Friday 24 May 2013


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

I'm Elle Jacklee, I was born near Milwaukee, WI and I currently live in a suburb not far from there.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I personally always considered myself a writer. I wrote my first story when I was seven years old, and I've been writing on and off ever since then. But I didn't officially refer to myself as a writer (read: out loud to other people ;) until The Tree of Mindala was published.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I'm a stay-at-home mom of two small boys, which is by far the hardest (and best!) job I've ever had.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I will busy for a while with my middle grade/YA Wunderwood fantasy series. After that, we'll see!

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Yes, the second book in the Wunderwood series is well underway.

What genre would you place your books into? 
Middle grade/YA fantasy

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I chose to write middle grade fantasy because it was books in that genre that had the biggest impact on me when I was a child and that I still enjoy today. When kids are introduced to middle grade books, which are typically more complex, more mature, and hopefully more intriguing than the kinds of books they had been reading previously, it's an exciting step up. If a child of that age hasn't already fallen in love with reading, middle grade books have the opportunity and the privilege to ignite that spark in them. I'm very passionate about getting (and keeping!) kids interested in books.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I would be Skye, who is a Morphiad. That means he is able to transform into any creature he has ever encountered, which gives him a unique perspective. I think it would be really fascinating to see things through so many different eyes.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yes, I do occasionally. The middle grade genre is challenging to market, in my opinion, as kids are less likely to leave a review or even say to their friends, “Hey, I read this great book. I'd really recommend it.” Yet reviews go a long way toward helping readers make book-buying decisions. So I don't mind doing that. If I gift it to a blogger who reviews books, it helps me gain exposure for my book and I in turn share the blog with my friends and fans, hopefully gaining new followers for the host blogs. It's a win-win.   

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes, every one.  

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
 I write the book, or at least a lot of it, before choosing a title.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
 I do character sketches beforehand. I get to know them really well. Then, I find, their actions and dialogue seem to “roll off the keyboard”. Since I know who they are inside and out, it's easy to know what they would say or do in any given situation. At the same time, I try not to make them too predictable. Like real people, they are impacted by their circumstances, which may drive them to do/say things that may surprise the reader.  

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
 I'm a planner. I really like knowing the whole story ahead of time. I think that saves me potentially a lot of rewrite time. That's not to say that the story doesn't deviate now and then from what I had initially planned. That's a natural part of the process when the details unfold that weren't accounted for in the outline. But when it happens, it's easy to adjust the rest of the story from that point on. It also helps stave off writer's block, since I already know what's going to happen.

What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
 I have lots of interests. I don't think I've ever uttered the phrase “I'm bored.” I love to cook, bake, ride bikes with my husband and my little ones in tow, play tennis, and hang out with friends, among many other things. 

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Miranda Moon is a little like me in that I love Halloween. Like her, I've also been accused of having an overactive imagination... Other than that, everything I write is just a figment of my imagination. It would be fun, though, if Wunderwood was a place I could visit!

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I wouldn't call it a hidden message, more of a theme really. Ultimately, the Wunderwood series is about the connection we all have to nature, and about the importance of striving for balance in life.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I hope that my style is unique to me. That being said, I also hope that some of the greatness of authors whose work I love has at least rubbed off on me a bit ;) Among those are C.S. Lewis, Philip Pullman, JK Rowling, and Jonathan Stroud.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Yes, I think that could very well happen. It seems environmental concerns along with the fast progression of the digital age will eventually push ereaders to the status of household items. Personally, I love to hold a book in my hand and I think that physical books will be more treasured in the future than they are even now to the book lover. But I admit, I do love the convenience of my ereader.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
C.S. Lewis and L. Frank Baum. I can't choose between them!

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
 I love fantasy, but I read many different genres depending on my mood. Historical fiction, chick-lit, rom coms, mystery, really just about anything as long as the writing is good.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Though it probably goes without saying: believe in yourself! It's a challenging industry. Always try to stay positive. Remember that, for most, success is a slow burn. Have patience and keep honing your craft. Learn as much as you can about marketing your book and find the time for that part of it too. Above all, have fun! Don't forget why you started down this road in the first place. Most people write because they enjoy it, because it's a part of who they are. Thrive on the challenges, and don't ever let them take the fun out of your craft!

Where can readers follow you?

Your Facebook Page?
Your Goodreads Author Page?
Your Twitter Details?
And any other information you wish to supply?
I'm currently working on the next book in the Wunderwood series. Stay tuned! 

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