Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Adventures of Elsabeth Soesten: Bait And Switch

The Adventures of Elsabeth Soesten: Bait And Switch

There are certain things in the world that are real and others which belong in the realm of minstrels' fancies. Elsabeth and Brother Hieronymus quickly find these lines becoming blurred when they accept a job to escort a youth named Maerten and his guardian to the Navarrese village of Checy. It is said that a powerful wizard dwells in the wilderness nearby, and Maerten is seeking him out in hopes that his magic can reveal the truth about his past. Despite her skepticism, Elsabeth finds herself unable to refuse the boy's request, and soon she and Hieronymus are drawn kicking and screaming into the tale of a destroyed kingdom and a long-lost heir. Along the way, Elsabeth struggles to balance her growing affection for the boy in her charge with the knowledge that they must part ways when they reach their destination, and the reality of the disappointment he will face when he learns that rumors and tall tales are seldom what they seem.

My Review

The Adventures of Elsabeth Soesten: Bait And Switch  is a well written novel that pulled me in right away. I love books that take place during times where people used more primitive weapons like swords instead of guns. I especially liked the fact that the book also had magic in it. My favorite aspect of the book my was the fighting scenes they were just so realistic that I could actually picture them happening. I also really liked the fact that Elsabeth was very much her own woman and yet she was still kind and approachable. I enjoyed reading about how she began to come to care about the boy in her care and dread the thought of leaving him. 
My Interview with D E Wyatt. I was sent a free copy of this book for only a honest and unbiased review.

What inspired you to write this book?

Bait And Switch was conceived while I was still in the process of developing the first book in the series, No Good Deed.... Originally, the plan was to write a series of short stories, but No Good Deed... ran long and ended up as a novella, so I decided to just go for it and finish Bait And Switch as a full-length novel. The idea I had was that I wanted to chronicle the ongoing adventures of the heroine, Elsabeth Soesten. I actually conceptualized the whole thing more like a television series: Rather than one multi-part story, each would be self-contained, with a loose overarching theme encompassing the entire series.

Did you ever consider writing yourself into your book? If yes did you and if no why did you refrain?

Not directly. The main part of me that found its way into the book was my interest in Western European swordsmanship, which forms one of the central focuses of the series. But I never considered myself for an author insert.

Which part was the hardest for you to write and why?

From a technical standpoint, the hardest part is the fighting scenes. As a student of Western Martial Arts, one of the important things I set out to do with the Elsabeth Soesten books was to present things right because of how pop culture tends to mix up how it works. So I try to incorporate what I’ve learned into the fights. Where it gets a bit tricky is sometimes that means working through what’s happening myself, which isn’t always easy to without having a sparring partner to play off of. How a sword and body moves in a fight can vary drastically, and there’s times where what I wanted to do didn’t work simply because of body mechanics or physics, and that can be difficult to pick up alone.

Which part was the easiest for you to write and why?

I would say the banter between Elsabeth and Hieronymus comes very naturally. I’m a bit of a sarcastic person in real life, so that certainly helps.

Which character was the hardest to write and why?

Sinopus, the wizard Elsabeth’s charge is seeking out. There was a fair bit of research required for his introductory scene.

Which character was the easiest to write and why?

Because I’ve already written Elsabeth and Hieronymus in No Good Deed..., they were the easiest characters to write because they personalities were already established.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There’s a character introduced later in the book, by the name of Robin de Carcassonne, that was a lot of fun. But you’ll have to read to find out why for yourself, because there’s a bit of an Easter Egg and joke I don’t want to give away.

Were there any characters that you did not like?

I would say that Husson is particularly unlikeable. I found him to be a rather unpleasant individual, and he isn’t someone I’d enjoy spending a lot of time around in real life.

What made you choose to write a book on this topic?

One of the things I knew I wanted to do with this series was to play around a bit with the conventions of the genre. No Good Deed... was a bit of a light political thriller, and with Bait And Switch I knew I wanted to do a bit more of a straight heroic fantasy. However I also worked in a bit of a heist. This is really something that’s going to be present throughout the series, taking the low/heroic fantasy genre and blending it with others. The next book, Prize Play, is a bit more of a straight fantasy. However the fourth book I have planned will have a bit of spy fiction in it, while a fifth will have elements of noir.

Did you base any of the characters off of real people?

One of my main influences in the creation of Elsabeth Soesten was the 17th-century adventurer and opera singer (yes, opera singer), Julie d’Aubigny. That influence is most evident in Elsabeth’s behavior in this book, however she did also inspire some of Elsabeth’s actual background, as well.

What made you decide to become an author?

I first started writing before I even hit my teens, beginning with fan fiction. However the Quest for Glory series by Sierra not only fueled my interest in fantasy in general, but my desire to actually write it myself. It’s still my favorite game series of all-time, and I love to load it up on DOS Box every now and then to play through it.

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