We are blessed to have author Azelyn Klein with us today. She has recently released the first volume in the novelette series – Last of the Memory Keepers. Let’s jump right in and get to know her better.
Welcome, Miss Azelyn. You have an awesome first name. 🙂 Please tell us about yourself.
Hello, there! I’m a chaplain’s daughter and the middle child of three. My Dad is an Assemblies of God pastor, but I was raised attending various nondenominational chapels. I currently live in Germany, and I enjoy visiting castles, especially the ruined ones. I’m an avid supporter of my local library, and I’ve always had an interest in old-fashioned sports like horseback riding and fencing. Recently, I’ve taken up acrylic painting as another creative outlet in addition to writing.
When did the Lord place the calling to write on your heart?
I knew I was called to be a writer since the second grade. Throughout my life, my parents taught me the power of stories. My mom used to tell me lots of stories, and my dad used personal experiences as sermon illustrations.
Can you write anywhere or does it need to be quiet, or music playing, or a bowl of candy within reach…
I can write most anywhere, from my desk to a local café to the middle of an airport. I prefer to have music on in the background, usually a soundtrack that matches the mood of my story, and a cappuccino or a cup of tea nearby.
What are your favorite genres to read?
I like to read most anything, from classics to contemporaries. But my all-time favorite genre is fantasy. I’m partial to The Books of Pellinor, The Chronicles of Narnia, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, The Lord of the Rings, and The Scorpio Races. I also enjoy sci-fi and WWII historical fiction, and I’ve recently gotten into graphic novels.
Did you find self-publishing to be easy or hard? What would you do differently?
Overall, I found self-publishing fairly easy. Marketing and formatting, not so much. Next time, I would probably use a longer-term marketing plan and spend less time on cover design. While a well-designed cover is vital to marketing, I wasted a lot of time creating fonts and such that I ended up discarding.
If another writer came to you seeking advice about self-publishing, what would you say?
Publishing, whether you go the traditional route or the self-publishing route is not a solitary journey. Get somebody else to read over your work before you release your book. Ideally, I have three sets of readers who look over my work: critique partners (draft 2), beta readers (draft 3), and proofreaders (final drafts). If you can afford to, hire an editor.
Is there an author who has helped spark your interest in writing? What has he or she taught you?
There are so many. But if I were to pick the first author who sparked my interest, it would be Mary Elizabeth Edgren. My third-grade teacher read her first book, Methuselah’s Gift, to my class, then took us on a field trip to meet her. Edgren taught me that inspiration can come from anywhere, including our own back yards, and that stories have a way of touching peoples’ hearts.
Tell us about your novelette series?
Last of the Memory Keepers is a fantasy series with five races based loosely off the five medieval wits. The stories are told from the perspectives of Rhona Farlane and Ellard Coburn as they navigate the challenges of their developing world. Rhona is apprentice of Deep Memory Keeper, a diplomat in training, and is determined to unify the races despite all odds. Ellard, on the other hand, is Apprentice Communicator, and shares her views of unification and wishes he had half her courage.
I wanted to write something that would appeal to readers who don’t necessarily have time to read a full-length novel. Each story comes in one-sitting pieces between 35-50 pages. I also wanted to undermine several clichés. For example, there is no love triangle, and several of characters of opposite genders have platonic relationships. There’s even a female villain who is not after revenge. Although I can’t claim to have avoided every cliché, if that were possible, I have done my best to subvert expectations.
Do you have a favorite character in the series? If so, who is it and why do you like him or her?
I almost feel like I shouldn’t have favorites among my own characters because they almost feel like my own children. But alas, I do. Finley Craig has to be one of the most interesting—and challenging—characters I’ve ever written. Although he likes to defy every rule in existence, he’s also very curious and self-assured. I wish I had half his wit.
I’m also partial to Jahan, son of Elam (he makes his first appearance in “The Quiet Apprentice”). I like to think of him as my Sherlock-esque character. He’s very stoic.
When will the next volume be released? How many volumes are in this series?
The next volume, “The Quiet Apprentice”, comes out April 7, 2017. There are six volumes in this series, with the final volume estimated to come out this August.
I’d like to ask Rhona Farlane a question, please. Rhona, are you prepared for the journey before you or are you scared?
I’d consider myself prepared for the journey life offers. I’ve known my whole life that I wanted to be Master of Deep Memory like my father before me. Even before I turned sixteen and became his apprentice, I was training to be a diplomat. Of course, I can’t claim to know everything. I’m still learning memory accessing techniques, but I look forward to finally interacting with the representatives of the other races.
Rhona, thank you for visiting with us as well. We hope you meet several new friends on your journey.
Meeting new people is fascinating. It has been a pleasure speaking with you!
Awesome! Now back to Azelyn. 🙂 Do you have a website or blog readers can visit?
Yes! Readers can visit my blog, Word Storm, at http://www.azelynklein.com . I like to post about poetry, books, writing, and fictional character types. I first started the blog with the hopes that each post would be a conversation-starter.
Where can readers buy your book?
Readers can purchase the first volume, “The Diplomat’s Daughter”, on Amazon.
Thank you so much for visiting with us. It as been fun!
Thanks for having me!
Please leave a comment to welcome Azelyn. When you have a moment, please drop by her blog and say – Hey! (Actually, you can say what you want.) 🙂 Now head over to Amazon and check out her novelette.