Friends, I have a special treat for you today [Trials Tuesday to follow in a couple days]. My friend and writer, M.H. Elrich, has come out with her first novel.
(Imagine the crowds applauding)
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I have had the privilege to hash out writing ideas with this friend, for a few years now. It was actually her encouragement, which led to “Grace Leads: A Devotional Series on the Power of God’s Grace” making it to others’ bookshelves. I couldn’t have imagined allowing my words to “hit the shelves” without her loving guidance and sometimes accountability – as we hone our gifts of writing. So, I want to introduce you to her and “her baby” today. [Be sure to check out the links at the end of this blog post]
M.H. Elrich is a writer, reader, teacher and editor who wears too many hats. This means she consumes coffee and tea with a mug that reads “Wait until I’ve drained the cup.” She received her B.A. in English and was published in The Write Word, Orpheus and Short Fiction Break. She currently resides in a part of California where “perfect” weather comes with a layer of smog.
It is a great pleasure to introduce you now to Etania’s Worth and the story M.H has to share with us.
About Etania’s Worth:
Etania’s new apprenticeship as a librarian is shattered when she fends off an attacker with a power, or Neuma, she didn’t know she had the ability to disable evil beings. When her father discovers Etania’s gift, he wants to use her as a weapon to stop a new threat rising over Tamnarae. Etania doesn’t want to be her father’s new weapon and wonders if that really is the purpose of her Neuma. Yet, the death of a loved one brings the struggle closer to home, forcing Etania on a journey to embrace her newfound power before it’s too late.
Before we begin our interview time with M. H Elrich, why don’t we listen to a couple quotes?
“Why do I fail to protect those I love?
To show you who is the true protector.”
-Keyel and Melchizidek from Etania’s Worth
” ‘Neuma? I don’t have Neuma. Besides, Tamnarae doesn’t need to be saved, we’ve been at peace for a hundred years.’
‘Everyone needs to be saved.’ Melchizidek asserted.”
-Etania and Melchizidek Etania’s Worth
Q & A Time:
What made you want to write Etania’s Worth?
I’ve always been interested in Christian fantasy since I read The Chronicles of Narnia and my father read me The Lord of the Rings. Then I wrote stories along with my friend, C.M. Fritzen, eventually expanding into writing my own worlds and characters. From those foundations came Etania’s Worth.
Were any characters based on people in your life?
I think Etania and her companions are all different parts of my personality more fleshed out and walking around. I did base Jakin loosely on my brother, whose humor I tried to infuse into my character and Keyel loosely on my husband, whose quiet confidence is echoed in Keyel. However, that is where the similarities end, because I strive to make my characters unique.
How long did it take you to write Etania’s Worth?
I’ve been writing Etania’s Worth consistently for two years, but the ideas and clippings have been around for eight years. Even after I finished the first draft of Etania’s Worth, I had to rewrite it entirely and then edit the second draft several times before formatting and publishing. It’s been a long journey for me, but well worth it.
Why did you choose to write a Christian fantasy instead of a regular fantasy?
Christianity is so infused in my blood that I found it difficult to try to write a more symbolic fantasy instead of a fantasy in the vein of C.S. Lewis. So I decided to give up trying to be the next Tolkein and strove to write the story God placed on my heart.
Does Etania’s Worth contain magic?
No. The Neuma of the peoples in my novel is based on the idea that God gives special gifts and abilities to each person that is for them to use responsibly. Spells, incantations, or anything remotely like sorcery is emphasized as evil and ungodly.
Is this book appropriate for children?
The ideal reader of this book is a young adult, ages 16+. This book is appropriate for readers with an older vocabulary and tolerance for some violent content.
Why did you name the book Etania’s Worth?
I love Proverbs 31 and in it there is a verse that stood out to me: A virtuous wife who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. That one word, worth, stood out to me because Etania struggles to accept her identity. Women who struggle to accept their identity realize that they must embrace their worth in Christ to have confidence. I know, because I was one of those women. So that’s where I got the title.
Be sure to pick up your copy of Etania’s Worth. You can find it on Amazon and other places. I haven’t had the opportunity to read my copy yet, but super excited for M.H. Elrich and to have the privilege to read it. She is a very engaging writer, so I am sure she will keep us captivated in Etania’s Worth.
Other Bookstores: books2read.com/u/4EyrZe
Be sure to follow my friend, and writer M. H. Elrich, on social media: