Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Publication News - The Wellerguard

I wanted to share with you the exciting news that my short science-fiction story, The Wellerguard, has been included in Red Dwarfs Make The Best Homes, a collection of essays, short stories, poetry and illustrations all inspired by the ethics and logistics of humans settling on other worlds. I have always thought the venture to other planets would be fraught with danger, corruption and hard work, so The Wellerguard is a dark story with plenty of action. I was deeply honoured to be asked by editor Seth Lukas Hynes to write a story for this collection and I am thrilled to finally be able to share the news with you. The ebook has just been released, and I will let you know when the paperback comes out in the new year. 


Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Author Interview - Kirsty Inic


Kirsty Inic is an Australian YA Fantasy author. Living in Sydney with her husband and mini-lop bunny Winston, she is a lover of tea, books, and all things magical.

Always the avid reader, she dreamed of one day writing a book of her own. A budding writer for many years, she fulfilled her publishing dream with her debut novel The Witch of Ellesmere.

When not writing, Kirsty can be found sipping on copious amounts of tea and snuggled up with a good book. If the weather is nice, you may also find her outside in the garden tending to her many plant babies.

Genre: YA Fantasy

Q&A

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

The Witchof Ellesmere is my debut novel and is the first in a YA fantasy trilogy. For as long as I can remember I have always loved to write, especially stories about magic and whimsical faraway lands that are rich with magical beings and mythical creatures. When I first started drafting The Witch of Ellesmere it was these things that inspired me to create a story that would lift the reader up and transport them to somewhere magical.

Q2: What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

There are three things I always need to have in order to stay focused while writing. My writer’s notebook which is home to the many notes I scribble down when plotting out my novel, my fantasy music playlist—I actually can’t write without listening to this—which mainly consists of acoustic versions of songs played on fantasy/sci-fi TV shows or movies, and last but not least… A huge cup of tea.

Q3: I know you are big on plotting your novels in great detail before you begin your first draft. What advice would you give a panster wanting to give plotting a try?

To not feel like you have to follow what you’ve plotted as if you're ticking off a checklist. The main reason I love plotting is because it helps me to get all my thoughts and ideas down on to the page before I actually start writing. By plotting out my chapters I’m able to see where the story is headed and if there are any plot holes or pacing problems before I begin writing the first draft. It saves a lot of time in the editing stage. But in saying this there have been times where my characters have decided to take me on a different path that moves away from what I’d originally plotted and that’s okay too. This can sometimes lead to advancements in the plot or character development which can add so much more to your story.

Q4: What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

For me it would have to be plot, setting and character. When all of these elements are done well it creates such an immersive and exciting story and is what makes the reader want to continue reading.

Q5: The writing process has many stages, but the three main ones that spring to mind are – planning and research; plotting and drafting; editing and fine tuning. Which of these process is your favourite and why?

The editing and fine tuning stage would have to be my favourite. For me this is where I feel like the story truly comes alive. Where the words I’ve written can be weaved together to really make the reader feel or see what it is I’m trying to convey. For me, the editing stage is where the magic happens.

Q6: What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

It’s actually a Neil Gaiman quote: “Write anyway! Fix it and make it sing on the good days.”

I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so writing my first draft is always a little daunting for me, but when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with my writing I read this quote and know that when I edit, that’s when my writing is going to come alive.

Q7: How do you come up with character names for your stories?

Most of the names I find come from searching Pinterest and baby name lists, but I actually love coming up with character names. Usually, this process includes a lot of research as I like my character names to have some meaning behind them. I try to find names that represents some of my characters personality traits or gives a little hint as to who they are as a person. For example, my main character, Braelyn, her name means strong, adventurous, or brave which are just some of the traits that show through her characters journey.

Q8: At what time of the day do you do most of your writing?

Most of the time I write in the early morning—around 5am—before I have to start getting ready for work. The mornings for me are when I’m most inspired. It’s quiet, the sun is still rising and it just feels like such a magical time of the day.

Q9: What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on Book Two in The Witch of Ellesmere trilogy, which is due to be released in the first half of 2023. I can’t wait to be able to share more about it!

Q10: What are you currently reading?

My current read is A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown and I’m absolutely loving it!

To find out more about Kirsty Inic check out the social media links below. Keep scrolling to learn more about The Witch of Ellesmere.

