Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
I have a special treat for those who have been visiting with me as I entered into the hyperspace realms leading me through #SciFiMonth this year – as most of us who read a hearty amount of Science Fiction also read a wicked good amount of Fantasy (per how a lot of us cross-participate in @WyrdAndWonder!) – I think you’ll find an interesting premise in this lovely new novel The Amulet of Elements by a debut Indie Fantasy novelist I had the joy of interviewing for the blog tour celebrating her release! This is the beginning of a series – unsure if the six books she is now under contract to publish involves this series directly or is spilt into two separate trilogies – but one thing is for certain, Seventh Star Press has given her a wonderful start to her publishing career!
As you might realise by now, I have a propensity for High Fantasy and Quest type stories of the fantastical – I prefer light over darker stories in Fantasy but there are a few exceptions to that rule where I can handle a few Dark Fantasy novels but it depends on teh author’s handling of their vision if it goes too dark for me or not. The concept behind The Amulet of Elements intrigued me until I realised in this conversation that part of the amulet itself is the use of unicorn blood which is the one sticking point which bothered me about Lord Voldermort in the Harry Potter series. Somehow I seem to overlook a few details which involve the use of this element as I grew up fascinated by unicorns and even have a wonderful photographic book about them. In essence, for me, I wish that one element was non-exclusive to Fantasy but apparently its a ‘thing’ nonetheless.
When it comes to princess and prince stories – I have been reading a bit more on the Contemporary side of the ledger recently than the fantastical but I do like a good story about royalty and the courts either in Fantasy and/or in Historical Fiction. There is a changing of focus to where the princesses are rescuing themselves nowadays vs needing to be rescued by others – I still enjoy the old versions as well as sometimes they are not entirely without the means to be independent but still need a bit of assistance to get through the obstacles they face on their path.
In this particular story, we start to enter into the series through the birthday of a princess whose come to her own era of reckoning – she knows what she wants and she knows that by turning sixteen she has a certain level of self-assurance to declare her own intentional path in life. It will be interesting to see in the series the kinds of dragons which the author brings into play as although I attempted to get a sneak peak about them, I noticed it was left to be read instead. Dragons have a soft spot in my heart ever since I read a fellow Seventh Star Press author Jackie Gamber’s Leland Dragons series – which for me, sets the bar rather high when it comes to finding other dragons and other series built round them.
You’ll get a good overview of how Ms Machario approached writing her debut Fantasy series whilst also a few talking points about her writing style and how we both share an affinity for being vegetarian cooks! I have openly blogged about wanting to live a more vegetarian and vegan lifestyle inasmuch as the fact I love vegan baking! It was nice to find an author who shares this mutual interest and the fact we both cook up a sweet amount of Italian foods! Laughs.
Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy the conversation!
The Amulet of Elements
by Rose Marie Machario
Princess Ellyria Rose found her special places in the books she read. Imagining herself in far off lands, she would dream of the knight who might rescue her one day from her dull, everyday life of needlepoint and lessons on becoming a lady.
Princess Ellyria Rose yearned for adventure and on her sixteenth birthday she got her wish, being rescued by the man of her dreams. Little did she know that would prove to be an adventure she did not expect to have.
Betrayed by the very man whom Princess Ellyria trusted, and left at the mercy of her father’s enemy, she had to use her wits to escape; along with the help of the very man who led her astray in the beginning. Danger unfolds time and again, revealing an ancient story about a princess and a prophecy.
Places to find the book:
Published by Seventh Star Press
on 20th August, 2019
Formats Available: Ebook and Trade Paperback
Converse via: #7thStar, #Fantasy or #IndieFantasy + #MajickOfTheChosenOnes
What first inspired you to create the Majick of the Chosen Ones series?
Machario responds: I had a dream about The Amulet of Elements, although originally it was not called that, but once I had written out the dream I had, I could not stop with just the first story. I had to allow my characters to finish what they started.
By most accounts, amulets of elements are a merger of all the natural elements into one vessel – is this amulet the cornerstone of your series or the springboard into the world itself? How did you want readers to relate the amulet to the overall connective nature of the Chosen Ones?
Machario responds: Yes, The Amulet of Elements contain all four of the Elements, Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and it is fused together with the blood of a unicorn within a rainbow moonstone. The Amulet itself is the unsung non human or animal which is also indirectly a character. The Amulet was created for the Chosen One exclusively, so it could amplify their own powers.
What kind of magic did you develop into the world itself and what did you love most about how you visually expressed this world through your narrative arc?
Machario responds: I chose to tell of the Majicks of old because the story itself is Pagan based. The characters wield powers that are basic ones like premonitions, telekinesis, empath abilities, the communication with animals, shapeshifting, and good old fashioned spell work. These are magical gifts that have long been mentioned throughout history, so it made sense to utilize it within the past history that I tapped into. I also used a lot of the Norse Sagas and gave it a special twist throughout the entire series.
Princess Ellyria feels isolated by her gender and her role in her society – she doesn’t feel like she can contribute as much as her brothers and yet, I had a feeling she had a gift even they might feel envious. How important was it to show that despite her position as a princess she felt unfulfilled and was seeking a path which would give her honor to walk?
Machario responds: I wanted Princess Ellyria to stand out amongst her peers of the princess world. I wanted her to show how she felt from day one at her sixteenth birthday celebration. I wanted her emotions and feelings of inadequacy to grow into the bravery that she grew to have after each challenge that she faced. She wanted the freedoms her brothers had, and wanted to do something her parents could be proud of her for once. I’m sure her brothers were jealous of her gifts, but more so for her to be so strong with even the most dire situations that she found herself in. Most of all I wanted Princess Ellyria to be able to stand on her own two feet without the real need of a “prince” to rescue her. Yes her brothers have had to come to her rescue, as did Lord Brom, but in the end they are the ones that she rescues. The only one who truly needed to be saved was her, but saved from her own fears and insecurities.
