Welcome to the Mother/Gamer/Writer Indie Spotlight, a creative way for self-published authors to shine on the blog. To learn more about the Indie Spotlight, please feel free to view interviews and articles from Past Featured Authors, and if you are an author yourself and you are interested in being featured, please Fill Out This Form.
Today please welcome Featured Author Kelbian Noel to the blog and her novel, Elemental. Kelbian will be featured for the next 3 exciting days with a guest post, interview, an excerpt from her novel, and of course an awesome giveaway! So make sure you follow along each day for your chance to win, new options will be available in the Rafflecopter Widget after each Featured Post! We hope you enjoy today’s author interview where she discusses her life as a writer and we get the lowdown on Elemental!
- Title: Elemental
- Author: Kelbian Noel
- ASIN: B008MZ59Q0
- Publication Date: July 18, 2012
- Pages: 262 pages
- Find It: Goodreads/ Amazon
Baltimore Land is a typical teenager whose parents embarrass her completely. She wants nothing to do with her family’s beliefs and is convinced their silly rituals only exist to make her life miserable. All she wants is to be normal, but the fact that her parents are witches seriously messes with her social life.
She’s doing alright, with a boyfriend who seems to like her just the way she is and an awesome best friend who is fascinated by her lifestyle, but she’s not the most popular girl in her small Utah town. In fact, she’s kind of the town freak.
When her boyfriend’s ex tries to win him back, Baltimore’s emotions get the best of her and she soon realizes her parents’ beliefs aren’t so silly after all–they’re just the beginning.
Welcome Kelbian to Mother/Gamer/Writer. For those readers who are not familiar with you or your work can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Thanks, Diayll! It’s great to be here I’m a young adult and middle grade urban fantasy writer and I have a thing for writing about witches and ghost.
My debut novel, Elemental, is about Baltimore, a teenage witch who finds herself in a heap of trouble after she let’s jealousy get the best of her. One innocent thought leads to a serious Wiccan glitch.
Elemental is part of a five books series about four teenagers from completely different worlds, with one common destiny. Readers can find out more about the others on my website and blog.
Do you have a particular writing style? Any odd writing habits?
I write at night. I try to put the hours in during the day, but it’s always better at night when the kids are sleepy and the house is eerily and quiet. I always plot my novels, but they usually end up changing course half way through.
As for odd habits…I sometimes act out my characters. I get up from my chair and walk around the room, doing what I think they’d do in the given situation. It makes for a more realistic scene. And I’m sure if anyone woke up and saw me, they’d think I was kind of nuts!
Who would you consider your favorite authors, or where do you draw inspiration?
My all time favorite author is Octavia E. Butler, and she was my inspiration to start writing fantasy. She taught me that it was possible for writers of color to be taken seriously in this genre. She also showed me that characters of color could be too.
What books are currently on your bookshelf?
Right now I’m reading The Burning Bush, by Kenya Wright. I just read Witch Crag by Kate Cann. I still have to finish Mocking Jay. And hold, on let me pull out my eReader…
Haunted on Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase
The Zombie Always Knocks Twice by E. Van Lowe
Jenny Pox by JL Bryan
The Mind Readers by Lori Brighton
Become by Ali Cross
Your latest novel is Elemental. What is the background behind the story, are any real life events reflected in the novel?
The idea for Elemental came from my own life experience. I grew up in a very small rural town. My family was the only Black family for miles, my siblings and I the only Black kids in our school and me the only one in my class. It was pretty awkward. My dad was also a minister. So you can imagine the Black minister’s daughter really stood out!
I thought, hey I wonder what would be weirder than that? And decided a bi-racial girl (Black and Native-American) of Wiccan parents, living in Utah would lead even more of an interesting life. So Baltimore’s story was born.
After completing the first draft, I decided it wasn’t going to be driven by romance, so I cut all the love scenes and she and her best friend went back to being friends only. That’s when I got the idea to include the other three girls. Skye, Calida and Kai will be main characters in the sequels.
What was your favorite scene or chapter to write?
My favorite scenes are all the one’s with Baltimore’s grandfather. I didn’t know my grandfather’s growing up. I met one of them once, before he passed, and the other one never, as they both lived in South America. Baltimore’s grandpa is pieces of my own father and what I imagine my grandfathers would have been like. Readers tend to like him too.
Were there any ideas or character you had to leave out that you would like to revisit or work into another novel?
Ramon, Baltimore’s best guy friend, is a central part of the story, but didn’t get to play the kind of role I wanted him to because of earlier changes. He will reappear in Book Two and throughout the series, we find he plays a much bigger role than expected.
Is there a message, or underlying theme in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I really want readers to think about identity. I don’t think that theme was intentional but it’s definitely reoccurring. As I often say, my girls don’t find themselves by falling in love, they fall in love by finding themselves.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Get. Critical. Feedback. I can’t stress enough how important it is. Especially if you’re indie. You always want to put your best foot forward and in many cases that means allowing other to tell you what doesn’t work. I’m a member of a crit group and because them my writing has improved so, so much! Aspiring authors should remember that critiques in the early stages help prepare writers for the harsh world of reader reviews. So welcome the criticism. You need it.
Lastly, is there anything you would like to say to your fans, or to people who are considering reading your novel?
I always tell people not to expect an epic romance novel, because that’s not what Elemental and The Elementals is about. But of course there are boys and butterflies in stomachs, because, hey, it’s real life.
I do hope readers will enjoy this story and consider their own contributions to the world. Everybody has a reason to be here, you just have to decide what it is and go for it.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions; it has been my pleasure having you on Mother/Gamer/Writer!
Thanks again for having me!
About the Author:
From a very young age, Kelbian loved to read. She found herself engulfed in novels by Janette Oke and L.M. Montgomery, but never seemed to find herself in the pages. At the age of 11 she declared she would write stories that had to do with her own experience, and be the youngest author in history. But life was full of baseball, homework, best friends and boys.
Decades later, having studied writing in college and pursued it as a career, Kelbian decided it was time to get back to her dream. This time life’s distractions couldn’t shake the feeling that the world needed to hear Baltimore’s story. At least those who would listen! A year later, Kelbian is excited to introduce the first book in The Elementals series to the world with hopes someone will love the story as much as she does.
Kelbian lives in Toronto with her two children.
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