Interview with young author Elisabeth Wheatley

I would like to welcome Elisabeth Wheatley to Book Flame 

How did the idea for the Argetallam Saga come about?

Oh, my. Where to begin? I had had this imaginary world and some of the details about my main character, Janir, figured out for awhile. Then I sort of fell in love with the idea of Janir being impervious to magic in a world that is full of it. I also liked the idea of having her be at odds with her people and the complicated relationship between her and her family. The story kind of grew from there.

What character intrigued you the most as the author? And why?

This may sound strange to my readers, but I would have to say that the Lord Argetallam definitely intrigues me the most. When I created him, I meant for him to be a purely evil character. But as I started developing him I started finding out about his redeemable qualities and I love exploring the “complexities of the human condition.” Does that sound weird?

Since your first book would you say your writing has evolved or stayed the same?

I would say my writing has definitely changed since my first book. I’ve become more mature as a writer (maybe as a person, too) and I think it shows in my writing. I expect that I will be “growing up” some more between now and my third book, too. After all, there’s always room for improvement!

Being a young published author is a huge accomplishment, how do you balance writing and schoolwork?

I have learned to get my schoolwork done first and very quickly. I also don’t usually watch movies all the way through, the only TV show I follow is Grimm, I don’t spend a lot of time online when I’m working on a book (now being the exception because I just finished one), and I don’t chat on the phone with my friends (I text). It’s amazing how much time is saved right there.

What would you say to young people who have a dream of becoming published authors as well?

Today’s peasant is tomorrow’s prince. I have to tell myself this all the time. Anyone who ever got anywhere had to start somewhere. Keep away from toxic people, have people around you who are encouraging, but honest. My family is very encouraging, especially my mother, but my dearly beloved brother has also been brutally honest and that forced me to improve what I had written. (Don’t ask what needed improvement, I will never tell you!) The next thing is: Just write.

Which fictional character would you most like to meet?

Of any fictional character, I’m going to go with Reepicheep from Prince Caspian. I think he’s adorable! Don’t tell him I said that, of course ; ) Of my own characters, I would like to meet Karile. I think we’d get along alright and he’d be the one least flustered by meeting his maker (LOL).

eBooks or print?

For the longest time, I shunned the idea of eBooks. I was a bit of a snob about it, actually. Then I got the Kindle app for my iPhone and now my latest hobby is downloading samples of books. I still prefer to read print, but the ease of downloading eBooks is addicting!

Do you have any hidden talents?

Well, I’ve been told I have a gift with languages and singing. I know American Sign Language and I’m learning Spanish (slowly) while dabbling in Latin and a little bit of Italian. I’m not fluent in any of them (yet!), but I enjoy learning, studying, and singing in them. (Yes, you can sing in Sign Language, just not with your voice.)

Can you tell us a little about your latest book The Secrets of the Vanmars?

Of course! The Secrets of the Vanmars continues the story of Janir Caersynn Argetallam, a sixteen-year-old girl who possesses the powers of her father’s people which are meant for magical warfare. She was supposedly killed when she was eight and now lives as the foster-daughter of powerful lord in her late mother’s country, Brevia. But her half-brother, Lucan, survives the wounds he receives at the end of The Key of Amatahns and eventually tells their father, the Lord Argetallam, that Janir lives. The Lord Argetallam then sends people to bring her back.  To complicate things further, the Vanmars (Lucan’s maternal relatives), are preparing to attack Brevia and it seems that they are planning something far bigger than a simple invasion.

On a side note: For those of you who noticed that Saoven and Janir were attracted each other in The Key of Amatahns...well, you’ll just have to read it!

About The Secrets of the Vanmars ( Argetallam Saga #2)

After her adventures with the Key of Amatahns, sixteen-year-old Janir Caersynn Argetallam returns home to find Brevia on the brink of war with a neighboring country, Stlaven. Her foster-father and even Saoven—a brave young elf warrior—think it will be safe at the castle where Janir grew up. However, while trying to unravel a looming mystery, Karile—self-taught wizard and Janir’s self-appointed best friend—becomes certain that there is danger in the mountains surrounding Janir’s childhood home and that it has something to do with Stlaven’s most powerful family, the Vanmars…

About the author

Elisabeth Wheatley started writing very short (and rather silly) stories when she was around six. She became a voracious reader and after being practically forced by her cousins to watch Disney's version of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe," she developed a chronic passion for fantasy. 

Elisabeth eventually went to work on what would become "The Key of Amatahns" when she was eleven. "The Key of Amatahns" is the first in the seven-book series, "Argetallam Saga."

When she isn't spellbound by reading fantasy books and writing her own, Elisabeth trains and shows her Jack Russell Terrier, Schnay, makes goat cheese, and studies mythology. 

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