Elizabeth Foster read avidly as a child, but only discovered the joys of writing some years ago, when reading to her own kids reminded her of how much she missed getting lost in other worlds. Once she started writing, she never looked back. She’s at her happiest when immersed in stories, plotting new conflicts and adventures for her characters. Elizabeth lives in Sydney, where she can be found scribbling in cafés, indulging her love of both words and coffee.
What drew you to write portal fantasy for your book?
I’m drawn to stories about things I would never otherwise experience. I also like character-driven books with complex themes. Writing fantasy allows me to explore realistic issues while still letting my imagination run wild. The first book in the Esme series explored friendship, family, and resilience. The second book deals with facing one’s fears, and trying to escape the ways that history often repeats itself.
Do you find your characters and setting of your book are based upon your own life experiences?
Esperance, and the world of Aeolia, are inspired by trips to Venice and my lifelong love of the ocean. I wish I could write from experience about riding dragons and breathing underwater! When it comes to characters, I think every character in my books has a little bit of me in them, even the nastier ones. I deliberately named one after me in the second book, as a bit of an experiment. She is definitely my shadow side!
What adventures can we expect Esme to have in future books?
In the second book, Esme’s Gift (out in November), Esme goes to school in Esperance, but also travels far and wide on a quest. Readers can look forward to learning a bit more about the world of Aeolia outside the capital.
What is your biggest motivation for writing?
If I don’t write, I feel like I’m shrivelling up inside. I’m more addicted to writing than I am to chocolate!
How many books have you written?
I’ve written two novels so far, and I’m just getting started on the third.
What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?
I came to writing later than most and am proud of pushing through all the doubts and insecurities associated with the writing and publishing process.
What advice would you give a writer trying to get published?
Read widely; write as often as you can. Ignore the doubters. Learning how to write a book is a long apprenticeship, which can be arduous at times. Be kind to yourself. Limit social media, but don’t avoid it entirely; I’ve found plenty of support there from fellow writers.
What inspires you when you hit writer’s block?
Reminding myself to believe in the process and not to panic!
Describe your writing style in three words.
The favourite thing I’ve ever heard from a reviewer about my writing style is that it ‘flows like water’.
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▶️ Esme’s Wish