Hello Book Lover! I’m really glad to share with you all an author interview with Elizabeth Foster- author of debut novel Esme’s Wish. I reviewed this book last month, it was really great read.
“A fresh new fantasy of an enchanting world.” – Wendy Orr,author of Nim’s Island and Dragonfly Song.
When fifteen-year-old Esme Silver objects at her father’s wedding, her protest is dismissed as the action of a stubborn, selfish teenager. Everyone else has accepted the loss of Esme’s mother, Ariane – so why can’t she?
But Esme is suspicious. She is sure that others are covering up the real reason for her mother’s disappearance – that ‘lost at sea’ is code for something more terrible, something she has a right to know.
After Esme is accidentally swept into the enchanted world of Aeolia, the truth begins to unfold. With her newfound friends, Daniel and Lillian, Esme retraces her mother’s steps in the glittering canal city of Esperance, untangling the threads of Ariane’s double life. But the more Esme discovers about her mother, the more she questions whether she really knew her at all.
This fresh, inventive tale, the first in an MG-to-YA series, is an ideal read for 10-14 year olds.
You can check out my review here ⇒⇒ Esme’s Wish (Esme Series #1) by Elizabeth Foster
I live in Sydney, Australia, and try to write every day. I had no idea I would end up being a writer, and I still can’t quite believe that I can make up stories. I really had no clue of it when I was younger. I did know that I wanted to do something creative but I had no idea what!
This is your debut novel. How does it feel?
The launch period was an emotional rollercoaster but now that things have settled down I feel very accomplished! A high point was when Wendy Orr, a very well-known Australian writer (author of Nim’s Island) read my book and offered a commendation for the cover. I blubbered for about half an hour (she told me by email so fortunately no-one was watching!) That was when I really knew that I had written a book that people might find worth reading.
When and why did you begin writing?
I finished reading the Harry Potter series with my children many years ago and missed the world J.K. Rowling had created so much that I decided to try and write a story of my own.
How did you come up with the idea for your book and a new world in it?
I knew writing my first book would be a difficult task, and figured that it would be slightly easier If I wrote about things I was interested in (it was!) I love islands, the ocean, mythology and magic so I wrote about those. I chose to set the story in a parallel realm, instead of a totally separate universe, so that I could include elements of our own history and mythology in the story – making it easy for non-fantasy readers (and Esme) to immerse themselves in the world.
What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I bought tons of books! I bought so many books on the ocean, Venice, magic and myth that I still haven’t read them all. Homer’s Odyssey was a huge influence too – I read that quite early on in the process. I also went to Venice (twice!)
What was your favorite chapter (or part) of writing this book and why?
I like the chapter where Esme runs off to Spindrift, to the place her mother was last seen alive. I really enjoy writing description and had to cut it back in most chapters but I managed to keep a little more of it in that one. It’s also a favourite because it was one of the easiest chapters to write!
What was the hardest part of writing the book? Was there anything that you deleted or altered?
The hardest part was learning everything from scratch. I did lots of drafts, focusing on mastering different writing elements each time.
Getting the first chapter right was also quite difficult.
I also had to delete a couple of dragon-focused chapters that didn’t really move the story forward – I had such fun writing them though!
Your favorite quality in a protagonist. Which character was hardest to create/write and why?
I don’t find it hard to create characters – in fact I tend to create too many, and have to get rid of a few after the first draft.
I like characters who never give up. Esme was probably the hardest to get right as she was a little too passive in early drafts. Lillian and Daniel, the two main supporting characters, kept taking over! I focused on giving her a more active role and I am pleased with the result. She is an observant, smart and determined character and one I am proud of.
How many books are you planning to write in this series?
I have always planned three books for the series.
What is the main thing you want readers to take away from your book?
The value of friendship and the power of love.
Describe how your ideal writing space looks like or include photo.
I write in all sorts of places. I write best when I’m relaxed, and there is a lovely beach near where I live which is the perfect spot – I love writing to the sound of the sea.
Who are some authors that inspire you?
I like a mix of classics and contemporaries. I love Jane Austen, and I’ve read all of J.K. Rowling’s books for both children and adults. I also enjoy Maggie Stiefvater’s stories, and those of Australian author Melina Marchetta.
Your favorite childhood book.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Do you read book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I do read my reviews. I’ve been fortunate to have had lots of positive ones so when a negative one comes along I cope okay. The vast majority of critiques I’ve gotten so far have been constructive, and I love getting feedback about what readers enjoyed the most (and what they want more of.) For example, lots of readers are obsessed with dragons and I really enjoy writing about them so I was pleased to find that out. There will be plenty more scenes involving dragons in book two. There might even be one on the cover!
What are your future project(s)? What’s it about? (*if relevant)
Book two in the series is entitled Esme’s Gift. In this instalment Esme turns sixteen and things get a little darker. She goes to school in Esperance and also goes on a quest outside the city. Book two will be a little longer than book one.
Advice for aspiring authors.
Read plenty, write plenty, and try to keep things in balance – if you can. Don’t do what I did – spend every minute either writing or talking about writing. I think my family has forgiven me – almost! Writing fiction is a huge learning curve but it does get easier over time: even if you don’t feel like you are progressing you probably are.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers?
Keep reading! And authors love it when you write reviews. Post them on Goodreads or Amazon – even a couple of lines will do. Authors rely on reviews to get their books noticed and into the hands of more readers.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
To Readers– If you like to read and review Esme’s Wish, author will be happy to send you a review e-copy. For that just comment on this post below with name and email ID and I will forward it to author or you can text author on Twitter.
Many thanks to author for taking time out of busy schedule to take part in this interview.
I hope you enjoyed this interview.