse then.” Kelly locked eyes with Becca but wasn’t going to require her to give away any spoilers. “So when do you think you’ll be publishing these works?”
Becca gave a sly grin. “You could say that. I’m hoping to publish the first one in the summer. I want to try to publish a work every few months, whether it’s this series or Satyr Wars, or maybe a novella or two along the way.”
“Sounds like a plan!” Kelly smiled then tilted her head as if listening for something then nodded and fixed her gaze on Becca once more. “Okay, our time here is almost finished, but what would you say is your favorite thing about writing?”
“I love coming up with new stories and ideas. Sometimes it’s all I can think about. When I get a really good idea, I get excited and can’t focus on anything until I start writing it down. That’s the part I love the most.”
“I also like the ability to explore concepts that others don’t. If something seems intriguing to me, but no one has really tapped into it, then I can develop it myself, and that’s also very exciting.”
“Ahh yes, fresh ideas are always awesome.” Kelly beamed with a nod because she could totally relate. At Becca’s other comment, Kelly tilted her head and nodded. “That’s very good–exploring strange concepts. Not many do that, and the fact that you do is brilliant.” Then she sighed though and rose to her feet. “Unfortunately we need to get going. I’m sure Lorrek would like the library back, but it was fantastic to meet you! I’m glad you were able to come, and I hope you the best with all your endeavors.” At a gesture of Kelly’s hand, a portal opened behind Becca but she locked eyes with Becca. “You’ll keep me posted about when you plan to publish your work and such? I’d love to stay informed!”
Becca rose as well and smiled. “Of course. Thank you for your time.”
“May you have a wonderful day! And stay in touch.” Kelly smiled and watched as Becca went back through the portal. Just as soon as she was gone, Lorrek appeared beside Kelly, and she gave him a look. “Were you invisible, or had you really left?”
He simply smiled at her as he moved back to the table. “You will never know.”
Kelly threw her hands up in the air and shook her head.
Becca Bates’ series, Humani Chronicles, is not yet released, but is scheduled to be published late August or early September. However, she has other works published, which you can find here:
A World of My Own: http://amzn.com/B015VSFXM0
Satyr Wars: Volume IV – A Naiad Hope: http://amzn.com/B01CPFOGYS
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