Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rachel Hunter, whose debut novel Empyrial Fate was released last month. It sets the stage for a great war between the races of man and elf, and is the first of Rachel's Llathalan Annal series. it focuses on developing a crucial part of the story—which the reader will unravel as he ventures forth—and establishes the basis through which her characters will learn and grow.
"I find a story comes to life when its characters mature and express marked wisdom. Indeed, as the series progresses, I hope the reader is able to make those connections and also tie himself in Llathala’s realm as well," she told me. "Oh – and just a word of caution… Keep an eye on the young one. She’s not always as she seems."
The series consists of five novels, which Rachel has already written. She has also written a short story, "Perfect Nothing", which is an abstract account of her experience with an eating disorder and is available on both Amazon and BN.com.
Rachel is in college and has classes every day, five days a week, so her writing time is limited—studies and school work take up the majority of her time for the time being. However, she also has OCD, so when she writes, she writes.
"Sometimes I may only get a few words in, but my thought process behind it has been met with much contemplation and scrutiny," she told me. "I tend to be a perfectionist, so… well, I think you get the picture… Let’s just say I don’t always know if the sun is shining (this happens when I’ve been locked in my room… for days on end)."
She writes in her bedroom, with the lights off.
"No sounds; not even music meets my ear," she said. "I find it distracts me, for I become entranced by the words and start to sing along. If I chance to turn on a tune or so, it has little or no lyrics and is most likely classical. Or Enya. I stand behind my desk (stand, yes. I abhor to sit for long), and I submit to the glorious Muse within."
Her love of words sparked her pursuit—her infatuation with reading.
"It all began with a penchant for tales and a fascination for the art of creation. I’ve been intrigued with stories since I was a child, and I have longed to create worlds in which others may escape to… worlds in which one has only to close his eyes and feel the wind sift through tangled locks," she explained.
"Are you a plotter or a pantser?" I asked.
"If by 'plotter' you mean ‘one who aspires for world domination’, then yes… If by 'pantser', you mean ‘one strips another of his clothing’, then no… But – if you were to refer to the art of either ‘planning’ a novel’s outline before writing – as opposed to one who simply sits down and types as they go, then I fit into the latter category. I don’t let an outline constrict my writing, for each day is a new adventure with new thoughts and ideas to be had."
I asked her, also, if she's working on anything she's like to tell us about.
"Only that it’s experimentation and it’s Steampunk. Victorian Steampunk, to be exact. I adore the elaborate diction and free realm of fantastical underpinnings. It’s quite a venture to be had, I daresay."
"What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?" I wondered.
"I find this to be an odd question indeed. Define the limits as to this ‘research’? I’ve done experimentations – yes. But many of said tests were personal endeavors to test my humanity. My conclusion is noted: I am not from this earth. But as to how I came to this answer? May your imagination exasperate you~"
She also told me, "I was bred from a dream, and dreams never die. They have never been quite tangible either. Therefore, I cannot quite explain it. Nor can I even remember… Dreams are like that, you know."
"The beauty of creation and the realm of impossibility" intrigues Rachel the most and why she leans toward science fiction and fantasy as genres.
"When an author can impart his imagination of vast universes and breathing characters onto blank parchment, it… is the most magical thing in the world. Indeed, the brilliance of the genres is that one can read a book and escape from the mortal plane – becoming someone else entirely. That, my friends… that is enduring. It is boundless. And it all starts with a single word and ends with a period."
"How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?" I asked.
"I write to a beat in my head: both rational and not. The words don’t just come randomly; rather, they flow to a silent rhythm in my brain. I would try to explain it more if I could, but I’m afraid there are simply no words with which to describe. It’s the breath of my soul, I fare to think. Yes…"
Titles, also, seem to just come to her.
"I delve into the ambiguity and symbolism of my work, and from there, the titles seem to flow from my mind," she explained. "It’s refreshing – quite."
Finally, I asked, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"
"Read, explore, listen… Discover, experience, dream… Write the piece you want to read. Jot down the aspects that arrest you the most, and let the Muse guide your hand. Don’t try to fit into cookie-cutter definitions of what a writer 'should be' or 'should do'. Write what comes to you; create the tale that begs to be written. Only you can know. It lies within…Anton Chekov said it best when he wrote, 'Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.' Hence, show me the world of your dreams. Elaborate on the textures, the tastes, and the smells. Don’t bother with the straight narration; expand upon the senses and show your world through its dazzling facets. You can tell anyone about a diamond, but when one sees the real thing – when one closes his eyes and dances with its many rays through words – it is difficult to part."
About the Author:
As the years passed, her love of words never died; her adoration for reading fared no equal. Always with her nose in a book, Rachel took fondly to works spanning all genres. Yet it was the compelling grasp of fantasy and science fiction that wrenched her fascination above all.
Fulfilling the desire to incite intrigue, she seeks to explore new worlds and create vast empires of her own. "Empyreal Fate" is only the first of her series. Indeed, it is only the beginning…
Find the author online at:
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 man's 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.