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The Witch of Ellesmere is available in paperback and ebook.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Author Interview - Ky Venn


Kylie Pursifull, better known as Ky Venn, loves to build fantasy worlds, and send her characters on great adventures. When she’s not writing her debut novel, Justice in Magic, coming in October 2022, you can find her either watching Grey’s Anatomy, reading a book, or spending time with her family. She enjoys being a soon to be wife, a child of God, and a mama to two fur babies. She currently lives with her fiancé in Hamilton, Ohio.

Genre: Upper YA/NA Portal Academy Fantasy

Q&A 

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

The name of my latest book, which also happens to be my debut novel, is called Justice in Magic. It’s got vibes that are a mixture of Harry Potter and Avatar: The Last Airbender. I have always loved to write, and I love fantasy! I’ve been writing on and off for two years, but finally decided my goal of 2022 was to publish my book!

Q2: What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?

A lot of times I have to turn my laptop and my phone on “Do Not Disturb”, because I get distracted incredibly easily. I like a quiet area sometimes, or other times I have Friends playing in the background.

Q3: If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose and why?

Oh my good Lord, probably Sarah J Maas or Colleen Hoover. I love both of them and their work immensely. The author whose books I own the most of are actually by Colleen Hoover. I just love them, and getting to meet them and spend time with them would make me over the moon happy.

Q4: What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

Definitely giving yourself enough time. In this industry, there’s a lot of rushing involved in work sometimes. But I’d rather put out something that’s phenomenal than something fast. When I rush, it really affects my product poorly. I also think having people look over your work, and not being unwilling to accept feedback are good as well.

Q5: What are common traps for new authors? 

Vanity publishers. I have heard time and time again that you shouldn’t have to pay someone to publish your book until it’s actually made money itself. Meaning, if the book doesn’t make money, neither does the publisher. I almost fell into a vanity publisher trap, and I’m glad I asked around and found out it wasn’t worth dumping thousands of dollars into something that wouldn’t help at all.

Q6: What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve been given about writing?

I’ve been given so much advice from so many incredible people about writing. Good groups to join, good reference books to buy. Websites to use, branding and marketing resources. I think any piece of advice is valuable advice, especially as a new author who is also new to the author world.

Q7: How do you come up with character names for your stories?

Honestly? Everywhere. If I see, read, or hear a name I like, I write it down in my phone notes haha!

Q8: At what time of the day do you do most of your writing?    

Definitely evenings. I hate mornings with a passion.

Q9: What are you working on now?

I’m soon going to be working on final edits for Justice in Magic, and I am also working on the sequel to it as well.

Q10: What are you currently reading?

I am currently in the middle of several books, but I am reading (and almost done) with Crave by Tracy Wolff.


To find out more about Ky Venn check out the social media links below. Keep scrolling to find out more about Justice in Magic.

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Instagram

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Website

TikTok

Justice in Magic is available in paperback and ebook!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Author Interview - Greta Alp


Greta Alp is a UK based novelist who lives with her wife, young son, and two cats. Saltwater is her debut novel coming out this November 2022.

Genre: Dark romance/contemporary romance

Q&A

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

My latest book is called Saltwater. I had had the idea in my head for a long time and I have finally put it down on paper. I was inspired in part by my own grief after the loss of a loved one. Violet, my main character, returns home after the death of her twin and struggles to find her new identity in this turmoil. I really let the idea flourish when visiting a beach in Brighton. There was a storm brewing and the drag of the sea in and out inspired the dark, paranormal aspects of the book as well as her tumultuous relationship with her new neighbour.

Q2: When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?

I always write whilst listening to music. I have a playlist particularly for emotional scenes and I really lose myself in the feelings of my characters when writing.

Q3: What authors, or books have influenced you?

Wow – so many! Tessa Bailey (It Happened One Summer) had some influence on the seaside location and grumpy MMC (male main character). I have been really influenced by Penelope Douglas and her exploration of the forbidden romance, as well as Megan Nolan and the poetry of Nikita Gill.

Q4: Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?

My main character Violet. She’s going through the grief that I went through and trying to find her way in this changing world. She’s looking for somewhere to call home and finds it in the most unlikely person – just like I did!

Q5: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Write first, edit later. Let yourself into the flow of the story and fix bits later. Also get yourself an editor who will go through it as you write – it’s so motivating to have people reading your work as you go and encouraging you.

Q6: How much research did you need to do for your book? 

A bit. I researched the area Saltwater is set it in and I needed to know police procedures for after someone commits suicide.

