Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Hunting Fate: Getting to Know Rachel Hunter
Already a promising young writer based on her previous awards -- Minnesota 2007 Promising Young Writers Program and 2010 Oklahoma Young Writers Competition -- she's got an equally promising future ahead of her.
And that's why you should meet her.
Tell us a bit about your latest work.
Greetings, Sean! Thanks for having me on your blog today.
My latest publication is a fantasy novel, titled, Empyreal Fate. It is Part One of my Llathalan Annal series, published through Hydra Publications. I’ve had a couple reviews from people who’ve stated it’s a cross between The Lord of the Rings and Romeo and Juliet, for it is written with older-English prose – as well as tinged with a side of romance. But, overall, it is of the epic fantasy genre, delving into an ancient feud between men and elves. The realms of each race lie close, and a decree of old forbids either side from crossing into the other’s land. Inevitably, two figures do – one from each kingdom - and… well -- I shan’t spoil it now. I daresay! That would ruin the story. Though I will provide the blurb below:
Filled to the brim with forbidden love, an ancient evil, and a nation in disrepair, Empyreal Fate is a tale of riveting bravery and mortal corruption.
The land of Llathala lingers on the brink of war between men and elves, a dark history surrounding each race. Stirred by tensions of the land, a shadow of the past reemerges, taking precedence in reality and consuming the very soul of mans' mortal weakness. Darrion, the son of a poor laborer, is ensnared in a hostile world, forced to choose between loyalty to his king or the counsel of the elves. Yet Fate has other plans in store, tying his course to Amarya, an elven royalblood of mysterious quality and unsurpassable beauty. But this forbidden connection incites betrayal from members of their own kin, marking them as traitors to the crown. In a land torn asunder, only Fate's decree can allow such love to coexist with an ancient enmity.
Behold: A Llathalan Annal: Empyreal Fate - Part One.
What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?
I tend to delve into the psychological aspects of my characters, bringing into question the concepts of free will and Fate. I like to dabble in issues of trust and the inner psyche, exploring what truly drives people and what turns them away. My themes focus on inner contemplation and questioning. I use the symbol of a rose (or the Laymeur flower, as in my Llathalan Annal series) to represent Fate and truth. Isn’t it interesting how something so beautiful can also be so deadly? Much like the rose and its thorns, no?
What would be your dream project?
My dream project? Well, as far as writing and such, it would be to complete several series and in several different genres. Currently, I am working on a steampunk novel, but wouldn’t it be something to manipulate time and see what it’s like at the end (such as when a series is complete)? It would also be neat to co-write something with an author I admire. Goodness! You have me thinking now….
If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?
Thinking back, there are a few things I would change and/or alter in Empyreal Fate. Although I am pleased with it, the perfectionist side of me always feels there is room for improvement. Tis the curse of humanity! But Fate seems to have agreed with what my fingers produced. No -- now that I think on it… I probably wouldn’t change a thing.
What inspires you to write?
Ah -- the Muse empowers me in so many ways! I am inspired by the work of fellow authors – as well as by role-playing games with intricate tales, films that go beyond mere aesthetics, and artwork of all forms: from music to paintings. The world in itself inspires me. There are so many ventures to be had; why not create a few in one’s own head? It’s magical, really. In fact, simply communing with Nature gives me a sort of strength and yearn to pour my heart out – particularly through words or song. I’ve an infatuation for words, you know. If I didn’t release them, I’d surely explode.
What writers have influenced your style and technique?
Every piece I have read has influenced me in some way – whether for good or for ill. Oft times, the author provides the inspiration I mentioned above; other times, I am unsatisfied and left with a feeling that I don’t want to express in writing of my own. Most particularly, I have been influenced by the masterful Tolkien – especially the way in which he portrays his elven race: regal, graceful, majestic… They are the very epitome of elegance, and I cannot but admire their empyreal stature. My own novel contains elven figures, and I imagine them with Tolkienesque characteristics.
Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why?
Why, it is both an art and a science -- not solely one or the other! I cannot say it lies directly in the middle of the continuum, for it is not a blend. No. It simply is both, you see? It is an art, for an author weaves his or her words, painting a portrait of them inside the reader’s head. Can you not see the tapestry each time you read? Yet it is also a science, for an author must study the psychology of those whom he or she wishes to portray. Not literally study a real-life figure, as the figures most often lie in our head without a direct relation, but generally-speaking. Creating personalities is a science in itself -- as is the process of world-building and setting the scene. It is both art and science in that regard. Truly.
Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?
Well, as I mentioned above, my current work-in-progress is a steampunk novel. I’ve currently written a rough draft, and now I must let it sit awhile so that my remaining ideas may soak, and when I return to the manuscript, it will be with fresh eyes and a rejuvenated brain. Ah, yes! The artform -- the science -- of writing.
For more information about Rachel and her work: