Author Interview: Athelas Hale

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Today, I’m interviewing Athelas Hale, a fellow writer friend I’ve known for years.

 

Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello, all! I’m Athelas Hale, a writer of fantasy and occasionally a smattering of science fiction. I’ve been writing for nearly eight years now, and can be found in the vast, “central United States” area, where I live with my parents and more brothers and sisters than you would believe without doing a double-take.

What are you currently geeking about? (A new book, a movie, a TV show, something else?)
I’m have to admit that I’m not currently geeking over anything new… In fact, due to a particularly hard bout of “reader’s block” several months ago, the only book I’ve read from start to finish in the past three months was one of theology. That said, I’m in a constant state of geeking over anything Tolkien, and the greatest amount of fiction I’ve read recently was to flip through The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

What are you working on now?
Now that NaNoWriMo is over, I’m back to working on my most intensive project yet, the editing of my 119,000 word novel, IOTW. While I can’t say much about it, it falls somewhere on the range between high- to mid-fantasy, with fantastical elements (no dragons, I’m happy to report), but with a grittier, more grounded feel than you find in most high-fantasy. The story, which may end up being classified and marketed as middle grade should I ever find a publisher, is about an eleven year old and is set primarily in the wild desert.

Now, tell us about your favorite project or close second, if you already told us about your favorite.
My close second would probably be Alvaro, a “low-fantasy” as I like to call it; while it’s set in another world, there’s no supernatural or fantastical powers or events. This story is solidly young adult, one of political intrigue, a resistance operation, undercover work, and a history of war, set in a country similar to one just past medieval history.

How did you get into writing?
As opposed to what seems to be the “normal” writer origin story, I didn’t start writing because I loved stories, had a story to tell, or had any grand interest in reading or writing. I liked books prior to that, but in reality I started writing because my older sister had begun a story. I wanted to be just like her. From that beginning, a love of story, characters, a driving need to tell tales did arise, eventually leading me to where I am today.

What advice would you give to beginning writers?
Finish the story. It doesn’t have to be a million words long (in fact, that’s generally frowned upon), and you don’t necessarily have to do anything with your first finished manuscript, but it does have to be finished. Your first milestone is to start writing. Your second milestone is to finish a book.

What about experienced writers?
Never stop improving. Find someone whose work you admire, and do your best to learn from them. Even if you think you’ve hit a ceiling and it physically hurts to keep on pushing your limits, don’t get lazy with yourself. You can do more. You must—for the sake of the story, you must do more.

What are some of your favorite books, authors, movies, and/or TV shows?
Er, Tolkien? Aside from his works, I enjoy Andrew Peterson, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and some books by Bryan Davis and Brandon Sanderson. As far as movies go, I tend more toward older styles of movies, and I admit that I’m slightly unfamiliar with most television shows…

Any closing words?
This is where I ought to put something remarkably profound and inspiring, but I’m afraid I left my canned inspirational remarks elsewhere. Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Jessi, and thank you readers for taking the time out of your lives to read my rambling answers!

Where can we find you? (Your website(s) )
I can be located on my writing blog, Red Lettering (though recent life has reduced the number of posts drastically) and both on my personal Pinterest account and one for general story inspiration.

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About Jessi L. Roberts

I live and work on my family’s cattle ranch in eastern Montana. I have a flock of chickens, a hyper golden retriever, some cows, and a few horses. I enjoy fantasy and science fiction and my head is full of wild sci-fi story ideas, some involving apocalypses and others involving aliens. I have been published twice in Havok Magazine, an imprint of Splickity.
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