Q7: What was your hardest scene to write, and why?

The funeral scene. I was heartbroken for Violet as I wrote it and I cried a lot! It brought up a lot of memories too.

Q8: What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser? 

I think a little of both. I find it important for myself as a writer not to over plot as things can change all the time, but I did write out a rough outline for each chapter and where I wanted to my characters to end up so I knew their motivations.

Q9: What are you working on now?

Currently I’m working on promotion for Saltwater for its release in November, but I am already brimming with ideas for a second book.

Q10: What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Does it Hurt by HD Carlton.

Connect with Greta Alp by checking out her Instagram @petalledpages

Saltwater - a dark forbidden romance - is due for release in November 2022!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Author Interview - Micah Campbell


My name is Micah. I am the author of the bestselling book Urban Legends, Ghost Stories, and Folklore. I am currently writing volume II of ULGSaF and working on an anthology based on terrifying tales set in my favorite time of the year: Autumn!

 

I have written 19 published articles, developed 2 Apple Top 100 podcasts in the last 2 years, and have over 15 years of writing experience, including myriad white papers and technical documents within a multistate healthcare system. I also have 20 years of audio/studio experience.

Genre: Horror, Folklore, Fantasy

Q&A

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

My current and only published book to date is Urban Legends. Ghost Stories and Folklore. I’ve always been drawn to and fascinated by the darker, more mysterious things. I love the stories and the sense of dread that a lot of old urban legends tend to illicit. I guess the inspiration for this book was that nagging, annoying little voice that we writers all have in the back of our heads: “But, why?”

I made it my mission to seek out and research these stories. I went all the way to the beginning. It was great fun and I really hope that everyone enjoys it.

Q2: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of publishing?

Favorite part? That’s easy… LAUNCH DAY!!!! Least favorite? Um, that’s also easy. Marketing!

Q3: What authors, or books have influenced you?

Stephen King has been a huge influence on me. Not only in the darker things in general, but in the way that he is able to weave those into very small or very LARGE spaces. Tolkien, of course. My first book was The Hobbit and I read The Lord of the Rings at least once every couple of years. Oh, and Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicles. Wow, are those incredible books! Oh, and I’d better throw Sanderson in there, too. The Mistborn series is phenomenal!

 Q4: What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Shoot, I work full-time and have 3 kids… what schedule? No, honestly, I just write when I can. An hour here, 30 minutes there… Just whenever I can get the time.

Q5: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Don’t focus on the newest shiny thing. whether that be a genre, a POV, or whatever. The internet loves to talk and it loves to make up new things to talk about… One of the dumbest conversations I heard recently was an argument about “third-person omniscient” or “third-person semi-omniscient.” What?!? Dude, shut up, get off the internet and write!

Q6: What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you?

Oh, I think it’s very real, but I also think it’s a pretty convenient crutch for laziness or lack of inspiration. If you’ve got yourself some writer’s block, switch it up, or take a day or 2 off. Go refill your inspiration meter by reading a different genre or watching a movie or play. It is real, but don’t let that keep you down.  

Q7: What part of the book was the most fun to write?

Honestly, the parts where I was able to break the 4th wall and really let my sense of humor shine through a bit. I think that is everyone else’s favorite part, too. It’s just fun!

Q8: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

I like that Urban Legends. Ghost Stories and Folklore can appeal to just about anyone. Anyone, at any age, could just pick it up and start reading it pretty much anywhere in the book and enjoy it. So, pretty much everyone should buy my book!

Q9: What are you working on now?

I am thrilled to be working with a handful of other authors on a horror anthology set to release this Halloween! The level of talent and imagination in these writers is on another level! The best part about this project is that 100% of every single penny of Amazon purchases will go toward ending child sex trafficking. We’re not making a dime from it. I couldn’t think of a better cause!

Q10: What are you currently reading?

Right now, I’m reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King. It is so good! I highly recommend it to anyone, King fan or not.

To find out more about Micah Campbell, check out the social media links below. Keep scrolling for a sneak peek at Urban Legends. Ghost Stories and Folklore.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Author Interview - Aisley Oliphant

Aisley Oliphant has been in love with writing since she learned how to hold a pencil, creating wild stories about mermaids and far-fetched adventures with her friends. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Weber State University, became a writing tutor for the WSU Writing Center where she helped students one-on-one to self-edit and improve their writing. She went on to work as a writer and editorial assistant for Utah Business Magazine, and a freelance writer for her church, editing and publishing more than twenty-five articles in between them. In the summer of 2022, she graduated with a Masters of Publishing from Western Colorado University. 

