Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Author Interview: Ellen Mae Franklin: The Unseen Promise: Forthright and Clement

A Note from Carol: I would like to thank Jaideep for this wonderful chance in participating in such an exciting interview. I hope the readers will enjoy what I have to say and take the time to visit the links I have shared to purchase a great fantasy read.

Author’s Bio (from Goodreads)
Born in Adelaide, South Australia, this mother of three is following her passion for Fantasy writing. She published The Unseen Promise in 2013, after revitalizing the urge to complete the first book in the Tarkeenia Sagas. She is currently working on its sequel: It’s not the Bite, which kills you.

Working closely with UK author, Peter Emmerson they have published the first book in the Un-named Chronicles titled, Forthright and Clement. Together they are working on the sequel, Armitage and Envy.

She is involved in various writing and creative communities and writes stories for various online groups -
Terra Australis is an Australian group of writers producing Australian themed anthologies. 
An online Blog where twelve writers short stories of various genres called Out of Print-
Australian Short Stories is a group of energetic writers keen on exploring short stories based on the Australian timeline.

Ellen Mae Franklin writes for an Australian Magazine - TakeABreakReads.

Pen TO Paper is a Blog that not only dedicates creative writing to its host, Ellen Mae Franklin, but it supports the work of featured authors in interviews, articles, short stories and more -
She writes under the pseudonym of her children’s middle names - Ellen Mae Franklin.

Your real name and pen name

Carol Bond is my real name and I the pen name I use is Ellen Mae Franklin.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood.

Christmas for me as a young child is full of very happy memories. It is pleasant to think if the past in this way, the gathering of our small family every year, as we opened and shared our gifts with one another. Then a family lunch that ended with full bellies and an afternoon where the adults sat talking and us children left to play with our toys.

What languages do you can speak and write?

Some say that I would be remiss not to speak any other language other than English, but it is my native tongue and that is enough for me. I live in a part of the world that is very multi-cultural, where many languages are spoken, but I am happy with the language of my homeland.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?

There are many inspirations in my life. I would dare anyone to say otherwise, for each corner we turn and for every relationship that is forged along the way we find inspiration. Even a negative encounter can be an inspiration so I draw on all facets of life, past and present for inspiration.

What hurts you most in this world?

What I find hurtful in this world are people who do not keep their word as promised and the selfish nature of some I encounter.

How would describe your book, its genre?  Do you write in more than one genre?  
What are they? Why? Do you feel it might confuse your readers?

The genre of my book ‘The Unseen Promise’ is epic fantasy. This classification is due to the fact that it is the first book in a series from the ‘Tarkeenia Sagas’. My personal passion is fantasy, so I am very comfortable writing within this genre, this is not to say, that I would not try something a little different from time to time. Many well known Authors write in different genres and I believe that if you build a genuine reader base, who follows you as a writer, then it shouldn’t matter what genre you work in.

How long have you been writing? How long did it take to write your book? And what motivated you to write it?

This finished book was a work in process of 3 years. It is a large book with a storyline, containing multiple threads and many characters. I do not have an answer as to what the motivation was in writing this book. I have an endless love of reading and perhaps that is the reason for this story of mine.

Is it a stand-alone novel or part of a series? If it’s part of a series, how did you decide to make it a series? How long will the series run?

When I first began writing, I did not know what would become of the story. I found out all too quickly that I am a panster and since I do not outline my plots beforehand, and write as the story comes to me it soon became apparent that I could not in any way finish it as a single book. I love the storyline and characters immensely, so it felt only natural for the book to continue into a sequel.

What has been the most difficult part of your writing experience?

The only aspect of the writing process that I find frustrating is the marketing side of writing. I do not have any formal training in marketing field and therefore have to devise through trial and error what works and what does not.
I receive a great sense of joy when someone contacts me tell me that they have read my book. I do not mind giving the story away on occasions as a free read if the reader is a passionate fantasy fan.
Most writers aim for to make money from their long efforts in finishing a book. Therefore, in todays industry a writer must be prepared to be a jack of all trades, a marketing expert and strategist, adept at cover art and literate in computers, well versed in grammar and a social media guru.
At the end of the day if you are self-publishing, I believe that networking is the key and that takes a lot of time away from what I love doing and that is writing.
My advice is to connect with as many people as you can, help others as often as not and fingers crossed when the time comes, it is not what you know but who you know that will help set you right.

How much research do you do before starting to write?  Where do you find most of your background materials? How do you fact check?

My work mostly comes from my imagination or the inspiration of a conversation, or from something I might have heard in passing. Perhaps I may see something visually which formulates an idea and thus begins the urge to write. Unless I need to incorporate something factual in my story there is not a great need to do a lot of research.
Facts can come from many sources, depending on what it is I am looking for and that can take on the form of library books, searching online or talking to others who are more informed than myself about what it is I am searching for. It is important that I am factual when writing about a particular piece of subject matter, there is nothing worse than reading a story and finding genuine errors in its content.

Which of your work is published so far? Would you like to share work?

I have two books currently out for sale: both are in the genre of epic fantasy.

From the Tarkeenia Sagas comes the first book titled - The Unseen Promise.


