By AK DALE
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The first name to come to mind when one asks about young authors? Christopher Paolini.
A 15-year-old publishing a big book? For millions of dollars?
Oh, wait, its fiction, fantasy even.
OK, so what?
Aren’t we at our most creative, most fertile of mind, when mired in youth?
It is a fact most authors don’t get their big breaks until they are at least in their 30s and usually even later in life than that.
They have life experience! They have been around the block and know the ins and outs.
That whole age thing is poppycock according to 19-year-old speculative fiction author and poet, Rachel Hunter of Oklahoma City.
The Hydra Publications author who has published her first fantasy novel, Empyreal Fate (A Llathalan Annal), two poems – It All Starts with Creativity and Sestina of Elven Regret – and a short story about Hunter’s eating disorder A Perfect Nothing, believes it all boils down to the writing on the page.
“Age is only a deterrent if people make it out to be,” Hunter said. “I don’t think talent or passion is any greater or any less with age or youth. Look at individuals throughout history and in various mediums: from child composers to singing youths. At least, I don’t let age stop me from pursuing what I love. If people refuse to read someone’s work solely because of age, ethnicity, etc.., then it’s their loss, if I may speak plainly. It’s like if I said I won’t read George RR Martin’s series because he’s in his sixties, which is completely ignorant, as he has much to offer the world – and has proven it to be so. And being 19 hasn’t hindered me so far. I’ve been published four times – including my recent novel – and I’ve had more than one publisher inquire about my work. So, no. I don’t think age is a deterrent.”
Hunter, a full-time student at the University of Oklahoma is aiming to major in psychology and nursing. She comes from a family, and specifically a father, who encouraged her to pursue the best use of her skills and creativity.
“My father encourages me in all that I do,” Hunter said. “We are very close, in fact, he is one of my best friends. It is because of his influence that I became fascinated with words at a very young age. I began writing well before I could spell most words. I would think up stories I wanted to write, and then I would ask my father how to spell every word that I didn’t know. I also began reading well before most of my peers picked up their first book. My father has provided me with many opportunities to read, write, and build upon my talents. I thank him deeply.
“On top of that, he introduced me to role-playing games, such as EarthDawn.What could be better than that?”
Hunter professes to always having a pen and notepad in hand and writing thoughts and ideas that cascade through her creative brain. She finds it helpful to jot things down before attempting to actually write.
“I seldom listen to music or engage in any ‘noise-making’ activities while I write,” she admitted. “I find that it only distracts the muse. But listening to music before and/or after writing is a different story.”
Even though she isn’t weighed down by bills and more “adult” responsibilities, one might not take for granted the daily grind someone of Hunter’s background faces.
“Currently, I am a full-time student as well as an author, so I have yet to receive bills related to housing expenses,” Hunter said. “However, in order to balance my studies with writing, I simply prioritize and follow a mental schedule of things that need completing before my writing can begin. I am highly organized and academically oriented, so it is not difficult for me to get my work done before I spend time in front of the keyboard.”
Once her mental creations result in the actual exercise of manipulating them into print, Hunter appreciates the small rewards of her craft.
“The most rewarding aspect would be meeting new people – immersing myself in the collective wisdom of my peers,” Hunter said. “Simply experiencing the joy of fellow authors and readers claims my heart. It rewards me most of all when I can share my opinions with others – whether about novels, poetry, or life in general – and, in turn, gain insight of my own. I’ve learned a lot from others throughout this process thus far. And I, too, wish to inspire.
For now Hunter will continue her pursuit of academic excellence and of course literary high achievement with her muse walking close by her side.
“My Llathalan Annal series is so far planned to be a five-part series, but I am also working on a new project in relation to the steampunk genre,” Hunter said. “The Victorian era intrigues me greatly, and I hope to expand upon this, while at the same time incorporating a dystopian society with fantastical and scientific underpinnings.”
Hunter hopes if someone peruses her works that they come away with a sense of the fantastic.
“I would hope one reads me for the sole intent of wanting to escape into a fantastical’ realm and appreciate the beauty of creation,” Hunter said. “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. 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?”
What else is new is that Hunter is currently hosting a free, signed copy of “Empyreal Fate” through June 11 on Goodreads. Take a look at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/25641-empyreal-fate.
WERZOMBIES Press thanks you for taking the time to read about our special guest here today. The Press is an Alan Dale creation and is inspired by his DEAD NATIONS’ ARMY (DNA) book trilogy which launches in July with his first novel, “Code Flesh.” The Press hopes you consider subscribing to the site and look forward to more interviews, news features, columns, and many more in the future. Once again, thank you for joining us here at the Press!