One of the fantasy worlds I’ve visited recently was that of The Crucible of the Crimson Lion, or at least its first instalment in the series, Quicksilver & Brimstone (read more about the book here).
The author of this series, Elizabeth Eckstein kindly answered my questions so we could learn about the world of alchemy and the writing process.
Read on to learn more!
What attracted you to writing? What’s your favourite thing about the process?
I think being able to create my own worlds where marvellous things are possible, where I and my readers can escape to has been what prompted me to write. I think my favourite thing is, when I ‘see’ a new scene and have to figure out how to make it part of the whole story.
What inspires you, your characters, and the world you’ve created?
I am inspired by art, history, gaming. All things beautiful and strange inspire me.
Are some of your characters based in reality or out of your own life?
I think all of my characters contain a bit of me. After all, you are your only real point of reference.
Who are the authors that you admire and why?
I admire Charles Dickens for his extraordinary characters. I admire Terry Pratchett for just everything, really, characters, his clever references, his humour, his descriptions.
What is your favourite book/series and why?
Diskworld. For all the things I mentioned about Terry Pratchett.
Your current book series is fantasy. Do you or have you ever considered writing in another genre?
I don’t think I could write anything other than fantasy. Perhaps sci-fi, but that is just another kind of fantasy.
At what point did you decide to write a series instead of a stand-alone story?
I wanted to do a series right from the start.
How do you approach planning and writing a book series?
One step at a time, ha-ha! I have a general greater arc in mind. The trick is to get every book to work on its own as a stand-alone story and build up into the bigger arc.
After writing Book 1, do you know your main character inside and out, or are you still learning and molding?
The characters need to develop and evolve. That is what alchemy is all about – transformation. So with every book there is a new development in the character I like to explore.
Now that you’ve begun writing the subsequent book(s), do you have any regrets about Book 1 or anything you wish you’d tackled differently?
No. I finished writing the second book and started the third before I published the first, so I was able to make sure everything lined up.
What’s something you wish you knew now that you didn’t before you started writing Book 1?
I started writing Book 1 not knowing anything about writing. I now know how to properly plan a book, so writing goes much quicker with fewer rewrites and cuts that I needed to do on Book 1.
Are you working on anything else outside of this series?
Yes, I am working on an outdoor activity book series for children. And I also have a fairy-tale book series planned.
Do you have any advice for new writers?
Get a note-taking app, and write down thoughts, ideas, scenes as they hit you.
Without providing spoilers, what’s your favourite thing or moment in Book 1 or the world you’ve created in general?
There is a scene in Book 2 where my main character has to push through a very difficult moment. I cry every time I re-read it.
Share an interesting fact (about you or just something in general that you find interesting).
Platypuses are fantastical. They are mammals that lay eggs, they use electrolocation to locate prey and the males are venomous.
Thank you so much to Elizabeth for taking the time to answer my many questions!
Working on your own manuscript? Need a second set of eyes to help catch those pesky mistakes?
Contact me for proofreading and editing help!
Thank you for sharing this time together. See you again soon.
Editor’s Note: I was not involved in the creative/revision process of this book, I just stumbled upon it, read it, and wanted to share. I hope you enjoy!