Today I interview Australian children's author, Elizabeth Klein, whose first book in series, Firelight of Heaven, was recently released. Book two, Green Heart of the Forest will be out in early 2014.
1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a daughter of refugees who fled the Russian invasion of Hungary in the fifties. I grew up in a small village with three brothers. We were quite poor. One day, someone brought us a box of comics. I wanted to read them so badly, I taught myself to read. I loved writing from an early age and spent all my time at the local library. I became a teacher and taught for 19 years, then left and became a tutor and writer of fantasy books. I live with my husband in Sydney.
2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
As a child, I was drawn to classical adventures such as Coral Island by R.M Ballantyne, Kidnapped by R. L. Stevenson. I also grew to love science fiction novels back then, but I can’t recall any that I read apart from those written by Ursula le Guin. There were also aspects of fantasy that I loved as a child, too.
3. Do you have a favourite genre to both read and write?
It has to be fantasy.
4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
I definitely loved the classical authors whose writings are beautifully crafted. Lucy Maud Montgomery, Robert Louis Stevenson, Ballantyne and Daphne Du Maurier were just a few.
5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Early in life. I loved writing stories in Primary and I wrote my first book back then. It was quite a good science fiction story about a boy who discovers that he’s not human. Anyway, I thought it was good.
6. How did you go about becoming an author?
Lots of hard work, persistence and prayers. I joined my local FAW and also a small writers’ group where the veterans put my writing in its place. I learnt about show, not tell and many other aspects of writing about which I had no idea. I admired these old time writers and wanted my writing to shine like theirs did. I started to enter competitions and wrote for Viatouch, an educational online site that accepted lots of my articles and lessons. Then I had the wonderful Annie Hamilton mentor me for a week and I learnt so much from her. When I felt my manuscript was finally ready for publication, I sent it to Rochelle at Wombat Books, who accepted the first two books in my series.
7. If you weren’t a writer, what would you like to be?
I have no idea. I’ve never contemplated a life not writing. To me, writing is the best vocation. Perhaps a movie director might be something I’d consider as I love directing plays.
8. Beside reading and writing, what do you like to do?
This is probably a bit boring, but since I have hardly any time to sit and watch anything, I really love seeing a good movie such as Oblivion or After Earth or Narnia. I also love grabbing some take-away and going and sitting beside the sea with my neglected husband. We watch the waves, the dolphins and occasionally whales spouting in the blue. And no computers.
9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
One of the places I’d love to visit is Middle Earth, New Zealand and Britain.
10. If you could have a meal with three living people, who would you choose and why?
Just having dinner with my three best friends and having a normal conversation (not about writing).
Finally, can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will be coming out soon.
My debut book, Firelight of Heaven, will be out on 1 October, 2013. It’s a fantasy adventure involving two brothers and an elf girl seeking the lost crystals of the Morning Star and the boys’ missing parents. Their journey leads them into one of the perilous lost lands which is guarded by Queen Shara and her countless children. Very scary.
Book two, Green Heart of the Forest, will be out early next year and involves a mysterious elemental woman seeking her home tree in a dangerous community of cut-throats and pick-pockets. Book Three, Ice Breath of the Earth, hasn’t been offered yet to my publisher. I’m just finishing book four, Crown of Shadows. When it’s completed, I might work up courage and offer them both.
Where can readers find you on the web?
Thanks again for your time and agreeing to be on my blog