Today we’re welcoming Elizabeth Marx, author of All’s Fair in Vanities War, to the blog!
With a complex, fascinating world based on Celtic mythology, fantastic characters, intriguing relationship dynamics, compelling romance and an exciting fast-paced plot that sucks you right in, All’s Fair in Vanities War is a wonderfully gripping paranormal read.
To read my full review, CLICK HERE.
A little more about the book…
The Seer can’t imagine anything worse than being an invisible teenager with enormous black wings. Until she finds out she’s been sacrificed to watch over Locke’s new flame.
Locke Cavanaugh is a Druid, and part of the Order, a clandestine organization entrusted with keeping its members cloaked in the Ordinary world. Physically scarred from the accident that took his girlfriends life, Locke is searching for the OtherWorldly magic that damaged him, because only those without blemish can rule the Order. And once at the helm of the Order he has every intention of finding those responsible for her death.
On the West Coast, Keleigh Flaherty witnesses her parents’ murder by beasts that should only exist in nightmares. She is whisked off to the safety of Salem, where she learns how potent and dangerous her concealed Vate talents are. Keleigh wants to be Ordinary, but when her mother reaches out from the OtherWorld, and implores her to find a forgotten relic she’ll have to use all her ExtraOrdinary powers to locate it.
As Locke and Keleigh join forces, they unravel the Order’s involvement in the witch hysteria and murmurs of a Celtic prophecy. While Locke’s affection for Keleigh blooms, The Seer is torn between her duty to protect Keleigh, and her desire to stop Locke from making the ultimate sacrifice in order to earn Keleigh’s love . . .
But if they don’t find the witches bottle before the ShiningOnes do, someone stalking Keleigh from the shadows will take her instead and plunge all worlds into chaos.
A little more about Elizabeth…
Windy city writer, Elizabeth Marx, brings cosmopolitan life alive in her fiction—a blend of romance, fast-paced Chicago living, and a sprinkle of magical realism. Elizabeth resides with her husband, girls, and two cats who’ve spelled everyone into believing they’re really dogs. She grew up in the city, has traveled extensively, and still says there’s no town like Chi town. [/box]
Just a few questions…
1. I’m always curious as to how story ideas originate — the catalyst between having an idea and deciding that there is, in fact, a whole story behind it. So how did All’s Fair in Vanities War introduce itself to you?
It’s always a mysterious thing when an idea blooms into a novel. This story came from several little nuggets that were always at the back of my mind. I’ve always been fascinated with witches and knew that I wanted to write a story about them, so I was toying with the idea of hereditary witchcraft and also an immortal witch (She’ll be an adult novel someday). When you think of witches you think Salem, MA which gave me a location for the book, but it also gave me mood. If it’s a hereditary line of witches their decedents in Salem would be English or Irish, so I moved onto Celtic witchcraft which centered on druids. While researching this, I came across the idea of a Seer and once she bloomed in my mind, she nagged at me. Once I told my daughter about the Seer she was fascinated and she wanted a young adult novel. If you put The Seer and my daughter together well let’s just say, the two of them are like crows circling over corpse pie. Madi in the book is loosely based off my own daughter, Madi.
2. There were a lot of details taken from Celtic myth and lore, and as I don’t know much about it, I found it fascinating. Can you tell us a little bit about the research that went into writing this novel? How did your love of Celtic mythology begin?
I did a lot of research on Celtic myths, legends, lore, magical practices, druids, vates, bards, Ireland, and Salem to prepare for writing this novel. I visited all the locations in the novel except for the mysterious Blessingston (which only exists in my mind) and the other locations in Ireland. I probably did three months of research before I wrote a single word. When I was finished with the first draft I went back to the research to layer every scene with what it needed. My love for the Celts started with the jewelry, artistry, and the beautiful standing stones they’ve erected. Nothing strikes me more than why something is where it is. I couldn’t make sense of the beauty of all those standing stones with no significant reason and the more research I did about them the more I became hooked on all things Celtic.
3. Let’s talk a bit about your process. Once you’ve decided that there’s a story that needs to be told, how do you begin? Do you just sit down and start typing away at the keyboard or are you more of a planner – outlining the plot, writing up character profiles, etc.? Or do you fall somewhere in between?
