Welcome to Introducing…, a feature from Wallace Publishing that highlights our authors that have new, recent or forthcoming releases.
Today, we would like you to meet Kate Campbell, author of the Young Adult fantasy The Whisper of Calaresp, which was released in June 2021.
Told from the viewpoint of Louise, a young writer based in the Scottish Borders, The Whisper of Calaresp is fast-paced and unpredictable. Going for a walk in the forest with her dog, Louise suddenly realises not all is as it seems. Before long, there are howling monsters, ‘old friends’ she doesn’t remember, portals to other worlds, enemies that seem to want her dead… And an amulet that holds more power than she understands.
What inspired you to write The Whisper of Calaresp?
I was out walking in a local wood with my dog and my imagination began to run away with itself. I was completely alone, surrounded by magnificent trees and the gentle soundtrack of the woodland wildlife. I pictured a portal appearing into another world, a world full of magic and wonder. Then every time I returned to those woods, I imagined the same thing, and gradually all sorts of potential narratives began to spring into my mind. The start of the book began to write itself and that’s how the idea for ‘The Whisper of Calaresp’ began.
Calaresp, Wreag, Brisheit, and all the other fantasy words included in this book are very unique. What is your technique when thinking these names up?
As it’s a fantasy book, I was able to be quite creative with the names. I had a specific notebook for names and important notes whilst I was writing, within which I would write down the initial idea for a character’s name and I would then develop it with a few variations until it seemed like the right one. I also then tend to go online and make sure that no one else has used the more obscure names. I enjoy the fact that with fantasy there really are no limitations or restrictions with character names. With my more recent projects, I also try to create names that have a meaningful connection to the characters, as I believe it adds more depth to the them.
What made you decide that young adult fantasy was the genre you wanted to write in?
I really enjoy both reading and writing young adult fantasy. I also think that it suits my style of writing as I have quite a clean writing style. My work tends to contain just the occasional hint of romance and violence, which instantly makes a lot of my work more suitable for this age group.
Writing for Young Adults also appeals to me because the prospect of my book being the first fantasy book a young adult has read is incredibly exciting. My intention with this book was that it wouldn’t be an intense fantasy story. This opens it up to those wanting to merely dip their toes into the fantasy world without finding themselves getting too overwhelmed.
The Whisper of Calaresp is based in a fantasy world. Fantasy worlds can be hard to create because you’re not drawing on reality, and logic often has no place. Was it hard to create Calaresp on paper, and what made you decide to make it the way it is?
I personally find creating your own fantasy world a great deal easier than writing other genres which require a lot of research and that hinge on historical and geographical accuracy. By creating your own fantasy world, you can change and develop it in whichever way you like. When I was writing The Whisper of Calaresp I didn’t really plan it, I simply waited to see which direction the story wanted to go and developed it as new ideas came to me.
Who is your favourite character in The Whisper of Calaresp and why?
I would definitely have to say Louise. As she is the protagonist, I put the most time and thought into the development of her character. Whenever I was writing, her journey and her perspective were always the most prominent within my mind.
I do also have a bit of a soft spot for Zalan. I saw him as the very traditional, reliable and kind knight you often find within older fantasy stories. I wanted to have at least one character who wasn’t necessarily complicated, just good and loyal.
Which Young Adult or Fantasy writers do you admire the most?
I enjoy a variety of fantasy books aimed at both adults and young adults. One of the earliest I remember reading was C.S Lewis’s Narnia series; it was the first time I was truly swept away on a remarkable adventure within an entirely different world full of magic and wonder. Those books will always remain a firm favourite for me.
Since then, I’ve become a tremendous fan of writers like Brandon Sanderson, Terry Goodkind and Pierce Brown.
Can we expect a sequel to The Whisper of Calaresp? Any other books in the pipeline?
I’m in the process of writing a sequel to ‘The Whisper of Calaresp’ at the moment, I’m hoping to have it largely written by the end of the year (fingers crossed!) I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing the characters develop and writing new elements of the world of Calaresp. I really hope that those who enjoyed the first book will like this one even more.
I’m also writing another young adult novel which is primarily fantasy, but it has a slightly more political based narrative.
Finally, please tell us about any other works you have written?
I currently have a number of short stories published within various anthologies. All of which are listed below.
‘A Simple Gift’ and ‘Home for Christmas’ published in Holiday Spirit by WPC Press.
‘Lovelorn and Lost’ published in Love in the Dark by WPC Press.
‘What’s in a Name’ and ‘A Helping Hand’ published in New Tales of Old by Raven and Drake Publishing.
‘Lost at the Crossroads’ to be published in Haunt by Dark Hare Press.
‘With Freedom Fly’ to be published in Dragon by Dark Hare Press.
‘Too Much of a Good Thing’ published in Candy Capers by Raven and Drake Publishing.
‘In the Light of the Moon’ to be published in New Tales of Old V2 by Black Ink Fiction
‘Playing With Fire’ to be published in Daily Flights of Fantasy by Iron Faerie Publishing
We have one paperback and three eBooks of The Whisper of Calaresp to give away. For your chance to win, please reply to this post. All winners will be selected at random. Apologies, but this competition is only open to residents of the UK, EU and USA. Competition closes at 10pm BST, August 31st, 2021.