This week, I had the privilege of chatting with new fantasy author J.E. Mueller.
I am a fantasy author, unicorn lover, and Skyrim addict. I greatly enjoy spending time reading, writing, and playing video games. My writing buddy is usually one of our four cats, but my boyfriend of five years is the one actually cheering me on with all that I do. Even when I make puns.
J.E.Mueller's debut novel is Fire’s Song
Having already lost and given up everything, Key is determined to find a cure for her curse. With her very touch able to kill, she must seek answers from a distance. In this world, if a curse born dies, then the demons win their soul. Without much more to lose, Key decides to try the last of her luck on a village catered to magic born. Her questions unleash events that take her places she never expected existed.
Mueller was kind enough to allows us a look inside the book! Let's check it out:
Darkness had fully claimed the sky and the signs of fire were dwindling as I pressed through the underbrush as quickly and quietly as possible. The further I went the more I noticed how the forest came to life. Crickets chirped, owls were waking up, and the soft rustling of deer filled my ears. It was a calming retreat, if only slightly. I tried to let the earthy smell push the heartache behind me as the sight of the fire finally vanished from view.
The foliage along the path thickened, slowing my pace. Thankfully, the woods took over the lingering scent of burning wood and all I could smell was the dampness of the greenery around me. At least I assumed that it was around me. The world was now turning black due to the lack of clear moonlight.
I eased my pace and calmed my heart as rushing ahead became too risky. I couldn’t afford a broken ankle. This wasn’t the first time I had sped away from disaster, and it was unlikely that this time would be the last. I knew I needed to clear my head.
Sometimes I wished someone would have trained me better to endure this curse filled life or ended this miserable nightmare when they had a chance. Mother, so naive, had been told what was to come. She was a lovely queen, full of life, health, and joy. The mother of five wonderful children, and then a child born with a curse. Not that I was a terrible child. The short straw had been drawn on my life before I was even born.
It had come to pass that her glorious, battle-hungry king wanted nothing more than to expand the kingdom at whatever cost. His strategies were often unmatched; his mind was too clever to fall to traps and poor strategy. He was hailed as a conqueror and he became cocky. He became so sure of himself that he ignored the seer’s warnings to delay the next campaign until the season of storms had passed.
Onward he drove his men, sure of another easy victory.
The skies raged with ice and hail. His men were dying all around him from battle wounds, infection, and sickness. But to the king surrender or retreat were not to be considered. His advisors pleaded with him to turn back, but he would not heed him.
Instead, the king had another plan.
That brings us to my favourite part - the Q. & A.
Question: Who is your favourite character in the book and why?
Answer: Tella. She is a wonderful secondary character that showed up and put herself right into the action. She has a lot to say and won’t back down from what she feels is right, even if that means making me change some things around!
Question: Please describe him/her/they a) physically b) their personality.
Answer: Tella is just shy of turning 16 by the end of the book. She is average height for her age with a more slender build since her magic lets her run faster, among other fun things. She is very bright and bubbly on the outside, which keeps many from wondering about what could be going on inside. Tella is well known for helping out everyone.
Question: Could I have a couple of quotes from your book of dialogue that shows that personality?
Answer: “It’s nice that my gift actually has a use for once. This whole night may be a mess, but still. It’s come in handy,” Tella said as we continued on. “Do you want to hear about how I convinced two town guards to follow me on a nonsense quest?”
“She is actually really convincing,” Clover said, ready to defend herself, “Probably some persuasion magic in there.”
“I really just wanted an excuse to go on a long adventure. Town life isn’t always what it’s cut out to be,” Mara said, riding the story out.
Tella flashed a smile my way. “As I was saying…” She continued on making us all laugh and letting the focus shift off of me.
Question: What genre would you say the book falls into?
Answer: Medieval fantasy
Question: Are there any trigger warnings and/or explicit content I should know about?
Answer: There is mention of abusive family early on, and some characters aren’t afraid to say exactly what’s on their mind, swears and all.
Question: Do you have any upcoming events?
Answer: Hoping to do a few local author events in September in central IL
Question: What is next for you? Do you have anything in the works?
Answer: Book two is just about half way done. I plan on this being a three book series and already have projects lined up for when I am done with it.
Question: Do you have any special mentions? (Editor, cover art etc...)
Answer: I had a dream team of wonderful helpers.
Rachel Lemons -editor
Anika Williams -cover
Lia Rees -formatting
Question: If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Please describe the place rather than just a name. The weather, the time of day, the ground, the surroundings, foliage, etc…
Answer: I would go somewhere near the water, surrounded by a forest. Maybe the ocean or a large lake. Some place where the waves can be heard, soft sand to walk on and build with, and of course just far enough away from everyone else that it’s peaceful but not isolated.
Question: If the character from above were in that place what would they be doing?
Answer: Tella would be exploring. She would be all over checking out everything within sight, and then testing her skills in the water. Her home doesn't really have anywhere to swim so she’d soak up the experience as much as possible. Tella would also collect any shells and pretty stones for crafting.
Question: If your character was allowed one chance to say anything to your readers, what would he/she say?
Answer: Tella would rather show them how to do something. She loves learning and in turn showing others how to do what she just learned. So, who wants to learn how to fight off some demons?
Question: If your character could donate to any charity, which one would he/she choose?
Answer: I think she would choose a book that influenced her as a child. One where a character showed great strength and overcame what felt like impossible odds. A fitting real novel would be Ella Enchanted.
Thank you for your time. I've added Fire Song to my wish list and can't wait to check it out!