Leisl Kaberry is a writer of epic fantasy adventure not unlike Lord of the Rings and Dragonlance. I am pleased to introduce this smart young adult author here on No Wasted Ink.
My name is Leisl Kaberry and I am an Aussie living in Canada missing the summer heat and beaches of Australia but loving being able to snowboard in the winter… why can’t I just have it all?, the cake and the eating. I am a stay at home mum with four kids, a dog, two cats and a husband… so yep, I keep pretty busy. I am studying part-time a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice, completely different to writing fantasy but I guess it just engages another part of my brain. I never wanted to be a writer when I was growing up, I was determined to be a theatre actor, I still do the bit of theatre from time to time which I enjoy but now I would much rather be writing… can never get it right!
When and why did you begin writing?
I guess I have been writing as long as I can remember, I mean I always had stories in my head… most I would tell myself, some I would act out and some I would actually write down… or at least make a start. I always loved stories and there was just an overabundance of them in my head, so I guess it was just always in me to be a writer.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was a creative spark while my first babe was sleeping that got me writing again after so many years. A simple idea for a scene (nothing really) turned into a plot for complete story, a series. I began to love the writing experience; it was a lot more work then simply coming up with stories but so much more rewarding. It was then that I considered myself a writer.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
My current book is the first book of Titanian Chronicles; Journey of Destiny. It is a Young Adult fantasy adventure that sees two friends set out from the all elvin village they grew up in to seek out what lies beyond the borders for them. Afeclin, a human brought up in the elvin kingdom has magic in his veins and a past that encourages him to follow the path of wizardry, while Wolflang an elf, wishes to break tradition and explore the world before settling down. Little do they know Lenna, an elf-maiden that both friends are in love with, follows them across the border and finds herself in all kinds of trouble as she seeks to find them. In the meantime Moorlan the Warlord together with his confederate, a dark mage have set the wheels in motion to bring war to the peaceful land of Marrapassa putting the three friends in danger. I have now finished the second book in this series and am in the process of publishing it while writing the third.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had read a few fantasy series at the time and was particularly in love with the genre. The Dragonlance Chronicles and David Eddings; The Belgariad series got me so hooked in fantasy worlds that I didn’t like to leave. It was a no brainer that I should want to build my own world to live permanently in my own imagination. The first scene of my story was inspired by a screen saver of a large green moon illuminating over the water… and that’s where it all began.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to write in third person from a universal omniscience point of view, I narrate the story, looking on as a God of the world… sort of… or, at least the Chronicler. I tell the story through the main characters and allow the reader to have a glimpse into the dark side point of view through the prologue and epilogue that brings you into the minds of the Warlord and his right hand man.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
From very early on in the writing I called it Master’s Apprentice, taken from the fact that Afeclin wants to become a Master of the Art. Then The Sorcerers Apprentice came out and I started to feel like it was too cliché, unoriginal. I realised that I was chronicling the times of a certain group of people in Titania… hence Titanian Chronicles… and ultimately the story more than anything chronicles three people journeying to find their destiny… it fit.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That the world is there to grab, you can be what you wanna be, do what you wanna do if you have a bit of courage and determination. We don’t have to be pigeon holed into what is expected of us… not that there is anything wrong with following societal pulls if that is what we truly want out of life. We have choices… our destinies’ are ours for the making.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, all made up I’m afraid… and I do so like a true story. Having said that emotional experiences and feelings that the characters go through are something that usually come from my own experience or what I understand others have gone through.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Dr Seuss got me to fall in love with books and reading as a child, C.S Lewis opened my eyes up to the possibilities of other worlds beyond aging old wardrobes while Enid Blyton taught me there were other worlds to explore at the top of a tree. I love Dan Brown’s style and learnt some good writing skills from reading his books. Agatha Christie first influenced my interest in Criminology. They each inspire me to continue on in my own world; to create and be me.
If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
Actually I have a good friend back in Montreal where I used to live who writes and she helped me a lot with my book when I had first finished writing it. Sadly she has never finished her work of fantasy but she taught me a lot a valuable things to look for and enhance in my writing.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
I met Kristen Caruana through a mutual friend at a luncheon and we hit it off, she was an artist just arrived in town and not yet working so we discussed her doing the cover art for my book. After seeing her work, I was convinced she could capture the cover I wanted and she did not let me down, I wanted my cover to be a piece of classic fantasy art and really that is what it is. She also did a bunch of pictures to go inside the book. She is currently working on the art for my second book.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you’re self publishing… it isn’t a race, take your time to get it right before putting your work on display. Take advice and listen to those who have been there before you, there are plenty who are happy to share their mistakes and missteps to help you get it right the first time.
It is scary getting your work out there… it is a big piece of who you are and once it is out there is open to scrutiny, be brave and take criticisms on the chin, some you could take with a grain of salt, others are really worth paying attention to, be open to learning and growing from them. No author… no matter how popular today, started out an expert in their field… it was a long road of growth before becoming what they are. I’m still very much on that road and learning all the time, it’s a great feeling to be teachable.
Kitimat, British Columbia
Titanian Chronicles – Journey of Destiny Book 1
Cover Artist: Kristen Caruana