I recently came across an exciting young author whose debut story looked like so
much fun, I simply had to get her to feature here on the Tales of Goldstone Wood. My dear Imps, please welcome Ms. Amanda Bradburn, author of The Keepers of Elenath
Bradburn’s love of writing began at a young age. At ten years old, she watched
the Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring movie, and adored it. Her
newfound passion for all things fantasy became a book, The Keepers of Elenath, published in 2009. This book was soon to
turn into plans for a fantasy series in the fashion of
C.S. Lewis’s masterful Chronicles of Narnia.
a love of life, Amanda enjoys meeting people and getting to know her readers.
She also loves to help young authors find their feet (though some would call
her a young author herself) and does freelance editing by appointment on the
loves travel, history, violin, and teaching the Bible to children. She also
loves coffee, but then, most writers do.
Here's a little about the book itself:
Evil is stirring in Elenath. A rapid chain of events: a righteous king's murder,
a dark queen's seizure of the throne, and the stirring of ancient peoples opens
a new chapter in Elenath's history. Dark powers seek to control all and a bare
few stand against the sinister forces. At the center of the tempest lies
Gwaeron, princess of Anirum. Secrets surround her true identity, and the strange
gifts she is capable of are sought after by both sides of the silent war.
Another evil haunting the land of Elenath; sweeping from the northwestern
wasteland to Anirum's eastern coast is the dreaded eves fornost. Hearts of
human, elf, etel, and gnome will turnfor good or evil. And the worst is yet to
You can check out the fun book trailer for The Keepers of Elenath! And Amanda
graciously answered a bunch of questions about herself and her work, which I'm sure you'll all enjoy. And, even more fun, she's offering a copy of her debt novel as a giveaway prize! So read on, and be certain to enter your name below.
1. Would you mind
telling us a little about yourself? Hobbies, personality . . . tea or coffee?
Let’s see… Oh, coffee, for sure. I’d love to try some Earl Grey just because,
though. J As for hobbies…
I love dessert, so naturally I’ve become a baker. I do some crafting and
crochet, and a handful of other eclectic and random things. I love blogging and
reading, and most of all I love to write and to chat with writers.
Personality . . . I’m basically a quiet person. I love to travel, but I also
love to stay home and hide out and write. J
2. What led you
into the writing life? Were you always a storyteller?
first started writing when I was about seven; two friends and I wrote an
impossible mystery after the fashion of Nancy
Drew. After we drifted apart, I just kept writing. I can’t imagine life
without it now!
3. Tell us a little
about your debut novel, The Keepers of Elenath. How long did you work on this story? How did the idea come to you? Is
it part of a bigger project?
began The Keepers of Elenath when I was fourteen. About a year and half later,
I finished it and began to look for a publisher. I found one, and a few weeks
before my graduation from high school, I held Keepers in my hands. J
As for the idea, I’d been devouring The
Lord of the Rings movies for years (and had been writing a fanfic for about
three years. I’d always wanted to write fantasy, and when an idea came, I just
started. The finished product doesn’t resemble the original core idea at all.
It is part of a bigger project. My goal is for Keepers to be a seven book series by the end, but due to some
differences between myself and my publishers, I’m looking for a new press
(thinking about self-publishing…maybe) I have the sequel to Keepers finished (The Phantom Assassin) as w ell as about half of the third (The Lady of Hawkings Watch) and I’m SO
excited about what’s next.
4. Can you pick a
favorite character from this story?
really like Theloq. (He’s the mentor-warrior figure) I actually didn’t know his
true identity until a little while ago, when I interviewed him on my blog, but
it all made sense after that! He’s a little dark, a little brooding, and a
touch grouchy sometimes, but he’s just amazing. J
5. What inspires
your work? Where do you turn when you need a renewal of inspiration?
Pinterest. A new book. The movie theater. A long chat with a writer buddy.
Editing. Some Coffee. J
6. What are your
favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?
love watching the characters become real. It’s so special when you finally
connect with them and they can actually fulfill the roles you have laid out for
them… and when they develop dimension. Love it.
Rewriting. *scowls angrily* Not to be confused with editing—I love editing, even
have a freelance editing business on the side. Rewriting stings, though, after
you’ve gotten so far and your work shudders to a halt and you realize that
you’ve made a fatal error. I’m doing that right now in a co-authored book. My
coauthor and I got together and realized we’d need to scrap about half of the
story line. Yuck.
7. If you were
forced to pick a single favorite author, who would it be?
That’s rather unfair, because I have so many and they change all the time…
Tolkien is the old standby, because it’s his fault that I started to write
fantasy in the first place. *laughs* But I can’t say that because I haven’t
read Tolkien for a while. Hmm…. I’m going to say Cornela Funke, because I love
her Mirrorworld books.
