Monday, September 24, 2012

Interview and Giveaway: Author Ilana Waters

Ten-year-old Stanley Delacourt loves his quiet life in the peaceful village of Meadowwood. At least, he does until his best friend is killed. Then the town library—where Stanley lives and works—is burned to the ground. The individuals responsible for both tragedies are a nasty group of soldiers. They work for the kingdom’s new leader: Christopher Siren.

No one understands the rules Siren’s creating. They don’t know why breaking them means death, or why the leader is so keen to destroy books. And no one can figure out where the former queen and king disappeared to—or if they’ll ever return. With the grown-ups too fearful to take action, Stanley vows to confront Siren. He plans to get answers and demand justice. Little does he know that his journey will involve sword-wielding knights, kidnapper fairies, and dark magic.

Stanley has only two allies back home. One is an intimidated witch named Meredith. The other is a young apothecary called Sophie—who may have enchantment problems of her own. Can they help him discover the reason behind Siren’s crimes and end this terrible reign? Or is Stanley set to become the next victim in the tyrant’s evil plot?

 Do you like the sound of this middle-grade novel? Do you want to read it? Continue reading and you will get the chance to win a copy of the book provided by the author.

And now I have author Ilana Waters here with me today to tell us a little bit about herself and her new middle-grade fantasy novel The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandia. 

Hello Ilana,, thank you for visiting my blog.

1. Can you tell us a little bit more about your book and how you came up with the idea for it? What inspired you to write it?
I know you probably hear this a lot, but I got the idea for the book in a dream. The
characters came to me in this dream too—the biggest ones introduced themselves by
name! And the rest of it, well, I just made up as I went along.
2. I saw that this is Book 1. How many books do you plan to write in the series?
Thanks for your interest! Three books are planned, making this The Hartlandia Trilogy.
I only have working titles for the others (not real titles), so it’s not quite time to share
those yet. I’m writing the second book now. Without giving too much away, I can say
it involves pirates, vampires, Vikings, witches . . . and a certain librarian named Stanley
who may be lost at sea.
3. What are your favorite book and movie?
Favorite book: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith.

Favorite movie: Labyrinth. RIP, Jim Henson.
4. Is there a song or a playlist that you listened to while writing your book?
I don’t really have a set playlist, but I have been enjoying many different Pandora stations
that you “create” yourself. I can’t listen to music with lyrics when I write (because they
get confused with the words I’m trying to type. I recently learned that many writers have
this problem!). So I listen to what I call “weird New Age music.” A lot of piano, guitar,
and harp instrumentals. But for some of the fairy scenes, I did listen to
Faun, which is a darkwave/pagan/folk band.
So I’m not going to lie to you; there was some pretty freaky music going on. ;-)
5. Do you have a routine you follow whenever you prepare yourself to write? A special place where you write?
Ha-ha . . . whenever I prepare myself to write! I guess you could say the hallmark of my
routine is procrastination, even though I love what I do. It usually starts with me making
some notes, then being unable to stop and having the notes turn into scenes, chapters, etc.
I have literarily written entire stories this way. I write in my bedroom where the PC is.
I can’t say it’s the most special room in the world, but it’s special to me. To paraphrase
Virginia Woolf, you can’t underestimate the importance of having a room of one’s own!
6. You are a self-published author. Is there some advice you'd like to give to all the young authors out there about how to get their work published?
That is a great question! My advice is actually the same regardless of whether the author
is trying to break into traditional publishing, independent publishing, or a combination of
the two (known as the “hybrid” model). My advice is: be flexible. Don’t get locked into
one story, one business model, or even one idea. Try new things and see what works and
what doesn’t. Also, be careful of how you present yourself online and offline. Reputation
is everything, so always show the best side of yourself!
Thank you so much Ilana for visiting and for the interview. I hope to hear from you again soon. Good luck with you next book! 
And thank you, Martina, for interviewing me. You have a great blog that is lots of fun for people to follow!

Author's Bio

Ilana Waters is a freelance writer who lives in New Jersey. When not creating content for websites, she can be found working on novels and short stories—as well as nibbling string cheese. She once pet-sat an electric eel, and enjoys walking in circles around the park for no particular reason.

Her first book—The Adventures of Stanley Delacourt: Book I of Hartlandiais a middle-grade fantasy. It is available at Amazon, Barnesandnoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Ilana is currently writing Book II of the Hartlandia trilogy, due out in 2013.

You can contact her via Twitter, Goodreads and her website.

And here's the link to excerpt from the book: Free Sample
And now guys here's your chance to win a copy of the book: 


  1. Thanks again for having me, Martina. I can't wait to see who wins the giveaway! :-)

  2. Ah, shucks, I'm too late to enter!

    1. Tell me if you're still interested and we'll see what we can do... :)