Saturday, April 20, 2013

Book Spotlight and Interview with A. B. Whelan, Author of Fields of Elysium

How can love mend a heart full of hate?

Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in hazardous games, and some even possess supernatural powers. 

While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth seems irreversible. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly's life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it.

It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.

 Where to Buy

Barnes & Noble

About this author

A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.

While growing up in an Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.

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What was the craziest thing you have ever done? 

I have done a couple, but I guess the craziest one was when my husband asked me to move with him to Ecuador and I said yes. We’d been dating only for three months when the American base closed in Hungary and he went to work in Kuwait. After a three-month, long-distance relationship he quit his job and came back for me. In the next month I sold both of my retail stores, quit my job as a marketing director at a shopping mall, bid farewell to my family and friends, and left my country with him. We are still married with two beautiful children.

What impact does a bad review have on you?

I don’t pay much attention to one-star reviews. Most of the time the reviewer is just jealous and hateful, probably because he/she never had the discipline or talent to write a book, and bringing down those who have gives her some sort of satisfaction. My favorites are the ones who criticize my grammar in my 117,000-word novel (which by the way was edited by an English professor), while she herself can’t even write a short review without errors. However, I analyze all the other constructive reviews and try to learn from them and get better.

How would you describe your protagonist?

Molly is well-grounded, kind, shy, and falls in love too fast; nevertheless, when the situation calls for physical and mental strength she doesn’t disappoint.

What is your dream for yourself as an author?

I would love to become traditionally published by a major publishing company. The thought of walking into a Barnes & Noble bookstore and seeing my book in someone’s shopping basket is very pleasing to me.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

I believe in instant, strong attraction between two people and, if the relationship works out, the couple will call it love at first sight; if it doesn’t work out they’ll call it a moment of insanity.

Do you have a favorite author? Why is he or she your favorite author?

I love J.K.Rowling for her incomparable imagination, David Gemmell for his characters and world building, Charlotte Bronte for her extraordinary grasp of the English language.

What inspired you to write Fields of Elysium?

I’ve always been fascinated by the universe, the possibility of life on other planets, God’s existence; but sitting with my husband on our balcony in Crete and staring at the night sky triggered a few ideas. I imagined a peaceful world where there are no wars and murders, and what would happen to that world if people from Earth ever found it.

If you could have only one wish, what would it be?

A magic wand.

What was your most embarrassing moment in life?

I had a few of those, too. J The one I like to tell and laugh about is when our first day in Ecuador (my husband and I lived there for six months), I locked myself out of a condo wearing only a bra and my hubby’s boxer shorts. The building security guy took me to a family for help. The wife drove me through the scariest and poorest part of the town to fetch a locksmith, but because I didn’t speak Spanish, I had no idea what was going on. At some point I thought I was going to be sold into prostitution. By the time we got back to the condo my husband’s friend came to check on me. When I stood in front of all those people in my underwear, I just wanted to die of embarrassment.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

Into space.

If you could go back in time and change something in your past what would it be and why?

I would go back to when I was about ten years old so I could start keeping a diary. I’d pay anything now to read my younger self’s thoughts.

Now that you read criticisms about your work, do you wish you could rewrite it and start over or not and why?

The story seemed to please and I’m very satisfied with it, so, no, I wouldn’t rewrite it; however, I can’t stop revising my writing. I do it over and over again. Change a word or delete a sentence here and there.

Can readers expect more books from you in the future?

Valley of Darkness Part 1 (Fields of Elysium, #2) will be published in May and Part 2 later in the summer. And the story will continue with two more volumes: City of Shame and Return to Innocence. I’m also writing a new YA novel, This Diary Belongs To Estee Morgan. And I have about ten more book ideas waiting for their turn.


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