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Welcome to the first Indie Author Spotlight, which will occur on the first Thursday of every month. As I wrote in my newsletter for March, these authors are my support circle, not my competition. Read on to learn a little more about an indie author, what she writes, and be sure to snag a copy of her book, Tales from Haran – and leave a review for her!

Welcome! Please tell us your name and a little bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Elin Pettersson, I’m a fantasy artist and a writer. I’ve been self employed as a freelance illustrator since 2011, writing was also included in my business plan, but I didn’t focus on just one story until very recently. (Thus I have accumulated a big pile of unfinished books…)

I grew up in northern Sweden, in a tiny village called Brattfors. I like to say it was in the middle of the forest, it is not exactly true but there were only 3 other houses that were occupied all year long besides the one I lived. And there was a LOT of forest around it….

I moved out of Sweden in 2012 and I’m now living in Romania where I write and make art full time together with my boyfriend who’s an indie game developer.

What motivates you to write?

Stories will always spawn in my mind whether I like it or not, so I can just as well write them down. The greatest motivation however, is the joy and excitement of exploring my world through my characters shenanigans and experiences. Of course, hearing from someone else that they like and enjoy my writing can send me into a writing spree all on its own…

What is the title of your most recent book? Give us a brief overview on what the book is about.

My most recent book (and first published) is “Tales From Haran”. It is a fantasy flash fiction compilation set in the world of Haran’utarië – a broken world that was once destroyed, but refused to die.

It takes you deep into the minds and lives of the characters I write about, every little story follows an emotion theme such as loneliness, anticipation, desire etc. and how they experience it.

 51GfcuqW+EL__SX344_BO1,204,203,200_What makes it unique from the other books out there?

Honestly, I haven’t read much flash fiction myself so I don’t know what is usually put into those kinds of books. When we read books we become invested in those characters and their journey. Sometimes we love them and have a hard time letting go, others we might hate and hope that by the last page whey will have suffered a terrible death…the

“Tales From Haran” offers a wide range of characters and a taste of what to come in future books. Every story stands well on its own and won’t leave you stuck with that one guy/ lady you can’t stand. And by the end you’ll know what lovable character to look out for if you want to read more!

I understand you also do your own art for your world and characters! What motivates you to do your own artwork? What is your favorite piece of artwork that a reader will get to see if they pick up a copy of your book?

Ideas and daydreams will fade, imaginary faces and landscapes can quickly and easily be forgotten. By making art I can give another level of life to all that. I can see my characters face to face, one glimpse of my drawing of a shady forest can help me get more immersed in that environment. I know what my characters see because I can literally see it with my own eyes after sketching it down.

Makes me wonder why not all writers also have a side hobby as artists. 😀

Pretty much all my art is available on various places on the internet and my favourite is not a secret. 😀 I painted the cover for “Tales From Haran” myself, and it contains a drawing I made of an old ruin from that world.

This illustration here is one of my all time favourites:

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And here is a speed painting of my favourite character Jillian Issayë:

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What genre do you usually write? What sub-genre, if any, would you categorize your writing? Do you ever dabble in any other genres with your writing?

Fantasy, high fantasy, and because I often include ghost/ spirits in my writing I tend to throw it under the paranormal category too.

I don’t think I will venture into another genre anytime soon, there is not enough lifetime in me to do so…

Did you publish traditionally, through a small press, or self-publish? What made you decide to go that route and what was your experience like?

I self-published, paid for an editor to make sure my english wouldn’t be god awful to read… and to format the mess I had created. I also had a lot of help from my boyfriend who developed a book application for my book. It was all a lot of work in a short time after I decided to publish last year.

“Tales From Haran” was published on 31th December 2015 New Years Eve, (amazon says different because timezones -_-) almost 3 months ago, and it nearly drove us crazy getting it done.

I self published because I wanted to keep my book mine. Possessive reasons you might say, but hey, I have the last word on all suggested changes and no one can tell me what to do with my story. Seriously though, I like to do as much as I can myself, so self-publishing was perfect for me. And this way I also got to publish under my own business name even if “Frostnight Illustrations” might sound as a weird publisher for books. XD

Overall it was a stressful experience that was definitely worth it. I’ve only published one book so far, but this process will probably be repeated for all the ones to come. (I no longer set deadlines though… hate those things….)

What is the title of your current work-in-progress or the most recent manuscript you’ve completed? Would you mind sharing what it is about?

At the moment I have two work-in-progress stories, the main manuscript is a fantasy novella called “A Hidden Paradise” and the other is a short story called “Dark Grasp”. I started the short story a couple of days ago since the novella has grown into a bigger project than I initially planned.

11377256_1437251859915728_5557222755217383439_n “A Hidden Paradise” takes place on an undiscovered island where some elves get stranded after a sudden storm. It is a beautiful place and they appear to be alone, but captain Namayah begins to have odd dreams. He sees misty beings at the edge of his vision, and he gets really nervous when the sword he dropped in the sea comes back to him. They soon realise there might be a very good reason why the island was never marked on their map… they might no longer be on it themselves…

Dark Grasp” is a nice little tale about Jillian Issayë, an elven assassin with the ability to stir up trouble no matter where he goes, and how he came by his dark “undead” unicorn. (What harm can a mount like that possible do to his already chaotic life…)

How often do you write?

I try to get at least a few words written every day. Some days are more dedicated to writing than others depending if something else needs to be done.

Who are five of your favorite authors?

Graham McNeill, Gav Thorpe, Dan Abnett, J.R.R. Tolkien, Andrzej Sapkowski.

 What are you currently reading?

“Sons of Ellyrion” by Graham McNeill.

 Time for some quick questions:

  • • Favorite Quote?
    • “Good times!” – JeFawk
  •  Favorite Book?
    • Chronicles of Malus Darkblade (It is an omnibus but still … )
  •  Favorite Movie?
    • Van Helsing (2004)
  •  Favorite TV Show?
    • The X-Files
  •  Coffee or Tea?
    • Coffee
  •  Batman or Superman?
    • Batman
  •  Team Captain America or Team Iron Man?
    • Team Iron Man
  •  Legolas or Aragorn?
    • Legolas

If you could be one character from your own writing, who would it be and why?

I wouldn’t want to be any of them. I enjoy being a simple mortal human. ^^; Even the happiest and “safest” of my characters have or will go through some kind of experience that I would not wish upon anyone. It makes them great and colourful characters, but I would not want to be in their place.

 Finally, what advice would you give to other writers?

If you have trouble writing words down, (writers block or just don’t know where to take the story next), just write whatever comes to your mind even if it is pure nonsense, it might help you get started, or you will at least have something to build on later.

_________

Places where you can learn more about Elin’s work or follow her on Social Media:

(My writing website: haranutarie.com)

(Art website: frostnightillustrations.com)

(Author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/author.elin.v.pettersson/ )