Today I had a chat with Katharine E. Wibell, who writes fantasy across a wide range of subgenres.
Hi, Katharine! Tell us about your books.
I currently have two series that are being released simultaneously. The Djed Chronicles is my epic, young adult, adventure fantasy and begins with The Twelve Tasks. These books are set in a vibrant universe containing twelve magicked worlds. Each is filled with entities both powerful and mighty whose actions and reactions affect the precarious balance that sustains all life. Over the centuries, when the shadow of war threatens to destroy the universe, a single individual has appeared to challenge the dark forces. Although these warriors, known simply as Djed, have succeeded in the past, there is no guarantee of success in the future.
No one knows how the Djed are chosen or by whom. They always appear on one of the magicked worlds without warning, always from a world that does not host magic. What is known is that the next Djed is prophesied to be a child from Earth. Thirteen-year-old Katie must accomplish twelve difficult and dangerous tasks to prove she is the next Djed and, if acclaimed, accept a daunting challenge.
The Guardian’s Speaker is my dark, adult, novella series. Set against the rich and brutal backdrop of Nordic myth, this series serves as a dark odyssey through the nine realms that exist around Yggdrasil, the world tree. The people are as harsh and cold as the climate that has shaped them. Those who wish to survive must fight for that right or strive to die honorably in that attempt.
Gifted or cursed, Líf was born with the ability to see each person’s fylgja, an animal-shaped guardian spirit. She is used to being shunned and avoided. She is used to underhanded slurs and foul looks, for her innate talent is as unnatural as it is unique. At least, until the day she discovers another…
What a fascinating premise! What’s the first book you ever remember reading?
My parents always read to me as a child. I still have some of my earliest books on one of my shelves including Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault as well as The Monster at the End of This Book: Staring Lovable, Furry Old Grover by Jon Stone. Of course, the first series that I was truly obsessed with as I was growing up was Harry Potter.
What inspired you to start writing?
Coming up with ideas has never been a problem. I began creating characters, worlds and backstories when I was growing up and have never stopped. I knew I needed to write those stories down so I could share them with others. The challenge lies in capturing all the stories in some way, shape, or form before I forget them.
Who is your main inspiration?
World mythologies are my core inspiration. Even as a child, I loved learning about Greco-Roman myths as well as the stories of the gods from Ancient Egypt. Now my bookshelves are filled with sagas and ancient epic poetry and prose.
Aside from writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I am note sure if I understand the term “spare time,” haha! I am also a reverse glass painter and receive a lot of commissions for pet portraiture. For fun, I am a person who has a wide range of interests from archery and axe throwing to kayaking and hiking. I am currently learning how to dance on roller skates. I also love animals and my dog has a very special place in my life.
Tell me about your writing space. Where do you usually write?
I work at a desk. At the beginning of the week, it’s fairly organized, although by Friday evening, it might look like a disaster. I try to make it a point to tidy everything up when I can. I love having my bookshelves in reach since I do reference a lot of old myths in my writing. I also live with a cup of coffee nearby.
If I am developing the first draft, I work at the house in complete silence. If I am editing or marketing/advertising, I can do that elsewhere, but I prefer my home. It keeps me focused.
Are you a morning or night person? What time of day do you prefer to sit and write?
Morning for sure! I need to complete any new writing in the morning or early afternoon. If it gets too late, my writing will slow down too much.
As I mentioned earlier, I do my best writing in the morning and leave the afternoon open to painting, marketing and/or advertising.
Do you plan out your stories or are you a pantser?
Before I start on a new book/series, I already know the main characters, large plot points, and the number of books in the series. Yet as I write, I will allow the characters to take the reins, so to speak. This allows subplots and interesting backstories to develop organically.
What’s your favourite book genre? Do you write in that genre?
I love ancient epic poetry and prose—the source material for mythologies. So no, I do not write in that style. High fantasy is my genre.
Tell me your top three favourite books of all time.
The Odyssey by Homer, Poetic Edda, and Out of Africa by Karen Blixen.
Who is your favourite book character who you’ve created?
This question is like asking someone to pick their favorite child. I can’t. But I will say that Katie of Earth from The Djed Chronicles holds a special place in my heart since she was inspired by the alter ego I created through my make-believe play with my sister when we were children.
What’s your latest book about?
The last book I published was The Guardian’s Speaker Volume Three. This is part of my adult, Viking novella series. In this series, readers will be introduced to all nine of the realms located within Yggdrasil, the world tree, as well as all the beasts and beings that are associated with Nordic mythology.
Many thanks for chatting with us today about your books, they sound great! Where can we find out more about you?
Awesome! Thank you.