Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan

Welcome to Author A.B. Whelan

A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.
While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.


Interview

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Among other things, the fact that I was born and raised in Hungary and English is my second language is one the most shocking ones. A retired English professor edits my work. We read my manuscripts together sentence by sentence. I met him by chance. It was like a sign, a great blessing. Now I work twice as hard to prove to him that his faith in me is not in vain. You can imagine how much work goes into my books. So why do I do it? Because I love it.

Most embarrassing moment?
One of my most embarrassing moments happened in Ecuador where I once lived with my husband. One day we visited a local market, where my appearance caused a bit of a frenzy. Pirated ‘adult movie’ DVD vendors surrounded me and asked for my autograph. They had mistaken me for the blonde on the cover, and no matter how much we tried to explain that it wasn’t I, they wouldn’t listen. My husband had to save me out of the tumult. I got away with losing a few locks of hair.

If you could leave this world for your “book world,” would you?
In a heartbeat. In Fields of Elysium I created a new Earth with the idea of having an advanced human species living there, where people have no gene for violence. They treasure life more than anything. The thought of raising my children in a society where I wouldn’t have to fear for their being kidnapped, abused or killed is very appealing.

If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Bronte’s grasp of the English language is just superb. Her protagonist goes through a great deal of loss and despair, yet she keeps her integrity and positive attitude. Only an author with the same beliefs could create such a character. I loved her for that.

Which authors have influenced you most and how?
My answer might sound cheesy, but there are actually two authors I’d like to name. First, Stephenie Meyer. The way she played with the readers’ emotions was one of a kind. She perfectly captured the essence of human desires. Second, J.K.Rowling. Not so many people are blessed with such an imagination as she is. The difficult part of writing is to present a story to readers so masterfully that they experience the same emotions that the writer felt when she wrote it. I consider both of them the crowned queens of storytelling.

If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I would love to have the ability of planting memories into people’s minds. In that way I could make insecure or neglected children see a bright future, pursue goals and happiness, and believe in themselves. Also, being able to control minds would give me the choice of becoming a villain or a hero. That would be the ultimate test for me to find out who I really am.

What words or expression do you overuse?
“Seriously, who does that?” I started saying this as a reaction to my children’s mind-blowing actions. It became a slogan in my husband’s family. Every summer we gather at Bass Lake and this sentence flies around us all day long like mosquitoes.

In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
That would have to be David Gemmell. I usually don’t read historical fantasies, but Gemmell’s characters and scenes will grab you and tie you to your chair. I pick up his books and read them over and over again. I can’t get enough of him. Unfortunately he has passed away and took all that talent and expertise with him.

How did you go about publishing your book?
I queried sixteen agents and received twelve very polite rejections, and four of them never replied. I had no name in this business or writing credits. I don’t even know what I was thinking. However, I went ahead and self-published my book, and sent it to professional review companies. I have been receiving five star reviews from them, and even Kirkus Reviews, one of the most prestigious book review companies in America, found my story compelling. We’ll see what the future holds for Fields of Elysium. I sure would hate to see it disappear in the sea of unknown novels.

How do you react to a bad review?
I’d go on a hunt to find out where the reviewer lives and then burn the whole city down. I’m just kidding. Better to be hated or loved than ignored. So good review or bad review, I appreciate them all.

What made you decide to write in this genre?
I write as a hobby, not as a profession. Stories come to me in my dreams, when I drive, run on the treadmill, or hike in a solitary place. I don’t force them into a genre. Fields of Elysium was born on a balcony in Crete, where my husband and I enjoyed some time together watching the starry sky. I imagined Molly and Victor together, being teenagers. I like the young-adult genre because young hearts are more adventurous. Later on in life, people have too much to consider, too much to lose, to jump into a new crazy adventure or follow their heart.  

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Fields of Elysium’s 420 pages will give you more joy for your money than a Starbucks Coffee and no extra calories. 

Fields of Elysium

How can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly’s life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.

Giveaway Details
1 Signed copy of Fields of Elysium
Open to US only
Ends 2/13/13

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