Featured Writer: Ibelin

It is time for another featured writer post!

Ibelin is a fellow writer on figment (yes, I love figment) who has several novels and books in progress.  I love her writing style and her attention to detail.  It is really amazing.  I was introduced to her writing [I forget exactly how] sometime last year, and I got engrossed in one of her earlier novels--The Dragon's Oath.  Recently, I have been drawn into The Chaos I Am, which is totally epic, by the way.  I have also discovered her newest addition, Magic is a Boy, which so far is really good!  

So, needless to say, I decided to feature her!  I had a really fun time coming up with questions and reading the answers, so I hope y'all enjoy as well.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Well, I’m eighteen years old, a writer, a musician, and a Christian. I used to be homeschooled, but I just started college this fall. (I’m majoring in International Studies, and it is the best thing ever.) I love chocolate milk, presidential debates, singing, defensive realism, snow, and medieval history.

What inspired you to start writing?

It’s kind of a long story, and it all originated with Barbies, actually. You see, one Christmas long ago I received Barbies and my brother received G.I. Joes, so, naturally, we combined them. This was my first experience with worldbuilding, as we created a convoluted backstory for our toys. G.I. Joes and Barbies were cast as queens, kings, slaves, magicians, traitors, apprentices, and diplomats, among other things. (The plots we made up were nutty, and didn’t even make much sense to seven-year-old me, but it was fun!) Eventually, though, I wanted to explore more scenarios than we could with our limited supply of characters and props, so the natural next step was to write these stories down. When I did, I discovered that with pen and paper (or Microsoft Word), my options were endless and there were absolutely no constraints on imagination. I started writing then, and haven’t stopped yet.

Can you describe a little of the Chaos I Am? 

It’s a fantasy/medieval story about a boy, Seyf kal’Amman, who is fighting a civil war against his sister -- the very first Queen of Cylvani in a long line of kings. Having escaped his sister’s attempt on his life, Seyf has no choice but to challenge her for the throne he never wanted in the first place. Unfortunately, he is outmatched by his sister’s army and, what’s more, everybody else in the kingdom seems to want a piece of Seyf, the would-be-king: anti-female factions, factions that would love to control a young puppet king, and even criminal cartels. To be at peace with himself and at peace in his country, Seyf must figure out who to trust, or choose to trust no one and blaze a path of his own.

What is best thing you’ve ever written/writing?

Man. That’s a hard one. I think it has to be one of two. First, “Not Forgotten” (a story about a boy kidnapped as a toddler, and involving pirates, spies, and murder), which is on Figment but needs a new first chapter that I haven’t gotten around to writing yet. Second, I’m ashamed to say, the best thing I’ve ever written might just be some of my Lord of the Rings fanfiction. That stuff was actually pretty epic, but I’ll never do anything with it because, you know, it’s fanfiction.

I don’t know about my newest story, “Magic Is A Boy”, though. If can do it right, it has a good chance of becoming my best work.

Who is your biggest literary inspiration?

Bahaha. This one isn’t nearly as hard as the previous one; I have to say Megan Whalen Turner. My adoration of her “Queen’s Thief” series is at a that’s-probably-not-very-normal level. Everything MWT writes has a twist at the end and you rarely see it before it happens, even though all the clues were there all along. All her characters are so well-developed, the dialog is so back-and-forth snappy, and everything you need to know is shown, not told, at a level of sophistication I’ve never seen from any other writer. In short: SHE IS AMAZING.

Any writing quirks?

Well, not really, except for my getting-rid-of-writer’s-block rituals. First, I try writing on a notepad with a gel-ink pen, because something about the combination of real paper and effusions of liquid ink is much more stimulating to the imagination than the computer. If that fails, I watch a movie or an episode of a TV show that I’ve never seen before; putting brand-new storylines into my brain seems to help with getting new material out.

What’s on your reading bookshelf at the moment?

“Insurgent”, “Pure”, “The Scorpio Races”, Machiavelli’s “The Prince”, and the second Brotherband Chronicles book. Even though I probably won’t get to them until summer, because school. It just never ends.

Which book of yours has evolved most from its original storyline?

Definitely “The Dragon’s Oath”. It started as two different stories, actually - one with a sort of apocalyptic dragon-centered plot, and one involving a girl escaping her past. Neither seemed to be going anywhere, so I lopped half of the second one off, changed the setting, and then fused it into the first one. It’s working pretty nicely so far and I’m almost to the point where the two main characters meet each other, but it’s safe to say the story is very different from the way it started.

You are allowed to interview three authors: who are they?

Megan Whalen Turner, obviously! (”How do you develop your characters’ distinctive voices, and let the reader get to know their personalities so well without ever saying stuff like, ‘Gen is a thief and a trickster’?”)

Orson Scott Card. (”What the heck were you thinking when you wrote ‘Ender’s Shadow’? Do you have any idea how stupid it makes Ender seem, when he’s a genius and has uncanny instincts about everything, except he just can’t see who Bean really is?”)

James A. Owen. (”Where do you get your inspiration? What do you read to get your ideas? *looks over shoulder* Can I read it?”)

What is some of the best literary advice you’ve ever received?

Well, when I was about twelve, I wrote to Christopher Paolini. It was your standard I-love-your-books-and-I-want-to-be-a-writer-one-day fan letter, although probably more stupid than most. (Even today, when I think of it, I cringe.) Anyway, he sent me back a standard drafted-to-answer-fan-mail-from-young-writers letter, and on it he said that the best way to become a good writer is to read. Read all the books! *insert memeface here* But seriously, that was some of the best advice I’ve ever received, despite the uninspiring source it came from. Almost everything I’ve ever learned as a writer has come from reading authors from Dickens to Megan Whalen Turner to John Flanagan, and studying their good and bad traits.

You choose to become a fictional character for a day: who is it?

WILL TREATY. I’ve always wanted to be Will. Having his skills, riding Tug, being Halt’s apprentice, and having “the fascination of learning and perfecting new skills and the intrigue of always being at the heart of events.” There’s no contest.

And finally, you’re working on a new novel (Magic is a Boy), could you highlight a few points of that?

Ah, yes. “Magic Is A Boy” is set in a world where magical skill is respected and valued... but only if you’re female. Roman is a boy who has to deal with the social stigma that comes with having a magical father, not to mention a magical father who committed suicide. He knows that surviving and providing for his mother, as hard as it is now, will become nigh unto impossible if anyone finds out that Roman himself has magic. But sometimes, magic seems like the only way.  

So there it is!  An interview with fellow writer Ibelin.  
You can check out her figment page here: Ibelin
You can also visit her entertaining blog here: Me + Loki

-The Newsie


  1. I have to read her books... they sound amazing! Love your interviews, you always have great questions that result in great answers :)

    1. Yes, you do need to read some of her stuff. It is amazing.

      And thanks! I'm glad you like them. :)