Friday 9 December 2011

Author Interview & eBook Giveaway with Author Emma Raveling

Find Emma on: Emma Raveling Website - Blog
Find Emma on: Facebook - Goodreads Twitter
Our Review for Whirl - HERE
Buy the E-Book - Amazon UK - Amazon US Barnes & Noble - Smashwords
Buy the Paperback -  Amazon US

Whirl (Ondine Quartet #1) 
Seventeen-year old Kendra Irisavie is an ondine, a water elemental caught in the middle of an ancient war. The Aquidae are immortal dark demons who will stop at nothing to destroy the fragile balance of the Elemental world. Fierce and independent, Kendra has always played by her own rules. Gifted with the powerful magic of Virtue and trained to be a deadly fighter, she has spent her life breaking hearts and getting into trouble. When her life explodes one violent night in a northern California city, a dark stranger appears, promising answers to her mysterious past. Alone with no one to trust, she must now navigate through a dangerous new world, face the temptations of a forbidden romance, and remain true to her duty and destiny. All the while the Aquidae continue to hunt her down, in the hopes of eliminating her forever.
An edgy urban fantasy/paranormal romance, Whirl is recommended for older teens and mature readers due to strong language and sexual situations. 

Favourite Food: 
Japanese or French food
Favourite Season: 
Late fall/early winter (holiday season)
Favourite Quote: 
Be the change you want to see in the world.” - Mahatma Gandhi

1- How did you come up with the idea of Ondines ? Personally ive never heard of them so i'm curious as to where you had heard of them from etc.
As someone who reads a great deal of European mythology, I’d seen ondines mentioned several times as a type of water elemental/water nymph, especially in the works of alchemy. But the inspiration forWhirl and the entire series was actually a piece of classical music. The French composer Maurice Ravel composed a work for solo piano called Gaspard de la Nuit. This music was based upon a series of poems by Aloysius Bertrand.

The first movement of Ravel’s work, entitled Ondine, is based upon the poem of the same name by Bertrand. I included this poem as the epigraph in Whirl. Based upon an old French myth, the poem tells the story of Ondine, a water nymph who sings to a mortal man, attempting to lure him to her. He rejects her love and pleas to join her in ruling the water world. Rejected, Ondine fades away, disappearing beneath the waves.

I heard a live performance of Ravel’s Ondine and a haunting image flashed into my mind of a teenage girl standing in the ocean. There was something so lonely about her. But her eyes were powerful - the eyes of a fighter or warrior. Intrigued, I started exploring that idea in my mind and the Ondine Quartet was born.

I do recommend readers of Whirl to listen to Ravel’s Ondine if they get a chance. It beautifully captures the dark, atmospheric, and romantic essence of Bertrand’s poem, and the intricate music immediately calls to mind the tragic image of Ondine. 

2- Did you do a lot of research into the Ondines?
No. Other than studying the basic mythology behind selkies, I didn’t delve much into water elemental/ondine myths because I very much wanted to create my own original mythology for this series. Before I started writing Whirl, I spent a great deal of time creating the Ondine Quartet world, which included everything from the history of the society, magic and special powers, politics and government, the different races of water elementals, and societal and moral values.

I also researched French etymology and the Anglo-Norman historical connection. This was the basis behind many of the terms and names used in the book (race names, location names, character names, etc.), all of which were constructed out of specific meanings and particular word roots.

3 - What was the most challenging thing for you when writing this book ?
There were two things that were quite challenging - writing requires a tremendous amount of time (writers never really stop working) and demands total concentration. I was often surprised at how physically and mentally exhausted I’d get, especially at the end of an intense writing session. Most people don’t realize that writing is not just about the time you spend in front of the computer getting the words out. Part of constructing a novel involves a great deal of thinking time away from the desk.
When I’m in the middle of writing a new work, I’m thinking about the stories and the characters all the time. Even when I’m not writing. Whatever I do during the day (cleaning the house, going out with my husband, cooking, watching a movie, etc.) the story is constantly on my mind. It does make me rather absent-minded. : )
Writing a novel takes everything out of me. Absolute concentration while writing, and full absorption in the story 24 hours a day as you try to work out what you need to write.
4- How long did it take you to write ?
Whirl was my debut book so there was a learning curve that made the process a bit longer. I have a day job and I usually write anywhere from 3 to 6 hours a day. The entire process, from the moment I came up with the concept of the Ondine Quartet to the day it was published, was roughly seven months. After taking notes and outlining the entire series, I completed the first draft of Whirl in approximately three months. There was another three months of revisions, which was much longer than I intended it to be because of complications from my everyday life. The book spent another month with beta readers and my editor before it was released.

5- Who is your favourite character and why ?
Although I love all my characters, the main character, Kendra, has a special place in my heart. From the beginning, I knew the series was going to be told in first person through the eyes of my heroine as she embarked on this extraordinary adventure. Therefore, I knew that the voice of my protagonist was one of the most important elements of the narrative.

Kendra has never failed to surprise me, and she continues to do so even as I write the next step in her journey. She’s complex, difficult, and possesses both a fierceness and vulnerability that make her a challenge to write. Her exterior toughness and confidence mask a tremendous loneliness that is fascinating for me to explore.

