I had the chance to sit down with Kelbian Noel, author of Elemental. Not only is Kel a fabulous writer, but she’s also one of my lovely crit partners.
The one thing I want to mention is that not only is Elemental a FAB story, but it is also a story with diverse characters, which is really hard to find some times! Hope you’ll check out her book.
Tell us a little something about your book and what genre it is?
Elemental is a Young Adult Urban Fantasy. It’s the first in a 5 book series about a seventeen-year old girl named Baltimore Land. She’s kind of miserable with her life the way it is. She lives in a small Utah town with her family and they’re the only people of color (she and her dad are African-American and her mother is Native-American) for miles. To make matters worse, her parents are also Wiccan in a town full of Mormons. After living in San Francisco for most of her life, Utah takes some getting used to, but she’s adjusted. She’s got a boyfriend who happens to be the town prince and a best friend who’s fascinated with her oddball lifestyle. Despite her friend’s interest in her parents’ religion, Baltimore shuns it completely. But when her boyfriend’s ex pisses her off, the phrase ‘seeing is believing’ takes on a whole new meaning and she realizes magic isn’t just the substance of fairytales.
The next book, set to be released in February, is about a girl with the same destiny as Baltimore, living in a different town with a completely different lifestyle.
What character(s) do you like the most and why? If someone made a movie of your book, which actors/actresses would play your characters?
I love all my characters. Each of them is unique and likeable in their own way. But if I had to choose, I’d say Grandpa (a.k.a Mystic Land) and Bridgett. Everybody should have a friend like her. I never knew my grandfathers. They lived in South America. One passed away before I met him and the other I only met once before he passed. Baltimore’s grandpa is exactly what I imagine a grandpa would be like.
The only characters I’ve ever been able to picture as real people are Bridgett and Baltimore’s other best friend, Ramón. Jane Levy and Rick Gonzalez, respectively.
What are your favorite books? And is there any book in particular that made you want to become a writer?
My favorite book of all time is Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. The books that made me want to become a writer were ones I read as a child. Most of them were historical romances, and for as long as I can remember I wanted to rewrite them, with girls who looked like me in the pages. Octavia Butler made me realize that it’s okay to put characters of color in unlikely scenarios.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without while writing?
Peace and quiet. So most of my writing is done in the wee hours of the morning.
Reality or Fantasy?
Fantasy, with a little reality mixed in for good measure.
Your favorite snack?
Banana Soft Serve. Here’s the quick recipe: Slice 3 ripe (but not too ripe) bananas, freeze them, put them in the blender or food processor with four tablespoons of coconut milk and you’ve got sweet and creamy soft serve. You can give it a whirl in the ice cream maker, if you have one, for a stiffer consistency. It’s the healthiest ice cream you’ll ever eat! My kids LOVE it! Bananas do NOT last around here 🙂
Thanks so much Kel for stopping by! If you’d like to keep in touch with Kelbian or check out more info on her book here are some ways to find her online!