JQM PRESENTS A BLOG POST INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR Katharine E. Wibell
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
I am an author of several epic fantasy book series that range from Young Adult and New Adult to Adult. For as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to world myths and legends, so all of my works pull from various mythos. However, with a degree in psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior, dog training, wildlife rehabilitation and even an internship at the Audubon Zoo, I also draw deeply upon my knowledge of the animal world. My debut series, The Incarn Saga, actually focused on shifters—beings which could take on an animal form. As a result, I was able to utilize some of the knowledge I had gleaned over the years. My newer works play on multi-verse concepts. The Djed Chronicles for young adults deals with twelve magicked worlds, each with multiple dimensions and each filled with vastly different ecosystems that can host any number of mythical creatures, both well-known and obscure. The Guardian’s Speaker adult novella series sticks solely to Nordic mythology although readers familiar with that mythos will recognize the nine realms that are connected to Yggdrasil, the world tree. In general, I like turning daydreams into reality, the fantastical into the tangible and the surreal into the believable.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO WRITE?
I think I was always going to be a writer. Even as a child as young as seven, my sister and I were creating characters with backgrounds and building worlds in our games of make-believe. One day, I realized that I wanted to write about those characters and their stories and share them with others. After a number of years and a different series, I was finally able to return to these friends of my youth. Today you can read about them in my new series, The Djed Chronicles.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS? WHY?
It might seem strange, but my favorite books generally do not have authors associated with them. I enjoy reading the source material for most mythologies, for example the Icelandic Sagas. This is why I respect authors like J. R. R. Martin and J. R. R. Tolkien who weave ancient myths into their own rich worlds and vibrant characters. I also have a soft spot for J. K. Rowling’s accomplishments over her lifetime as a fellow female writer.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE BOOKS? WHY?
This ties into your prior question. I love ancient epic poems, sagas and other source material for mythologies. My bookshelves are full of the Icelandic Sagas, three volumes that comprise the Mahabharata, Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey among other works. I am intrigued with the evolution of fantasy and how perception and use of the original creatures of lore have changed over time and are often very different in today’s interpretations. Yet I am an eclectic reader. One of my favorite books is Out of Africa by Karen Blixen since I am fascinated by real world women who defy norms and reveal their inner strengths to the world.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE LITERARY CHARACTERS? WHY?
Again, I am drawn to powerful women. In Nordic myth, these could be Brunhild or Hervor—both lethal shieldmaidens. I recently read the classic Chinese work, Outlaws of the Marsh, also known as Water Margin. In this epic, Hu Sanniang, a young female warrior who became the leader of a band of female warriors, was called Ten Feet of Steel/Ten Feet of Blue because she fought with a pair of five-foot swords. I also appreciate women with intellect—case in point, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FELLOW AUTHORS AND/OR ASPIRING AUTHORS?
To become an author, you need to accept that everything takes time—writing, editing, formatting and marketing. Search out communities of fellow writers/authors. There are many found through groups on social media platforms like Facebook. Ask them what they wished they knew when they began. The vast amount of information that can be shared may be overwhelming. Start small and pace yourself as your business begins to grow. And of course, it is never too early to build your following. It is always better to have interested readers who are waiting for your first, or even your latest, release. Get them excited before you even have a completed work. Then when your book is published, you will have people ready to buy right away.
IMAGINE ONE OF YOUR BOOKS IS ABOUT TO BECOME A FILM OR TV SHOW. WHO IS YOUR “DREAM CAST?” AND WHO DO YOU ASK TO CREATE THE SOUNDTRACK?
I have often daydreamed about this possibility and have selected different actors for my various series. For instance, if The Incarn Saga was released as a film or movie, I could see Alicia Vikander as Lluava, Ojewa played by Djimon Hounsou, Talos by Danny Griffin, and even Danai Gurira as High Priestess Yena. If The Djed Chronicles was picked up, then my dream cast would include Shay Rudolph as Katie of Earth, Priah Ferguson as Sar’ra, Gustavo Quiroz as Ikuqu, Idris Elba as High King Rege, Dave Bautista as Valere, and Charlize Theron voicing Queen Allimondria. It’s fun to dream. Right? As for the soundtrack, I absolutely love the music collective known as Epic North. I am drawn to their powerful, sweeping melodies.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WANT TO SHARE WITH POTENTIAL READERS?
My works vary from dark and gritty fantasy to light-hearted and adventure driven. If you enjoy rich fantasy realms and the fantastical, then you will probably enjoy one or all of my series. For my works geared more towards YA, I hope to inspire girls to rise to a challenge and not be afraid of who they are and what they care about. For my adult works, I hope to captivate readers with worlds and realms and take them away from their lives if only for a few short hours.
WHERE CAN WE GO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR LITERARY WORKS?
You can find out more through any of the following:
My website: https://www.katharinewibellbooks.com/
You can also find me on various social media platforms by searching for Katharine E. Wibell.