Plus a Smashwords giveaway!
This week’s featured YA author is a gal with a love of fairy tales, flowers, and fancy words. Please welcome Elizabeth Jane Kitchens!
About Elizabeth Jane Kitchens…
I’m a science nerd keeping busy working at a large university, writing fairy tales, doing stuff with my sweet church family, and stalking flowers with my camera. On Thanksgiving Day 2013 I became an indie author. My novel The Beast’s Enchantress tells the tale of the enchantress from Beauty and the Beast.
About The Beast’s Enchantress…
An enchantress curses a heartless prince to be a beast until he learns to love. Can love free her from her own curse?
Enchantress Lady Alexandria Floraison disapproves of her sister’s attachment to a shy, plain young man. Piqued by the handsome Prince Giles’s attempts to promote the match, Alexandria orders a magic mirror to lie about the young man’s faithfulness to her sister.
But one must never tamper with a magic mirror. Alexandria is cursed to be a hag and is banished from her life of luxury and her father’s dukedom. Part of her punishment is to cast a spell on a cruel prince to teach him love and kindness. The spell leaves her powerless and vulnerable to those who would steal her wand, which she must have if she ever hopes to return home. When the spell on the prince breaks, the enchantment will return to the wand, and she hopes to be able to use that power to return home. Yet, is the key to the end of her punishment the power of enchantment? Or is it something more? Perhaps something to do with the mysterious woodsman who’s been looking after her since she enchanted the prince?
Why do you write?
I love tales of noble heroes and heroines and happily-ever-afters. I daydream a lot, and I love to write, so what else could I do?
Why young adult fiction? What is most appealing about writing for this demographic?
I get to use magic in my stories. 🙂
What are your writing rituals, if any?
I pray before I write, thanking God for the gift of writing and asking His blessing on my endeavors.
Favorite Book/Author? Why?
Tough question. I love Jane Austen’s books, especially Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. As far as living authors go, I’m anxiously awaiting Karen Witemeyer’s next book. I love her humor and spiritual insight. Being a fairy tale lover, Melanie Dickerson’s books are also much anticipated and enjoyed.
The best thing about being a writer?
Being able to create the type of entertainment I love so much. Good stories brighten my day, and now I get to brighten someone else’s! It also feels wonderful to see on paper what has been running around in my head.
The worst thing about being a writer?
The times when words won’t come to my head or won’t go from my head to the computer without a fight.
What tools do you/have you used to study the craft of writing?
Some of my favorite writing books are The Art of War for Writers by James Scott Bell, The First Five Pages by Noah Lukeman, and Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Browne and Dave King. I love reading agent and author blogs too.
Would you rather read a good book or write a good book?
I’d rather read a good book and then realize “Hey, I wrote that!”
Favorite literary character of all time and why?
Elizabeth Bennett. We bear the same first name, and she’s smart, witty, and has the sense to marry a man of excellent character.
Top three things every writer should have/do, in your opinion?
Every writer should have a critique group. The help, encouragement, and friendship of my critique partners are invaluable. Every writer should also have a text-to-speech program of some kind (or someone to read to them). I catch a lot of mistakes when I listen to my work-in-progress. And every writer should go to conferences.
Best time of day to write and why?
Anytime so long as I’ve engaged in some kind of physical activity beforehand. I don’t want to spend all day at a desk.
Do you write by the seat of your pants, plot first, or a little bit of both?
A little of both. I usually start with characters, an overall goal for the character (like redeem the bad guy from the previous book), and a few scenes. Sometimes I pantser my way between scene “dots” and other times I plot the way. I’m beginning to lean more toward plotting though.
What keeps you motivated?
Realizing that writing is a gift entrusted to me by God, which means I’d better do the hard work and not “bury my talents.”
What is your goal in writing?
To grow in skill, finish as many of the books running around in my head as possible (and the new ones that will come), and publish them for others to enjoy. Story, be it in book, movie, or verbal account, has a tremendous influence on us. We need more from a Christian worldview.
Can you share a little bit about your newest release?
My only release is the story of the enchantress from Beauty and the Beast. I’ve always loved Disney’s animated version of the classic story, and I used to watch the prelude to it at work when I needed a break. After a while, I began to wonder about the enchantress. Who was she? Why did she curse the prince? This led to speculations like “What if she was under a curse herself? What if her hag appearance was like the prince’s beast appearance?” Then one Thanksgiving afternoon, I sat down with my laptop and got acquainted with this enchantress. The Beast’s Enchantress was born.
Self-published or traditionally published? Which is better, in your opinion?
I self-published it, but I would like to traditionally publish some of my later books.
Any words of wisdom you would like to share with aspiring YA authors, such as myself?
Keep writing, learning, and interacting with other writers. It is hard work so be patient and don’t give up. Yes, I know everybody will tell you this, but there’s a good reason why they do—because it’s true!
A Bible verse that encourages you in your writing?
I Corinthians 12, especially verses 12 and 18: “For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body—so also is Christ … But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted.” God has given me the gift of story and writing and that’s important! And no more or less so than anyone else’s gift.
Connect with Elizabeth Jane Kitchens…
Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your stories and experiences with us. It has been a pleasure to have you on the blog today!
Don’t forget to leave a comment, question, or word of encouragement for Elizabeth below. She’s giving away a coupon for Smashwords, good for one ebook copy of The Beast’s Enchantress. Enter via the Rafflecopter through Friday, May 31st.
Until then, happy reading!
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