August 29, 2011

Author Interview: Erin Hassinger

Hey everyone,

Today it's not just me, we also have a special guest! Welcome to Turning Pages, Erin Hassinger (author of Rian of the Elves: Welcome to the Spire), please give a warm welcome!

First of all could you tell us a little about yourself and your book?

I've always enjoyed magical stories. And while I love reading them, writing one was much more fun. It was “anything goes” in my mind and I really had a great time putting the story together.

I love art and books and people. Sadly, I think my favorite food is chocolate. I’m in love with my kids and my family. I’m a mom of a six-year-old boy and two-year-old twins. There's a ton of twins in my book. I wrote the majority of it while in the hospital on bedrest for the twins, so their influence is definitely present.

The book tells the story of Samuel Mangus, a part-Elfin boy who is thrown into another world. In the opening, he meets a Sneeble named Justus, who can be both a hummingbird or transform into a boy. Although Sneebles don’t usually speak to humans, Justus intentionally seeks Sam out in the forest one morning in the hope of providing Sam with protection from the horrible Recenes who will come to challenge him. From there, the story moves pretty fast, and Sam finds that every new kid he meets is from a different, magical breed with different abilities and gifts. The further along I got, the more in love with the story I became. I knew it had to have a strong ending--something with purpose--so that people wouldn't get the “that’s it?” feeling at the end of it all. (I hate that feeling.) So, it did take me a bit longer to write and fine tune the ending. But I think what I ended up with is just what I wanted.

Here are some short questions to warm you up!

Reading or Writing?

I love both.

Books First or Movie?

I prefer books (that is, unless we’re talking about The Hobbit, Harry Potter or something as equally visual). For those, I love seeing it translated to the screen just as much as reading the books.

Coffee or Hot Cocoa ?

Coffee in the morning. Hot cocoa at night.

Candy or Chocolate?


Cats or Dogs?

They’re both great. But I do have a soft spot for big, sloppy dogs. I think that’s why the Welkhound showed up in my book.

Here are some short answer questions!

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I paint and sketch a lot. I illustrated the cover art for the book as well. My husband suggested I post some of the unused character drawings on my blog for people to see, so I’ll be doing that pretty soon. Because I’ve gotten the most questions about him, the first will probably be Justus the Sneeble.

If you could have any super powers, what would they be?

I’m not sure about super powers, unless there’s one that’ll do my laundry. My sister and I agreed that the "cleaning doors" in my book would be dreamy.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A singer, but I can’t sing.

What made you decide to become a author?

The story.

How did you decide on writing Young Adult?

The story was young adult, so I just took it from there.

Where do you prefer to write? Outside? In an office?

In an office.

When writing this book, what obstacles did you have to overcome?

Physically, I was about to burst from being pregnant with twins and typed the first half while using my stomach as a table. As far as the story went, I think fact checking was the hardest. A lot of googling took place. I didn't want to use creatures or words that people have ever heard of, so I made my own and that took a while.

Are any of the characters in Rian of the Elves: Welcome to the Spire based of off real people?

Some are. Sam reminds me of my nephew. Laurel is a combination of my nieces. Justus and Emmett are my husband and brother (and my dad, my mom, my best friend. . .the list goes on and on).

When writing this book, did you know where it was going? Or did it come to you while writing?

A little of both, I think.

When is your book coming out in paper?

Right now, it’s an Indie on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble. An iBook is coming soon, but I can’t really say if we’ll do a print book.

Do you plan to write and publish more books? Is something already in the works?

I do. There are three books in the Rian of the Elves series. I'm currently finishing Book Two. To thank all the bloggers who've asked to read and review it, we’ll be selling it for .99 for a few weeks so their readers can have a chance to read it, too.

And again, thanks to you and everyone who has shown interest in the story. It really is great to hear from you all!

Thank you so much for stopping by Erin, and answering all of our questions! I really enjoyed your book and can't wait to finish reading the rest of the series.

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