Feel free to share a little about yourself in your own words.
Well, my pen name is Arwen Chandler. It’s an homage to Arwen Undomiel and my friend’s son Channing. In fact, the name was a gift from my friend, and I’ve been using it for several years now. Since we are both huge LOTR fans, it seemed fitting for a fantasy writer.
I am the wife of a stroke survivor, so as you can imagine our world is a little crazy. We’ve been married for 23 wonderful years! We have three grown children. We also love animals at our house, and currently, have three dogs. They are a real riot and the best of friends. We also have three indoor cats, and my cat Solomon loves to sit on my keyboard while I’m working. We also have a black moor goldfish named Sexy Back.
How did you get into writing?
My mother is a paranormal romance writer, and science fiction writer. I spent a lot of my youth reading her stories and spending time with her friends at her writer’s group in Austin, TX. I started writing when I was nine years old, and I began my writing career as a poet. I love poetry and spent years honing that craft. I like to push the boundaries of poetry and play with the cadence of words. My love of poetry just kind of blossomed into writing works of fiction.
What can you tell us about your daily routines that help you focus and your creative habits?
I have no daily routines. Our life is completely Bohemian. Every day at some point I get up and write, and drink at least one cup of coffee. I go about my day, and every night I drift off to sleep watching some kind of television show or movie. Right now, we are binge-watching Supernatural, and we are almost caught up to the current season. If we’re tired, we often put on Hellboy. For some reason, I will fall to sleep before they find Red every time!
So, for example, how do you come up with some of your ideas and inspiration for your book?
I write about things I like, so I try to turn my interests into books. For instance, in the Pleiades Adventures, I get to explore my love for archaeology and art and live vicariously through a pretty kick-butt female space pilot. So, that’s awesome.
In Remnant: The Clans of Arcadia, I tried to create a world that appealed to my nostalgia for my heritage. My family is Scotch-Irish and Scandinavian, and I have always loved tales about mystical realms, druids, and Vikings. I started Remnant after doing genealogical research where I learned that my husband’s family and my family were warring clans in Scotland about four-hundred years ago, and it occurred to me that if great-grandpa so and so, knew we were married, it would cause all kinds of issues within the clan – at least if we were alive back then. In my mind, it was very Romeo and Juliet, so I wanted to write a story that played off that idea. There was no doubt it would be fantasy because I love fantasy and it just had to be.
Is this book very personal for you? If so, how?
That’s a fun question. A lot of people tend to get the writer and the character confused. I remember someone assuming everything my character did was something I did, or would do, and that’s not the case at all. Of course, each character has a bit of me in them, or they wouldn’t have been born of my imagination, but other than the catalyst for Remnant, it’s in no way biographical or personal.
Remnant: The Clans of Arcadia
How did you come up with the book title?
Well, this title went through a couple of variations. I finally decided I wanted a one-word title and a series title. The title is obvious once someone reads the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it.
Plot and Synopsis
Can you describe what the book plot and give a detailed synopsis of the book, of course without any spoilers.
Basically, there are two warring clans, among man clans, and one has decided to rule them all. It’s a fight between the clan who wants to rule, and the one standing in their way. There’s also drama between the goddess Lorna, and the god Elanvanin through-out, as well as a little bit of romance spaced here and there. So much of the book hinges on the first few chapters that I really can’t go into a lot of detail, but it’s an exciting read, and a real page turner – or so I’ve been told.
Is there any movie, book, or television series that you can somewhat liken your story to? So for example, some books you can say are like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, what mainstream and popular movie do you think your book somewhat “feels” like? Did you want this to be the case?
I sometimes think my book is like a PG-13 version of the Game of Thrones. It could also be compared to the Lord of the Rings. It’s definitely an epic fantasy, so in that regard, you could say they are a lot alike. Perhaps a kind of random influence on my work was the movie, Willow. I think that movie was my first experience with hardcore fantasy, and its influence is probably apparent in the book. With that said, my book is also very different from anything I’ve read, so it’s comparable to several things because ultimately it’s a good versus evil story.