6- Who is your favourite love interest and why ?
Aah! This is a difficult question to answer. I love Julian and Tristan equally for very different reasons. Both connect with Kendra in unique ways and both men appeal to very different sides of her. The one thing I can say is this - in my own humble opinion, I think the choice a YA heroine makes in love interests is essentially a choice of what kind of adult she wants to be.

Kendra is seventeen. Her journey is not just one of magic and danger, but also one of difficult choices. She must come to terms with responsibilities, life, emotions, and beliefs as she makes the transition to adulthood. Love, in all its forms, is an important part of that journey. It is infinitely complex and not an idea or word I toss around easily in my writing.

7- Have you put any traits of yourself or people you may know into any of the characters ?
No, not consciously. But I do think writers tend to take bits and pieces of things they’ve perceived or experienced with people and these little pieces unconsciously filters into their work. So certain aspects of my characters were probably influenced by things I’ve seen in my life.

Kendra’s personality is very, very different from mine. But I do relate to her rebelliousness and I definitely went through a defiant, difficult stage as a teenager. At the same time, I don’t think that feeling is unique to me. Teenagers, in some form or another, push rules and boundaries as they begin to question things about their lives. It’s just part of what it means to grow up.

8- If the book was made into a movie, who would be your dream cast ?
 I’m terrible at casting *laughs*. Please bear in mind that my answers to this are based on looks alone, and that my image of my characters may not be the same to all readers!

- Kendra: Lily Collins, with lighter hair.
- Chloe: Elle Fanning
- Aubrey: Emma Stone (with short hair)
- Tristan: Ben Barnes (but much more bulked up)
- Julian: Ian Somerhalder
- Ryder: Alex Pettyfer
- Marcella: Marion Cotillard
- Gabriel: Mehcad Brooks
- Naida: Jodie Foster
- Rhian: Helen Mirren

9- Have all four books been completed? If not do you have a timeline for releases ?
I had all four books completely planned before I began writing Whirl. However, they have not been written yet and I’m currently working on the first draft of the second book, Billow. Ideally, I’d love to have each book out every few months (I’m hoping to get Billow out in early 2012), but it depends on whether or not my life agrees to cooperate! I’m not the fastest writer in the world. Although I can produce a first draft in a decent amount of time, I’m very meticulous about revisions and that’s really where the bulk of the work is (for me, at least). 

I’m working as fast as I can to bring the next installment to readers. But I do think time is required to produce something of quality and there’s just no cutting corners with it. : )

10- Any teasers you want to share ?
I’ve been having a very hard time finding teasers from Billow that aren’t spoilery for Whirl! Here’s a short one (note: first draft, may be edited, revised or cut, etc.):

“I have to try.”
“So you have something else to punish yourself with?”
I froze.
His dark eyes flashed. “I’m not going to stand by and let you do it.”

A huge thank you to Emma Raveling for joining us today! Interested Whirl? Why not watch the trailer below and enter the giveaway. 

E-book Giveaway of Whirl!
Two lucky winners could win an e-book copy of Whirl. 
Want to enter? All you need to do is fill out the rafflecopter form below. 
The giveaway is international BUT is only open to people above the age of 16 due to strong language and sexual situations. Closes on December 24th. 
Extra entries are not required to win but of course, it gives you more of a chance.
Good Luck! 

So that's it guys, I hope your excited about reading Whirl just as much as me. A huge thank you to Emma taking the time to answer our questions and kindly donate the prizes. Enjoy! 

Happy Reading & Happy Holidays! 


Haley @ YA-Aholic said...

Awesome interview!!! I love her dream cast, although I'm not sure I am a huge Lily Collins fan! But the rest are great! (;

Unknown said...

Awesome interview, I have been waiting patiently for it :) It's hard to believe the amount of work that goes into a book and how much time it consumes even when not writing but that hard work shows in the book and i cant wait for the next one. Thanx for giving the time and effort to give us all an insight, Im off to google some of the dream cast now :D
Team Tristan !

Starr K said...

Great interview, and looking forward to this series

Emma said...

Thank you so much for having me here! I had great fun answering the questions and sharing a bit about the series and the writing process - Happy Holidays and good luck to everyone on the giveaway!

Brittany C. said...

Great interview!! Thank you so much for taking the time to do the giveaway :)

Evie said...

Ok! You had me when you said one of the cast members would be Emma Stone! LOL - I love her, yes please! Also, the teaser was really... intriguing! Not to mention that I just LOVE european mythology.. Ondine! Wow, have you seen the movie Ondine? It kind of sucked, but the girl playing Ondine is actually a Polish actress (I'm from Poland!) :)
Anyhoo~! I love this interview! So many fabulous questions and Emma sounds like a super nice person and a great, hard-working writer with a wonderful imagination! :D

Thanks for the giveaway and the fab interview, ladies! :)

Klaudia said...

The series seems quite interesting. I;ve never read about Udines XD

Yvonne @ The Shadow Realm said...

Great interview! This series sounds really interesting can't wait to read it :)

Kelly said...

I have never heard of Ondines either. Sounds different. I enjoyed the book trailer.Thanks for the giveaway, I am looking forward to the series.
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