I start with research which usually inspires a few opening scenes, and helps me to figure out what I’m dealing with. Then I do more detailed research, during this studying I write down possible ideas for scenes. Then I do a scene outline, making sure I have a beginning, middle and end for the novel. Then I write the scenes, and make in-depth character profiles, what the characters like and dislike, what motivates them, what their goals are, what their greatest fear is. Then I go back and put in all the little details that make each character different. Then I self edit, and use a beta reader, then it goes to an editor, comes back to me for corrections and fine tuning.
4. One of the things I found interesting in All’s Fair, was the relationship dynamics you created and particularly the fact that we were viewing the entire story from the Seer’s perspective. Though she’s a major player in the book, to me it’s more Locke & Keleigh’s story. Why did you decide to tell the story from her perspective, and why does she remain nameless?
So much YA fiction is first person and the characters are starting to TELL us too much. I wanted an omnipresent narrator, but one that had an emotional attachment to the story. I wanted her to show us the story of what happens between Locke and Keleigh, and her emotional entanglements with them give her a huge reason to care. The Seer’s name is never spoken, because to speak the name of the dead while they walk the path between realms, is to bring them pain. And let’s face it The Seer’s already been hurt enough. Another reason she remains nameless is because I don’t even know her name, she came to me as The Seer. Maybe someday she’ll tell me, but I can’t promise that. The Seer is lonely though, you can Like her on Facebook at:
5. Can you give us a hint as to what Keleigh, Locke and the Seer will be facing in the next book?
Balor? Missing pixies? AWOL Cluricaune. Did I mention Clancy has two identical brothers? They’re triplets, can you imagine three Clanceys? It will be an adventure involving locating their friends, along with another magical item and I wouldn’t count Lynx out of the picture yet either.
And they might just learn a thing or two about the Prophecy.
Possible title? All I know is that it will have one of the seven deadly sins in the title.
Tentative release date? Book II in Oct 2012, hopefully sooner if I can manage, but before that I have a Compendium coming.
6. Are there seven books total planned for this series?
Yes there are seven books, one for each of the deadly sins, and the Compendium will be added to with each new book.
7. 10 short, sweet and random questions…
Favorite TV show? Game of Thrones
Favorite book? Do I have to pick one? It’s kind of like, which kid is your favorite. Okay, okay, Persuasion by Jane Austen.
Favorite travel destination? Oh my, I’d have to say Madrid, because I stayed in this beautiful vintage hotel, and my balcony over looked the square with a giant fountain of Cibeles and there was a gorgeous park across the street, Parque del Retiro. It made me feel like I was in a noir 1950’s foreign film.
Favorite Windy City restaurant? Do you realize just how many restaurants we have here! Italian Village on Randolph, my mother-and-father-in-law has been going there for forty, scratch that, fifty years.
Zombies or Unicorns? If I’m going to interact with them, unicorns please, but if I’m just admiring them from afar, zombies all the way, except I refer to them as walkers, as in The Walking Dead.
Last played song on your mp3 player? Jar of Hearts, Christina Perri
Favorite accessory? Sterling Silver Tiffany’s bangle bracelet
Sweet or salty snacks? Sweet. . .salty. . .definitely sweet!
Weirdest irrational fear? Heights
Favorite place to write? In my office, at my desk, with my cats curled up nearby. I have two walls of windows and I can look out and usually see the three deer that live in my neighborhood traipsing through the woods behind my house, which backs up to a forest preserve.
Thank you, Elizabeth for stopping by and for so graciously answering all my questions. I loved hearing about the in-depth research you did for this book and it is so evident that alot of time was devoted to the creation of the world of Vanities War. And I’m so incredibly jealous that your research actually took you to Ireland. What an amazing opportunity that must have been. And the hints you dropped about what is coming in the next book are getting me really excited for the sequel! Thank you again for sharing about your wonderful book, your writing process and yourself!
I’m re-posting the giveaway from yesterday’s blog tour.
As part of the blog tour, Elizabeth is offering TWO (2) ebooks of All’s Fair in Vanities War to TWO (2) lucky winners.
Please fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter. This is mandatory. Comments will not be counted as your mandatory entry. You must be a GFC follower to enter. Complete rules and conditions are listed below the Rafflecopter form.
That’s not all! As the blog tour’s grand prize, you can also enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card by:
1. Liking the The Seer’s page on Facebook
2. AND posting a line you loved from the book on her wall