Paranormal angel blog has been lucky enough to have the chance to interview one of my favorite author's Wanda Wiltshire.
Wanda is the author of the beautiful fae series Betrothed. The second book in the series Allegiance will be released in July this year. See below for a link to a sneak preview of Allegiance.
Thank you for taking the time to be a part of my blog.
No problem, Kylie. Thanks for having me.
Where did the idea/concept for Betrothed come from?
Betrothed is literally the answer to a prayer. I was going through a rough time a few years ago – the kind of time that makes you question the meaning of life. These questions eventually led me to the realization that I must be here for a purpose. I had no idea what that purpose was, so I asked. ‘What am I here for?’ Three little words popped into my head. ‘Write a book.’ All day, these words were on a loop in my mind. But not only did I feel unequal to the task, I didn’t have a clue what to write a book about! So that night I went to bed and prayed for an idea. The next morning, as I was waking, Betrothed slipped into my mind. I got up, raced to the computer and started writing.
The characters in Betrothed are each very distinct in personality. Are they based on people you know?
No, my characters are real people in themselves – to me anyway. They came in to my life complete. And like meeting someone new, it was only through spending time with them that I got to know them. Sometimes if I want to know something about one or other of them, I will ask a question – just like I would with any other person. For example, ‘Leif, when you were a boy, what was your favourite thing to do?’ ‘I loved to play tricks on my father. He was always so grave and distant. Of course the price was often high, but it was always worth it.’
When you wrote Betrothed did you originally plan for it to become a 7 book series or were you expecting it to be shorter?
Right from the start, I knew the beginning and the end of Marla’s story. However, as I’ve written her story, more and more details have been revealed to me. In that way the series has grown. At first I thought her adventures might fill two books. Slowly that grew to three then four, then six. Through all of this, the ending has remained unchanged. The seventh book will be a prequel.
Are you surprised by the anticipation and support that Allegiance, the second book in the series has?
What I’ve found with Betrothed is that the people who love it, really, really love it! I can’t say I’m surprised they are looking forward to finding out what happens next in Marla’s story. Betrothed did end at a crucial moment, and I know if I were a reader I’d be keen to know! I’m actually really happy with Allegiance; I just hope Betrothed’s fans will love it too! I’m quite nervous about it actually.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think there are multiple messages and themes running through the Betrothed series. Whether or not the reader takes something from them will always be an individual thing. But ultimately the message I would like each of my readers to take home from the series is that in the end, nothing is greater than love.
Can you share a little of what we can expect from future books in this series?
My readers can expect to spend a lot more time in Faera learning about this beautiful but challenging world. They can expect to laugh and cry and be taken on a journey full of surprises and adventure. They can expect to feel deeply, and ultimately come away from the series, completely satisfied.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Hmm, this is a difficult question because I love so many. When I read I want to be swept into the story and I want my emotions stirred. I want to not only see the world, but to be taken there quickly and become part of it. Anne Rice is one author who gives me all of this. Her writing is beautiful and passionate and soul-deep. And her characters are all so unique – each a wonderful mix of weakness and strength, beauty and flaw – always redeemable. This to me is real, even if the main characters are ancient vampires!
Who designed the covers?
The talented team at Xou Creative.
What does your writing process look like?
Very much like building a person from the inside out! If you want to read more, you can check out my writing process on my blog.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
In my mind, there is only one Leif – and I saw him (or his doppelganger at least) when I was out for dinner with a friend on the Gold Coast last year. For years I had been searching for him – unable to find an actor who even came close. My friend and I pretty much spotted him at the same time. We looked at each other – all wide eyes and dropping jaws! “Leif,” we whispered together. At any moment I expected him to pop brilliant white wings from his back! But the really strange thing was that he was working behind a bar with two others who were exceptional Jack and Marla lookalikes! We took photos of the three and learned their names and if I was at liberty to reveal them, you would be very surprised!
How important are names to you in your books?
Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
The names are very important and all of my main characters came to me already named. I couldn’t have changed them even if I’d wanted to! The name Marla is meaningful to me on a personal level and the name Leif – after a quick play with the letters – spells Life. That didn’t occur to me until years later when someone pointed it out to me when Betrothed was published.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Definitely writing, ‘The end’ on my first manuscript. I can’t express what a wonderful feeling that was. I don’t think I stopped smiling that day because I didn’t really believe I could do it!
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Marla’s story is so close to my heart that if I come across a review of Betrothed I must read it. If it’s positive, I can’t help but respond because it’s such a wonderful connecting experience. The readers who write these lovely reviews adore Betrothed and can’t wait to know what happens next. Many of them end up coming to my FB page to chat about all things Betrothed and writing – which I love! A negative review on the other hand is a disconnecting experience. This is where the writer and reader part ways. So there would be no point in responding to such a review. My advice would be if you must read this type of review, try not to dwell on it.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
That’s easy – editing!
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
No one subject in particular, but I wouldn’t write about anything too overtly gruesome or depressing. I can’t even read this type of stuff let alone write it!
Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others?
Action scenes don’t come as naturally to me as many other scenes. So these are more difficult and take longer to write than others. I really need to immerse myself in these scenes and visualize what’s happening. I continually ask myself questions. What happens next? How does that look? How does it feel? How can I make it worse? How can I make it better?
What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
I would like to have raised all of my children to adulthood and see the publication of the whole of the Betrothed series. (And a few other books I have in my head.)
If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
I love watching good adaptations of Jane Austen novels because of the beautiful old English accents. I imagine my fae speak in similar accents.
Thank you so much again
Thanks so much for having me, Kylie!!
Wanda Wiltshire has long been a lover of reading and writing.
As a child she was often found spellbound with a novel stashed beneath her desk or tucked between the pages of her geography book. Alternatively she could be found sketching or penning poetry during maths and science lessons.
Wanda has also always been an incurable dreamer, her school reports a testament to her pastime of staring out of classroom windows.
But now she is long grown and ﬁnally found her passion for writing novels, Wanda puts her daydreaming to good use, spending many long and satisfying moments gazing across the sea cavorting with fairies and other magical creatures as she develops scenes and storylines for her latest work.
Betrothed is the ﬁrst in Wanda’s young adult fantasy series.
It is the exciting story of a girl caught between two worlds — Earth and the enchanting land of Faera.
The first in an enchanting faery series by Wanda Wiltshire
Amy Smith has always known she was different. Severe allergies, fragile health and taunts at school have made life an endurance test for the adopted seventeen year old.
When Amy starts having strange dreams, everything changes. Night after night, she becomes trapped in a shroud of black - a void of silence but for a male voice calling for a girl named ‘Marla’.
One night, the darkness clears, Leif is revealed and Amy discovers that she is the girl he has been searching for.
Immediately the two are swept up in a passionate yet forbidden love. Leif isn’t like the other boys Amy knows. Breathtakingly gorgeous, he speaks with her telepathically … not to mention, he can fly …
Desperate to find a way to be with her, Leif tells Amy of the terrifying threat to his Fae homeland, the danger to the people, and of an unforgivable betrayal to his King. He urges her to seek her true identity…. But Amy is confused... isn't it all just a dream?
Darkness. Two Worlds. Three Loves.
The Betrothed Series Continues.
Having returned home, Marla seems to quickly forget her Faery Prince, Leif... And strangely, she starts seeing her best friend Jack in a different way...
Tensions mount within this doomed love triangle after Leif, unwilling to part with his betrothed, strikes a deal with his father, the fiery King Telophy, to travel to Earth to win Marla back.
Meanwhile in the enchanting land of Faera, more and more of King Telophy’s subjects are vanishing – victims of a shadowy presence.
Leif flies back to to Faera, with Marla and Jack to help vanquish this deadly threat.
Shifting shadows, bonds of blood, and with their lives in danger … Marla is conflicted, relying on both Leif and Jack for support.
But who will she choose?
And can the three save Faera in time?
Allegiance - there's an extract. If you read it let me know what you think!
Dont forget to follow Wanda on face book to stay up to date.