• Mark K. McClain

Author Interview with Elle Jacklee: Tree of Mindala: Wunderwood

-Was it a brainstorm moment, or slow in forming?

The initial concept was a brainstorm moment, but the details fell into place shortly after, within a couple weeks.

-This is a very inspiring book – I feel you are trying to get a message across?

The underlying theme in the Tree of Mindala: Wunderwood Book One is that in nature, there is always balance. Things will always be put right, one way or another.

-Do you have a favorite quote or story in this book?

“There are wonders everywhere to be seen

By the open heard and mind.

But some secrets are best kept ‘tween you and me

And for others themselves to find.” – Sunyarra Bloom

-What made you want to write a book like this?

I wanted to write a book in the middle grade genre because it was those books that had a big impact on me when I was a young girl. I was already an avid reader even at that young age, but it was those books that introduced me to stories that were a little bit more complex, not just in language but in plot, than books I had been exposed to before that. It was very exciting! So I love the idea that if kids and young adults have not yet fallen in love with reading, I have an opportunity to hook them and hopefully encourage a life-long pastime that will enrich them the way my life has been enriched by countless brilliant stories. As someone who's passionate about the importance of reading, I'm really honored to have the privilege of that opportunity

-What kind of writing process do you have?

I’m an outliner. There’s something reassuring about knowing the full story from the outset so when I begin writing, I have a “road map” to guide me. Details have a way of falling into place when I know what has to happen to arrive at the final destination. For the characters, I have rough sketches of them at the beginning, but their personalities emerge more fully as the story goes on. Sometimes they surprise me, which is fine. If someone’s voice comes through differently from what I had expected or planned, it’s easier to let them be who they are than to try to change them. I think the story will be better for it, too.

-What books or authors have been most inspiring to you?

So many! J.K. Rowling’s story is particularly inspiring. Like so many others, she believed in her work and persevered even though it was rejected over and over again. She’s definitely a role model for me. Lindsay Buroker and Jeff Wheeler are also very inspiring as independents who, against the odds, have amassed very substantial followings, reminding me and other indies what is possible. Truly, though, anyone who has put in the time and effort to write a book gets my respect. Writing a book is a huge endeavor on so many levels, from the mechanics of putting all the pieces together in an effective, meaningful way to having the courage to share it with the rest of the world. I think, as an author of fiction especially, it’s really hard to avoid leaving a little piece of yourself on every page. When you become published, you essentially lay it bare for the rest of the world to see. It’s a bit scary, but as with anything else, there’s a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you’ve faced the fear and done it anyway.

-Where is your book available?


Barnes & Noble:

-Are you currently working on another project?

Yes, The Triad of the Tree: Wunderwood Book Two. I’m really excited to share more of the world of Wunderwood with readers, to let them get to know the characters better and to meet new ones. Stay tuned!

-What is the greatest joy of writing.

Hearing from my fans. I know it sounds corny, but when readers make the effort to let you know that they enjoyed your story, or share what was their favorite part or that they can’t wait for the next one, it’s all the motivation I need to keep going. That is my measure of success, over and above anything else.

-What do you want to say to fans.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Your support is priceless! I appreciate it more than you know. Thank you for challenging me and inspiring me to persevere down this path. The journey is amazing.

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