The Council of Ebon encircle the Cauldron, their grotesque features shrouded in shadows. With voices like ice shards scraping against stone, they disclosed their dark prophesy. War between the dark nation of Ebon and rebel forces is imminent. The armies of Ebon are vast, well trained and accustomed to victory. The hopes of Allsbruth rests on the untried skills of a young storyteller, Elabea, the courage of a warrior named Romlin and an alliance with nations whose existence is little better than myth.
The Martyr’s Moon rises. The blood of a storyteller is spilled. Hope vanishes.
Yet in night, the King of Claire whispers.
I’ve played bass for Shania Twain, had a black rhino charge me while on safari, and I’ve been in the Oval Office. In high school, I went backstage to interview groups like Bob Seger, Rush and Kansas, sorta like “Almost Famous” but without Kate Hudson! As an author, I draw from all these experiences (and then some) when crafting my stories. The quote that sums me up the best is by G.K. Chesterton: “Nay, the really sane man know that he has a touch of the madman.”
J.E. Lowder interviews Elabea
The following is an interview between author J.E. Lowder and the heroine of his War of Whispers Series, Elabea.
JEL: Let’s begin with a few quick questions. How old are you and how do you pronounce your name?
ELA: I’m fourteen-summers of age, and my name sounds like “Ella-bay.” It’s Allsbruthian for Dreamer of Days.
JEL: And are you a Dreamer of Days?
ELA: (She chuckles) You could say that. When I was a little girl, I’d sneak off to the great oak with Romlin. We’d climb to the top and dream about being anywhere but Hetherlinn.
JEL: You said you had to sneak away. Could you elaborate on that?
ELA: None of the children from Hetherlinn were permitted to play in the oak.
JEL: Why not?
ELA: Because when our parents played there as children, they would occasionally hear whispers from the King of Claire amidst the branches. But when the Ebonites and the Cauldron defeated us at Min Brock, everything changed. Villages had to submit to the Oracles of the Cauldron—which included never listening to the whisper from Claire—while Ebonite warriors ruled the lands and often conducted night raids.
JEL: So despite the Oracle and the warriors, you two went to the oak. You both must be very brave.
ELA: (She snickers.) Romlin, yes, but not me! It’s just that our life at home and in Hetherlinn was so difficult. Everyone blamed our fathers for the loss at Min Brock, which meant Romlin and I got teased all the time. Romlin could handle it, but I’m different, and their words cut me deeply. So I suppose we felt the oak was the only place we could escape to be alone and to be ourselves. It wasn’t like we were trying to stir up rebellion; we simply needed a break from it all.
JEL: In Tears of Min Brock, one reviewer compared your relationship with Romlin to that of Katniss and Gale from The Hunger Games. Would you like to comment?
ELA: That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought about us like that before. I suppose the similarities are that Romlin and I are good friends, we watch out for each other, and we both desire to leave our oppressed lives in Hetherlinn. But unlike Katniss, I get squeamish around blood, and I don’t think I could kill anyone or anything like she could.
JEL: Yet in Book II, Martyr’s Moon, don’t you call upon your storyteller powers during the Battle of Thornblenn?
ElA: Yes, but when it’s over, I’m shocked at the destruction. It’s not that I dislike Katniss, I don’t. In fact, I think we could be really good friends. It’s just that my personality is a bit more vulnerable than hers. And like I said, I hate blood!
JEL: Without giving away the storyline, can you tell us about Martyr’s Moon?
ELA: Sure. The story picks up right where Tears of Min Brock ended and answers many questions left hanging. From there, the book weaves in and out of adventures, especially for Linwith (the Worm Master) as well as Draemel, the cold-blooded bounty hunter. And I (she flashes a broad smile) get a new name.
ELA: Yes. (Eyes narrow.) But why are you surprised? You’re the author.
JEL: Yeah, I know, but if I don’t act surprised, then those reading this interview might get bored.
ELA: (She shrugs and shakes her head) You’re weird. Like I was saying, I was given a new name: Ela Claire.
JEL: What a gorgeous name.
ELA: (Her eyes narrow) Thanks, but again, you’re the one who came up with it so it sounds cocky for you to now state that it’s “gorgeous.”
JEL: Not my intention, but as I’ve already told you, I’m trying to help the reader along. Now what can you tell us about your new name?
ELA: Without giving away the story, a certain someone—of regal importance—gave it to me. Ela Claire meansDreamer of Life.
JEL: That’s quite a shift from Elabea, Dreamer of Days, isn’t it?
ELA: (She nods) Like I’ve already said, no one in Hetherlinn said nice things to me, and my parents weren’t much better. I guess my father’s shame from Min Brock was too much for them. He drank a lot, you know. And sometimes, well, he’d say hurtful things or he’d lose his temper. But I know he loves me. I know it. It was just the wildeberry wine making him act the way he did. He’ll change…you’ll see.
JEL: Do you really believe that?
ELA: (She looks away) No…well, kinda…I hope so.
JEL: Let’s shift gears and have a little fun. What one thing about the author do you find annoying?
ELA: (She smirks) Am I limited to just one thing?
JEL: No…of course not…
ELA: Good! Let’s begin with Tears of Min Brock. How many times did you rewrite it?
JEL: I lost count.
ELA: Exactly! I thought my story would never continue! Don’t you know to NEVER keep a lady waiting?
JEL: True, but wouldn’t you agree that each version made you better?
ELA: (She cocks her head to the side) Was there something wrong with me?
JEL: No, it was the writing that needed work. It’s a writer’s thing.
ELA: Oh…So you’re a perfectionist, aren’t you?
JEL: Yes, just like you, but—
ELA: And I bet you’d like to go back and rewrite it even now, wouldn’t you?
JEL: Probably, but we’re starting to talk about me. This interview is about you.
ELA: Well, you’re the one who asked the question!
JEL: (Huffs) Now I understand why Romlin got frustrated talking with you.
ELA: (Arms cross her chest) What’s THAT supposed to mean?
ELA: Never mind. I understand, I understand all too well. MEN!
(She turns on her heel, her braided hair swishing in time to her gait, and disappears into Book III.)
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