The Llathalan Annal series debuts! Meet Rachel Hunter

Today’s guest is the lovely Rachel Hunter, author of Empyreal Fate. We’re so glad to host a sister Hydra Publications author with her big venture. Welcome, Rachel!

First off, I would like to thank you for hosting me on your site today. It is a great pleasure to be here indeed!

Tell us about your new series.

My Llathalan Annal series is of the fantasy genre, and Book One – “Empyreal Fate” – has just been released. “Fate” introduces the land of Llathala and its many civilizations – particularly the races of men and elves – and it delves into their ancient feud and close boundaries. Indeed, the kingdom of man is starving and rapidly growing, yet the proximity of the elven nation, coupled with man’s unwarranted fear, keeps the commoners from straying far. Yet a figure named Darrion defies the decree of old and passes into the Forest Illex, home of the elven kingdom of Androth. And what he finds within may very well change his life forever. But that’s only the beginning… Fate has yet to deal its hand.

Tell us a bit about yourself? What should the reading world know about Rachel?

Ah – but what to tell? I am a reader, writer, and psychology/pre-nursing student at the University of Oklahoma. I am both witty and stubborn, but mostly I’m shy and speculative. I often question the mysteries of this world, and I’m not afraid of the answers. But sometimes I think the answers are afraid of being told. What is Nature’s story? It certainly breathes beauty, and I like to spend as much time with it as I can: hiking, kayaking, scaling mountains, or simply walking. The Muse follows me wherever I go – no matter what natural ventures I take – but sometimes it’s elusive and tries to hide. It is while in this interim of “self-searching” that I often compose my favorite works of art: most of them in thought. But it’s all relative, I suppose. Mostly, I am me. Simply and succinct.

What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

So far, I’ve enjoyed writing fantasy the most. I am currently experimenting with my first steampunk novel, however, which is a blend between sci-fi and fantastical elements, so I can’t quite say I have a favorite. I’m still exploring the various domains.
As far as reading, I truly enjoy a little bit from every genre. I’ve read mostly fantasy and science fiction works thus far, but I’m also quite keen on tucking into a good mystery or historical piece. And poetry has a way with my heart; I enjoy when words flow together as a chorus. It’s like observing a painting within your mind’s eyes and appreciating the pattern of syllables. Little else can compare to verbal majesty.

Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one?

Well, the road to publication has been a long one – as many can attest – and I’m honored to have been accepted by Hydra Publications. It all started with some research, a query letter (with multiple rewrites), and a submission. Then arrived the day when Hydra sent me the acceptance email for my novel – and the offer to send a contract to join the team.
So far, I have a couple of poems published, titled, “Sestina of Elven Regret” and “It All Starts with Creativity.” I also have a short story published through Trestle Press called, “Perfect Nothing”, which elaborates on my near-death experience by the hand of anorexia nervosa. “Empyreal Fate” – published through Hydra Publications – is my most recent publication, and it is only the first in my Llathalan Annal series. So, needless to say, my writing experience is not yet complete. Really, I’ve only begun.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

I’m quite fond of who I dedicated it to: my father. It meant a lot to me to have him mentioned in my first novel. He’s an enormous inspiration and – to be honest – my best friend.
I also enjoyed the writing process in general. It’s always an experience in itself to plan out the characters and determine the plot. And there’s nothing better than creating new worlds for others to escape to. As a child, books were my respite from reality, and I hope my writing can have the same impact on others.

What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?

I’m quite pleased with the genres I’ve already written – and plan to write, actually. I’ll most likely explore even further beyond poetry and speculative fiction, but there’s something about fantasy and sci-fi that grasps my intrigue the most. And there’s so much that I’ve yet to tell in fantasy, for I’ve yet to publish the rest of the Llathalan Annal series.

What do you love most about writing and what do you not like?

Ah – I always love the feeling it conjures when I read myself away into far and vast lands, greeting creatures I never thought possible. And that’s what I like most about writing as well: the opportunity to grant readers that same warmth – that same venture. It is the art of creation that draws me in the most.
What don’t I like? Well, I tend to be OCD, so when I write, I usually lock myself away for hours, feeling like I cannot do anything else but type the words that beg to be written. It can be stressful at times, and sometimes I don’t even know if the sun is shining. *laughs*

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I adore music. It is great for stirring the Muse and expressing unspoken emotions. However, I actually dislike listening to music while I write, for I tend to get distracted by the lyrics and wish to sing along. It sometimes helps to listen to something soft – like Enya – or orchestral pieces without lyrics. But again, I tend to get caught up in the beauty of rhythm that I cannot focus on writing. Therefore, I prefer the quiet when the Muse draws in.

What would you like to tell readers?

Write much, laugh often, and read a lot. Truly. There’s nothing greater for the mind, body, and spirit than a creative and fun-loving day. So why not make it a habit? A life-style? Embrace your creative whims.
And also – when you read, look beyond the mere mortal contrivance of words, and grasp instead the deeper meaning within: the depths of the soul and the meaning of virtue. Listen to the pattern of words – yes… but also take away the ambiguity of life: the divine essence within us all. Read and awaken. Do this with everything your eyes devour.

Contact Information:
Hydra Publications:
Amazon: Empyreal Fate:
(Stay tuned for the print version of “Empyreal Fate” – due for release in 2-4 weeks)