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Protectors of Klairn
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Adventurous drama!

Title: Protectors of Klairn - Book One

Author: Erin Elder

Publisher: Publish America (May 2002)

Genre: Fiction/Fantasy

ISBN: 1591294061

Trade Paperback; 128pp

Price: $17.95


Rating: Recommended


The first chapter sets the scene for the reader to progress through the rest of the book. Ms. Elder's description of the surroundings is quite graphic and transports the reader to that special time and place. Readers are introduced to the characters with well-rounded physical, as well as psychological descriptions. It provides the reader with a clear mental image of each contestant. 


We are taken on the journey, as Iona Stonefinder, the main character is on a quest to become one of the Protectors of Klairn. Ms. Elder has the reader taking each step with Iona as she competes in physical and mental trials to be chosen as one of the Protectors. Iona not only has to compete against other contestants, but her family is very unhappy with the choice she has made and refuse to support her in this quest. Uncertain of her fate, Iona shows the courage needed to proceed towards her goal. There is also a love interest for Iona, which only complicates matters.


For those readers interested in a good fantasy, this book is recommended to add to their list. It provides good character development, excellent visualization of the surroundings and a lightheartedness that keeps the reader engaged.


An Interview with Erin Elder



To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


"Protectors of Klairn" is about a contest in which a selected few will be awarded elite posts safeguarding a post-apocalyptic world's remaining resources. Because damaging the planet Klairn is an offense potentially resulting in execution, it is a dangerous business indeed, and only the best are chosen. It is told through the eyes of Iona Stonefinder, a finalist who rebels against her father to do this. She and the others competing make friends, fall in love and have numerous adventures; as it is kind of a Survivoresque Olympics type of event.


Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?

I spent the first part of my life in New Orleans, and that's probably why I love mystery, adventure and wildlife so much. When my family relocated to North Carolina after losing virtually everything in a flood, I took up reading to replace lost toys and moving away from friends. Books were my new friends for a while, in my pre-adolescence. Though I've met lots of friends since, my love of reading has never faded.


Who were your earliest influences and why?

I started out with the poetry of Rudyard Kipling and Robert Frost. Robert Louis Stevenson blew my mind and made me consider that anything is possible with the human experience. Also their works are timelessly true to me. "The Blind Man and the Elephant" remains a good point to remind myself frequently when listening to others. It's a good guide in my personal life and to observe character points of view as well.


What would a typical day be like for a writer?


I rise around 5:30-5:45 am, turn on the coffee pot, walk the dog while it brews. Then I sit at the computer until nearly 7am until I am nearly late for work. My evenings are busy as I am active in the community and have a rich life of friends and family. I start writing again around 9:30-12 or until I collapse. (smile) When I am tired of sitting, I have a cleaning binge! I go crazy if my house gets too messy.



How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


A lot and for a long time. Mostly technical stuff, textbook stuff. Boooooooring, but it pays the mortgage. I have been writing fiction for just two-three years seriously. I, of course, like most writers have a lot of fiction in boxes and notebooks.


Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?

I think both have their challenges. Fiction is usually more fun. Non-fiction is easier to market, because even people who don't like to read much will make an effort to obtain information if they feel they need it. Fiction is an indulgence for which folks don't always take time. Fiction, however comes POURING out of me sometimes and it's almost painful NOT to write. I seldom feel that way about non-fiction unless it's something about which I'm extra passionate, like the environment or defending someone I care for.


Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


At least once a week for ten minutes; then at some point I sit down and write instinctively or I get an idea in a store or coffee shop and I start scrawling out my ideas on placemats or receipts or food wrappers or whatever and I'm hooked again.


What is the hardest part about being a writer?


Choosing which idea to pursue. Also, its just hard to explain and be understood sometimes. If a friend wants to leave a restaurant and I am scribbling madly on a napkin, Im sure it gets on their nerves, though usually they try to indulge me.


Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?

I'm a people person, so my fabulous social life gives me lots of inspiration. I love to hike, (easy to see that when you read "Protectors," (laughs) I love all kinds of music and dancing as well. Of course reading and writing go without saying.


Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


Unfortunately I keep sacrificing exercise, so I need to find a way to sacrifice food! Seriously though, the main thing I sacrifice is sleep. I refuse to miss important days in the lives of loved ones. If there is a wedding or party or time to spend with someone that I can never get back, I find a way to do it if at all possible. I try never to take folks for granted. So my eyes get a little smaller each month since I seldom get enough sleep. I suppose my sacrifice is eye size!! Someday I hope to not have to work full time, anyway, and that will help me out a lot!


Whats the coolest thing a reader has said to you?

"I loved your book, and I'm going to read it again and again!!" The thought that they wanted to keep experiencing it thrilled me. Also, of course, What happens next? and  Is there another book?


What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book? 

A lot of readers ask about the romance line straight off. Will Iona choose this guy? Will they get serious?  I've been very lucky in that most people have really liked my book. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. While some men have said they can tell it was told through a females eyes, and that it wasn't for them, they also said they read the whole book and still enjoyed it. A lot of people ask me about the food and culture of Klairn, which I have gone through a lot of detail and effort to create it realistically as possible. Some people have said they think about the environment more, that they recycle more. Thats what I wanted to accomplish; to get people to care more about Earth, in a fun way and without a lecture. The Klairn Series is the method I chose to do just that.


Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?



Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?

Roger Zelazny is utterly amazing, and so is John Steinbeck.


If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Stop now while you still can! (laughs). Seriously, I would say live life to the fullest, experience as much as possible. It will give you more ideas, and one of them at least is bound to be original enough to give you something innovative to catch the eyes of a publisher.


What kind of movies do you enjoy?

Doesn't matter as long as it's done well, though excessive, unnecessary blood is a turn-off.


What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldnt want to live in?

Los Angeles; there's so much to see and do, but I can't handle the traffic and pollution every day.


Whats the strangest question youve ever been asked in an interview?

I haven't been asked anything really strange in an interview. Strange questions elsewhere, I've had plenty!


Whats the best part of being a writer?

Knowing that you have truly moved someone; that it mattered that you wrote something and pursued getting it published and out there even though it required late nights and nail biting days while you waited for that publishers message. Knowing that makes it all worthwhile.


What's next?

Book Two, "The Rivers of Klairn" is just coming out close to this coming Thanksgiving! It's about the main characters in "Protectors" first mission dealing with water pollution and a dangerous investigation. 

I'm also working on about four projects simultaneously, including a short story horror anthology, a psychosexual spy thriller, another mystery that I can't talk about yet and Book three of the Klairn Series, "The Mountains of Klairn." See, I told you I never sleep!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. : ) To read some free horror stories, you can visit my website at http://www.authorsden.com/erineelder

Betsie's Literary Page would like to thank Ms. Elder for her time and wish her much success with her novel and all future works.