Set on the world Tarkeenia, the story marks the struggle between God and man, magic and indefinable evil.

Roedanth wants his brother back, it doesn’t matter that the boy is dead; the young copper apprentice can’t seem to stop wishing. Tainted by the magic of the Dark God – Drakite, tragedy and pain follows Roedanth, from Crows Nest to the Halls of Coowic, where the Magi live.

Tarkeenia is awash with life - man and beast live side by side. Monsters hunt the shadows looking for a bite to eat. The tip of balance between dark and light, good and evil is tenuous, even on a good day. Flesh eating Specks turn the living into dust, and the world is no longer safe. Murrdocks, are a child’s story, woven tales told to enchant and incite fear. Their King lays dying, and Prince Pec having no choice, must turn myth into reality.

Strangers become friends, out of necessity more than compatibility for survival takes on the order of the day. Uneasy alliances are tainted by betrayal and self gain, and unlikely heroes emerge to salvage what they can from a world on the brink of chaos.

Everyone strives to make do in a world bubbling with wild magic, working to remain true to their Calling, as the lives of man and monster hang in the balance, subject to the whims of Gods. Can Tarkeenia survive the tug and pull of the very spoilt, and the very wicked? Can those lost to the dark find a way back to the light? Is it possible to forget, or to forgive and begin again? All these questions and more are answered as the reader walks Tarkeenia’s many paths.

From The Un-named Chronicles the first book is titled Forthright and Clement.


The use of Magic is forbidden…

The Un-Named, the magic wielders: loathed, reviled and feared for being different, forced to hide from constantly searching eyes; from the eyes of those who would strive to expose them to The Render. As the Un-Named struggle to acquire their rightful position in a world that has hated and persecuted them for centuries, a fearsome danger escapes from its five hundred year old prison. Two
extraordinary companions begin a journey to discover the origin of the strange phenomena that is allowing wild magic to leak into the world, but they aren’t the only ones who are interested in the source.
The world is under threat of total destruction and only through the powers of magical arts, can it be saved and protected.

But the use of Magic is forbidden….

What have planned in the future?

I am currently working on both of the sequels to the series I am working on.
From the Tarkeenia Sages, the sequel is titled ‘It’s not the Bite, which kills you’.
From the Un-named Chronicles, the sequel is titled ‘Armitage and Envy.’

Both of these reads are epic fantasy and will definitely suit readers who love a read that is dynamic, complex with loads of characters to inspire the imagination.

Do you have other forms of social media where people can find you and your work?

I have a website where I conduct author interviews, accept written articles and short stories from other writers to help increase their exposure.

I have a Facebook, a Twitter account, a Google+ account and a Goodreads account

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

1/ My family and home life. It is important to make sure this side of my life is working well and in harmony.
2/ We all need to make a dollar or two so working is a priority for me.
3/ Free time to do the things I love beside writing.
4/ Social media mixed with a little marketing is important whilst writing.

Describe where you do your writing.

I like to write in the middle of the house in the middle of the craziness of family life. It suits me to have loads of noise about while I tap on my laptop. I like to question anyone walking by or share with those interested, my recent writings.

How did you decide on the cover and did you design it or did you use a professional designer?
However you created the cover, will you being do it that way in the future? Why or why not?

The cover of a book is as important as the content inside. It must be visually pleasing, catching the eye of the reader above all others.
Since this was my belief, I out-sourced my design and hired a graphic artist to create a reflection of some of the characters within ‘The Unseen Promise.’
Since, I am so very pleased with the end creation I will in all likelihood use the same artist to procure the cover for its sequel. I like the idea of remaining themed.
The artist who designs my book covers for the Tarkeenia Sagas is Cristian Popa.

What is your dream destination on Earth?

I don’t have a place on this earth that I love more than Australia. Now in saying this I adore traveling and exploring the world I live on. My favourite places so far are Madrid, Spain - Amsterdam, Netherlands - the Pyrenees, France and Paris - Tuscany, Italy and Scotland, UK.

What is your favorite time of the day?

As soon as I wake up I am on the go and I keep on pushing through the day until I finally get to sleep at night. I do love those moments in the day when I am on my own, its quiet and I am able to focus on what I wish to do. Whether it is writing, or gardening, reading or finding that the weather is so balmy that a walk is in order, those times are the favorite times of my day.

Your zodiac?

I am a Libran through and through: never being able to decide on a choice of things is always the crux for me. I suppose it must be terribly frustrating for those around me when this happens, for I know it bugs the hell out of me.
I do not know what my sun sign is.

What is your favorite color and why?

I don’t know anyone else who loves the colour BROWN as I do. I don’t have a specific reason as to what draws me to this colour, I love gardening and giving back to the planet I live on. Without plants and trees as a species we could exist, so it is very important. A lot of people ask if it is because I love to eat chocolate, this is not the case, I do not like chocolate at all, just the colour.

Some quickies:
Sun or Moon
Laughter or Smile
Morning or Evening
Coffee or Tea - Neither
Mountain or Sea
Long Drive or Short Drive  
Silence or Conversation
Water or Fire
Air or Earth
Mars or Jupiter,
Tulip or Rose
Red or Blue
Left or Right

Glance or Stare
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