Welcome to another Meet the Author. Today we are meeting the marvelous E.A. deGraaf!
E.A. de Graaf is nerdy, quirky, and she loves exploring life. You can usually find her locked up in her craft room sewing vintage dresses if she’s not out on her latest adventure. She’s got a list of 100 things to do in her lifetime and plans to do them all. One of her favorite foods is pancakes with ice cream or anything that has chocolate. She currently lives in magic and pixie dust at Walt Disney World. She believes that everyone has a story, and it is her life goal to discover the stories of people around her. Come join her on an adventure and you can change the world!
Sounds like she fits right in here, doesn't she?
Well, lets get to the interview!
Hello E.A., welcome to An Angell's Life. What is the current book you are promoting?
My current young adult novel is called The Slaver's Bane. It's written in first person from the perspective of a blind girl named Analiese. She was raised a slave in a kingdom that executes women for imperfections. Her parents saved her life by disguising her as a boy. Now seventeen, her secret has been discovered. On the run and facing capture, the words of a kindly doctor spark ideas of a rebellion. Thrust into leading the war, she builds her army with escaped slaves, but this journey forces her to sacrifice more than she ever imagined. She must prove to everyone, including herself, that her age, gender, and disability do not matter.
Wow, what a powerful concept! I love books that are fiction, but deal with real-world issues (like struggling with disabilities!) Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
My favorite character would have to be my protagonist and voice to my work, Analiese. She is spunky and very feisty. She won't let anyone take advantage of her, and she isn't worried about speaking her mind. She’s been blind since birth and refuses to let her disability prevent her from leading a war. At the same time, she would give her life for the people she cares about. She is willing to fight to the death for them. It has been so much fun living in her head the past few years!
What inspired this book?
It has always been my belief that you should write the story you want to read. That is what I did for The Slaver's Bane. My favorite stories are about people who overcome insurmountable odds especially when everyone else says they are too young or inexperienced. Being fairly young myself, I wanted to write a story that I could relate to. Although Analiese experiences trials that most people never will, her struggle is the same for many of us. She refuses to conform to what society has determined she can do, and I think so many people are struggling under the weight of our current culture’s expectations.
Great messages! How do you write your books?
I tried outlining a few books, and it just didn’t sit right with me. After much trial and error, I learned a very important lesson: my characters determine the story. If I let them tell the story, if I just write what they want me to know, my books flowed and I began to have way more fun writing. I’ve come to the conclusion that, as a fiction writer, I am simply a biographer for my characters. It is their story I am telling, and I just write it down. I can’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do. Sometimes, they do things that I just didn’t see coming! I’ll never forget the day I was writing The Slaver’s Bane and one of my characters ended up in prison. I was so shocked, it took me a few days to accept it. I kept writing and it turned out that there was a very good reason he was there. It actually furthered the story in a way that I couldn’t have planned.
I have had books that played out just like that!
If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be?
I would adopt all the orphans. I have a heart and a passion for forgotten children, and it kills me to think of how many little ones go without families. Just in my home state, 29,000 children aged out of the foster system last year and none of them were adopted into forever families. That breaks my heart.
That is so sad! There are some great programs to offer time to spend with those kids, even for those of us who cannot adopt them. Although they all want a forever family, knowing that others care is very beneficial. Those interested in helping can look into local programs, or Big Brother/ Big Sister programs.
Thank you so much for joining us today E.A.! I look forward to checking out The Slaver's Bane! You can pick up your copy here.
Want to learn more about E.A. and her books? Head on over to her website!