I had the wonderful opportunity to interview the author of Betrothed - Wanda Wiltshire!
It's a debut fantasy YA and I posted my thoughts on it here.
And here's another picture of the book below!
(I mean, you can't get enough of that cover, am I right?)
Anyway, let's just get on with it then!
I hope you enjoy :)
So I thought I'd start with a fun, easy question: What was it like seeing Betrothed as a real book for the very first time, flipping through the pages of the finished copy?
It was amazing, Arielle! I’d been counting down the days for ages! The gorgeous cover, the dedications, the little swirls between scenes – it was all so lovely! But what made it really magical was that it arrived in time for my dad to hold in his hands and read while he was still well enough to do so. When he finished, he declared it very well written and couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it – high praise from my father! But as you can imagine, the ending threw him and he did have lots of questions! So, I sat on his bed and answered every one of them. He passed away a few weeks later.
Did you always know you wanted to be a writer and storyteller?
I probably should have, but I didn’t. Looking back through the years, the signs were certainly there – good marks in English, an interest in writing poetry, the beginnings of a book when I was very young. But until five years ago, I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to do with my life! I think a lack of self-confidence got in the way.
How did your writing journey begin?
A few years ago I was going through a horrible time – the kind of time that makes you question the meaning of life. These questions eventually led me to God. After a while I realised that if He created me, he must have done so for a purpose. It was one of those incredible light bulb moments and immediately I threw my voice to heaven and asked Him what that purpose was. ‘Write a book,’ came the instant reply. Not feeling equal to the task, I argued for a little while, but the still quiet voice was insistent, ‘Write a book.’
How did the idea for Betrothed originate?
‘God wants me to write a book!’ I told my daughter soon after I’d received the direction. She gave me an eyebrow lifted look and said, ‘Whatever mum.’ ‘No, really!’ I said. So we spent the rest of the day trying to come up with an idea. We had zilch. That night I went to bed and prayed. ‘God, I hear you, but if you want me to write a book, you’d better send me an idea because I’ve got nothing!’ I promptly fell asleep. The next morning in that time between sleeping and waking, Betrothed slipped into my mind! I jumped out of bed, raced to the computer and started writing!
How did you go about naming the characters? (Also, I'm quite a stickler for correct pronunciation - I would love to know how Leif is pronounced! L-ee-f? L-ay-f? And also King Telophy? These fae have such peculiar names!)
This is something I’ve actually put very little thought into. All of the main characters came to me with names and I couldn’t have changed them even if I wanted too. As for the lesser characters, the names were revealed to me as they were written into the story. The only conscious decision I’ve made was to change the original name of the character, Simone.
I’m so glad you asked about pronunciation – it’s important to me too! Leif is pronounced L-ay-f and King Telophy, King Tel-eh-fee.
Do you know any people in your everyday life that are like the characters in the novel?
Only so far as you might say one person is similar to another. My characters are their own people – unique as anyone else. I have, however, kept my eyes peeled these last four years in the hope of finding an actor/model/seriously gorgeous guy who physically resembles Leif – a very tall order! I found him recently when I was holidaying on the Gold Coast, and oh my goodness, he was perfect! I could almost see a pair of dazzling wings sprouting from his back! The funny thing was, he had very good likenesses of both Marla and Jack working alongside him! I think I can be forgiven for my focus being almost entirely on Leif! If I told you the real names of these people, you would think it a very strange coincidence indeed.
In five words, describe what we can expect from Allegiance.
Twists, romance, mind-blowing surprises!
Can you promise us that the cover for Allegiance will be as beautifully stunning as Betrothed's? :)
Absolutely I can!
So I can tell it's pretty clear you're a lover of the fanstastical and magical - I myself am very much the escapist - what are some of your all-time favourite fairytales or fantasy novels?
When I was a little girl, I loved The Enchanted Woods by Enid Blyton. I read this book many a time. These days my favourites would be Melina Marchetta’s The Lumatere Chronicles and Maggie Stiefvaters, Shiver series. I also adored Margot Lanagan’s, Sea Hearts! I love fabulous stories with writing as beautiful as poetry, and in my opinion, all of these authors nail it!
And one final one, who are your favourite writers of all time?
To those I mentioned above, I would add Jane Austen and Anne Rice : )