I am excited to bring you a wonderful interview I had with MG Author Ilana Waters as the first “event” in BOOKTOBERFEST!!! ‘
Hi! My name is Ilana Waters, and I’m a middle-grade fantasy author. Book, please introduce yourself. *Book steps shyly forward, offers hand* Everyone, please meet The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia. Here’s a little about him:
“Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader, Christopher Siren. With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic.
Stanley has only two allies back home: a witch named Meredith, and a young apothecary called Sophie. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim in the tyrant’s evil plot?
If you enjoy the fantasy works of Rick Riordan, Lemony Snicket, or Philip Pullman, then explore the world of Stanley Delacourt today!”
Why did you decide to write Middle Grade Fiction?
LOL–I didn’t realize that’s what I was writing till after I finished the book! But then I realized how much I loved MG fiction—and that I am not alone. YA is the hot genre right now, but whenever you ask someone what their favorite childhood book is, it’s usually MG. There is something about that first reading experience you have on your own—with no one reading to you—that is very, very special.
How did you choose the title and the main character’s name?
The first part of the title came to me in a dream (sorry—I know that’s cliché, and that everyone says its cliché. But if I told you differently, I’d be lying). The “Book I of Hartlandia” part came about so people would know it’s part of a series, and exactly where in the series it was. Many people (myself included) don’t like to play guessing games based on title to find Book II, Book III, etc., of a series.
Are you a full time writer…why/why not?
I consider myself a full-time writer at this point. And it happened because, slowly, I realized I could not get up in the morning and pursue any other path.
Coffee or tea?
Patrice, you know I love you, but I’m not even going to dignify that with an answer. *pause* Okay, okay—it’s coffee. Natch. 😉
Why did you choose to become a self-published author?
I have nothing against traditional publishing. I do hope to be involved in it at some point. But after querying many, many agents about Stanley, I realized I had little to lose by self-publishing. If I can find an agent or publisher who’s interested in it now, great! If not, I’m moving ahead with my own career at my own pace.
What is your favorite book…why?
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith. It’s about a girl growing up in poverty at the turn-of-the-century. The writing is simple and unpretentious, the story universal. It’s told with tenderness and heart, but the protagonist is never self-pitying.
What is your favorite movie…why?
Labyrinth, for sure. It’s a stunning combination of magic, mayhem, and . . . Muppets! It’s quite the cult hit also, with great messages about family, friends, and (I think) female empowerment.
What is the next book you want to write?
Sooo many! I’m working on the next volume in the Hartlandia trilogy, as well as a (free!) short story and a novella, all based in the Hartlandia world. Oh, and I’m working on a vampire paranormal romance as well. Because, you know—the world just doesn’t have enough of those. 🙂
Thank you, Patrice, for having me on Whimsically Yours. It’s a pleasure to be a small part of your blog!
–Thank you Ilana!