The Secrets of the Vanmars by Elisabeth Wheatley
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What It's About!
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…
Author Interview with Elisabeth Wheatley
Did you always want to be a writer?
No. When I was little, I wanted to be a fairy princess, then a veterinarian and then an environmental engineer like my dad. I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was about eleven, then changed my mind. Up until about three years ago I wanted to be a veterinarian, but a fainting experience involving blood, needles, a hospital trip, and an ambulance promptly cured me of that ambition. (It was nothing serious, it just served to freak me out.)
What is your favorite scene in The Secrets of the Vanmars?
Favorite scene...favorite scene..... There’s a scene in the beginning where Karile sneaks into Janir’s bedroom to talk to her and she thinks he’s someone sent to kill her. I had a lot of fun with that one, still there are a few that I like just as much. But if I were to tell you what they are, that would fall too dangerously near the realm of SPOILER, so...
What was the most challenging part of writing The Secrets of the Vanmars?
Figuring out what was actually going to happen. I have to have a blue print or a general idea before I start writing and though I had a few elements worked out, I still had to draft up the plotline. It took me a few months to get that sorted out and once I did, everything else fell into place pretty easily. But believe me, the plotline was challenging enough to make up for everything else!
In your books, you have the elves speak Latin as their native language. Why did you select Latin?
Because Latin fascinates me, it has the right feel to it, and if people want to, they can go look up the translation for things that I purposely don’t translate. I like languages, but I’m too busy (lazy) and I don’t like them enough (lazy) to do what Tolkien or Paolini did and invent my own. : )
What is your writing process?
Come up with idea, come up with first scene, come up with plotline, write story, re-write story, obsess over typos, re-write story, drive family crazy, finish story.
You mentioned you have three brothers, have they influenced your stories?
Oh, yes. The Gideon Mountains and the river Zebulun are each named after one of my brothers and I took my description of Karile, with his stick-thin frame and spiky red hair, from my third brother. My brothers aren’t my biggest fans, but that lets them be honest. Very honest.
What are three things on your “Bucket List”?
Compete in a jousting tournament (No,seriously! You don’t need a time machine anymore), horseback ride in the Redwood forests, and see Stonehenge.
If you could meet any living person, who would it be?
Geez...as I think about this question I’m realizing that the vast majority of my heroes don’t qualify as my answer must be “living.” Can I pick a writer? Am I allowed to do that? Okay, then I’ll say Gail Carson Levine. I love her writing, particularly her book Ever and her new fairy-tale detective story, A Tale of Two Castles.
Elisabeth Wheatley is a 16-year-old YA Fantasy author. She is a newly published author of an amazing new series. You can find out more about her books here and check out her Goodreads page. You can also check out the video for The Secrets of the Vanmars here.