Author Interview/Blog Tour/Giveaway: Through the Veil by Colleen Halverson
Elizabeth Tanner is no Tinkerbell, and her life is no fairy tale. Broke and drowning in student loans, the one thing she wants more than anything is a scholarship from the Trinity Foundation. But after the ancient Irish text she’s studying turns out to be more than just a book, she becomes their prisoner instead. And when Trinity reveals Elizabeth is half-Fae, she finds herself at the center of a plot to save the magical races of Ireland from a brutal civil war.
As Commander of Trinity’s elite warriors, Finn O’Connell isn’t used to having his authority challenged. He doesn’t know whether to punish or protect the infuriating young woman in his custody. When he discovers the Dark Fae want to use Elizabeth’s abilities to control the source of all power in the universe, he’ll risk everything to help her.
At the mercy of Trinity and enslaved to the Dark Fae, Elizabeth finds herself alone on the wrong side of an Irish myth thousands of years in the making. Refusing to be a pawn in their game, Elizabeth has to fight her way back to the man she loves, but to do so, she must wage her own war against the magic that binds her.
1. Where did the inspiration for Through the Veil come from?
Several years ago I was thumbing through Lady Gregory’s collection of Irish myths called Gods and Fighting Men in preparation for a class I was teaching. This volume provides a history of the magical invasions of Ireland and contains several stories about the Fianna, an ancient class of warriors who protected the mortal world from the Fae. At the end of the book, the storyteller equivocates a bit, describing how some say the warriors all died out, but other say they still walk among us today. This line sent my imagination spinning. What if these warriors were still alive? What if they were still protecting us from the darker tribes of the Fae? From this, a whole world began to take shape in my mind, and I began to be haunted by this image of a young graduate student hunched over an ancient Irish manuscript, a terrible monster who hunted her, and a warrior who came to her aid. The vision refused to let me go, and I started spinning a story about these characters and thus Elizabeth and Finn were born.
2. What is your writing process, do you fly by the seam of your pants or are you planning it out months in advance?
I am definitely what they call a “pantser,”meaning I like to fly by the seat of my pants, following my characters where they lead me. One thing I do tend to have is a vision of the ending, the final scene, but I don’t always know precisely how I’m supposed to get there. I do try to start out with a rough outline with basic things like goals and conflict, but it’s always hilarious for me to go back to these original notes. None of my stories ended up being how I imagined them to be initially, and there are twists and turns that not even I see coming.
As romantic as this all sounds, my revision cycle is long and arduous. I will draft a novel very quickly, but editing will take me several months as I sculpt the book to its final product. I wrote Through the Veil in a feverish two months, but spent the next two years editing it. This is a process that works very well for me, but it may not work for every person or every project. For instance, I’m in the process of planning the third book of the series, and the narrative I want to execute is going to be a bit tricky. While I know Elizabeth and Finn will probably end up hijacking it somehow, I do need to do a bit more outlining out of the gate than what I’m used to doing.
3. When you aren’t writing books we are all falling in love with, what are you reading?
I’m a voracious reader, but lately I’ve really been enthralled by a lot of the YA fantasy coming out. I love the fast plots and strong female heroines. I’m crazy about The Red Queen and Sarah J. Maas’s work. Ember in the Ashes was by far the best thing I read last year. I’m also a huge fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and I’m so excited about the continuation of Rhage’s story. Can’t wait! I also love Game of Thrones and of course, I try to reread the full Harry Potter series every year. I studied Irish literature and I write several Irish characters, so I try to read as much contemporary Irish literature as I can. I just finished The Green Road by Anne Enright, and it was lovely.
4. Did you edit out anything from Through the Veil that you wished would have made it to print?
I had this awesome sequence where Elizabeth raced through Chicago, trying to escape one of my villains, the dark wizard Edward Thornton. I held onto this scene as long as I could because I loved how it showed the Fianna in action. In the end, though, it was slowing down the pace of my story, and I had to cut it. But never fear! Readers will get a lot of great urban fantasy Chicagoland action in Book Two.
5. Name your all-time favorite book boyfriend.
Just one? I think I would have to say Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester, but I’m also a bit partial to Mr. Darcy when it comes down someone who can meet my emotional needs as a partner. If I’m being perfectly honest, I’m also totally in love with Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’m a sucker for those tortured souls.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshman. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children.
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