Like many writers, Elizabeth May is a natural born storyteller. “The desire to create is more compulsion than choice; words just happen to be my medium!”
Elizabeth is the author of the Falconer trilogy, which follows Aileana Kameron an aristocratic young who learns she’s a Falconer, the last in a line of female warriors and the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. The second book in the trilogy, “The Vanishing Throne,” came out Tuesday.
As with most of the stories Elizabeth has written, the Falconter trilogy started with a character. “I had a faery-killing girl screaming in my head and I just had to write her story down,” Elizabeth told Cracking the Cover. “Aileana is very demanding!”
Once Elizabeth had Aileana’s character down, she did need to do some research. About half of the faery world in her books comes from her imagination and half comes from legends. “Legends are incredibly adaptable because they’re very simplified,” Elizabeth said. “They give me small ideas here and there that I develop and add to through characters and their relationships. Fairy stories form a strong foundation (bones) that I add to and develop (flesh, blood, heart).”
Writing trilogies can be tricky because the middle book often becomes a “hump” book, getting readers from Point A to Point B. It’s something that Elizabeth took into consideration while writing “The Vanishing Throne.”
“I’m a firm believer that second books ought to both continue a story and stand well enough on its own,” she said. “I didn’t want ‘The Vanishing Throne’ to be just more of the same, but a strong story in its own right. I did this knowing that for Aileana, the second book would be a massive change in tone and world building from the first. That’s something readers will form their own opinions about, but ultimately I felt it was the right direction. In a sense, this book sort of ‘reboots’ the world. The characters are all the same, but they’ve been irrevocably changed. It was challenging for me as an author, but I’m so proud of the result.”
Elizabeth began her first draft of “The Falconer” seven years ago. And while she says the book went through a great deal of editing, the story is ultimately still the same one she crafted as a younger writer. In order to properly arc the trilogy, she plotted “The Vanishing Throne” and the third installment, “The Fallen Kingdom,” around that time. But she drafted them much later. In that time, Elizabeth says her writing has evolved.
“My writing has become darker, discusses more adult themes, and the worldbuilding is more intricate,” she said. “These are things that sort of naturally came with age and different experiences. My characters and story and writing matured with me.”
Elizabeth just finished up a round of edits on “The Fallen Kingdom” and is currently working on a sci-fi novel and another YA fantasy novel. “I specifically enjoy YA because it’s such an incredible age group to write about,” the author said. “People go through so many changes as teenagers, independent of their parents. It’s an age group that naturally lends itself to storytelling because it’s full of new experiences.”
Read the complete transcript of Elizabeth may’s interview with Cracking the Cover.
|Tuesday, June 21||The Reader’s Antidote|
|Wednesday, June 22||Tales of the Ravenous Reader|
|Thursday, June 23||Once Upon a Twilight|
|Friday, June 24||Mundie Moms|
|Saturday, June 25||Fiction Fare|
|Sunday, June 26||Cracking the Cover|
|Monday, June 27||Stuck in YA Books|
|Tuesday, June 28||Finding Wonderland|
© 2016, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.