Author Interview: Katharine E. Wibell

Katharine E. Wibell.

  1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

Currently, I am working on two different book series. The first is a dark, Viking novella series for adults entitled The Guardian’s Speaker while the other is a high fantasy adventure for young adults, The Djed Chronicles.

  1. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

Well, The Incarn Saga is my debut new adult shifter fantasy series. In Issaura’s Claws, the first of four books, vicious marauders from across the sea are approaching the kingdom of Elysia. To fend off this grave threat, a draft is initiated, requiring one member from every household to enlist. However, the kingdom consists of two races who begrudgingly co-exist—the Theriomorphs, which are the native shifters, and the ruling humans. If there is any hope that the kingdom will survive, both races must set aside their differences and learn to truly trust one another and work together, but time is short and the enemy is near.

The Djed Chronicles is a young adult series set in a multiverse that contains twelve vibrant worlds that host what we perceive as magic. However, two combatting forces are shifting the balance that protects the universe and threatens all life. Total annihilation can only be prevented if the Djed, the prophesied hero, is discovered and proven true. And the next Djed is predicted to be a child of Earth.

Earth is not one of these magicked worlds, and the people living on that planet are unaware of the mighty and powerful entities that exist elsewhere. Can you imagine how thirteen-year-old Katie feels when she awakens on a world not her own and is suspected of being this next Djed? The proof lies in completing a difficult and dangerous task on each of the magicked worlds. Yet if she succeeds, her success will confirm the threat of a devastating and unavoidable war.

My final series, The Guardian’s Speaker, is based in Norse mythology where nine realms exist amid the boughs and roots of Yggdrasil, the world tree. Líf is not like her warrior siblings. Instead of being respected, she is often considered an outcast and shunned, for she was born with the ability to see and communicate with each person’s fylgja—their animal-shaped, guardian spirits. Her quiet life on the outskirts of society is quickly put to an end when she meets another who has a similar gift as hers. Yet this man brings a warning—a plague is coming that will kill all mankind, and only he can stop it. But he is a slave, and he is not hers to free. This novella series is written for adult readers since it is dark and violent.

3. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

I think that the final formatting of the book is my least favourite aspect. It is very detailed oriented but gives me little satisfaction. I will also add that I am still learning how to better market my works to new readers. That is an essential skill that I have yet to master.

4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

I love that question! For me, I love writing action scenes for my books. All my stories are epic, high fantasy, and I do enjoy chase and battle scenes. From initial concept to final development, these parts are exciting to write.

5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

Another good question. Though I would usually claim Tolkien’s ability to take old Norse myth and repurpose it into something new, I will actually choose Stephen King since I am currently reading It. I am absolutely fascinated at how he deconstructed the traditional, linear storytelling process and found new ways to approach writing a novel. For anyone who does not know, it is written with two parallel timelines that not only relate and build upon each other but also create a tension when the sections move from one timeline to the next. As I near the climax of the book, the sections are shorter and shorter and remind me of watching a movie that has several different characters with their own trials all occurring at once. Though there is a lot of jumping around, there is also a method to the order in which the story segments are presented. I would like to one day challenge myself to approach the plot for a book or a series in a way that is not chronologically linear.

6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

Since I am working on two series simultaneously, I will choose Líf from The Guardian’s Speaker. If I had to talk this young woman into releasing me, I would remind her that in her own belief system, the Norns—three female entities in Norse mythology—control all fate and that the entire history of existence is predetermined all the way to the end of times aka Ragnarök. In other words, Líf’s fate was already pre-ordained by the Norns, and I am merely sharing her story with others by writing it down.

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

Well, these card sharks would include Katie of Earth from The Twelve Tasks (Book One of The Djed Chronicles), Líf Lothbransdottír from The Guardian’s Speaker, and the children/adults from It by Stephen King. I’d say they are betting on which of their own realities survives. The stakes are terrifying, although interesting, since each deals with destiny in his or her own way. As for the winner, that would be hard to say. Unfortunately, I might have to bet on the children/adults from It since they would work together to eliminate both Katie and Líf. I cringe to think about that.

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

I try to catch myself when I fixate on a trendy word. What I mean is that on occasion, I will subconsciously select a word or phrase which I am in love with and overuse it throughout the book. Thankfully, this is typically solved when I read the entire manuscript aloud in one or two sittings. That’s when I hear my repetitiveness and can tweak the verbiage so that I don’t sound too redundant.

When world building, I recommend making detailed notes so that you do not forget if some character you introduced in chapter two has brown or blue eyes as you near the end of the book. This is especially critical when working with a series of full-length books that deal with dozens to hundreds of characters, worlds, and magical systems.

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

Well here are a couple fun facts about me:

  1. I used to be a competitive archer.
  2. I was a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for the state of Georgia for several years.
  3. My dog, Alli, is a survivor of oral cancer where she lost a part of her lower jaw. Her tongue might loll, but she is a completely happy goofball.
  4. I am also a reverse glass painter:

My upcoming literary goal is to release the fourth volume of The Guardian’s Speaker, the second book of The Djed Chronicles and my first audiobook of Issaura’s Claws before the end of the year. The Guardian’s Speaker Volume Three is currently on pre-order and will be released on August 20th.

Another thing to note is that all my books are currently available through Kindle Unlimited! If you are interested in my books, you can check out my website or follow me on any of my social media platforms. You can also signup for my newsletter! Those that do will receive two exclusive short stories along with samples of three of my other works.

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