Saturday 17 October 2015

Beyond the Wail: Fireside Chat with Elizabeth Young

Today I present a Fireside Chat. Our intrepid Richard Dale interviews Elizabeth Young, one of the characters of the story Date Due by Danielle E. Shipley. Date Due is included in the paranormal anthology, Beyond the Wail.  Be sure to scroll down past the interview for a giveaway, book trailer, and a listing for the book's wonderful blog tour.

Fireside Chat with Elizabeth Young

“Welcome everyone, to another Fireside Chat. I’m Richard Dale, your host. Today, our guest is writer, Elizabeth Young.” Richard nods to the woman sitting opposite to him. “Welcome Ms. Young. It is a great pleasure to have an author of your immense talent here today. I’m quite the fan. I’ve read most of your stories and essays, and look forward to reading your first book.” He smiles broadly, positively gushing. “Why don’t you begin by telling our audience a bit about yourself.”

“Well.” Elizabeth’s brows rise, gentle black arches in a round brown face. “Isn’t that interesting. Here I’ve thought myself to be relatively unknown, only for your interview invitation to arrive scarcely an hour ahead of an e-mail from a publisher expressing interest in my work. I can only suppose an imminent change in fortune. Ahead of that, there’s little enough to tell about me. Or perhaps it’s only that the price an author pays for the crafting of fiction is the famine of words left to speak of themselves. Still, I have managed to scrape together a professional bio.”
She leans back in her seat, her low voice gone huskier as she speaks as if weaving a tale. “ ‘Elizabeth Young has not always considered herself a writer. But from as early as she knew that words come together to make stories, she has loved them both. She finds herself drawn to fictional worlds where the ordinary and extraordinary live in subtle harmony – paranormal, contemporary fantasy, anything with an underlying magic that makes her blood sing. A current resident of the American Southwest, in the hours between grading the papers of her community college World Literature class, she fills her own pages with dreams.’ ”

“You are too modest. You have many fans, myself among them.” He smiles. “But I’m sure you want to get on with the interview, not hear me prattle.” His expression changes slightly, becoming more serious. “The life of a teacher must be fulfilling. As must be the life of a writer. Tell me, what would you most like your readers to gain from your work?”

“Oh, nothing so grand.” Her full, red lips pull into a slight smile. “I only wish to grant them the temporary divorce of body from soul. These forms are so limiting, are they not? Restricting us to little more than what we can see, taste, touch, and so forth. A good story will take you out of yourself. Allow your spirit into others’ minds and hearts. Your world expands, immeasurable. You live a thousand lives. That is no small magic, and I’ve found I have the knack.”

“A great knack, I assure you. Who are your personal inspirations and influences in the world of literature?”

“Most anything with atmosphere, something providing a sense of place so present, you can almost feel its nearness brushing up against your skin. I’ve found it often enough in prose, though poetry does a fine job of it, too; I love a thoughtful haiku – the whole of a hymn in the space of a breath. Hmm, naming names… Francis Hodgson Burnett’s secret garden. L.M. Montgomery’s tales of Prince Edward Island, and Tolkien’s of Middle Earth. The folklore of Russia, Ireland, China… And Poe,” she reflects. “I have long felt drawn to Poe.”

“Fascinating. I too, enjoy reading Poe. Such an interesting author, with a intriguing life. And speaking of intriguing, what is the oddest thing that has ever happened to you?”

Elizabeth pauses to consider, her eyes on the ceiling, nostrils softly flaring outward with every measured exhalation. A finger idly strokes a dark twist of hair fallen over her shoulder. “Aged five or so,” she recalls. “Visiting with my father’s parents – both of them writers, too, as it happens. I was going through the books on their shelves, looking for words I was just beginning to learn how to recognize. But they wouldn’t stay still on the page. The letters shimmered and danced, seeming to drift out of alignment, toward my hands. I was at once alarmed and bespelled.
“My father blamed ocular problems, my mother blamed dyslexia. They allowed my grandmother to school me through much of my adolescence; she had experienced the same phenomenon, growing up, and so knew how to help me through until the printed word stayed where I wished it to. I’m very grateful to her being there, to keep the experience from scaring me off of reading. I think of her every time I come up for air from a story that’s held me enchanted, or whenever I see a word seeming to shimmer out of the corner of my eye. I owe her the greatest part of me.”

He leans forward, an eyebrow raised. However, as Richard is about to reply, they are interrupted by the arrival of a gentleman carrying a tea tray. He leans back with a smile. “Oh, I believe it’s time for our tea break. Thank you Jenkins.” Richard nods as Jenkins sets the tray down and waits. “Care for a cup? It’s an excellent Earl Grey. We also have lemon cake.”

“Yes to the good Earl, if you please.” Elizabeth sits up at attention. “I can never refuse a cup a tea.”

