- Old Myth, New Literature: Writing Fantasy that Nods to the Past
Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Katharine E. Wibell is an author of several epic high fantasy series targeting several age brackets from young adult to adult literature.
She is a full-time writer and artist in Roswell, Georgia. Staying true to who she is, her reverse-glass paintings feature an array of domestic and wild animals. Most importantly, she focuses her time on writing fun and fantasy-filled books like The Incarn Saga. Skoll!
Katherine, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
If I could have any pet, I would select a European dragon. I have always loved dragons, so much so, that the theme of my solo art show in college was The History of the Dragon—and yes, I am an artist as well as a writer.
What a fierce and majestic choice.
What do you write? And how did you get started?
I am an author of several high fantasy series. The Incarn Saga is a new adult series that features shifters and a kingdom at war. The Djed Chronicles, aimed at young adults, is a fast-paced, adventure fantasy complete with a plethora of mythical and fantastical entities. The Guardian’s Speaker is my dark, Viking novella series that is meant for adults.
I have developed characters, worlds, and backstories for as long as I can remember. From a very young age, stories and storytelling pursued me like a child’s imaginary friend. I created make-believe characters for every toy that my sister and I owned. Each had an individual personality, back-story, hopes, dreams, and reason for being. The villains were even more intriguing than the heroes and heroines. Why were they so evil? Had something horrible happened to them in their past? How were they connected to their victims? But enough of teddy bears and beanie babies!
Though I knew I wanted to one day write down and capture some of these stories in the form of a book, the initial draft for Issaura’s Claws: Book One of The Incarn Saga was started right before I entered college. I dreamt that I shifted into a white tiger to escape an enraged commanding officer at a military camp located in a forest. Unable to get that dream out of my head, I began putting it on paper. The rest is history!
I love it! My first full manuscript was inspired by a snippet of a scene I dreamed and couldn’t get out of my head!
What inspires your writing?
I love to incorporate mythological beasts, beings, and references throughout my works. I will sometimes include obscure aspects of myth like fylgjur, the animal-shaped guardian spirits in Norse mythology that are featured in The Guardian’s Speaker series. I also love to add unexpected twists to common tropes of fantasy creatures. It’s a fun way to keep modern fantasy fresh.
Oooh! It’s like you’re reading my mind.
What do you like to Read?
I prefer to read epic poetry and prose—the source material for most mythologies. This includes works like the Odyssey, Ramayana, and the Poetic Edda. Although I do challenge myself to read any book recommended to me, I keep returning to those far older works.
A lovely selection of Western classics!
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.
Background noise helps
I know some people listen to music while they work and others choose to write in public areas like coffee shops, but I cannot. I need absolute silence when I am drafting a new manuscript. Even visual movement is too distracting at times.
I’m in both camps! I usually write to music and in odd places, but I need silence to edit.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.
It’s never too early to build your platform
They are essential. An author needs to continuously work to grow his/her/their platform through social media and/or newsletters.
Well, I think we’re all pretty sure that I’ve already taken THAT advice. *grins*
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Welcome to the Kingdom of Elysia where certain beings are born with the gift to change into animal forms, royalty reigns supreme, and belief in an ancient religion persists.
A war is brewing in the lands beyond the ocean. After several seaside villages are ravaged, a draft is implemented, and seventeen-year-old Lluava answers the call to defend the threatened kingdom. She will leave her family and the small village that is home to face an uncertain future. But first, she must survive the unabashed sexism and racism that has tormented her throughout her life. For Lluava is a Theriomorph, the native race of shifters that has long since bent a knee to mankind. And the beast within her thirsts for blood.
The Incarn Saga is the perfect New Adult series to sink your claws into.
Twelve Worlds. Two Opposing Forces. One Prophesied Hero.
The Djed Chronicles is a young adult series set in a vibrant universe containing twelve magicked worlds. Each is filled with entities both powerful and mighty whose actions and reactions effect the precarious balance that sustains all life. Over the centuries, when the shadow of war threatens to destroy the universe, a single individual has appeared to challenge the dark forces. Although these warriors, known simply as Djed, have succeeded in the past, there is no guarantee of success in the future.
No one knows how the Djed are chosen or by whom. They always appear on one of the magicked worlds without warning, always from a world that does not host magic. What is known is that the next Djed is prophesied to be a child from Earth. Thirteen-year-old Katie must accomplish twelve difficult and dangerous tasks to prove she is the next Djed and, if acclaimed, accept a daunting challenge.
Gifted or cursed, Líf was born with the ability to see each person’s fylgja, an animal-shaped guardian spirit. She is used to being shunned and avoided. She is used to underhanded slurs and foul looks, for her innate talent is as unnatural as it is unique. At least, until the day she discovers another….
Set against the rich and brutal backdrop of Nordic myth, The Guardian’s Speaker is an adult novella series that serves as a dark odyssey through the nine realms that exist around Yggdrasil, the world tree. The people are as harsh and cold as the climate that has shaped them. Those who wish to survive must fight for that right or strive to die honorably in that attempt.