Friday, February 24, 2017

Where Carpets Fly Blog Tour

Hey everyone! Today I'm super excited to share a book release and an interview from newly minted YA fantasy author, Elise Edmonds. 

Elise and I met about three years ago when we were both starting out on our writing journey. I was working on what is now my first published novel and she was doing the same. It's been a blast to grow as writers together and to now be on the author path together.

Today she is here to share details on her novel Where Carpets Fly and answer some questions. First a little about the book.

Elina Faramar finally leaves her family's flying carpet shop when her father reluctantly agrees she can take magic lessons in nearby Kamikan. Urban life promises adventure, and new friend Kara shows her the sights.

However, Elina soon sees a darker side of life: a foreigner arrested at the circus, forbidden schoolhouse rooms with odd comings and goings, and unsociable pupil Simeon's shady deals at the docks. Everything seems connected to the volatile neighbouring country of Pallexon, but no one will tell her why.

When Elina and Simeon develop a magical mind link, he seems close to confiding in her. But an unexpected voyage takes Elina and Kara away from answers and towards unknown danger in Pallexon.

Alone in a strange country, with no identity papers, the situation rapidly turns into a nightmare when Kara is mistaken for a spy. With her own freedom at stake, Elina must rely on her wits and magic to save her friend and unravel the secrets of Pallexon.

You can get Where Carpets Fly on Amazon(available in paperback and ebook).

And now the interview!

Kristen - Elise! I've been waiting for what seems like forever to see Carpets in its finished form. I'm so excited to have you here.

Elise - Hi, Kristen! Thanks for having me.

Kristen - Let's get started. One of the things that makes Where Carpets Fly so unique is its setting. Often when creating fantasy worlds, we use a lot of Western European/Medieval influences, but you went a different route. How did you decide on a setting and what influenced the world that your main character, Elina, lives in?

Elise - I knew I wanted to create a complete fantasy world, so I did some research on worldbuilding and just started drawing a map. I wanted to include flying carpets, and they always seem to have an Arabian setting, so I knew I wanted to have a warm country on the map. In the end, Elina's country, Tamarin, was influenced by my love of Moroccan/Spanish food and Mediterranean/Persian lifestyle and architecture. It takes aspects of all those cultures and blends them into something new. I'm also conscious that it's good to have diversity in fantasy settings, and I wanted to get away from using the standard medieval European type setting.

Kristen - A nice warm country sounds amazing right about now. To completely switch gears here(just to keep things interesting), can you share something special about where you live? Any interesting facts, sights, or history? Maybe a picture?

Elise - Wow, I could be here all day! For the last twenty years, I've lived in or near the city of Bristol. An awful lot of the history here, unfortunately, is connected to either the slave trade or the tobacco industry. However, the city is also famous for its 19th century engineering. The most famous engineer is Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who built the Great Western Railway, many ships including the SS Great Britain (a popular current tourist attraction following its fairly recent renovation), and the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. The bridge is probably my favourite thing in the city – I attach one of my husband's photos for you. And of course, Bristol is home to Aardman Animations: of Wallace and Gromit fame.

Kristen - I love Wallace and Gromit! I remember watching those when I was a kid. The Wrong Trousers one was my favorite. Great picture too! Here's a sorta book question for you. If your characters had a pet, which would each of them choose?

Elise - Mmm... that's a tough one.

In one of the early drafts, I had Janni (a sailor lad) trying to tame a seagull. It didn't make the final cut though! I think his older brother Niels would have preferred a ship's cat, to get rid of all the pesky rats.

And Elina would have liked a pet bird too, but something smaller than a seagull: a canary or a finch maybe, so she could practice her Biological Magic (which allows her to communicate with plants and small animals).

Kristen - I'm sure Batman would love to learn that skill! It'd certainly make his namesakes better partners! What was the toughest thing to write for this book? Any research you hadn't expected to do?

Elise - I think the hardest chapter research-wise was the one where Elina gets to see over a large ship for the first time. I suddenly realised I had to describe the ship in quite a bit of detail. But not only did I have to learn about the ship, because the book is from Elina's point of view, I had to use terms that she would be familiar with.

In general, I didn't have much idea of structuring a plot when I first wrote the book. It's been a huge learning curve, and I had numerous great critique partners on the website Scribophile who helped me out and made it what it is today.

Kristen - Ha, yes, I remember that chapter because I was going through a similar situation at the time. I also had a character on a ship for the first time and was trying to dredge up any lingering memories on the subject. I believe we discussed how we'd both be doing ship research in the near future. What are your future writing plans? Do you have any more novels for this series planned?

Elise - Yes, I hope to have several more books in the series! Book two is already well underway and I hope to make good progress on it this year. Aside from this series, I have various half-started projects, as all good writers do, and it remains to be seen what will become of them! But book two is my main focus right now.

Kristen - I can't wait to read it! Thank you again for stopping by and good luck on your novel!

Born in Staffordshire in England, Elise Edmonds has always been an avid reader, especially of fantasy and young adult books. Elise moved to Bristol in her teens, to attend university, and undertook a career in the finance world. Now living in a quiet South Gloucestershire village, she spends her free time with her husband and two cats, and enjoys attending local fitness classes, watching movies, and playing the piano. Pursuing writing in her spare time as a creative outlet is a way to bring the magic back into her everyday life.

You can keep up with Elise and see what's next for her and Elina on her social media.



  1. I'm half way through your book now, Elise! Lovely layout, Kristen.

    1. Thank you. :) I finished the book a couple days ago! Amazing read.

  2. Awesome interview! I love the idea of Elina having a companion bird. That would totally suit her. :)