I recently read Into the Wildbarrens (Gems of Elsana #1) and thought it was really good. I have already written a review but I like to give books I enjoy as much coverage as I can. Especially self published authors. I also like reading what inspires them and finding out little details about their writing.
For me this is one of the prettiest and elegant covers I have seen for a while.
So without further ado, Introducing Christian Sterling.
1. What inspired you to start writing?
I used to be a musician, but realized I could only say so much while writing music. Over time I realized I could say almost everything I wanted if I took it to writing books.
2. Which authors inspire you the most?
Tolkien, JK Rowling, John Steinbeck
3. Which of your characters is your favourite?
From Gems of Elsana, likely Jimbuah since I can work outside the realm of logic when writing his scenes.
4. Do you listen to music whilst writing? If you so what kind?
Not while writing, but for inspiration. I have songs of all genres, whether rock, pop, hip-hop, country, etc., that get me thinking about interesting things that could happen in whatever universe I’m working on.
5. If you could own any mythical/ fantastical creature as a pet which would it be?
Probably a dragon; it doesn’t get much better than that, does it?
6. What book is on your bedside table?
“The British are Coming” by Rick Atkinson. It’s a historical piece detailing the American Revolution.
7. Do you know how a book/series is going to end before starting to write?
Yes, always. I know every ending of every series and how it will all tie together. I can’t write if I don’t know what will be happening at the end.
8. Which of your characters do you think you are most like?
I think most of my characters have traits of myself hidden in them somewhere. For Gems of Elsana, I’m probably most like Falin, as I am telling the story through his eyes. But then there are the spastic Jimbuah moments that I can tell you are shades of Christian Sterling peeking through.
9. Do you ever delete large chunks of your book and just start them again?
Not often, but it happens on occasion in editing. I spend months planning the book in my head, so by the time it hits the paper I’m pretty confident about it. There might be an instant where my editor says “this really doesn’t work because xyz” and I’ll go back and rework it.
10. Do you like to hear from your readers?
Of course, there’s not much better than hearing people enjoying your artistic endeavours. When you write, it’s a little bit of your soul, and when people accept that, it feels great!
11. How much of book two of the Gems of Elsana have you written?
I’m in the home stretch, something like 3 chapters left.
12. If Into the Wildbarrens was made into a film, who would play Falin?
This is a tough one… maybe Logan Lerman? He sort of fits the bill for what’s in my mind’s eye.
I had to look up who this actor was. Here’s a picture in case you don’t know either.
13. If you had the power to make one of your characters real, who would it be?
Jimbuah. We’d pal around together and get into all sorts of trouble.
14. How many books do you have planned in the The Gems of Elsana series?
For Gems of Elsana, 3. For the Elsana universe 9 (but give me a minute to write them).
Looking forward to reading the next one.
15. What is the hardest part of writing a book for you?
Finding enough time. With everything else in life, and being self-published where I have to worry about my own marketing and distribution, writing can often take a back seat,
16. Have you ever lost track of time and missed a meal or written late into the night?
For sure. There have been nights editing a first draft where I suddenly hear birds chirping, realizing I’d spent all night awake.
17. What was the first book you read?
It’s hard to say since I was so little. Maybe the Very Hungry Caterpillar?
18. If you could have any author (alive or dead) read your books, who would it be?
Maybe Tolkien to show him how much his works inspired me? I’d be heartbroken if he didn’t like them though haha!
19. Do you have a special place you like to write?
I have a little home office where I can really lock in and be alone, but I also like the kitchen table because I have a nice view of the backyard.
20. Who is the first person you let read your books before sending to publishers?
My family members are the first readers before the major edit. I don’t send my books to publishers, never have. I’m happy as a self-published author where it can all be under my creative control.
Into the Wildbarrens Synopsis (from goodreads)
We know him well. Ever-flowing wisdom. Concealed power. A white beard and a proclivity for mentoring chosen ones. In so many stories, we find ourselves enamored with a kindly wizard guiding our protagonist, curious to his roots, source of power, and hidden knowledge. This is that wizard’s story.
Falin is only twenty years of age, and with nine-hundred eighty years left to explore the world, he is eager to begin his quest for the Gems of Elsana. As one of ten wizard’s acting as peacekeepers to their land, Falin must first embark on a journey to gather the Gems, four jewels that provide wizards with their full power. Once a century, a wizard sets out on their quest, accompanied by four Champions from each kingdom within the The Crown of Elsana. Falin considers himself lucky, joined by a sage healer, elven assassin, drakkish warrior, and madorian prince. All seems well until the elder wizards reveal they expect Falin’s quest will take them into the Wildbarrens, a desolate and horrid land teeming with creatures of the Dark. Given the circumstances—and to the chagrin of Falin’s honorable Champions—the group is accompanied by an unscrupulous pair of outlaws claimed to have traveled through the Wildbarrens. In their expedition, they come across friends and foes, countless landscapes, all while uncovering a sinister plot threatening the balance of Elsana.
In this feel-good fiction, we are cast into a world brimming with our favorite elements of fantasy with new twists unlike anything we’ve read before. Within The Gems of Elsana: Into the Wildbarrens, Christian Sterling has cultivated the start of a series with unparalleled charm, action, humor, romance, and thrills. All ages will be sure to enjoy this story from its first magical pages, to its last.
Want to buy this book for yourself? Amazon.