Feel free to share a little about yourself in your own words.
Originally from the United Kingdom, I now reside in Germany, although I freely admits to having left part of my heart in Wales. I am the author of the fantasy series, World of Wraidd Elfennol, and also the contemporary, women’s fiction novella, Disjointed Lives.
Whilst a writer mainly in the fantasy genre, I am more than happy to share my love of reading amongst the many different genres out there, and can always be found with a book close by.
As well as reading and writing, I spend my time looking after my family and trying to learn German. Unfortunately, a natural aptitude for languages doesn’t appear to be one of my strong points. However, stubbornness is, so I continue to persevere. So far, I am confident enough to order a beer and a pretzel.
Feel free to email me at MorganJSheppard@gmail.com or stalk me online on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
You can also subscribe to my mailing list here, and get a #FREE copy of Marella, the book that started the World of Wraidd Elfennol series: https://mailchi.mp/dfadd1e68ec2/landing-page
How did you get into writing?
We moved to Germany for my husband’s job (I.T., not the Forces) and their childcare system is different to what we were used to in the UK. We made the decision that for a time, I would remain at home to look after our daughters. For a while, I enjoyed not doing anything but be with them. I’ve always worked though, so after a while I was itching to do something. Writing is something I’ve always done for ‘fun’ so I entered a writing competition with an excerpt I had written. I didn’t win, but I did get a few enquiries about what happened next. The idea that people wanted to know more got me thinking – and the World of Wraidd Elfennol was born.
What can you tell us about your daily routines that help you focus and your creative habits? So, for example how do you come up with some of your ideas and inspiration for your book?
My day is very simple. I get my children sorted out and taken to school. Then I write until they come home just after lunch. Then I put my mum hat on and spend the afternoon helping with homework, and doing chores around the house. In the evening is when I usually read, unless I get a desperate need to write.
As for my ideas, I have no idea. They’ve always been there, large as life in my mind. The only time I struggle is if I think I know better, and try to make them do something they don’t want to do. They don’t talk to me, like I’ve heard others say, but I do know if they are happy with me! lol
Is this book very personal for you? If so, how?
The World of Wraidd Elfennol is very personal for me. It is based on the Isle of Anglesey, where I had many a fantastic childhood holiday. It is also where I got engaged and spent part of my honeymoon. The characters themselves are actually based on people I know, including my daughters and husband. And yes, there may even be a little bit of me hidden in the mix too.
Water Weaver is simply the job title of the main character. Nothing else seemed to fit.
Plot and Synopsis
Can you describe what the book plot and give a detailed synopsis of the book, of course without any spoilers.
In Wraidd Elfennol, every child or ‘youngling’ goes for a test around the age of 13. There they are partnered with an animal that can speak telepathically with them. The animals are representative of the Elements that reside within the human.
Four humans and their Partners are chosen by the gods to go on a quest to find missing artefacts and bring balance back to the elements of their world. Only two of the four know each other. The quest brings them together, making them work together, finding out each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They visit different places, meet new people, face danger, and find love (although that is not the major part of the story)
I will put the blurb down here for you, so you can see the official details.
The Isle of Wraidd Elfennol is a place balanced by the four elements of nature – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The essence of each element is contained within a sacred artefact, helping to keep the balance of life.
At the Summer Solstice celebration, the Lords and Ladies of the Elements announce their artefacts are missing. A human and animal partnership is Chosen for each Element, to find the missing artefacts and help restore the balance.
Together, they embark on a quest to find the missing artefacts. As the world around them changes, danger lurks with every challenge the group must face.
Time is not on their side as their quest must be completed before a year and a day has passed.
Rejoin the World of Wraidd Elfennol as Marella and Nixie, the Chosen of Water, learn how to work with those of the other Elements.
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’ve had a review saying Wraidd Elfennol is similar to Narnia, and down the road from Hogwarts. I loved this description, although I’m not sure how true it is.
Themes or Messages
What themes and deeper meanings or messages can we expect to find in this book if any? Is there any deep meanings or philosophical questions being explored in the book?
The main theme of Water Weaver is that of cooperation, that family isn’t always by blood. It also has a spiritual feel to it, with Wiccan Sabbats and Gods and Goddesses. There are lessons within the words if that is what you look for, or you can just read it as a ‘normal’ story.
Off the wall question, but would some of the issues being explored in the book relate to us here in the real world?
Absolutely! My inspiration comes from the real world, I just put a twist on it to make it fit in Wraidd Elfennol.
What can you tell us about the setting that we will be seeing in this book?
The setting is based on the Isle of Anglesey, in Wales. It has plenty of forests, small villages, and a (low) mountain range.
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?
I have tried to put together a culture and society based loosely upon the Welsh Celts. I’ve given them jobs, but they are either specific to the world, or they have similar jobs in real life. For example, there are Messengers, who pass messages (obviously) from one place to another. There is an Elder of each Element, also a Second, and Primary Trainer. There are also farmers, scribes, law-keepers, and gardeners.
Tell us about the history of the land or world or worlds that we will be exploring through out the book?
The World of Wraidd Elfennol is a place of low technology, however it is rich in magic, although they don’t see it as that. Every human has an animal Partner, and usually have two Elements within them, that will help them with their career choice. For example, Daren is the Chosen of Earth. His Partner is Ula, a white wolf, who represents the Earth Element. His Primary Element is Earth, and his secondary is Water, which makes it easy for him to work with plants and crops to ensure good growth. Marella is the Chosen of Water, and she only has that one Element, which was a cause of concern for her when she was younger. Her Partner is Nixie, a river otter.
During their quest, they visit the Quarters, where elementals live. They visit the gnomes of earth, the sylphs of air, the salamanders of fire, and the undines of water. Each quarter is different, and based upon the element they represent.
What can you tell us about some of the main characters and villains in this book?
There are eight main characters in this book, the Chosen and their Partners.
Chosen of Water – Marella and Nixie
Chosen of Earth – Daren and Ula
Chosen of Air – Lani and Shaw
Chosen of Fire – Kai and Kenna
Marella and Daren have been friends from birth, and both parents hoped for a marriage between them, until Marella and Daren set them straight. Lani is the youngest and shyest of the group, whilst Kai starts off as the most arrogant. He is also the oldest.
You don’t know who the villain is throughout the book. I have been told by readers that they never guessed who it was, and were surprised when they found out. There are some characters that are deliberately not likeable, and some that I love. I am constantly surprised though, when I get told of someone else’s favourite character. Readers see things sometimes that I never intended to be there, they can relate to a character because of something in their own personal life.
Website: (If applicable) https://morganjsheppard.weebly.com (I am currently working on this so it’s not up to date.)
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/MorganSheppardWriter
Facebook (Group): https://www.facebook.com/groups/MorgansElementals/
How to buy
Universal Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/Water-Weaver
Please nominate another author you really like and has not yet reached mainstream and a small paragraph about why you believe this author is someone to really look into.
I nominate Evie Asterwyn
She is a young adult fantasy author, working hard on both her website and getting her book ready for publishing. She has excerpts available on her website and I have loved reading through her work.