Currently, Aisley is preparing to start developmental edits on her debut fiction novel, and has also begun production on a graphic novel series. She was on the editorial staff for the Gilded Glass: Twisted Myths & Shattered Fairy Tales anthology by executive editors Kevin J. Anderson and Allyson Longueira, and republished The Elusive Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy in a new edition for the WordFire Press Classics collection. On the weekends, Aisley can be found running, reading, or geeking out about Spider-Man, dinosaurs, and Harry Potter. She loves snuggling her husband and cats, going on camp trips, cooking delicious dinners, and having a good time with friends and family.

Genre:

Non-Fiction, Booked to the Gills is a book about time management and work distribution for busy writers.

Q&A

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Booked to the Gills: How to Crush Thirty-Day Writing Challenges for Busy People

I was inspired to write this book because I realized I had developed a strategy for winning NaNoWriMo even when I was doing a million other things, and it was something that I could teach other people.

Q2: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of publishing? 

My favorite part of publishing is being involved in every step of the process. I also like making decisions. The hardest part of publishing is also making decisions.

Q3: What authors, or books have influenced you?

It’s so hard to pin down just a few! My current fiction WIP was influenced by Dan Well’s The Partials Sequence (the toxic wasteland he constructed was evocative!), but I’m also really inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s business sense.

Q4: What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book?

When I’m drafting, I’m doing all I can to fit time in the cracks. I also try to have multiple projects going at once so I can take a break doing other steps in the process, such as researching or outlining.

Q5: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Remember the first one is always the hardest. Keep pushing and work a little bit every day and eventually, you’ll finish. But you have to show up and you cannot give up.

Q6: What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you? 

To me, it generally means I need a break. When I hit writer’s block, I have to take a step back and do something else so my brain has time to work on what has me stuck in the background. Then eventually, I’ll feel fresh enough to go back and the problem generally has solved itself!

Q7: What part of the book was the most fun to write?

In fiction, I love writing beginnings and the inciting incident.

Q8: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

Bookedto the Gills’ ideal reader would be someone who has a desire to compete in a thirty-day writing challenge similar to National Novel Writing Month, but feels like they don’t have time to.

Q9: What are you working on now?

Now that Booked to the Gills is finished, I’ll be revising my adult, post-apocalyptic science fiction book Demon Fall and the second prequel book in my YA fantasy graphic novel series, Guardians of the Umbra.

Q10: What are you currently reading?

As of this questionnaire, I’m rereading The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. Next on my list is Not Even Bones, by Rebecca Schaeffer and Unnatural Acts, by Kevin J. Anderson.

To find out more about Aisley Oliphant, check out the social media links below:

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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Author Interview - Cydney Daemon


CydneyDaemon, first and foremost, is a human being. She is definitely not a demon of chaos taking human form in order to collect as many books, black cats, and items of gothy wonder as possible. When she is not hyper fixated on writing whatever has possessed her brain, Cydney can be found arguing with her dog, playing referee to her two house panthers, consuming media things meant to scare her for fun, and testing the limits of Dr Pepper consumption on the human body. Alternatively, if spotted in the wild instead of in her cave of darkness, she may be seen rambling to herself about anything from book ideas to how many times she had to walk down that aisle before remembering to grab the damn chips she came here for. Prior to becoming a published author, she worked in customer service—which was a grave mistake on everyone's part. She currently also works as a freelance writer, writing the session notes for mental health professionals. With an origin story that includes poverty and severe childhood trauma, mental health and empowerment for everyone has always been extremely important to her. Cydney seeks to write books that have their own heart and soul and that can help those in the way books helped her growing up, whether that be by providing an escape or an inspiration.

Genre: Gritty Post-apocalyptic fantasy – Adult/Upper YA

Q&A

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

CHAOS is the title of my debut. It follows four teenagers who come together to try to solve the murder of someone they’re all connected to. They begin to uncover secrets about their city involving a cult and the ancient mythology behind their powers. Originally, I started writing it just as a fun side piece many years ago with no intention of sharing it, but the story and the characters grew on me. It was initially about teen superheroes, thanks to my deep love of the X-Men. There’s still a small hint of that in the book, but it’s so much more now with a darker, grittier tone.

