Empyreal Fate

This Friday, I’m lucky to have fantasy writer Rachel Hunter, author of Empyreal Fate (A Llathalan Annal), as a guest on my website. Being the busy writer and student that she is, I was only able to get in a quick interview with her.

Let’s learn more about Rachel Hunter!

1. The Publishing Question: How has getting your first novel published played out? How was the process different or the same as you thought it would be?

How has publishing played out? Quite marvelously, to tell the truth. At least, it’s been a wonderful experience thus far. Truly – there is no greater feeling than to know that readers can share my world and that I transport them, in a way, into my mind via the printed words of a page. Ink and parchment: that’s all it takes. That – and a curious mind.

But it all started with a contract: two contracts, actually. I met with one publisher at a writing convention in Oklahoma City, who was interested in my work and requested that I submit, and I queried another one after doing research on speculative fiction publishing houses online. Both publishers showed interest in my fantasy novel, Empyreal Fate, and both of them requested that I send them more material. When I heard back from them regarding my manuscript, it was with the offer of a publishing contract – and it was within the same week! You can imagine my elation. From there, I weighed the pros and cons of each house, and I found that Hydra Publications was the optimal publisher for my work.

The process took some time, as was expected, but the end result has been better than I originally imagined. Hydra Publications has been a wonderful and supportive publishing house, and it is ever-expanding, establishing a gaming division, taking on various marketers and cover artists, and providing means by which to get one’s work in print, ebook, and audio. Overall, it has been an extremely gratifying experience, and I can’t wait to discover what the future holds.

2. The Writing Question: Would you consider yourself more of a plotter or pantser? (Gardner or architect if you prefer GRRM’s terms) Or does your approach vary by story/format, i.e. a novel or short story?

I do not outline–not much, anyway. Therefore, I must call myself a ‘pantser’. I first obtain a sense of what I wish to write about: I close my eyes and feel the characters beside me; I hear the sounds of the world in my brain–and then I just… write. The words seem to come to me. (Although, sometimes the right words are difficult to beckon).

I find that if I limit myself to an outline, I am only limiting the extent to which my story may blossom. My characters are not intended to be static representations of my imagination, but rather abstract individuals with multi-dimensional facets of interests–quirks, if you will. Even the side characters play their part. I find that if I set my characters and their actions in stone via a hard-set outline, their developmental growth throughout the tale becomes stilted. Besides, my mind changes from day-to-day. Who’s to say my initial ideas won’t be replaced by something more powerful the next time I sit before the monitor? No. I let the Muse guide me–not an outline or strict adherence to a plot.

3. The Fantasy Question: What is it about fantasy that really captures your interest? Why?

Fantasy–a beautiful word against my lips! What could be more magical than transporting oneself into realms of the impossible–the enchanting? Since I could but only grasp onto the covers of a book, I have been reading to my heart’s content.

Although I enjoy works spanning all genres, I have found that fantasy beckons my attention far above all. There’s something in the nature of the fantastical that draws me in; there’s something about the feel of alternate worlds and mystical planes that ensnares me. And this is why I’ve chosen fantasy as my own genre. I want to make others feel the way I do about words: to breathe in awe at their elusive connectedness–to marvel the fluid way in which they bind. It’s this internal delight that delivers life upon a sheet of parchment. And it is this feeling I wish to instill.

4. The Random Question: If you could befriend one fictional character from any medium, who would it be and why? What would your ideal fun-time hang out activity be?

Hmm… That is a difficult question. I would quite like to meet and befriend almost any of the characters I read about: the good and the bad. They are all interesting, are they not? Regardless of moral stance. But if I have to choose just one, I would pick someone from Tolkien’s world. An elf, perhaps? Galadriel? But what of the hobbits–dear old Sam-wise? I suppose I would go with an elf first, and for our first meet-and-greet, we would meditate in a forest and learn the ways of the woods and the trees. I was, after all, an elf in a past life.

Thank you for hosting me on your site today, Mr. Hunter. Tis truly a pleasure~

And thank you to Rachel for answering my questions! You find her online at the following places: