Last month I did a book review on The Charmed Locket by Elina Vale. It is the first book in The Treasure Hunter’s Heart series. Shortly after I did the review, I managed to get a hold of an ARC copy of the second book Hidden Truths.
Elina continues the story where the first book leaves off, and we follow Gina, Philip, Ramon, and Sera, who are in search the third wolf statue. This statue will lead them to where the coveted book of mechanical charms rests. And the Divided are hot on their trail.
A showdown between the Guild and the Divided leads to tragedy. Later, Gina finds herself back in her hometown burdened by what she knows. War is coming, and she’s not sure what to do about it. Who can she tell? Who should she trust? As she tries to find a way forward in ever darkening circumstances, Gina makes some discoveries that helps her realize she’s not quite alone as she thought she was.
The first two books have been a really fun read. I love how this series has captivated my attention. So I decided to contact the author to see what more I could learn about her books, and the author herself. Here is the interview with Elina Vale. Her responses are in bolded text.
Thank you so much, Elina, for taking the time to do this interview! First, I have some questions about your books.
You are currently writing a series called The Treasure Hunter’s Heart. It is a series based off the idea of charmed mechanics that have what seems like magical powers. These mechanics were supposedly destroyed and many people in the books think them pure legend, except for a few like the main character Gina Mansfred, who is in a desperate search to find out more about them. I think this is an intriguing plot premises. Can you tell us more about these charmed mechanics, and maybe a little about where your original ideas for the mechanics came from?
Charmed mechanics are different kinds of items, that seem to be just regular objects like necklaces, statues, pens, boxes and so on, but they all have been enchanted. Charms are first built like any object with mechanics (with locks, hatches, moving parts) are, but after that, magic will bring them alive: A box opens with a secret word, a jewel could turn you invisible by twisting a certain piece on it, a statue might come alive when you blow on it a certain number of times… So the charms are a combination of mechanics and magic.
I guess the idea of regular items being enchanted kind of intrigued me.
Gina is in a pretty desperate situation where she finds herself between two warring organizations who are searching for the mechanics, and to bring them back from myths of old to everyday usage. She also happens to be romantically stuck between two men that are heading these opposing expeditions. This in itself is creating a lot of tension, conflict, and darkness for Gina personally. Out of all her struggles, what do you perceive to be her biggest hurtle to overcome?
She has a lot of growing up to do in these books for sure. Her biggest issues in this series will definitely be her trust issues and her fear of losing people. These will make her do some hazardous things before she learns to trust in others and let go of this fear. She also struggles morally and wants to do the right thing. The problem is that she is not sure what the right thing to do actually is…
Gina poses as a thief in book one called Lily, who boldly takes from the rich to give the more unfortunate. Will we see a return of “Lily” in future books?
Well… Lily will always be a part of Gina. Gina has a sense of moral obligation and she wants to help others. But yes, Lily makes an appearance after book 1.
How many books do you think will be in this series? And what sort of interesting tidbits can you give your readers about what to look forward to in future books (without giving too much away of course)?
There will be four or five books in this series, depending of the length of book four. Let’s just say that the adventures and romances will continue, and the mysteries around charms will be revealed. Also, more unique charms and creatures are expected in upcoming books! There will also be drama, surprises, and new characters.
We will see some sparks and magic and battles!
I noticed you have a short release time between books 1 and 2. What sort of workflow do you use to make the windows between releases so small? Do you plan on using this for the whole series? And when can we expect book 3 to be available?
I wrote books one and two earlier this year, and I’ve been writing book 3 this fall. I’m thrilled to let you know that 3 will be released in January! I wanted to write three books to keep the plot and the story kind of bubbling and alive inside my mind. It helped me to keep the plot lines and all the details under control. When I remember what happened in earlier books, it’s easier to write the next one. Also, I am a very fast writer!
In 2020, I will hopefully release multiple books.
So let’s talk a little about you as a writer. What first drew you to becoming a writer?
I learned to read when I was 5 years old. I loved reading from a very early age. First chapter books I read at the age of seven.
I’ve been writing since I was 13 years old. First, novelettes and short stories about teenagers and boys, of course. Then, when my brother directed me to the fantasy book shelf at the age of 14 or 15, I was completely sucked in and turned to a fantasy-geek. Soon, I started writing my first bigger story about a young girl who found out that she was a fairy. I got to 100 pages when my computer, my beloved PC386, crashed and took the story with it. Luckily! It was probably pretty awful.
After that, I wrote several stories all the way to my early adulthood years. I never had any intention to actually publish those. When I had kids, I wrote blogs about motherhood for some years, and forgot my love for fiction writing. One day, a few years ago, I discovered some old stories from my hard drive. They were great and fun, and I remembered that I love to write. I felt kind of sad that I had stopped writing. Something started growing inside me, and soon I thought that why wouldn’t I write again, and why not for others to enjoy as well.
So I started studying the craft and possible routes to publish my books, and pretty soon decided that being an indie was the route for me. It has been very challenging, but also so much fun! And so, a couple of years later, here I am. I published my first book, the Gate Run in 2018. By the end of this year 2019, I have published four novels and two novellas.
What is your favorite part about being a writer?
Creating tales! Storytelling is my ultimate escape from harsh reality. I love creating tales, characters, and mystical things. It’s the best feeling ever to figure out some epic plot line or to finish an emotional, dramatic scene. And when I hear that a reader has loved one of my books, it really brings up this warm fuzzy feeling inside. The best price for me is to learn that someone loved one of my books so much that she couldn’t put it down.
Is there one book, author, or event that has influenced you the most as a writer?
I can’t name just one, but as a teen, my favorite series was Belgariad by David Eddings, and I’m pretty sure that some of the humor with certain characters has been imprinted on my brains from ever since. Also, I love some certain kind of grittiness in books, and that probably comes from my love for Drizzt and the Forgotten Realms––world. I haven’t yet written for Young Adults, because I always seem to have violence and sex in my books…
I despise violence in real life but I do love writing about it. Go figure!
So let’s do some fun questions. If you were stranded on a deserted beach what two things, what would you take with you?
My kindle and a fridge with never-ending stash of soda and white wine. Both would work with solar energy, of course.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I’m a night owl. I can easily stay up until three am with Netflix…or with a book. For the last four months, I’ve been waking up at five every morning to write. It is the best time for my creativity! The change in rhythm was surprisingly easy, but I still occasionally stay up too late on weekends.
What’s your favorite food, and why?
Pizza! Well just because… you know, it’s pizza.
Who is your favorite author?
I don’t have just one. Sorry! Some of my favorites are Agatha Christie (I love mysteries), Diana Gabaldon (uuh, that romance), R.A. Salvatore (those vivid worlds and that action-perfect)
What TV show did you watch religiously as a kid?
Hm. I can’t remember watching anything very intensively as a kid. I did watch My Little Pony when I was very young. I was a teenager from 1995 to 2000. As a teenager I watched Xena, ER, Sabrina the teenage witch, Dawson’s Creek, Ally McBeal, Party of Five, Third Rock from the Sun, Roswell… I also loved to watch Hercule Poirot with my dad! Like my taste in music, so is my taste in tv shows very variable. 😀
How would you spend a rainy Saturday morning?
Reading a book in the bed and eating candy. Alone.
And the biggest question of all? Are you a dog person? A cat person? A fish lover? Or a no pet person?
I have two cats and I’m definitely a cat person. 🙂 I think the slight smugness and the cool attitude are so fun to watch. They are very good kitties, never scratch or bite us. I also love when they curl up next to me with a purr.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Would you please provide a blog, website, or any social links you have so readers can keep up to date with you?
My website is https://www.elinavale.com/
And here are all my social media links. I’m most active probably on Twitter but I try to get more active on Instagram as well. 🙂
Hidden Truths is available starting today. So go check it out! And book three of the series will be available sometime in January.