Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Author Interview - Triana Willard

Today I have Triana Willard. Triana and I went to high school together and, even though we live half way around the world from one another, we have chosen to pursue the same career! I am excited to talk with her today, and to let you guys get to know her a little better.

Triana's book Autumn Magic is now available on Amazon and her website

First Triana, let me say thank you for agreeing to do this interview. It's a first for both of us. Your first author interview and my first time interviewing!

Yes, like all firsts it's a bit daunting - glad it's a friend interviewing though, that makes it easier!

Let me start off by saying I really enjoyed Autumn Magic. What made you decide to write a book about ancient Japan and magicians?

I have always been an avid reader of juvenile/YA fantasy so naturally that is what I wanted to write about.  I love how fantasy allows us to immerse ourselves in a new world where anything is possible.  As a writer I appreciate the freedom that fantasy allows to create and shape the space our characters live in.  So magicians, witches - those are essential characters for me.  As for the Japanese element, I studied ancient Japanese literature at university and was really impressed with how different that society was.  In a way, reading those stories was like reading fantasy and I've been eager ever since to find a story that could be set in a fantastic ancient Japan that never was.  

I especially like the way that you challenged Wren by putting who she longs to be at odds with what her parents expect her to be. What was your inspiration for her character?

Strangely enough I was reading the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder to my boys and I was struck by how straightforward yet incredibly beautiful the writing style is.  I've read those books over and over my whole life but for the first time I really began to appreciate the relationship between Almanzo and Laura, their love for horses and their pioneering spirits.  I think Wren and Sparrowhawk started from there and the whole story would have taken a different tack except that I came across a book of Slovakian fairytales in a second hand bookshop.  That is where the Russian elements of the story come in - like the transformation of certain characters.  That is a common theme in Russian fairytales.

I think Wren is also drawn from my own experiences and the experiences of my friends as teenagers.  At that time in our lives we are all coming to terms with finding our own destiny.  Do we accept and take on the roles our parents expect of us, do we follow in the footsteps of our older siblings, or do we reach out and grow and decide for ourselves?  Wren has to make that journey, physically and emotionally, and for me - all magic aside - that is what the book is about.

Have you always wanted to be an author?

Absolutely.  As soon as I could write I was creating stories and putting them to paper.  It's been a long journey to publication, but I’m really excited to finally be doing what I've always dreamed of.

Do you have a designated writing place? 

Yes, I have an old second-hand leather chair that sits in the corner of my bedroom and I do the majority of my writing there.  I still begin every story the old fashioned way, with paper and pencil, and the chair has nice wide arms that are good for resting my writing notebook on.

Is there anything that you would like your readers to know about you?

I think that the most important thing might be that I am a dedicated writer.  Autumn Magic is my first book, but I'm committed to writing more.  I'm finishing up a prequel to Autumn Magic that will be available July 2013, and I have at least three other stories rattling round in my head impatiently waiting their turn to be written.  I'm passionate about what I do, and I want to keep the trust of my readers by always producing my best work to share with them.

Also, the eBook edition of Autumn Magic will be free to download from Amazon this Friday and Saturday - the 29th & 30th March.

Thank you Triana for agreeing to be my first! 
Go and pick up a copy or Triana's book, you won't regret it!

J.E. Shannon

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