Please welcome Elise Walters to The Qwillery as part of the 2014 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Tentyrian Legacy will be published on July 15, 2014 by Permuted Platinum.
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?
Elise: I’ve always considered myself a writer in some capacity. When I was in high school I’d write short stories and poems (they were pretty terrible) and when I went to college I majored in English. In college I was more focused on analyzing writing rather than creating it myself. It was really when I started working as an adult that I turned to writing as an escape and stress reliever. The decision to get serious about it was based on two things. First, I had very long commutes to and from work and I felt like I could use that time to do something productive and for myself. Second, I was downloading a fortune in books on my e-reader and I figured I could write what I wanted to read.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Elise: Both. However, I lean more towards pantser. Before I get into the trenches writing, I map out the big plot milestones and subsequent order. I also will keep a running list of random things/plot clues that I want to include. It’s literally just a bulleted list and there is no “real outline” with roman numerals. After that, it’s just a free for all and I write by the seat of my pants.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Elise: Finding the time! I’m a new mom and before my son’s birth I felt like I could always sneak in SOME time to write, even with a full time job. But now is a whole different ball game…it’s exhausting. When I do have some free time, it’s usually when I need to tackle things like laundry or cleaning the bathroom. I lead a very glamorous life.
TQ: Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?
Elise: Jane Austen, Anne Rice, Karen Essex, Jill Marie Landis, Catherine Coulter, Max Brooks
TQ: Describe Tentyrian Legacy in 140 characters or less.
Elise: Grown up version of Twilight meets an Egyptian version of The DaVinci Code.
TQ: Tell us something about Tentyrian Legacy that is not in the book description.
Elise: It has some steamy moments that make me blush! BUT they aren’t vulgar (I promise!). I wanted to make sure if my future daughter read it when she was a young teenager she wouldn’t need therapy from reading mommy’s writing.
TQ: What inspired you to write Tentyrian Legacy? And why vampires?
Elise: The Dendera Zodiac in the Louvre museum inspired all of my main characters. It is a bas relief taken from a ceiling of the Hathor Temple found in Dendera, Egypt. When I saw it as a teenager on a trip to Paris and many years later researched it as an adult, I felt like I could write something original with it. Hopefully I have with Tentyrian Legacy! And vampires because I LOVE them. A vampire romance for me doesn’t get much better.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Tentyrian Legacy?
Elise: I researched a lot about the zodiac of Dendera and ancient Egypt around 50 B.C., which as I mentioned was the inspiration for the book. I tried to sprinkle in historical nuances where I could. Google was a huge help and I didn’t necessarily track down primary sources for everything I used…The scenes and details that occur in modern day were often pulled from my own experience. I grew up in New Canaan, CT and lived in New York City for many years—these are two of the main locations in the book. Writing about places and things you are familiar with feels natural and it’s something I would recommend to aspiring writers. Write about what you know.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Elise: The easiest were Stavros and Calix—two of the main antagonists. I think it was because I didn’t need to layer in as many facets of personality as the other characters. They are the bad guys and while they have their own motivations and unique personalities, it was easy to slip into their voice because it is consistently evil. The hardest was probably Arianna the heroine. This was because there was so much about her I wanted to convey and her personality evolves throughout the book as she grows into a woman.
TQ: Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Tentyrian Legacy.
Elise: “I thought she would follow my direction—my centuries-old wisdom. Laughable. There is nothing wise about me now. The truth is—I’ve wanted her for myself the moment I began to track her and obsess over her like a miser does his gold.”
TQ: What's next?
Elise: The second book in the series is next! It’s tentatively titled Tentyrian Thirst and will follow the journey of the Second Luminary—Kiersten Kincaid. She will struggle to balance her Tentyrian heritage with the scars of her childhood and potential future with the man she loves—Xavier Shafer.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery
Elise: Thank you!
Permuted Platinum, July 15, 2014
Hardcover and eBook, 450 pages
The legacy begins in the sands of Egypt in a time when an ancient city called Tentyris flourished. Its secretive people, ruled by the Council of the Zodiac, lived peacefully alongside humanity. That time was 53 B.C. More than two millennia later, the power of the Tentyrian people has been all but forgotten. The remnants of memory that live on have been turned into twisted folklore about vampires and astrology.
One girl on the cusp of womanhood is about to discover just how real that folklore is.
With telepathic powers that made her parents send her to a mental institution, Arianna Parker always knew she was different—but she never thought a job interview would lead to the discovery of her being a prophesied descendent of an ancient Egyptian vampire race. Nor for that matter did she think she would fall in love with Maximos Vasilliadis, a 2,225 year old vampire. Maximos is the creator of the Tentyrian Brotherhood—a secret order of warriors, pledged to prevent a catastrophic event predicted to wipe out Earth.
Maximos believes Arianna is a descendent of his kind—the Tentyrian vampires—and she has been destined to lead their cause in saving the world. With her 25th birthday approaching, an event that will change her forever, Arianna finds herself caught in the middle of warring vampires—some of whom intend to use her and her power of telepathy for evil.
From the manicured lawns of Connecticut, to the streets of New York City and an exotic island in the Ionian Sea, Arianna must learn to trust Maximos and her heart if she is to save the world, herself, and the Tentyrian legacy.
Elise Walters is a marketing executive with over seven years of experience in the advertising and marketing industry. Elise has helped articulate the value propositions for a wide array of products – from birth control to checking accounts. If her career has taught her one thing it is the importance of crafting a story, a skill she has translated into her debut novel Tentyrian Legacy.
Elise graduated from Wake Forest University in 2007 with a B.A. in English. While her career led her into advertising, her passion for literature was one she continued to nurture as an avid reader. That passion began at the age of 12 when Elise ordered her first batch of romance novels from amazon.com. With titles by Catherine Coulter and Nora Roberts, she hid her books, embarrassed at their lack of age appropriateness and scholarly pedigree. However, it was those books that helped shape her teen years by offering an escape to the awkward time of adolescence.
In college, Elise specialized in Victorian literature and well-worn copies of Jane Eyre and Emma were never far from reach. However, teen romance favorites like the Twilight series also stacked the shelves. In creating Tentyrian Legacy, Elise sought to write a story for her own enjoyment and one that combined the elements she appreciates in a good book—romance, an evil plot that must be foiled, and vampires.
Elise grew up in New Canaan, CT and now lives in Pound Ridge, NY with her husband Jonathan and son Jack.