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Monday 11 January 2016

ℚ♫ Fire: Elemental [1] - Belle Manuel

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with new author to talk about Fire (, Amberjack Publishing Company, 269 pages), a Young Adult Fantasy & Magic novel, book one of the Elemental series.

The story follows the lives of two twins, Chelsea and Chad, who have the ability to control the elements. Chelsea is a fire-starter, while Chad is a water-bringer. Together, they make a pair of very unique siblings.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

Hello Belle, welcome to BooksChatter.

First of all, as we love music, Belle Manuel has shared with us some songs from her music playlist for Fire - enjoy it as you read our interview!

What was the inspiration for Fire?
"It started as a story my friend wanted me to write.  Then, my (then fiancé) came across some of my work and asked about it.  I told him it was just a hobby, and he encouraged me to write more often and to finish one of my stories.  Once I did, he started to push for me to try to get it published.  It was months of rejection, and difficult at times, but now I’m here and so happy that he encouraged me."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I have one character who is physically modelled after me, Haley, and then the main female protagonist has a lot of my attributes, plus the ones I wish I had.  Haley has naturally dark brown long curly hair, like I do, with deep blue eyes and a fair complexion.  Chelsea has the determination to do things that others tell her is impossible, like myself, and the will to not just play dead when it all goes wrong."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Fire - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I have no idea who the artist is!  Whomever they are, they’re amazing!  My cover was something completely different than we’d all discussed, but my manager there at Amberjack Publishing emailed me and told me she thought I’d like the changes; they made it more simple and dramatic at the same time, as it makes for a better transition through the series.  She was right, I love it!  It’s so perfect, and makes you want to open it up and read the inside.  Though I may be partial!"
Why should we read Fire and what sets it apart from the rest?
"My book is for Young Adults aged 16-24, really, which is almost an untapped age range.  Our main protagonist is 18 years old, stepping out of that high school roll and being thrown into the adult world with the realization that her world isn’t as accepting of her kind as she’d like.

It is unique in the way it’s written, the dialogue is even unique as I tried so hard to keep it realistic for readers to truly fall into the minds of the characters."
Can you tell us something quirky about Fire, its story and characters?
"The town is based on where I grew up, I didn’t even change the name.

The main antagonist, Chad, is physically modelled after my husband: military man, blonde hair, blue eyes (my husband has green), and intense physical abilities. I loved building Chad because I actually had someone to look at every day and get examples from."
Who would you recommend Fire to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend it to high schoolers, and college students.

No horrible disclaimers other than there is violence, mild language, and even some hints at sexual moments. But it isn’t graphic, it isn’t obscene in anyway."
If you could / wished to turn Fire and the Elemental series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Oh my gosh, I’ve always felt it would do so amazingly as a TV series! Oh, I’d want Chad Michael Murray (though he’s a tad old now for the part) to play Chad.

I want Nina Dobrev as Haley, and Kellan Lutz – hands down – as Blaze!"
Ah!  I did wonder about Chad Michael Murray as soon as I read the blurb :-)

What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?

"I prefer to write about post-apocalyptic or dystopian societies. I’m not sure why, but those speak more to me than anything. The only other thing I love writing as is supernatural creatures: vampires, werewolves, etc.

I love reading vampire stories (Sookie Stackhouse Series anyone???) and dystopian novels."
What is your writing process?
"It all starts with a scene. Then I ignore it forever. Then I find it. Then it grows into a dozen scenes, not connected in anyway. After that I begin to piece together what makes sense, and what doesn’t, and try to connect them with filler information or conversation that’s needed for the story."
What is in store next?
"In our second instalment, the war that was hinted at in the first one has begun, and our characters find themselves up in the air about it all. It isn’t like they’re born fighters, they’re normal people.

I plan for the series to be four parts, but could see doing next generations in other steps later down the road, though I’d like to play with my other stories hiding on my computer, too."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a wonderful cat! His name is Sir Smudgington of Wales – Smudge for short. He’s a 13lb, 3.5ft long Russian Blue that is the most spoiled thing you ever saw. He has his own area of the house, his own special toys, and even has his own bedspread that he prefers to sleep on."

Hello Smudge!  What a gorgeous boy :-)
Thank you for sharing him with us, and thank you again for joining us today!

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