Chat with Author Rachel Hunter
LLM:Tell us about yourself and why we should read Empyreal Fate.
RH:Ah – I am a reader, writer, and psychology/nursing student at the University of Oklahoma. I am both witty and stubborn, but mostly I’m shy and speculative. I often question the mysteries of this world, and I’m not afraid of the answers. But sometimes I think the answers are afraid of being told. What is Nature’s story? It certainly breathes beauty, and I like to spend as much time with it as I can: hiking, kayaking, scaling mountains, or simply walking. The Muse follows me wherever I go – no matter what natural ventures I take - but sometimes it’s elusive and tries to hide. It is while in this interim of “self-searching” that I often compose my favorite works of art: most of them in thought. But it’s all relative, I suppose. Mostly, I am me. Simply and succinct.
My Llathalan Annal series is of the fantasy genre, and Book One – Empyreal Fate – has just been released. “Fate” introduces the land of Llathala and its many civilizations – particularly the races of men and elves – and it delves into their ancient feud and close boundaries. Indeed, the kingdom of man is starving and rapidly growing, yet the proximity of the elven nation, coupled with man’s unwarranted fear, keeps the commoners from straying far. Yet a figure named Darrion defies the decree of old and passes into the Forest Illex, home of the elven kingdom of Androth. And what he finds within may very well change his life forever. But that’s only the beginning… Fate has yet to deal its hand.
I would hope one reads me for the sole intent of wanting to escape into a fantastical realm and appreciate the beauty of creation. Though I also hope I share something new for readers, as I tend to incorporate my infatuation with words into my work. Indeed, for I am also a poet and I write to a rhythmic beat in my head. Quite so. I added an element of ‘epic’ language to Empyreal Fate - for an ‘epic’ read, so to speak. So I guess it boils down to if one enjoys fantasy, words, and releasing oneself in a land anew. So why not try something new? Why not try Empyreal Fate? Explore. Be.
LLM:What inspired you to write in this genre?
RH:I’ve always had a penchant for fantasy; though I read much from other genres as well. It all began with my adoration for reading at such an early age, as well as my fascination with role-playing games and science fiction works. But – above all – I appreciate when a fantastical piece can hold me in awe with its eloquent language and clever plot. I thrive by being able to escape this world and actually discover new lands as defined by the ink off a page.
I can attest: there is no greater majesty.
When an author is able to transport me to a new world, provide me with adequate suspension of disbelief, and include dynamic characters (preferably elves) with realistic flaws and virtues - then my heart is snared.
There’s something in the nature of the fantastical that draws me in; there’s something about the feel of alternate worlds and mystical planes that captivates me. And this is why I’ve chosen fantasy as my own genre. I want to make others feel the way I do about words: to breathe in awe at their elusive connectedness – to marvel the fluid way in which they bind. It’s this internal delight that delivers life upon a sheet of parchment. And it is this feeling I wish to instill.
LLM: What character was your favorite to write?
RH:I enjoyed writing the elven royalblood, Amarya, the most - by far. She is the character depicted on the cover of my novel – the one with the Laymeur flower hovering between her palms (a symbol of Fate. Indeed. Her Fate, perhaps? Ah – you must read and see). I enjoyed writing about Amarya, for she is so attuned to the universe and the divine. As an elf, this connection is inbred, but she goes even beyond that of her kin, delving into the mysteries of herself and that which life covets. Besides, she is fairly stubborn to match and was quite enjoyable to write about in that aspect.
LLM: Are there any similarities between you and your characters?
RH:I would like to think of myself as resembling Amarya, for she is a portrait of utmost dignity, diligence, and honor. She knows where she stands in the world, and she wishes for all to be united in Llathala’s realm (Llathala being the land in which Empyreal Fate takes place). Not only does she hold the moral code for her people, but she lives by what she believes to be right – even when the path is not easy. Yes; she’s a lovely elven woman to marvel at.
LLM: Favorite Scene or quote from your book?
RH:The scene in which Amarya meets the golden child (I will be listing no specifics other than that) is perhaps one of my favorites. I thoroughly enjoyed writing that piece, and it goes beyond the realm of the ordinary, for the child is more than she seems (again, I shall say no more about that here). The exchange between the two characters, and the enlightenment discovered in their conversation, holds much appeal for me. I certainly hope the readers find the same beauty in the meeting as I found while writing it.
LLM: If you could be a character in a book, which book and what character?
RH:Goodness – which book and who to choose? That’s a tough one to answer indeed. Sometimes I feel like a pirate; other times, a Jedi. And sometimes I feel like being a dragon – any creature other than human. Therefore, I’m afraid I cannot select just one work or one figure. I’d like to be them all at some point in my life.
LLM: Has a character surprised you by doing something totally unexpected? If so, can you tell us what or which character it was?
RH:Assuming you are not talking about one of my characters from Empyreal Fate (for yes, my own characters surprise me at times), I would have to say that, again, there are so many works to choose from, and simply picking one is difficult. I have read many works with surprising twists, turns, and actions, but I cannot think of one that stood out above the rest. You gave me something new to ponder about, however… *taps chin in thought*
LLM: When you're not writing, what do you do to have fun?
RH:I delve into all aspects of art: from singing to painting to drawing… And I connect with the divine, embracing Nature’s serenity and the beauty of the universe - whether that be through yoga, meditation, kayaking, or simply walking around the block.
I also enjoy puzzles of all kinds as well as role-playing games. Most of all, however, I take the time to read. There is truly no greater creation of mankind than the tapestry of printed words.
LLM: What is a question that you wish interviewers would ask, and the answer to that question?
RH:Is there a message in your most recent novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope readers are able to look beyond the mere mortal contrivance of words and grasp instead the deeper meaning within: the depths of the soul and the meaning of virtue. I want to share an invigorating tale, yet I also want to inspire and incite intrigue toward the human psyche. Listen to the pattern of words – yes… but also take away the ambiguity of life: the divine essence within us all. Read and awaken. Immerse yourself in words; do so with every book your eyes devour.
LLM: Choose only one. If you could choose between invisibility or the ability to fly, which would you choose?
RH:Ah – both are great abilities to have, but I would choose to fly. It allows for a greater way of observing the world – a new perspective, if I may. I would love to fly above the ocean or over mountains, across planes and over forests… There is just so much to see in life, and I couldn’t imagine a greater way than from a distant height – so unlike the view we achieve each day. Yes, a wonder indeed.
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About the Book
First in the series, A Llathalan Annal
Amazon | Hydra Publications
Filled to the brim with forbidden love, an ancient evil, and a nation in disrepair, Empyreal Fate is a tale of riveting bravery and mortal corruption.
The land of Llathala lingers on the brink of war between men and elves, a dark history surrounding each race. Stirred by tensions of the land, a shadow of the past reemerges, taking precedence in reality and consuming the very soul of mans’ mortal weakness. Darrion, the son of a poor laborer, is ensnared in a hostile world, forced to choose between loyalty to his king or the counsel of the elves.
Yet Fate has other plans in store, tying his course to Amarya, an elven royalblood of mysterious quality and unsurpassable beauty. But this forbidden connection incites betrayal from members of their own kin, marking them as traitors to the crown. In a land torn asunder, only Fate’s decree can allow such love to coexist with an ancient enmity.