Jenkins pours two cups, serves both tea and cake, and then retreats.  Richard Dale takes a sip from his cup, and asks, “As one who has brushed the paranormal, I must broach the subject with you. What are your views on things beyond our reality, such as magic, or ghosts?”

Elizabeth’s eyes regard him mildly over the rim of her cup, kissed with lipstick. “I’m none too certain they are so very far beyond. An author of fiction encounters many things, having opened their mind to possibilities so often dismissed as unreal. For better and worse, there’s a good deal more magic beneath the surface of things than the average person suspects, I think.”

He sighs. “I have to agree with you there. Strange things abound, closer than one cares to know.” He clears his throat, and changes the subject. “On a slightly less esoteric subject, what is your idea of perfect happiness?”

A faint crease appears between her brows. “It strikes me as unattainable. Everything comes at a cost of one kind or another, so you’ll always come up shy of perfection.” Her lips twitch into a smile. “That’s just something you resign yourself to after a fruitless quest to write ‘the perfect book’. Still, I believe perfect contentment is possible. It all comes down to whether you determine that what you’ve gained is worth the price you’ve paid.”

“And in that vein, do you have any hobbies to aid your contentment?”

“Outside of reading? I enjoy traveling, particularly to places a bit off the beaten track. Walks in the woods are ever inspiring to me. A ramble through the sequoia giants of Yosemite in early winter…” Her gaze drifts faraway, voice turned wistful. “The trees’ breath mists same as ours, in the cold. Tumbles from the trunks like smoke. They look like dragons.”

“What a charming image.” Richard sets his teacup down. “What is your most prized possession? Why do you value it so much?”

“My own person. It may not be much to look at, as bodies go, but it is essential. It… anchors me. Provides a point of contact here, in this world, so my spirit can wander through worlds of imagination without the worry of drifting out of reach. For all my fondness of travel, I do like returning home again.”

“Yes, no place like home as they say. One last question. What would you consider to be the best quality of human nature?”

“Its courage,” she says, without hesitation. “It takes such bravery to be human. So much to fear. So much to dare.”

“Well thank you Ms. Young, for agreeing to this interview. It has been a rare delight.”

“The pleasure’s been mine, Mr. Dale.” She extends a hand for a farewell shake. “Perhaps the next time we meet, I’ll have that first novel written.”

Richard shakes her hand warmly. “I look forward to reading it, Ms. Young, and another meeting.”


Beyond the Wail

What is it about fear and the unknown that pulls so passionately at the human heart? Perhaps we are drawn not to the darkness itself, but to the resolution, the overcoming of what we most deeply dread. After all, the more terrible the struggle, the greater the victory when it comes at last. Presented in this anthology are twelve remarkable stories of the darkness that overshadows us, and the resolution that may be found beyond them. They are stories of fear and oppression, but ultimately stories of hope, stories that will take you BEYOND THE WAIL.

Beyond the Wail is available at Amazon

If you'd like to check out the book further, hop aboard the Beyond the Wail Blog Tour!

BEYOND THE WAIL: 12 Grave Stories of Love and Loss

Book Release Blog Tour

Featured Author: Danielle E. Shipley

Danielle E. Shipley

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Are you Afraid of the Dark?
John's Writing

Featured Author: Alex McGilvery

Alex McGilvery

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Ash Krafton: Emotion Between the Lines
Scott E. Tarbet, Author
Writer's Law of Motion

Featured Author: T.N. PAYNE

Nicole Payne

Monday, October 12, 2015

Author Sarah Hunter Hyatt
Notes from Author Ginger C. Mann

Featured Author: Ginger C. Mann

Ginger C. Mann

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

L.K. McIntosh
J S Brown
Fairies and Pirates

Featured Author: L.K. McIntosh

L.K. McIntosh

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rampant Games
Scotty Watty Doodle All The Day
Terra Luft — View From the Crystal Ball

Featured Author: Jay Barnson

Jay Barnson

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Storyteller's Journey
Creativity from Chaos
Christine Haggerty

Featured Author: A. F. Stewart

A. F. Stewart

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tales by Julie
Perpetual Chaos of a Wandering Mind
Alas, Earwax

Featured Author: Amanda Banker

Amanda Banker

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Sebastian Bendix
Alex Campbell
Semi Short chic

Featured Author: Julie Barnson

Julie Barnson

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Ink Caster
The Road to Nowhere

Featured Author: Sebastian Bendix

Sebastian Bendix

Monday, October 19, 2015

The J. Aurel Guay Archive

Featured Author: Tirzah Duncan

Tirzah Duncan

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Alex McGilvery's World
In The Spotlight

Featured Author: F.M. Longo

F.M. Longo

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Ever On Word
The Cult of Me
Cobblestone Scribe

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