8. So what is next
on your publishing horizons? Can we look forward to more in the Elenath series?
Or perhaps something completely new?
toying with the idea of self-publishing The Keepers of Elenath series, though
I’m not a fan of self-publishing as a general rule. As for other works . . .
*rubs hands together excitedly* My cousin/coauthor and I are releasing an ebook
short story called Little Red Robin Hood
at the end of this week. (As long as I can figure out the ebook process). If it
does well, it’ll go into print. It’s the first of what will hopefully be an
entire series of short stories about Robin Hood as a young boy. J I adore it! It’s so witty and
9. What are you
actively writing right now?
I technically have 10 writing projects going, but 5 are in different degrees of
sabbatical solitary confinement. So only 5 am I actually writing at the moment.
One is a fairy-tale retelling called Imperfect, one is a future earth idea
called Render Me Flawless, there’s a action/spy/dystopic novel called Duchess,
a fantasy-allegory novel called Shards of Glass, and I’m always working on
touching up Keepers.
10. Can you share a
short snippet from
Keepers of Elenath?
- I honestly
think that this was the most difficult question yet! Here’s a bit of humor.
Keepers of Elenath
“Don’t worry,” Aen whispered, sidling up to
her. “We haven’t had a dragon eat an apprentice for at least a week.”
Gwaeron gave him a weary glare as she swung
open the stall door. Inside, slumbering, was a half-grown dragon, but it was
still huge. Its copper-colored scales glistened as it shifted and sleepily
opened its intelligent eyes.
“Hello, Talon,” Gwaeron murmured, watching
with a sinking heart as Graystaf and Aen ambled out of the dragon stable,
chatting merrily. “I’m Gwaeron. How about letting me saddle you?”
The dragon gave her a glare filled with
contempt and settled back down to sleep.
“See here, dragon, I don’t really want to be
doing this either, but the sooner you cooperate, the sooner you will be able to
go back to sleep.” Gwaeron grabbed one of the strange flaps on the saddle and
lugged it to the door. “Please don’t be stubborn, Talon.”
With a snort, the dragon turned his back
toward her, his tail smashing her in the ribs and sending her flying against
the wall in a cloud of straw. With a groan, Gwaeron picked herself up and
This was not going to
Thank you, Amanda! What a fun an intriguing little slice of adventure!
You readers can learn more about Amanda via her blog: The Ink-Made Maiden. You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
And now, the giveaway! Be certain to enter your information and share about Amanda's work. And, if you are the lucky winner, reviews are always welcome by novelists!
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/0cd52410/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway
What fun! I love finding new authors. :)
Oh, and for Amanda: what's one book you can't live without?
Wow! This sounds amazing! Amanda, is there a specific fairy tale you’re basing Imperfect off of and if so, what is it?
If you could be any magical creature what would you be? Or if you could live in any classic fairytale book which one would you choose?
Her story sounds so good!! Thanks for the heads up. I'm going to be checking her book out!! :-)
The Keepers of Elenath sounds intriguing. Thanks for doing a giveaway.
Bree: My Bible. As for fiction... that's a hard one. I'd have to say The Hobbit. :)
I wanted to throw a whole bunch of nods to various fairy tales into Imperfect (Twin princes, ruby slippers, a girl who has a magnificent singing voice, etc)
It's a retelling of Cinderella, but very, very loosely.
The answer to that question depends strongly on whether I get to change back into being a human if I want to. *laughs* I can't write otherwise.
I'd probably be a griffin.
Gah. Fairy tales (at least the original ones you're talking about) so often end in grief. (Grimm's especially) Are there any fairy tales that take place in London...?
I'm going to say Rapunzel. Does that count?
And not only is Amanda an amazing author, she's a fantastic person and I'm honored to have her as my editor. ^.^
This books sounds amazing! Thank you both for the interview and the new book to read! :)
I have just put this book on my wish list on Amazon. =)
Thank you so much. *hugs* I daresay it is MY honor to be your editor.
Thanks for popping in! :)
Just curious...any reasons particularly that you don't like self-publishing :)
I like the idea of self-publishing, but it's unfortunately cheapened the book world. How? People who have not-so-original ideas and not-so-good grammar can get anything shoved into mainstream media that they want. I'll warrant, there are a lot of good self-published works out there, but most of what's self-published has never been edited. As a result, a lot of people look down on self-pub authors because there's a stigma now. Sad. :(
How great that you give new authors such an opportunity!
Great review and hop we hear more from you!
Thanks for stopping by, Ms. Bradburn! Here's my question: How do you develop characters? Do you just start writing and let them show themselves, or do you get to know them before you even start the story?
