Author Interview: Elaine Santos

Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?

I’d say many authors inspired me to become a writer. Growing up, I was always an avid reader. I was lucky enough to read some of the greatest authors of all time when I was younger, but it was Tolkien who inspired me to bring meaningful stories to the world. The turning point to me was after reading The Silmarillion. I was fascinated by Tolkien’s writing and how he managed to describe that whole new world in such a poetic way. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is one of my favorite books. While Wilde’s writing style is quite distinct from Tolkien’s, his outspokenness, and boldness to criticize everything and everyone around him, captured my attention. It was combining these two literary geniuses, that I wrote The Children of Allura. A book where you will find beauty, courage, and resilience in the face of destruction, combined with political intrigue, romance, and adventure.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

Yes. I have a two-way communication channel with my readers through my monthly newsletter and on my social media accounts. I’ve been receiving positive feedback from them, and they’re looking forward to reading the second book in the series, The Secrets of the North.

To cite a few:

“This was such a good and enjoyable read. I could hardly put it down until I was done. The story is well paced, with different well-developed characters who all have a part to play in the bigger picture. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

“The Children of Allura was my entryway into the world of fantasy, and I loved every second! It was such a charming story; a special blend of characters and life lessons which brought about so many emotions for me. The writing was so pleasant and I was always left wondering what would happen next! All in all, definitely a must-read book! Can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out!

“The storyline is intriguing and inspiring for all age groups.

“I haven’t read a fantasy novel for some time, but was happy to be recommended this book. The Children of Allura is a wonderful story that keeps me wanting to read more. This is a fantastic start to a new book series, The Green Valleys. I am eager to finish this book and look forward to the other books in this and future series.

“This book spoke to my heart! I felt an amazing connection with this book! I cannot express how much I truly loved this book, and know that I will be reading it many times over again! I have always felt more connected with nature than people even, so this book felt almost like finding a home for this part of me that I have never shared with another. I was completely moved to read some of the connections I feel with nature in this book with an amazing and wonderfully written plot and storyline! I am beyond excited to read the next book that continues this stunningly beautifully written book! Thank you for not just writing this story, but sharing it with the rest of the world. I am grateful you did!”

“The plot is captivating. A gripping narrative and complex characters. I loved the depth of the characters’ development. I can’t wait for book 2.

Does writing energize or exhaust you? Or both?

Definitely both! I believe writing from our hearts can be beautiful, and energizing, but also, exhausting and draining at times. I am a highly emotional person and when I write; I feel all the emotions my characters go through. I laugh, cry, get mad, sad, and grieve with them. All this stirring of feelings can make writing hard at times. For instance, after writing a beautiful, inspiring scene, I feel energized, but when I write some heavily emotional scenes, I feel exhausted. That’s why I believe it is important to take a break and go out for a nice walk in nature as a way of recharging our energy.

How do you celebrate when you finish your book?

Finishing a book is a remarkable feat that calls for a well-deserved celebration! Whenever I reach a goal, I like to treat myself to something special. Whether it’s a night out with family, a homemade dessert, a scenic hike, or a long, hot bath, I find that celebrating my accomplishments helps me stay motivated. To me, it’s imperative to cherish every day we’re given and enjoy it to the fullest.

How do you use social media as an author?

If you go to my social media accounts, you will see on my bio that I am on a mission to spread love and beauty in the world. So, that’s how I use social media as an author. Besides providing updates on my books, I share positive messages about mental and physical health, mindfulness, positivity, and nature. I am an advocate of how important it is to connect with nature–I express this belief in my books—and of movement as medicine. So, if you want your daily dose of positivity, occasional laughter, and learn more about me, please follow me on my social media channels.

If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?

Green Valleys is a rich world and as so, it deserves some spin-offs and standalone books. I am planning on writing a series about Allura (one of the main characters in this series), Anwir (a very complex character), and probably Connal and Callan (two mysterious characters who have much to offer to this series), and others, of course.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

The second book of the Green Valleys’ series is under editing and revision right now. It will be published towards the end of fall. The Secrets of the North follows the developments of The Children of Allura. We will delve into the secretive Northern Lands and learn some of their secrets because, as the people of Green Valleys say: “the North is full of secrets.” This book is packed with action, and you can expect a more fast-paced narrative. Some questions raised in the first book will be answered, meanwhile, others will be raised. We will have a better understanding of the characters presented in The Children of Allura and we will welcome new characters to our story.

Trust me, once you start reading this book, you won’t be able to put it down, and you’ll be waiting anxiously for the third book to come out.

 What do you do to get inside your character’s heads?

To be perfectly honest with you, my characters get inside my head. Well, I don’t plan the plot in advance. I let it happen. So, when I sit down to write, I have no idea of what will come to me. I simply let my characters speak to me. If I take a break for a few days, my characters get louder because they want me to give them their voices. They want their stories to be shared with the world. I think this unpredictability is part of the beauty of writing!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I am an extremely active person. Fitness and mindfulness are huge parts of my life. I am an early bird, so I start my day very early in the morning with positive affirmations, a meditation, and a workout. I love going on hikes with my family. As I mentioned before, I am a firm believer in the power of nature, and I go out every single day. I love playing with my son. I am a big child, so I sit on the floor, dance with him, and play hard!

I enjoy doing the housework because it is when my mind is still, and I have the best ideas for my books. Cooking brings me so much joy! I love cooking healthy, low calorie, high-protein meals for me and my family. I usually end my days with some yin yoga and mobility training.

What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
I am a very simple person. I need my laptop, some classical music, water, a platter of healthy snacks and I am ready to write for hours!





The Children of Allura’s official playlist:

Twitter / X: