After losing everything, all seventeen-year-old Thea wanted was to be a normal teenager. Instead, she was attacked by a mysterious creature she thought only existed in fairy tales. Now thrown into the unknown realm of Faey, Thea is forced to determine the difference between reality and fantasy, in a world ruled by a dark elite and a society wracked by intolerance and prejudice.
With the support of her new friends and a mysterious dark haired, blue-eyed guardian watching her every move, Thea will discover that when it comes to Faey, nothing is what it seems. Will her courage and desire to save this new world from darkness be enough? Or will Thea be the next victim to fall to the dark whispers of fate…
Th-thank you,” I stammered, feeling embarrassed as not only he but all the guards were looking at me like I was some sort of precious jewel.
Interrupting the awkwardness that Eli could see I was experiencing, he addressed all the guards at once. “We better keep moving so we make Aroben before nightfall.” And with that they seemed to move fluidly as one, surrounding Eli and myself, with Isaac taking the lead up front.
“Why did he call me Thea-Driel?” I whispered to Eli as he walked next to me.
“The last part of an Elf’s name tells others about who they are, their past and family. It is also used as a formality when first greeting another Elf, especially one in the royal family. Driel is your family name and was the name your mother and father were known by,” he said, a reminiscent expression on his face.
“What’s yours?” I asked.
“Actually you’ve already heard it. It’s Thill, Eli-Thill. I, and the other guard members, take on the name Thill once we become part of the elite guard, as we pledge our life to the throne and what it stands for. Our motto is Eryuslian, which roughly translates as ‘to serve and protect’.”
Why did you decide to become a writer?
Since I was young, I’ve fallen in love with fantasy stories; books like ‘The Enchanted Forest’ by Enid Blyton had me wishing I could be a part of their adventures and meet characters such as Silky and Moonface. Then, when I moved on to C.S.Lewis, I tried so many times to get my wardrobe to transport me to Narnia and wanted to be a part of that world! With so many stories out there set in mystical lands, I spent a lot of my free time day-dreaming of journeying to these other-worldly places; I just loved the idea that maybe there was something else out there and wondered what it would be like to find out you were the special one chosen to go save another world or were more than just human. That’s what first inspired me to become a writer and create my very own mystical worlds.
Who/what are your writing inspirations?
I’m sure if you’ve read the Harry Potter series you can understand why I’m mentioning that as a series of books that have influenced me as a writer. I love how you feel you’re there with Harry as he sets off on his journey of discovery. The way J. K. Rowling has created a whole new world in such detail is awe inspiring.
What are your favorite genres to read?
Paranormal, fantasy, Young and New Adult. I also like romance stories, especially western-set cowboy romances! 😉
Favorite writing food / snack?
I don’t normally pick at food when I’m writing but a must have are cold soft drinks with lots of ice.
What do you hope readers take away most from your writing?
I hope foremost they will become immersed in the Faey world I have created. That the plot line is unique and leaves then wanting more, and that they’ll be touched by the characters and their lives throughout the story.
Who’s the favorite character of yours that you’ve written and why?
There are two that I can’t choose between! The first has to be Thea, the one the trilogy evolves around. She is feisty, loyal, passionate and determined. You’ll see how her strength of character develops as a result of the challenges she faces.
I’m also rather fond of Bay, one of the friend’s Thea makes in book one. He’s one of those friend’s everyone needs – mischievous and generally good fun to be around.
What is your writing style? Outliner/Planner or Seat of the Pantser?
Probably ‘Seat of the Pantser’. I normally let a story ferment in my head for a good month or two and will occasionally dream about the characters as well. Then when I’m ready, I just start writing.
If someone wanted to become a writer, what tips would you give to them?
Don’t Give Up! Have faith in yourself and know that you can do this. It won’t be easy and you’ll feel like pulling your hair out half the time, but when you finally do it…see your book out there for people to buy, it’s the most amazing feeling ever and makes all the heart-ache worthwhile.
I would also recommend connecting with other authors out there who are in the same position as you on sites such as Goodreads; they can become your rock when needed as well as providing advice and a sounding block for all those questions you may have.
Have you ever purchased something from a late-night infomercial? If so, what?
Oxiclean! After I’d had my son, I soon realised babies get covered in everything (especially when the nappies I was buying didn’t seem to hold anything in!) I remember the infomercial was on late at night and in my sleep-deprived state, I ordered some hoping it would solve all my messy problems.
If you could collaborate with any other author (living, dead, or undead) who would that be and why?
Amy Bartol, I love her use of imagery.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you do?
Well I do actually have another job…I’m Deputy Head Teacher of a primary school. No day is quite the same as another, and it is often filled with supporting the children’s learning and making sure it’s as fun and engaging for them as possible. I seriously feel I have the best jobs in the world; working in education and writing.
Coke, Pepsi, or?
Diet Pepsi (I think I’m addicted to it – there’s nothing better than having a glass after I’ve been to the gym!)
What’s one thing people should know and/or don’t know about you?
I can be super competitive especially with myself – I’m always trying to push myself just that little bit more.
Is there a character that has the most “You” in them? Or the opposite of you?
I’d say that my personality is similar to Thea’s, the protagonist in the story. Her determination to face what’s thrown at her head-on, and to fight for what you believe in, are ideals I totally agree with.
If we lived in a Fahrenheit 451 culture, which book would you want to memorize?
Any of the Kricket series by Amy Bartol.
Has anyone written a fan fiction based on your work?
Not yet but that would be so cool!
*Is Liz Keel a pen name? If so, why did you pick it?
No it’s my real name. I wanted the readers to know me as a person, who I am and what I like. It’s important to me to build up a relationship with the readers and using my real name seemed an easy way to do this.