Today, we are honoured to have an interview with author Estelle Tudor. Estelle has written the high fantasy novel, Octavia Bloom And The Missing Key. Recently, Estelle and I made contact via Instagram, and she kindly agreed to an interview.
Where do you come from and how has this place influenced your writings?
I am from Wales in the UK and it has very heavily influenced my writing. Cardiff Castle, where I used to work, is the inspiration behind Castle Bloom. Plus, Fairy Land has many Welsh elements. In addition, my mother is from Cornwall, so I set the book there as a nod to that heritage.
This blogger: That’s a nice testament to your love for your home and heritage. I like that a lot.
You published your first book – Octavia Bloom And The Missing Key – very recently (July 2020). Congratulations! What three things inspired you to write it?
Thank you so much! It has been a bit of a whirlwind, but a very enjoyable one. I discovered fairy doors when looking for a creative outlet for my own children. I wondered what would happen if a child went through the door, so the story evolved from there.
As mentioned previously, I worked in a castle, so I knew I needed castles in the book. Thirdly, I have always been fascinated with magic stories, and what could be more magical than fairies!
Who is the target audience for your book? And why did you target that audience in particular?
This is a middle grade book. It is aimed for children between the ages of 9 – 12. Nevertheless, much like The Chronicles of Narnia and the Harry Potter series, it is a book that can be enjoyed by adults too, and I have had some great reviews to that effect.
I chose this age group because I am familiar with the genre and I love the ‘anything is possible’ aspect to it.
Why do you think readers will enjoy Octavia Bloom And The Missing Key? (Three reasons please.)
Well aside from the cute talking animals and the two life-changing secrets 😉, I think readers will enjoy the book, firstly, for Octavia. She is a hugely likeable character, and the cast that surrounds her are just as interesting.
Secondly, the plot is exciting and takes the characters on a magical quest through Fairy Land. I tried to make it as immersive as possible so the readers would feel like they were actually there. And, thirdly, it is a book about hope, belief and family, as well as what you can achieve when you work together. That’s when the magic truly happens!
This blogger: Those are three great reasons for why people, children and adults, will enjoy the book. I can really feel that you have put so much love and effort into the story.
Which character is the least like you in your story?
Ooh, good question! Hmm… I believe we put a little element of ourselves in all of our characters. I can relate to different traits in a lot of them. However, I think I’m least like the villain, Nesrin. She was actually a lot of fun to write, but I certainly don’t have her audacity or narcissism.
This blogger: That’s probably for the best 😉.
What two things would you like readers to take away from the book?
Aww love this one! Firstly, I hope that they come away with a warm feeling, like they
just had the best adventure with new friends. And, secondly, I want them to feel that they too can achieve anything if they just believe!
If you could go back in time and speak with a younger Estelle Tudor, what advice would you give her about the writing process?
Again, another wonderful question. I have always written since I was a child. I took a break to have my own children, but I would say to younger Estelle, don’t rush, take your time, and write from your heart.
What was the hardest part about writing your book for you?
Actually, this book was really easy to write. Octavia burst into my mind and I just had to write down her adventures as they happened! I find the editing part the most difficult.
It’s very easy to second guess yourself and question everything you wrote. But you almost have to be a bit detached, step away from it for a bit, and come back to it with fresh eyes.
This blogger: Yes, you are most definitely right about the issues writers face when editing their work.
What is your writing kryptonite?
I get distracted very easily, I’m like a creative butterfly, always flitting from one thing to another. But I am learning to be more disciplined when I am working on my manuscripts, for instance, by putting my phone away and staying off social media for a bit; it is so easy to start scrolling and waste good writing hours.
How has writing changed you as a person?
I always had the sense that something was missing when I was on my writing break. But I was busy with my children, so I focused on doing creative things for and with them.
Still, though, at the beginning of last year something just clicked. I had a line of a poem running around my head and I just had to write it down. Well that was it: the ink started pouring and the words started flowing, and soon I had a deluge of words.
Since then, I have written three full length children’s novels, countless flash fiction pieces, short stories and poems. Plus, I have a few other WIPs in the pipeline. I have been lucky enough to be published in a charity anthology and magazines, and I have been placed in competitions. Now I feel like the ‘me’ I always should have been.
This blogger: That’s wonderful to hear. It really sounds like you have unlocked your potentially, and you are on the way to something very special.
Are you writing another book at present? If so, could you tell us a bit about it please?
I am actually writing the fourth book in the Through The Fairy Door series at the moment. Book two will be released in November 2020, and focuses on Octavia’s cousin. It is called Beatrice Bloom And The Star Crystal. There will be five books total in this series, and I hope to have them all out by Autumn 2021.
Lastly, outside of writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my husband, four children and crazy dog. I enjoy making things, exploring castles and sightseeing. Also, I love curling up with a good book and listening to the rain.
Thank you so much for interviewing me!
End of Interview
And that brings our interview with author Estelle Tudor to a close. I want to take this opportunity to say that it has been delightful getting to know Estelle, and I wish her all the best with her future writings, castle seeing, and with her family.
You can purchase Estelle’s book – Octavia Bloom And The Missing Key – on Amazon. If you like high fantasy novels with a good adventure, check it out NOW.
Otherwise, follow Estelle on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest; and check out her Goodreads page and her website. That way, you can keep up to date with her and know exactly when her next book, Beatrice Bloom And The Star Crystal, is released.
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