Good morning everyone, and happy Monday! Today I’m happy to host Liz Keel, author of Enlightenment, a young adult fantasy novel released earlier this year. She’s been kind enough to participate in an interview with me so if you want to learn more about Enlightenment, Liz Keel’s theme song, and which Hogwarts house she’s in, keep reading!
All About You
You wrote a book! That’s pretty awesome. Why don’t you tell us a bit about what inspired Enlightenment?
Since I was young, I’ve fallen in love with fantasy stories; books like ‘The Enchanted Forest’ by Enid Blyton had me wishing I could be a part of their adventures and meet characters such as Silky and Moonface. Then, when I moved on to C.S.Lewis, I tried so many times to get my wardrobe to transport me to Narnia and wanted to be a part of that world! With so many stories out there set in mystical lands, I spent a lot of my free time day-dreaming of journeying to these other-worldly places; I just loved the idea that maybe there was something else out there and wondered what it would be like to find out you were the special one chosen to go save another world or were more than just human. That’s what inspired me to write. Enlightenment is the first full length novel I’ve written and I knew right from the beginning it would be part one in a trilogy – there was just too much to Thea and her world to put in just one book.
Introduce us to your main character!
Okay, so Enlightenment is about a seventeen year old girl called Thea who was brought up in the human world. She felt confident and happy with her life and grounded as an individual until she found out the truth. You see Thea discovers she is Faey, an elf, who has to go back to her world – Aroben and play her part in bringing about the fall of their tyrannical leader Minen. The book is about Thea’s journey of self-discovery as she finds out not only how important she is to a kingdom she hardly knows, but the importance of those around her. She is a feisty, passionate and determined heroine and you’ll see how her strength of character develops as a result of the challenges she faces.
Walk us through a day in the life of Liz Keel.
This had me chuckling as I’m not sure there is a typical day in the life for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I live with my husband and two children, Noah who is seven and Olivia, four, and both children provide me with lots of challenges from the basic – do they have the right items for their clubs or school, to the more challenging questions and demand for answers they throw my way about the world around them.
I’m also Deputy Head Teacher of a primary school which means that no day is quite the same as another, and it is often filled with supporting the children’s learning and making sure it’s as fun and engaging for them as possible. (I seriously feel I have the best jobs in the world; working in education and writing).
Down time for me includes going for long walks in Windsor Park (which is a fantastic source of inspiration), and I also enjoy going to the gym. Unfortunately sleep and much needed lie-ins don’t feature very often in my life!
Lots of aspiring authors out there. Any advice for them?
Yes! Don’t Give Up! Whatever stage you are at, whether it’s trying to find a publisher or thinking of self-publishing, have faith in yourself and know that you can do this. It won’t be easy and you’ll feel like pulling your hair out half the time, but when you finally do it…see your book out therefore people to buy, it’s the most amazing feeling ever and makes all the heart-ache well worth it.
I would also recommend connecting with other authors out there who are in the same position as you, on sites such as Goodreads; they can become your rock when needed as well as providing advice and a sounding block when you need it.
I know asking someone’s all-time favorite book is a loaded question so what’s your current favorite read?
Eek! Err there are so many, but currently I’d have to say anything by Amy Bartol – I love both the Premonition and Kricket series.
Alright, the ultimate question: why should we read your book?
Enlightenment has the perfect blend of fantasy and adventure for Young Adults upwards. It’s fast-paced, has characters that you’ll want to know and become your friends, and an ending that will leave you wanting to know more about the faey world of Aroben!
Now for the Fun…
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Loving, determined and loyal.
What is your most embarrassing memory?
I can’t tell you that! (I’m blushing at just the thought of it!)
Totally Gryffindor! Because as the wise Sorting Hat said, this is:
“Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry,
Set Gryffindor’s apart.”
Although I’m not self-righteous and arrogant as Snape might suggest Gryffindors are!
Coffee or tea?
Definitely tea. (I have to say that considering I’m British lol!) I don’t like drinking coffee which is probably just as well considering how much tea I consume on a daily basis.
Best ice cream flavor ever?
Mint choc chip or chocolate with marshmallow and caramel (sorry, I couldn’t choose just one!)
Your theme song/personal anthem?
‘I believe’ by Christina Perri
“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” – Babe Ruth