Each character, like each person I know, is a little different to get to know. Sometimes, I can take a quick look and know all about them. Other times, I have to write them for a long time before I really get to know them.
A little of both, I 'spose. :)
I really enjoyed this interview. Actually, I've seen this book before because it's published through the same publisher I used. Congratulations, Ms. Bradburn, and I definitely plan to read it. So glad it's on audio, too.
Imperfect sounds very interesting as does Shards of Glass. Will that tale be set in an alternate world, or have you incorporated our world into the allegory? Thanks, and God bless you.
Sorry. One more comment regarding self-publishing. I liked your thoughts very much, and I agree that there are books that are not produced very well when going that route. Of course, this is not always the case, and it's a shame that good authors can be overlooked in such a competitive market. It's always best to get as much feedback as you can before publishing, so even if you go the self-publishing route, the more people who read your manuscript, (those who like it and those who don't), the more helpful advice you'll receive. Believe me, I've learned this the hard way. Self-publishing can be expensive, too, so I've learned to take things slow and not to rush into anything until I'm confident the material is good, (both story wise and grammatically). So glad that you provide freelance editing as well. Keep up the outstanding work.
This book sounds really good. I also found this post really inspiring, because it gives me (a teen author who wants to be published) hope that it can happen. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!
And once again I forget to read the Rafflecopter thing completely. >.< A question: what gave you the idea for this book?
Thanks for hosting this author! These books sound awesome and I can't wait to devour them!
Thanks for sharing the interview and the book with us! Another to add to my to-read list.
How did you come up with your names? Did you create your own language?
Oooh! This book sounds SO good!
Always good to meet another Tate author! :)
Originally, Shards of Glass was the Narnia-type (go from London to another world, etc) but that ended up stalling, so the allegory will actually be set in the other world.
It really is a shame about self-publishing. :/
Thank you so much!
It totally can happen! Just keep seeking to make your writing better and eventually an opportunity will come along with your name on it! :)
As for the idea for Keepers . . . It really was a conglomeration of a lot of things. I wanted to write fantasy because of Tolkien, but I really don't remember exactly where the ideas themselves came from. :)
Some of the names were just there. Aen, Theloq. A few are anagrams, a few are out of Tolkien's quenya (elven language) that somehow got filtered into my writing.
I did create a language, as well as a written alphabet that I ended up not using.
I always love hearing stories of people getting their novels published young!
It's funny, my love was for writing fantasy was also born after I watched the Lord of the Rings when I was around ten ! And of course, I remain an avid Tolkien fan.
I got to ask--what is your Tolkien Fan Fiction about?
I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors!
Elen síla lúmenn' omentielvo!
I was ten when The Fellowship of the Ring came out, also!
My fan fic was based upon the premise that Elrond had two daughters Arwen (obviously) and Alwen. It's their stories.
Elë! Mai acáriel. Hantanyel órenyallo.
What's your guilty reading pleasure?
I'm not certain that I understand your question, but I read all sorts of novels for 'research' purposes. I'm reading Artemis Fowl right now. :D
Hey, everyone! Just so you know, the Little Red Robin Hood ebook went LIVE last night and you can go check it out here:
Looks like an interesting book. I can always use another book, I don't think you can have too many! :D
Have you aver considered writing for small children, say elementary age? Where did you come up with the names for your characters? I would love to read your works.
I love reading new books from authors I haven't heard of before! They're usually the best ones!:)
Oops. Forgot to say my name is Celita.
Mrsdayseye at Gmail Dot Com
I am trying to write my first novel, but I have a really hard time staying focused on one story at a time. Do you have this problem? And if so, what helps you stay focused?
Good evening, Amanda!
If you could read a book in any location in the world, where would you choose?
It was great to learn a bit about you and your books. Thanks for sharing.
I have! Right now, my children's Short Story Little Red Robin Hood, is for sale on Amazon. :)
As for names, I keep a list of names that I like, but a lot of times, the character will just tell you their name. Odd-sounding, I know... but still. :)
Good on you! First novels are, of course, the hardest, so I totally understand. I don't 'try' to say focused on one novel unless I really need to finish it. (Except I have no deadlines right now, so...)
Sometimes my stories need a break, so I'll move on to the next idea (I have 8+ stories going on at the same time, more or less)
If I need to stay focused, I'll read only that genre, and look at my word doc. every day. I may not write, but I'll read it or edit. And I ask the Lord to help me out. He's good at that. :)
That's a super hard question, seeing as I LOVE to travel. Goodness.... let me think...
I'd love to read Sherlock Holmes outside of 221 B. Baker Street, London. I'd love to read a bit of Tolkien in London, too.
So I'll say London, but as for which book... I don't know! :) Good question!
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