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A Conversation with Author Elizabeth Hunter

The Nymeria Team is excited to welcome new author Elizabeth Hunter to our warrior family. We had the pleasure of sitting down and discussing everything from the inspiration of the plot to the meaning behind the title.

This modern retelling of The Little Mermaid tells intertwining stories as a human life collides with the fae world. Brendan has spent his life serving his family and the Fae Queen. Darcy simply wanted to escape a life chained to the sea, so how did she end up in the middle of Fae territory. Now the two might risk everything dear to them on the bargains they must make.

“Weaving will take my mind off the ocean. Voyaging keeps us fed. But the cloth Anya weaves keeps us comfortable. We aren’t as wealthy as some of the new towns cropping up with the Saxon settlements. But my Uncle trades the cloth for iron kettles, leather for shoes. Next year, he promised to bring back glass for our open window.”

-an excerpt from Elizabeth Hunter’s, Hearts of Clay and Tempest

Check out the conversation below and preorder Hearts of Clay and Tempest starting March 30th.

Nymeria Publishing: How did you get started as a writer?

Elizabeth Hunter: I started writing characters as a teenager, but never actually thought I could write a book until college. I was sharing a story idea with my best friend, and she asked to read it, so I spent my freshman year writing a 200 thousand word mess of a high fantasy tome. It had 15 main characters and was unreadable without a detailed family tree and appendix. It was a complex mess, think Game of Thrones meets the French Revolution.

Like every new writer, I thought that story was the book for me. But after talking with a more experienced writer, I realized a book detailing my fantasy world’s history and revolutions was not exactly readable. So I started writing stories, not fantasy history novels.

N: Tell us a little bit about Hearts of Clay and Tempest and what inspired you to write it?

E: The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite stories - both the Disney adaption and the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale. I wanted a story that was closer to the Anderson original but included aspects of the romance of the Disney adaptation. I started daydreaming about writing A Little Mermaid adaptation in middle school but didn’t seriously pursue the idea until my sophomore year of college. I wanted an ending to my story that paralleled the Anderson original, without completely borrowing from it.

One night during finals week, I was reading an Irish myth - and could see the end of my story. The Irish myth and my character’s end came together perfectly in a succinct story. Within two weeks, I had plotted Hearts of Clay and Tempest, and by the end of the next month, the story was written.

N: As you said this is a modern retelling of the Little Mermaid, so what came first for you, the characters or the plot?

E: The plot for sure! I wrote the end of my story first, then ironed out how my characters would get there. Not only do I know the plot’s ending, but that lets me see how my characters need to emotionally develop.

N: Who has your favorite character to write for and why?

E: Flavian. He’s the embodiment of all my favorite gruff boys with soft heart tropes. I think he borrows a lot from Legolas and Draco Malfoy in his style, and once I started writing him into the story, I knew I wanted him to play his own role.

N: What is the significance of the title of this book?

E: The Little Mermaid is about losing yourself for those you love and what it means to be human. I wanted to hint at the magical earthy and ocean aspects of my story while highlighting the emotional tug of war that runs through the story’s center. Our main character is learning what it means to have a human heart, and what the places - both earth and sea - that she calls home mean to her.

N: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

E: I’m all over the internet! I will definitely be sharing more of my writing journey on my youtube channel, as well as on social media. It’s the same name everywhere - @ thatlizhunter

N: Finally, what can readers expect next from you?

E: Well, I personally hope they can expect a happier story. While I love Hearts of Clay and Tempest, I hope I don’t have to borrow from another achingly sad fairytale for my next story. I’m drafting several books, and my dream is to write and publish a contemporary story set in a Texas town not unlike where I grew up with Queer girls and kickass ideas.

Hearts of Clay and Tempest will be published in June 2022 by Nymeria Publishing. You can visit and follow @nymeriapublishing on social media for updates about Hearts of Clay and Tempest’s release.

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