Author Feature: Rue Hamilton
Looking for something new to read and short on money? You're in the right place, where I'll be featuring aspiring authors and their (free!) work!
This month I'm showcasing a good writer friend of mine--Rue Hamilton, author of Two Wands, One Heart! You may also know her as Shaylee Speare, author of Letters from an Angel featured a few months ago!
At the age of eighteen, witches and warlocks return to their homeland to hone their magic skills. Bound to a coven, outside affiliations--especially romantic--are prohibited. Dyllis is your everyday free-spirited witch. After an encounter with a demon--the enemy of witches and warlocks--she decides to bring her best friend, a human named Neve, with her to her homeland. With feelings for Neve, the last thing she needs is to fall for dark witch Evanora too. Evanora is a rebellious dark witch. After reuniting with her childhood friend, covenless warlock Rian, she finds herself stuck in an engagement with him. What she needs is an escape. Falling in love with Dyllis couldn't be any better for her ten-month plan. As the best friend to a witch, self-proclaimed goth Neve finds herself fleeing to escape the horrors of her life. To fill the time, she studies magic with covenless witches while at night she sneaks out to see Dyllis and Evanora. Fae Bylur is set on killing Rian after being outcasted by his own court. But his plans seem to go to the wayside because Rian wants Bylur dead. Their compromise--an enemies-with-benefits relationship. Rian doesn't mean to trap Evanora in an engagement. Yes, he loves her and would die for her, but he has suspicions that he might die for covenless witch Linden too, who is assigned to help him catch demons. But his feelings for Linden might be riskier than he expects when he accidentally unleashes a demon meant to bring out one's darkest secrets. As the demon invades the world of witches and warlocks, everyone must face a test--a series of spells that torture them to their very core until they admit their secrets are true--or take their secrets to their grave upon their impending gruesome death.
Meet Rue and read an excerpt below!
Since this is your second book featured here, what's the biggest (writing-related) lesson you've learned between writing Letters From an Angel and now? Has your approach or writing style changed?
One of the biggest lessons I've learned between writing Letters from an Angel is to vary my chapter introductions up. So you could say that my approach and writing style has changed.
What's your favorite aspect of writing? Worldbuilding, character development, drafting, editing, etc? Why?
My favorite aspect of writing I would have to say is drafting. As someone who is more of a pantser than a plotter, I surprised myself by writing six main characters into existence when I originally intended for there to be the protagonist and the love interest. But it's fun, because now Two Wands, One Heart has a deeper meaning.
What's the biggest challenge you face while writing?
The biggest challenge I face while writing is just staying consistent. I try to write every day but there are some days when I just can't get anything down on a page.
What inspired Two Wands, One Heart?
The story behind Two Wands, One Heart is many-sided. I can't really choose one thing that inspired the book. As I said before, drafting is my favorite part of the writing process. So, let's start out with the cinematic side of the inspiration, or as I like to call it, the "What if" moment. When I was watching an episode of Disney Channel's Owl House which featured a plotline where the main character had to choose what type of magic she wanted to study, I started to wonder what it would be like if they made this a premise. So, I decided to take matters into my own hand when I got the push to jot down my idea of forbidden love between two witches after watching the Disney Channel Orginal Movie Upside Down Magic.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why? Tell me a little about them.
My favorite character in the book is probably Rian because he has a lot of interesting relationship dynamics with some of the other main characters. For instance, he has this enemies-with-benefits relationship with Bylur. I also like him because he has an interesting way of portraying his thoughts. When I write his internal dialogue, he somehow manages to describe his conscience as a cooler version of himself, specifically the kind that wears leather jackets and probably rides a moped.
What are the most enjoyable and most difficult parts about writing in multiple characters' perspectives?
The most enjoyable part about writing from multiple characters' perspectives is that I get to present multiple ways to view each main character. For example, Linden is viewed through different lenses, whether it be a badass mentor, or a rival. On the other hand, the most difficult part about writing from multiple characters' perspectives is that I have to make each character unique. Like, I have to make sure that each narrator sounds different.
Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
To the readers, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I do.
“Who said I was interested?” Linden glanced at the ground. Her ponytail slapped the top of her spine. A moment later, she shifted back to my eyes. “My eyes may wander, but I’m like, ‘Nope,’ inside.” She paused for a moment and glanced at the sky before sighing. “And I’m taking you dancing to give you what you want: juicy details on your girlfriend’s infatuation with the Prince’s fiancée.” Once more, she held her hand out in front of my chest.
Glancing at Dylan, I acquiesced Linden’s offer to dance, taking her hand and allowing her to lead me onto the dance floor. A sigh escaped through my nostrils. This would not be fun.
The music guided our feet to the rhythm. We moved around in small circles, our hips swaying. At a crescendo, I asked under the pulsing beat, “Are you suggesting my girlfriend is a gold digger?” I breathed in the chemicals.
The song faded into some sultry jazz instrumental. Linden pressed her frame against me and replied, “Are you suggesting my sister is a gold digger?” with no subtlety to her retort. Sure, she meant well, but her words always seemed to sting as if I provoked a bee.
Back home, my mother would’ve called it backtalk that earned her knuckles smashing into my cheek. Here, I was given a concept of freedom, but in reality, I was a bird trapped in a cage.
“Let’s find out,” Linden said, and we waltzed our way to Dylan and the Prince’s fiancée.
I listened to Dylan’s conversation after she spun the Prince’s fiancée. “So, you said you’re from Pennsylvania, Evanora?” asked Dylan.
“I did say that,” Evanora replied. Her soft chuckle tantalized the jazz-saturated atmosphere. Meanwhile, her chocolate-brown curls danced against the top of her back. “I’m from the borough of Allenport in Washington County. What about you, Dyllis?”
Did Evanora call my girlfriend Dyllis? No, did Dylan introduce herself to Evanora as Dyllis? Hearing it felt like a piece of my heart was torn from my chest. She preferred Dyllis over Dylan. Where did I stand now? Without her, I had no purpose.
“I’m from Westmoreland County,” said Dylan. Dyllis? I didn’t anymore. As far as I was concerned, I was no longer important to her. My chest was full of remorse. A single thought pulsed in my brain: Get out of here.
“Gold digger,” I muttered before returning to Linden’s ocean eyes. Dyllis could have Evanora’s heart. She was exactly like my ex, Fleming. The moment an opportunity for something better opened, she threw herself at it. I was a game to her. Nothing more. Nothing else. What a bitch.
“I’m sorry,” I said to Linden, “but I can’t dance with you,” and ran off past the hedges, into the labyrinth.
I traced the rose-decorated bushes. Meanwhile, the air made the skirt of my dress extremely poofy. Somehow, it had turned into a drawstring petticoat like out of a Cinderella movie. The only difference: Cinderella would’ve never worn black.
Read Two Wands, One Heart for free, check out Rue's website, or follow her on Wattpad or Twitter!