As this story tackles kidnapping and grudges held against others – what was important to you to show about each of the individual characters who make choices which affect Princess Ellyria’s life? Such as the one whose greatest folly lead her down a darkening path?
Machario responds: In every story there is a challenge or a quest. Something that the protagonist must face in order to reach their ultimate goal. Other characters are important as they play their roles to make or break the stride in the path of that goal. As far as Princess Ellyria’s destiny, and her path that she finds herself on it is greatly because of the things that the other characters did, directly and even indirectly. It challenges her to grow as a person, developing her self confidence and courage along the way.
You’ve interlaced a bit of humor into your novel – especially in connection to how Princess Ellyria’s off-handed revelation about ‘not being able to train a dragon’ – does this mean as readers we can expect a presence of dragons or is that a nod to your own appreciation for them? If they are inclusive to the series, which kinds of dragons are you developing for it?
Machario responds: I love to include all forms of humor, especially when it comes to her natural sarcasm during certain scenes. To include other forms of humor for the other characters as well. And yes there is a dragon in this first book. And maybe, later in the series…wink, wink.
What is one of your favorite scenes and moments within the central arc for the story? Can you share a quote to help us understand why this is your favorite passage?
Machario responds: My favorite scene is when Princess Ellyria tells Lord Brom that she can not marry him because she has finally discovered that she can take care of herself, and that she has not only a destiny to fulfill, but her own adventures to go on. “I am sorry, but I can not accept this. I am not ready for marriage. I still need to finish growing up, and find out who I am first. After the adventure I just had, I know I am quite capable of taking care of myself. “ I felt that it had to be done. No happily ever after for her, at least not yet.
Which minor and/or secondary character was your favorite to develop and what stood out about them?
Machario responds: I would love to say Lord Brom because he carries so much weight within the story and causes so much drama, but I love my villain too. The wizard Raul (pronounced Rawl) is the epitome of the villain that you love to hate. He is funny, charming, but still a prick for lack of a better word. Believe it or not music was the chief inspiration for his character, and a little of that guy from Once Upon a Time, Mr Gold or better known as Rumpelstiltskin.
What drew you into the world of Fantasy and which writers within Fantasy do you gravitate towards reading the most? Is it their sense of world-building, the characters or a particular realm of interest you enjoy the most?
Machario responds: I was a small tyke when I began reading fantasy. I loved the unicorns, dragons, and magick that they had. I couldn’t help but to feel compelled to read about places that I wished I could visit, and adventures that I wanted to have. As an adult I am all over the place with the different genres within fantasy, and as far as the writers go I am not relatively choosy, I’ll read them all if the story is good. The main thing that I have to have when it comes to what makes me enjoy the stories the most is when they have a strong female protagonist, because it is not as often to see a female as the hero.
As your journey towards publication was a long hard road – how did you discover Seventh Star Press and what has working with them on this series made the biggest difference in your life as an author?
Machario responds: It was a long, long road to publication as I had numerous rejections and small pub houses that surpassed into the hundreds, not even kidding on that. Over a span of almost nine years of rejections, and rewrites, I was ready to give up after the last set of rejections that I had last year, and into the beginning of this year. It was by a blessing by the Universe that I happened to interview an author signed with Seventh Star Press on my show Dream Big. They were super kind in introducing me to their publisher, and I was able to submit my manuscript to them. What is most interesting is that they had been on my list to query for many years, but when I would check they weren’t open to submissions, so when the chance finally arose to submit I jumped at the chance. I honestly almost passed out when they told me that they wanted to publish my book, but not just one, or two, I was signed for six. It was the blessings to end all blessings, and I really feel that it was the truest of destiny’s which made the near nine year wait worth every minute of it. I could not be happier, I have the best editor that a girl could ever want for, and a publisher that I can look up to as a fellow fantasy writer, and mentor as well. I truly feel that working with SSP has been a wonderful learning experience, as far as my writing developing more, and more importantly having found the perfect home for Princess Ellyria to have.
Can you share a small preview about the sequel forthcoming in the Magjick of the Chosen Ones series? Where do we pick up the story-line, whose being focused on next and are there any new creatures we can expect to find inside?
Machario responds: All I can say about the second chapter in the Majick of the Chosen Ones series is that it’s going to be a roller coaster ride of epic proportions. Princess Ellyria will be facing her biggest challenge that she’s ever to face, and it will come with other characters who will challenge her, provoke her, mentor her, and make her live up to her destiny as the Chosen One.
I learnt on your website you enjoy to cook – what kinds of flavors and dishes do you like to put together? And, what are some of your favorite recipes to create for both savory and ambrosial delights?
Machario responds: I love to cook all the things, and Italian is my go to favorite. I enjoy all of the savory yet spicy dishes, and since I am a vegetarian it makes things all the more interesting and challenging for me as a cook/foodie. I utilize a variety of spices, sauces, and add wine to almost every dish. I don’t have any particular one that is my absolute favorite, because I enjoy all of the ones I make from Eggplant Parmesan, to a deep dish veggie lasagna. They’re all yummy.
What uplifts your spirit the most when your not writing and creating something new?
Machario responds: Music, yoga, walking, reading, cooking, and quality time on my couch in front of the tv with my fur babies.
This blog tour is courtesy of:
& more guest features:
Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.
An #IndieFantasy novelist has her debut published by @7thStarPress and is currently on a #blogtour via @TCMPublicity – I had the pleasure of interviewing her for the tour and our convo is now happily featured via #JLASblog!
— Jorie jumps hyperspace into #SciFiMonth??? (@joriestory) November 14, 2019