Interview with Amanda Bradburn, author of
The Keepers of Elenath
Amanda, thank you so much for taking time out of your busy college schedule to answer these questions. I appreciate the sacrifice of your time and your willingness to let us all peek behind the curtain and see how a writer creates their amazing tales. Without further ado, let’s get to the good stuff!
1.) Which book or story first made you prick up your ears and decide that you wanted to tell tales too?
I can't say as I honestly know the answer to that. I've been writing for as long as I remember--literally. I have a plethora of notebooks that are still written in my pathetic 2nd-3rd grade cursive handwriting. I'm kind of scared to read those, honestly... At any rate, Lewis and Tolkien both played a huge part in helping me decide to write fantasy. I wrote action and mystery books before I began writing anything otherworldly. :)
2.) When you write, do you outline first or are you more of a seat-of-the-pants storyteller?
I'm definitely a "seat-of-the-pants" storyteller, which has some serious pros and cons. I find that when I do make an outline, I offend it and it marches off to do something more fun than be constantly erased. *laughs* I can't stick to an outline. Sometimes I wish that I could. I'm sure it would save me some time, but I never have a terribly clear view of the specifics. The Phantom Assassin was scrapped and rewritten 7 times.
3.) Has your story ever given you new insight into your own life?
Hm. I see myself in it, that's for sure. I project to my characters and likewise they project to me. Many of them are stronger, wiser people than I could ever hope to be. I'm not sure about insight, though.
4.) If you could reach into your created world and draw out one item, what would it be?
Life trees and etels, which I can't split. :) I think that it would be really neat to see a tree that has glowing flowers and a people that can shapeshift.:)
5.) Do you consciously decide to write Christian fiction or do you find your faith and belief ‘creeping in on little cat feet’ as you write?
A little of both, actually. Christianity makes up the core of what I write and I believe that it's very, very important. There's times in our own lives where we speak our faith, and times when we live it. There's times for both speaking and living it through your characters, too. I want all my books to be Christian books, because that's who I am: a Christian.
6.) If you could bring one character out of your world and into ours, who would it be? Why that character?
I knew this question was coming. *sighs* This is a difficult one, but I'd have to say Theloq. :) Theloq is my personal favorite character, and I know that I'm not alone in that regard. Of course, there are others that would be almost as cool... namely the Phantom.
7.) What process do you use for naming your characters? How much back story do you give them?
I have a sheet of paper with names on it, and one will just click. If it doesn't, I have lots of creative minds who are willing to impart wisdom. :) The names are anagrams (Anirum was once Marina), last names, other languages, and simple imagination. Sometimes, they give themselves names; Gwaeron did. As for backstory: a story has no depth if you don't make it real, and to make it real, you've gotta have backstory. I generally introduce it slowly and not lump it all into one paragraph to get it out of the way. Back story is so much fun. I give my characters as much of it as I can. ;)
8.) With only a jack knife and a bandanna which of your characters would be most likely to penetrate a high security vault?
Uhhh.... wait a second! I guess I didn't realize they have those in Elenath... or did we invent a inter-dimensional, inter-world time-machine? My first inclination would be Theloq, but on second thought I think I'd definitely say the Phantom. :)
9.) Every writer has a theme that they are working to share, but sometimes readers find themes that slip in subconsciously. Has a reader ever commented on something you wrote and exposed one of your ‘subconscious’ subplots?
Not yet. :) I have had them point out some interesting things about the plot itself, like the fact that I'm actually keeping an evil away instead of stopping it from coming at all, which is good. No subplot hounds as of yet. :)
10.) Which of your heroes are you the most like?
Gwaeron and I are very much alike. She's a tad more reckless than I am, but in many ways we are similar.
11.) Which of your villains are the most like you?
I have to admit to being like a villain?! Hm. Well, if this was The Phantom Assassin, I'd definitely say the Phantom. Since it isn't, I'm going to have to say that I'm most like Zyr. Don't have a whole lot of choice there.
12.) Have you ever lost an argument with your characters?
What makes you think I argue with my characters? I'm running after them screaming all the time, yelling for them to wait for me and let ME write my own book... after all, it's my book! When I catch up to them, I'll let you know whether I have enough breath to argue.
13.) Which author would you most like to meet, and why?
Oh, gracious. That's really hard. I'd have to say Bryan Davis, though there are several Christian Fantasy authors more or less tied for number one.
14.) If you were engaged in a duel with Christopher Hopper and Wayne Thomas Batson and had to pick another author to second you in the fight, who would it be?
Hm... This already sounds rather unfair. Superman and I couldn't take on Hopper and WTB!!
I don't know about that last one Amanda. I think that MillardtheMKJones just might hold his own.
His Way would like to thank Millard theMK Jones for the use of his review of The Keepers of Elenath which you'll find posted below this interview and also in our newsletter.
His Way would also like to thank the League of Extraordinary Scribes for their help with the interview questions.
Don't miss your opportunity to come out and meet Amanda Bradburn in person on April 2nd at His Way Christian Bookstore in Ellicott City Maryland from 1-4 pm. Her book, The Keepers of Elenath will be on sale, one day only, for $16.99! Normally it sells for $20.00. Come out and join the fun as we have surprises and all kinds of delights in store for fantasy fans of all ages.