I was lucky enough not just to read and review The Will and the Wilds early, but to be able to interview the author, Charlie N Holmberg. That interview, and some information about the book (which releases today) is below. Enjoy!
A spellbinding story of truce and trickery from the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Paper Magician series.
Enna knows to fear the mystings that roam the wildwood near her home. When one tries to kill her to obtain an enchanted stone, Enna takes a huge risk: fighting back with a mysting of her own.
Maekallus’s help isn’t free. His price? A kiss. One with the power to steal her soul. But their deal leaves Maekallus bound to the mortal realm, which begins eating him alive. Only Enna’s kiss, given willingly, can save him from immediate destruction. It’s a temporary salvation for Maekallus and a lingering doom for Enna. Part of her soul now burns bright inside Maekallus, making him feel for the first time.
Enna shares Maekallus’s suffering, but her small sacrifice won’t last long. If she and Maekallus can’t break the spell binding him to the mortal realm, Maekallus will be consumed completely–and Enna’s soul with him.
Q: How long did it take for ‘The Will and the Wilds’ to go from idea, to completed novel?
A: Not very long! The book was based on a dream that would not let go, despite the fact that I was currently drafting The Plastic Magician under deadline. So I ended up writing both at the same time. Highest word count of my career! (I finished both books in six weeks. So all-in-all, The Will and the Wilds probably took about two months from conception to first draft.)
Q: Is there a spoiler free line from ‘The Will and the Wilds’ that you really like? It could be profound, poetic, or just really funny.
A: There’s one line at the end of chapter 22, about 75% of the way through the book: There can be no happy ending for us.
Q: Do you have a favourite side character from ‘The Will and the Wilds‘?
A: I would have to say my favorite side character is Attaby, who basically a demon-Ent. He’s a tree-based “mysting” who is slightly like a cheeky British butler.
Q: Who are some of your favourite authors, and are there any authors that you think your writing style is similar to?
A: Right now my favorite authors are Amy Harmon, Brandon Sanderson, and Joanna Ruth Meyer. I’ve been compared to Naomi Novik and Marissa Meyer, both of which are MAJOR compliments to me.
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A: It definitely grabbed my interest when I was thirteen, and I was solidified in the idea by high school. At thirteen, I had just finished watching my first anime, which was called “The Vision of Escaflowne,” and I loved it. I wanted to create something like that, so I started drawing and writing fan fiction. I could tell my art was subpar, but I didn’t realize my fiction was as well, so I continued down the writing path blissfully unaware.
Q: What does a typical writing day look like for you?
A: Wake up, exercise, get kids ready for school. Work the rest of the morning, then enter mom-mode when the kids come home. I can brainstorm and take notes during that time, but I generally only draft/edit in the morning.
Q: Do you prefer to read series, or stand-alone books?
A: Standalones. I like knowing when I pick up a book, I’m getting everything I want in a tight and concise package. Not to say there aren’t series I enjoy, but I do have a nasty habit of not finishing them.
Q: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever done to spark creativity, or beat writer’s block?
A: Made my sister act out a fight scene with me. It may have involved me straddling her on my mother’s dining-room floor.