Author Interview: Rachel Lemons

(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Rachel was written by Rachel Lemon.)

Kelly found a nice quiet corner in the coffee shop and took a seat facing the door. It had been a very long week for her, so she enjoyed getting to relax for a bit. Of course, she was here on business, but she had great job—chatting with fellow writers—and she couldn’t wait to see what today’s interview would bring.

After sitting there for a while working on her computer, the door chimed, and Kelly looked up to see a woman enter the shop. Since Kelly was the only other customer, it was easy to find her, and Kelly smiled her greeting and rose to her feet. “Rachel Lemons?” She reached out her hand to shake Rachel’s. “Hi, I’m Kelly. It’s wonderful to meet you. If you’d like to go and order a drink, you may, and you can meet me at this table over here.” She motioned back to her table.

“It’s nice to meet you too, Kelly,” Rachel said with a smile. “I’m going to get my drink, and I’ll be right there.” She walked over to the counter and ordered a mocha frape without so much as needing to look over the menu. It wasn’t long before her order was filled, and she took her drink with a grateful sigh as she sat down with Kelly.

Kelly smiled when she came over and sat down. “So, how are you doing today? I trust you’re well.”

“I am,” Rachel replied, taking a sip of her mocha. “This should help wake me up,” she added with a sheepish laugh. “How are you, Kelly?”

“I’m quite well actually! Thanks for asking. So, tell me a bit about yourself.” Kelly rested her elbow on the armrest of her chair, leaning onto it. “What got you interested in writing?”

Rachel grinned, and her eyes seemed to look beyond the confines of the coffee-shop. “I’ve always been writing. Ever since I was old enough that I knew how to read and write. I remember writing down my first book when I was only five. It was about my favorite of my stuffed animals,” she recalled.

Kelly smiled when she heard this. Many writers were born writers—although not all—but Kelly loved meeting each of them. “So you’ve always been writing. What kind of stories do you like to write?”

“When I was little, I wrote stories about the adventures of my stuffed animals. When I became a teen, however, I shifted into the genre that is my passion now. High fantasy,” she told Kelly.

“Why did you make the shift?” Kelly tilted her head, curious. “I mean, exploring genres are great and everything, but did something about high fantasy specifically catch your interest?”

“Well,” Rachel began, “I didn’t write for a while during my childhood. Things were… difficult, during that period of my life. I first fell in love with high fantasy when I saw the Redwall TV series, and started reading the genre. Something about it just clicked, and in a few years, I was writing it.”

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “So is that what you write now?”

Rachel nodded as well. “Yes, that is what I write now.”

Kelly smiled. “Wonderful! I always like a good fantasy tale. Tell me about a story of yours.” She leaned to listen because she was eager.

Rachel grinned. “Would you like to hear about the story I’m writing now? With some luck and hard work, I hope to make it be the first thing I publish.”

“Certainly!” Kelly bobbed her head. “What is this story about?”

“It’s complicated,” Rachel warned Kelly. “But I’ll do my best to summarize it in a way that makes sense. One of the gods betrayed his king, and was meant to be exiled for his betrayal. Instead of being banished, however, the Evil One’s followers drew him into the physical world. He was greatly weakened, and slumbered for thousands of years as he regained his strength. He has awoken at last, and a young woman will be granted the powers of a goddess so that he can be stopped in his conquest of the physical world.”

“There’s a great deal more involved, of course, but that is the bare bones of it,” Rachel added.

Kelly nodded when she heard this. “What is a great fantasy novel without being complicated anyway? I like the sound of it!” She grinned at Rachel then shifted to sit back in her chair to hear more. “So, who are the main characters involved in this story? What are their conflicts or struggles?”

“Thank you!” Rachel beamed. “The young woman who will have to stop the Evil One is Seluna. She’s a unique type of mage called a Listener, with a pet cat she speaks to telepathically. Her best friend, Orlena, has known her since they were both very young children. Orlena and Seluna will lose everyone they know at the beginning of the story, and will be seeking vengeance as they uncover the truth of Seluna’s destiny as well as her heritage. Along the way, she’ll meet the elves. One will become her mentor. His name is Lord Baelatean. Baelatean’s son, Ilroiner, will fall in love with Seluna. The elven princess, Faeleana, will become like an older and wiser sister to Seluna. She has some serious romance drama with the elven men.”

Kelly chuckled. “Oh, this sounds quite interesting indeed. Now though, this Evil One…is he the main antagonist? Or is there another?” She tilted her head to a side, observing Rachel.

