Featured Artist Friday: EJ Willis

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you are all still having a lovely vacation, safe travels to any of you beginning the journey home if you traveled for the holidays.

I’m still on vacation for the next couple of days, but that doesn’t mean nothing is going on here in the Stormcave. We are getting extremely excited about Yorien’s Hand and the week-long launch party we’ll be having here in just under two weeks! I will be closing the sign-ups for helping out with the Launch Party tomorrow, so if you wanted to get in on that, make sure you go SIGN UP soon! You can write a review, or feature an interview with one of my characters, or an interview with myself, or host a guest post or just share an excerpt from Yorien’s Hand… whatever you’d like. Or you can even just put up a post announcing the release of Yorien’s Hand.

Those of you who have signed up or are going to sign up, I will be sending you the information you need for your posts no later than January 8th (I’m aiming for sooner than that, but Jan. 8th is my absolute latest deadline).

Anyway, on to today’s post!

Today I am happy to introduce you to fellow Clean Fantasy author, E.J. Willis. We’re here today to discuss her book Battle for the Throne: Tales from Falyncia Book One, a YA Fantasy.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00063]Alaina is determined to free the Kingdom of Falyncia from a tyrant’s rule and vows to claim the throne. Behind the tyrant lies an enemy more powerful than any mortal, and he will stop at nothing to keep Alaina from the throne.

That sounds very exciting, and I truly love the cover for this book!

Let’s learn a little more about the author, shall we?

Hi, EJ! Thanks for joining us for Featured Artist Fridays. As we begin, I have to ask, when and why did you start writing?

I started writing a little over two years ago. I figured if C.S. Lewis wrote a novel for his goddaughter, I could write one for my niece and nephew. At the time, I figured no one but them would see it. However, that little idea grew into a life-changing passion.

That is very cool. So, as a “new” author, what advice would you give to beginners who are nervous? 

Dive in! You’ll make mistakes, but that’s what edits are for. Revising and rewriting are fun once you understand how much the process improves the story.

That is good advice. So, what inspires you to write?

My characters. I actually miss them when I don’t write for a few days.

Ah, yes, characters are wonderful. Other than your characters, what is the best part about writing?

Seeing how the story evolves. Sometimes it even takes on a life of its own and catches me by surprise.

Can you describe your ideal place to write?

I love writing in my backyard under the shade tree when the weather’s nice, but I think an ocean beach would prove even better.

How do ideas come to you?

I tend to brainstorm. If I can’t figure out how to start a scene, I type anything that comes to mind. Eventually something triggers an idea. When I really get stuck on a particular issue, I pray about it. The worst thing I can do is stare at a blank page.

Who would you most like to thank for their involvement in your writing career?

My parents. They have been extremely supportive and encouraging. The publishing process wouldn’t have been possible without them, and they continue image4to believe in my dream.

How would you like to be remembered?

My hope is that my novels will impact lives by reminding people that God can work through our most difficult trials. Whether or not people remember me isn’t important.

Can you pick a favorite character from your book or series? Why is that character your favorite?

Hugo has become my all-time favorite character. He’s considerate, caring, loyal to a fault, and yet protective of the people who are important to him. He’s also a bit cocky, but it only makes him more endearing to me.

Are you working on anything new, and would you be willing to tell us about it?

The sequel to Battle for the Throne is in progress, and I’ll be introducing a few new characters. There might even be a winged black panther.

A winged black panther? That sounds fantastic! I am definitely looking forward to reading this series!
All right, let’s move on to a slightly lighter note:
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Neapolitan – I like the variety it offers.

Favorite season? Why?
Any day that it’s warm and I’m not getting eaten by biting insects. (yes, biting insects = bad)

Favorite hot beverage?
Hot Chocolate of course! (okay, we can be besties)

The best pizza you’ve ever had was from….?
Home! Can you really beat homemade pizza? (biased towards Giordano’s and Pal Joey’s, myself… though homemade Chicago-style is pretty awesome)

Tell us something strange, odd, weird, or random about yourself.
I like snakes, spiders, mice, and probably a few other things that make most people cringe.

Storms: awesome or terrifying?
Both! (fair enough!)


Thanks again for joining us today, EJ! Do you have any additional questions for EJ? Leave them in the comments section, or just pop in and thank her for coming by the blog today!

If you would like to know more about EJ Willis, her stories, or her writing journey, you can visit her BLOG, where she also posts clean short stories from time to time.

~ jenelle

I love hearing from you, dear Reader!