I don’t mind people comparing my book to mainstream books or movies. I think that can be an excellent way to describe something and maybe help build an audience.
Themes or Messages
What themes and deeper meanings or messages can we expect to find in this book if any? Are there any deep meanings or philosophical questions being explored in the book?
I think there is a message of triumph through-out the book. You know, no matter what happens, pick yourself back up and keep moving forward. That’s something I’ve tried to teach my kids, and I try to live by. I hope that message shines out like a beacon.
And, of course, I already mentioned good versus evil. Like life, sometimes evil prevails, and sometimes good does.
Off the wall question, but would some of the issues being explored in the book relate to us here in the real world?
Well, good overcoming evil is certainly something we should explore in the real world. And, I hope in some way the story encourages people to overcome obstacles in their own lives.
What can you tell us about the setting that we will see in this book?
It takes place in the land of Arcadia. There’s one main island about the size of Australia, and then a couple of islands surrounding it that play a role in the book. Clan Elohite is from a mountainous region that has harsh winters and temperate springs and summers. The world itself is a medieval-type setting, with a few influences of Grecian and Roman culture, which can be seen in Danaarn.
What cultures or societies can we expect to see and can you tell us about how you came up with creating these societies? Was it difficult to get deep into how the societies function?
There are the Elohite and Maekel cultures. The Elohites are mountain people who live a traditional life. They’re mostly peaceful, but trained warriors. They typically stick to the confines of their own clan.
Then there are the Maekels. They are more educated and pride themselves on being better than other surrounding clans because of their education. The Elohites and Maekels are in direct odds with each other, right down to the god and goddess they serve.
Tell us about the history of the land or world or worlds that we will be exploring throughout the book?
The land or world of Arcadia was formed by the god Elanvanin and his wife the goddess Lorna. Elanvanin created man and nature, but Lorna quickly fell in love with it, and it became her possession. Elanvanin couldn’t care less about the world he created, but Lorna is known as the caretaker and creator by most of the clans of Arcadia, simply because she is the one who loves the creation. She is also the very first dragon rider and is revered by all magical creatures.
Lorna and Elanvanin have a child, and the child follows his father, which starts a huge disagreement, and ultimately all the troubles that Arcadia is facing are due to this.
What can you tell us about some of the main characters and villains in this book?
Karn Elohite: He’s strong and compassionate. He’s a natural leader but is very stubborn. He’s the second son of the Chieftain and a leader of the Behon warband. He’s good in battle, and he is well respected.
Ian Elohite: He’s Karn’s cousin, they grew up together. Ian is a ladies man. He’s good-looking, and he knows it, and he is almost a womanizer. With that said, I’m probably most drawn to his character because he is so playful.
Fergus Maekel: He’s the Elohite mage and a devoted follower of Lorna. He’s very old and wise.
Fridtjof Maekel: He’s the brother of King Anwell, and has been in charge of the Maekel army. He’s ruthless and cruel. He also takes what he wants. He’s known as the Viper because of the way he sucks in his bottom lip and shows his upper teeth when he’s thinking.
Magnus Maekel: He’s the Maekel mage and a devoted follower of Elanvanin. He’s crafty and deceitful.
Tiernan Maekel: Son of the King and rightful heir to the Maekel Clan. He’s honorable and well educated in all areas.
Lilia Maekel: Daughter of King Anwell, and Tiernan’s sister. She’s spunky, smart, and fearless.
Annielie Maekel: She’s the lady in waiting of Lilia, and also the betrothed of Tiernan. She is definitely a follower, and would rather go along to get along.
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How to buy
Katy Huth Jones and her book, Mercy’s Prince. She’s a friend of mine and is a real special lady. Her book’s great, and I love the fact that it’s a clean fantasy indie read. It’s also YA, and YA fantasy is pretty awesome. I love to encourage young readers to fall in love with fantasy.