Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))
Fantasy is my absolute favorite genre, but I usually prefer epic, dark, gory tales that can fully suck you into their gruesome worlds and make you question your own mental health. But cozy, comforting low fantasies will also always have a special place in my heart. Which is why I wasn’t surprised that one of them, Keeper of Enchanted Rooms, ended up being one of my favorite books of 2022.
Keeper of Enchanted Rooms was such a wonderful, magical, comforting tale, perfect to curl up with during the long fall and winter evenings. A heartwarming story, interesting premise, a mischievous house and some new favorite characters… I can’t wait to continue with this series!
For some reason, I was convinced Whimbrel House was going to be a duology. But the author, Charlie N. Holmberg, in the Q&A I did with her mentioned she just finished the first draft for the third book in the series! And it might not even be the last one! 😲🤩📣
Here’s what else she told me…
Author Q&A with Charlie N. Holmberg
Keeper of Enchanted Rooms is such a wholesome and cozy story. Who did you write it for?
To be frank, I write my books first and foremost for myself. I write the stories I want to read, the ones I will enjoy! Fortunately, I’ve found some amazing readers who also like what I like, so so far it’s worked out 😉
Hulda and Merritt are not typical young, gorgeous, special snowflake protagonists?
I think there are enough young, gorgeous, special snowflake protagonists in the world. No need to add to the mix 😉
What part did you enjoy writing the most?
I really love writing the emotional scenes, especially when all the dominoes for heart-stabbing are laid, and I get to tip them over.
What do you think makes a good story?
Good, interesting characters doing non-cliché things, personally. Generally speaking, character is what hooks a reader and keeps them reading. They’re invested in that character and what happens to them. Then, if what happens to them is interesting/different/unexpected… those are the stories I love.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?
It’s really simple, and I was given it years ago during my undergrad from another writer: Allow yourself to suck. Meaning, don’t worry about if the sentence/paragraph/scene is perfect in a first draft. Just accept that it’s going to be bad and get the story out of your brain and down on paper. You can fix the rest later.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
This is something I need to be better at! Honestly, it’s just happy satisfaction. I don’t really do much else XD
Has writing and publishing books changed the way you see yourself?
It’s definitely become a part of my life where I draw a lot of pride and identity, for sure. This will sound funny, but when I was younger, I would never describe myself as “creative.” For some reason, I thought that was a really self-righteous adjective to assign myself (limiting belief, anyone?). Now I feel like I’ve embraced it, and embracing it definitely helps me understand myself better.
What is your favorite under-appreciated novel?
Who is your celebrity crush?
What are you currently working on? What can we expect next?
I just finished the first draft of Boy of Chaotic Making, the third book in the Whimbrel House series. Hoping to write even more books in that world <3
#MyFavoriteBookish Tag with Charlie N. Holmberg
Favorite trope: Forbidden romance
Favorite character: Lan Mandragoran
Favorite movie adaptation: Howl’s Moving Castle
Favorite book cover: Blackdog by KV Johanssen
Favorite book ending: Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
Favorite snacks while reading/writing: Veggie chips XD
Hardcovers or paperbacks? Hardcovers
Buying or borrowing books? Buying
Bookmarks or dog-ears? Bookmarks
Audiobooks – yay or nay? Yay! Though seldom for me XD
TBR or mood reading? Mood reading
I’m currently reading: Rereading The Bird and the Sword by Amy Harmon