MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR AUTUMN ELWYN WOLF
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Autumn Elwyn Wolfe and I write medieval based fantasy, pirate fantasy and low fantasy novels.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I have always been a fan of mermaids and I’m a pirate nerd. I wanted to find a way to merge the two together without ending up with something too Romanesque. Because I’m influenced by horror as well, I thought about what it would be like for merfolk to exist. After watching many Blue Planet episodes on BBC Earth, I was able to come up with Mermaid Island The Series.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I grew up with the best Disney had to offer and The Little Mermaid was and still is to this day, one of my favorite movies. As for pirates, all started with the movie Cutthroat Island. Because of my OCD, I want to know everything about what I love and so it turns into an obsession. Then, if mixed with an overactive imagination, you get stories such as Memory Remains.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I did research on the folktales and legends surrounding mermaids. I re-watched some episodes of Blue Planet about whales and their anatomy as well as sharks to be able to create a true personality to my captain, Pearl Dale based on strong predators underwater.
Then, I did some research on pirates. I needed to know their history from the time it started to its end. I needed to know their main targets, enemies, ranks on the ship, hierarchy of a pirate ship. I did some research on boats of the time and anatomy of ships.
Many hours spent on Wikipedia and other blogs specialized in the Age of Piracy.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Pearl Dale was a dreadful pirate at the head of the most feared ship on all the seas of Atlas, the Squid. After the death of her parents, she had swore revenged, but it all had to be put aside when waking up tied up to her lover, Claudio, a Knight of Malta. Both born of Earth and Atlas parents, the union wouldn’t take long before killing them both living the Squid up for grab.
Pearl was not about to give up on her duty as part of the Order of Pirates therefore she found the one man behind it all. From Sherwood, her boatswain betrayed not only her, but the Squid and her people. But would she have enough time to untie their union to save Claudio slowly dying from the burning rope around his wrist? Would Pearl finally confess to her crew who she truly was and what?
Mermaid Island… magic comes with a price… and so does paradise.
MERMAID ISLAND SERIES
Mermaid Island, where all pleasures and joy comes at a very high price. Close to the portal to Earth, it rejects its people when it has enough souls to sustain its highly demanding core. But until the Trident is in the hands of the one true heir to the throne of Atlantis, the portal will represent a menace to all Atlas world people who fear an invasion of Earth.
Only one pirate carries the name to command the Trident, but with one obstacle in her way, she might never find what will have her rule all the seas of Atlas and free the merfolk of Atlantis. As long as those who had kill her parents would be alive, Pearl Dale won’t surrender and fight for the treasure that belongs to Mermaid Island and bring back the Trident from below.
But it all comes at price.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
The first novel is only a quick introduction to characters that will be seen throughout the series. While some will leave, others will be added. However, the second novel is the one that sets he mood for the entire series and will come out just in time for Black Friday (November) and is called, Magic & Skulls.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Ten years ago, however, something was always missing. It was never entirely satisfied about the series. I like to create a guideline sheet for myself that I follow. Something seemed off. As I’ve learned more about pirates, legends, mermaids, animals below water and documentaries I was able to slowly come with a full vision of what Mermaid Island could be.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes, Mermaid Island The Series was always meant to be a series. The main goal that drives Pearl Dale, the main character, is always out of reach caused by subplots blocking her way. She constantly has to go on other adventures because of the oath she took to protect the people below. The story of Pearl Dale couldn’t be told in one novel and so, I divided it in many novels.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I’m a full-time author. Which means I get up, have breakfast, go on social media to keep an active presence and then write for an average of 10 hours. I take care of an online magazine as well, called Another World of Fantasy.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Magic & Skulls is the sequel to Memory Remains from the Mermaid Island series. It is scheduled for November 2018.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
The names of every character are always well thought of and requires research. Because Mermaid Island takes place in the Age of Piracy, I did research to have names according to the time period and the nationalities.
Where do your ideas come from?
Many things inspire me: music, documentaries, history, pattern, nature, animals, buildings and sometimes it can just be a piece of jewelry.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Yes, historical romance. I’m not a typical romance author. I prefer fantasy and horror mixed together. However, Joan of Arc is one of my most beloved historical person in history and I’d like to experiment with her and romance.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
There’s always that place, when I’m two third in the story and I block. It doesn’t matter the story, it all comes to a stop and it annoys me. I don’t know why it happens always at the same spot, but it does. So, when it happens, I usually listen to music and try to imagine the story in my head and if that doesn’t work I go for a walk with my assistant, Carey, my little dog and listen to my favorite composer, Adrian von Ziegler.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
Because of my background in graphic and web design I do make book trailers. I enjoy the visual and the intrigue it can create. We are in the digital era and so, anything to impress people is now important. Even though I believe a good story should be able to sell itself, now it takes an entire packaging including a book trailer.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
The moment I published my book and it went live on Amazon. That moment my dream came true and I wished nothing more than to feel it again and again. The accomplishment was not just to be a published author, but it meant that I finally made it and did all the steps to become an author which is my biggest dream.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Imagining other worlds, other realms, adventures and the ability to see the world in vibrant colors. Writing stories is a beautiful and precious gift that comes with a price, we feel emotions deeper I believe and that makes the imagination more active. It’s a wonderful feeling.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully, still writing novels and a better author who keeps learning to write better stories for the readers.
Have you always liked to write?
I started writing before I knew how! I would take paper and try to imitate writing, trying to tell my story in my head. Haha!
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write. Never stop writing. The more you write the more you learn. Then, read what you wrote aloud with emotion like a script and narrator, see if it sounds good. Then, write and keep writing.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I believe I would try to become an actor and act someone else’s work to stay in the imaginative world. Yet, I’m sure I’d try to write anyways. Haha!
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I was advised by other authors not to. I was told to avoid reading reviews, good or bad, because it gets in your head and it’s never good for the artist. So, I try to follow the advice as best I can and avoid reading reviews, of course I’ve read some, but for the moment, I’m lucky enough that all was kind so far.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Editing, because it takes forever to accomplish. It’s never one round and it’s over, it’s several rounds hoping that you’ll see the end. I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful editor and proofreader. I work with a wonderful team, but it’s still quite a hard job to accomplish.
What are you working on now?
The sequel of Mermaid Island, Memory Remains and the first novel of my other medieval fantasy series.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Here is an un-edited excerpt of The Crown of Rohesia Series, Rose Moon being the first novel.
His armor seemed made of old chainmail; burns that turned black covered his thin bone like arms. Myla wasted no time and screamed for her wolves that dropped their last victims and ran to her, but her aggressor stood above her, and all Myla saw was a thick and heavy rectangular tipped sword coming down. The blade went through her abdominal section leaving Myla pinned to the dirt. She screamed in a loud cry, like a ball of fire burst out of her mouth, leaving her in pain deeper than she had never thought possible as tears quickly build up; it blinded her eyes and rolled down the side of her face. Her arms wide open she released a sigh but then saw the head of the creature fly away from its body as she heard the impact on a tree by her side. A tall man stood behind the body reacting to its last nerve animation when it suddenly fell sideways the moment the stranger’s sword knocked it out of the way.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
My passion for fantasy comes from my love of fairy tales. I grew up surrounded by novels and fiction had always been my favorite. To me, writing fantasy comes naturally and it activates my imagination easily. I try to mix fantasy and horror together so that it doesn’t become redundant and always about one subject. Both I find merge well together.
Where did your love of books come from?
Raised by my grandparents, my grandfather worked for publishers in a binding company. Every time there would books or encyclopedia with wrong margins, colors, errors, he would bring them home. We had wonderful bookshelves filled with leather bind books. I had no choice but to grow to embrace literature and graphic design.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
J.R.R. Tolkien I believe is a favorite of any fantasy author, The Silmarillion being my favorite novel from him. I also admire the work of Terry Brooks for his Shannara work. I really enjoy history and so there is one author that I love, Juliet Grey for her work on her Marie Antoinette trilogy and Oliver Bowden for his work at novelizing the popular Ubisoft video game franchise, Assassin’s Creed.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Pearl Dale is a pirate captain, an anti-hero with a psychotic mind. She’s my own dark side, dangerous and loyal, yet willing to cross over the line and kill to get what she wants.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me until it exhausts me, which is perfect because I have insomnia. I can go on for hours writing and my husband has to say, “Um, can we have dinner?” It’s a good exhaustion when it happens.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
That two-third novel in. When I’m at that two-third writing line, all imagination stops, and I need to regroup my thoughts and story.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be myself, so an history nerd. Haha! I try to combine history with historical legends or folktale and create a story that will be different. I’m not reinventing the wheel, but at least, I’m making it my own. At least, I try to do so.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Kendra Hale, my best friend, is a wonderful author who is always ready to accept a new challenge and help me when I’m stuck or when I need someone to look over my writing.
KZ Riley is amazing to boost up moral and find a new anthology to be a part of. She’s so friendly and kind, I’m happy to know her.
T.A. Patterson is a published horror author who I get along with so well. She’s always ready to help look over my writing and embellish it. She listens to me and my crazy stories and ideas and we’ve developed a strong friendship.
L.M. Spangler, Sariah Skye, Gabrielle Bisset and Louisa Bacio are well-established authors that I am so thankful to know because of their advice they have given me over time and each of their word is a great advice in my young author career.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Wow! That’s a good question… The Memory Remains. I gave the title to my first novel for Mermaid Island inspired by the Metallica song of the same name. It encompasses my OCD well and what goes on in my head. I guess those three words would reflect my life well.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Do you have to be insane to write a novel?
I don’t know, but in my case, I do believe what the Cheshire Cat told Alice, “We’re all mad here.”
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️