Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{July 1, 2011}   Interview and GIVEAWAY with Michelle Franklin–Author of the Haanta Series (21 books long)

I’m really excited to have Michelle Franklin on the blog today answering some questions about her Haanta book series!  So without further ado: 


You’ve written the Haanta Series, currently 21 novels long, which is a huge feat!  What led you to write this series?  What were your inspirations for the many novels?

I hadn’t written for six months due to work. When I was laid off, my editor suggested I write something new. I had previously written another epic fantasy series that was quite a few books long but I didn’t feel it was written well enough to go anywhere. I already had a world to write in so I began writing short stories about a commander and a giant. In six months, I wrote a few hundred of them and started putting them online. Many people seemed to enjoy the stories so I began writing the novels beginning with how Rautu and Boudicca met. I don’t really think about how long something is. When I finished book 4, I said “I think that’s it”, and then I wrote books 5-10, and again I said “I think that’s it.” And then a few of the stand alone books and books 11-14 came. Now, I don’t put a limit on the story. It’s however long it’s going to be. As for the inspiration, I’m really inspired by everything, even something as simple as a change in season.

You have created avery interesting setting for your novels. Was it difficult to create this alternate world in your writing? Is there any particular reason you chose to portray giants as opposed to othermythical creatures? 

The world of the Two Continents is a place I’ve known for a long time. There are always new details that enter my mind when we go and visit a capital city, for example, but I feel more like I’m touring a world that already exists. I see things the way the characters see things, so if it’s new for them, it’s new for me.  It’s always been giants for me. When I was in high school and writing historical fantasy, there were even giants on Ellis Island. I always had the notion of a small female lead and a giant male at her side. Families of giants, giant companions, half-giants while playing D&D- I always loved them. I always wanted more stories about giants when I was younger. Now I have them.

There are many, many characters within your novels.  Which character do you identify with the most in the series?  Why?

There are quite a few characters. There are about 5-10 new characters in each book. Not so many when comparing to War and Peace. Not every character is in every novel, but they all return to play their roles.  Boudicca is my Frewyn counterpart. She’s clever, sarcastic, plain-looking, has terrible hair, and is a hard working farmer turned fearless warrior. She’s the heroine I always wanted to be, even with the bad hair. 

Are any of your characters or stories based on aspects of your own life?

Yes, very much so.

What do you hope readers take away from your series?

I just hope they enjoy it. 

What is the writing process like for you?  Do you have a special place that you like to write, or any special rituals that you gothrough before/during the writing process?

I write everywhere: in cafes, is hospital waiting rooms, but my place of peace is my desk. There, I have the original artwork from the series made by Twisk to bolster me, Villars chocolate bars and my Jane Austen collection. I have no rituals other than making breakfast.

Do you have a playlist in mind for your novels?  If so,what music would you recommend a reader listen to while reading?

I do have a playlist. Certain characters and places have certain songs attached to them. I usually listen to Jennie Muskett, Martin Phipps, Two Steps from Hell, Bear McCreary, Dead Can Dance, Faun, Mytery of Bulgarian Voices Choir, Origa, Kow Otani, Kunihiko Ryo, Shigeru Umebayashi, Yoko Kanno, Takanashi Yasuharu, Dervish, Thomas Bergersen. There are many more, but these artists and composers make up the chief of my main playlist. As for reading, I cannot listen to music while reading. However, I do listen to audiobooks, all of them read by Juliet Stevenson and Olivia Williams. 

How did you decide to become a writer?  Did you always want to write, or did it just happen?  

I didn’t decide really. I’ve always been writing- not everything has always been of decent quality, but I always had an inclination that I must write.

Do you have a favorite author or novel that you recommend your fans read?  What are you reading right now? 

If you haven’t read Jane Austen’s Persuasion, what are you waiting for?  Now, I’m reading the Liar by Stephen Fry and Sandition by Jane Austen. 

How many more novels do you foresee in the Haanta series?  What can readers expect as they read this series?

I cannot answer that question only because I do not know the answer myself. As people read the series, they’ll be introduced to more and more of the world, different races, different languages, different types of magic, etc. I try not to introduce too much in one volume.



Thank you Michelle!!! I am excited to have you on the blog, and I’ve highly enjoyed getting to know you better!

This giveaway is now CLOSED.


The Commander and the Den Asaan: Lissette Martinez

 Tales from Frewyn: EVK


et cetera
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