“The Evil One is the main antagonist,” Rachel affirmed, “and he has a great many servants who will serve as lesser antagonists. His most powerful servant, an undead man named Hathetur, will be the one responsible for the destruction of Seluna’s village. She will want revenge on him because of this. And further down the line of the story, she will discover that she is royalty. Her uncle, Emperor Alivar of Lineor, is basically a puppet of the Evil One. She will need to change the political situation in the Empire, and probably usurp his throne, in order to save the Empire… let alone the rest of the world.”

Kelly shook her head when she heard all this. “Wow, like you said, it’s complicated!” But she grinned because she preferred complex stories anyway. “So, what gave you the idea for this story?”

“The story has been building, changing, evolving, and growing, ever since I first met my main characters. I was sixteen years old when I first wrote a novel with Seluna, Ilroiner, Lord Baelatean, Hathetur, and the Evil One. The other characters have been added as the story has developed,” Rachel explained. “The first spark of an idea, however, came from being exposed to my literary hero for the first time. J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings. I had been dabbling with writing high fantasy before then, but it never got anywhere until I discovered the Lord of the Rings and fell hopelessly in love.”

Kelly smiled when she heard this. “Ah, those wonderful books, but what exactly about the Lord of the Rings sparked the idea in you?” She furrowed her brows.

Rachel blushed a bit. “The elves,” she admitted. “Those goddamn sexy elves. The elvish men are so attractive. And the race as a whole simply entranced me. I had to delve into my own version of them. They compelled me to write with them.”

Kelly chuckled. “They are hot! Well, I certainly can’t wait to read your book if those elves are based at all off of the ones in Tolkien’s books. I bet they’re awesome!” She grinned at Rachel. “All right, so what has been the most difficult thing for you to write in this story?”

Rachel laughed, “Thank you! Now…the most difficult thing to write in the story? Emotionally difficult, or physically difficult? By physically, I mean writer’s block or having a hard time coming up with ideas.”

“Either or.” Kelly shrugged, settling back in her chair again.

Rachel thought for a moment. “Well, the most difficult emotionally has been right at the beginning. I’ve written with Seluna so long that I feel like I know her, although she likes to keep her past to herself sometimes. I had to kill off her family and friends. Nearly everyone she had ever known, and feel her pain as I wrote it. That was brutal. Her grief was so strong I almost forgot it wasn’t my own grief when I wrote that. The hardest physically has been figuring out what in the world will make her have to leave the elvish kingdom of Telnur and start her journey to save the world after the destruction of her village. I have ideas, and they make sense, but I’m still not sure of them,” she added.

“Wow…isn’t it amazing how real the story can become?” Kelly shook her head as she pondered over this. “And what has writing this story taught you—about writing, about life, or about people…it could be whatever.”

“It’s taught me that everyone is complicated. Even the ‘simple’ people that seem to be easy to figure out at just a glance. It’s taught me that no one is above corruption, no matter how good they may seem. It’s also reminded me that writing isn’t always easy. Sometimes it’s hard. Really hard. Sometimes it hurts. That’s when you know it’ll be worth reading,” she answered.

“That is important to remember—always.” Kelly nodded as she took this in. It was a reminder she actually needed, so she smiled at Rachel. “So, is this book a single book or is it part of a series?”

Rachel smirked. “I know you write fantasy, too, Kelly, so I think we could both say this is going to have to be a series. It’s too complicated for a single book. Especially since I can be a bit long-winded at times. Or, more accurately, my characters are long-winded. They love making dialogue.”

Kelly laughed. “That’s true, isn’t it? But a series is awesome! It means more brilliant stories!” She cast Rachel a grin. “So what was the title of this book again? And you said it hasn’t been published yet, correct?”

“I wish it were published,” Rachel laughed and then sighed wistfully, “but alas, I need to finish writing it first. It’s called the Whispers of Fate Series, though the title could be changed when it’s closer to being published. I plan to make a career of writing, and this will be my debut.”

“That is fantastic! I hope you the very best with it. It sounds like it has a lot of potential!” Kelly gave her a reassuring smile, but then she looked at the clock on the wall and noticed the time. She frowned, looking back at Rachel. “Unfortunately our time is about up, but I’m glad we were able to meet up. This was fun! Love hearing about your story.”

“Thank you very much, Kelly!” Rachel smiled. “It was wonderful being able to talk with you. Especially about this.”

“Of course! I love chatting with writers about their stories!” Kelly smiled, rising to her feet. “You will keep me posted on your progress, right?”

“Yes, I will!” Rachel smiled enthusiastically. “I’m going to be writing more today, in fact.”

“Fantastic! I won’t keep you any long then. I must be going anyway. You take care, all right?” With a final grin to Rachel, Kelly went on her way.

<~>~<~>~<~>

Rachel Lemon’s novel ‘The Whispers of Fate’ is not yet published.

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