Q2: When you’re writing an emotional or difficult scene, how do you set the mood?

It depends on the scene and my mental state. Sometimes my brain sees and feels things so vividly that it just flows without me needing to set the mood. Other times, it helps me to listen to music and/or to read a couple of other scenes I’ve already written. There are other times when it’s really difficult because the scene is so emotionally draining, and I don’t really know how to set the mood and just sort of have to power through it.

Q3: What authors, or books have influenced you?

Bram Stoker, especially Dracula. Not only is it my favorite book because of the story itself (though I side with Dracula and believe he was framed), but the prose is beautiful and the structure is very unique. I’m also definitely inspired by a lot of the classics and Greek mythology. For more modern inspirations, I would list Rachelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, The Nevernight Chronicle by Jay Kristoff, and Shea Ernshaw’s books The Wicked Deep and Winterwood. I love beautiful prose and books that I can feel the tone and the vibe in every word and on every page. Specifically with CHAOS, I went through a major overhaul between the 1st completed draft and the 2nd completed draft. The 1st draft had a very juvenile feel, which has its place but wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted something darker and more heavily grounded in reality with the tone and the vibe. Vampire Academy and Nevernight really helped me figure out how to tell the story in the way I wanted and how to tell it in a way that felt authentic to me and my own style.

Q4: Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?

There’s part of me in all 4 main characters. And even in a couple of the side characters. I think it comes across in the most obvious ways with Henry based on a lot of his kind of weird behavior and Charlotte’s background with being Indigenous and not having a connection to her community. For Wesley, I didn’t realize until recently that I was pulling from my own experiences with a loved one’s death and how that affected me. I can’t really provide an explanation for Elsey though without giving away spoilers except for her scars and my own experiences with being bullied and mistreated due to scars, appearances, or perceptions from other people.

Q5: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Have fun with it and make sure you’re writing for yourself. Focus on writing the book you want to write, not the book other people want you to write. You’ll never please everyone, but at the end of the day, you need to be happy with what you’re doing and love what you’re writing otherwise you’re going to resent your story and maybe even want to walk away from it altogether.

Q6: How much research did you need to do for your book? 

An extensive amount. I have collected classroom syllabuses, school schedules, science articles, photography information, weapons information, combat information, etc. From looking up calendars in the future in a certain location to get the exact moon phase on that date to looking up what type of glass a window would need to be to avoid fracturing in a given situation, everything has been thoroughly researched to make sure I could be as accurate and grounded in reality as possible.

Q7: What was your hardest scene to write, and why?

There’s a scene between Henry (one of my main characters) and his dad, and it was very difficult to write not only because of the content it shows but because Henry is such a precious sweetheart of a character. He holds so much emotion inside while being an absolute cinnamon roll and writing things that hurt him is physically painful for me. Every time I even think about the scene or have to read over it, I actually have to verbally apologize to him even though I know he can’t hear me.

Q8: What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?

My writing process has changed so much over the years. I used to be a pantser, but with the risk of plot holes and realizing that my brain just wasn’t equipped to be a pantser with how vividly I see stories in my head, I made the shift toward being more of a plotter. Now, I write a summary of what I want to happen as detailed as possible and break it down into scenes and organize it in the order I want it to be in. Some scenes, though, I don’t have an exact plan for what’s going to happen, but I have an end point in mind or I’ll know a scene is needed in a certain spot and in the outline, I’ll write something like, “scene between Charlotte and her dad,” and then I just let the characters guide the scene and decide what happens.

Q9: What are you working on now?

At the moment, I’m going to allow myself to take a break so I can relax a little bit and get some other fun projects done and maybe watch a show or a movie or two. But then I’ll get to work on writing book 2 in the CHAOS series.

Q10: What are you currently reading?

Currently, I’m reading Mary, Everything by Cassandra Yorke, and next I’ll be reading Heir by P.K. Reeves.

To find out more abour Cydney Daemon follow the social media links below, and keep reading for a excerpt from CHAOS.

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Goodreads

Amazon Author page

Website

Twitter


Bitter pain wound her heart into a solid knot. Elsey Hallen bit her tongue and tried to breathe.

The pungent aroma of cabbage and pork choked the air from the room. For every note the cellist flubbed, she gritted her teeth. Her shchi remained untouched.

Surveying the room, Elsey noted every detail. Eight people around the table, herself included. Two exits—one on the far right and one on the left. Golden damask wallpaper. Cream crown molding. A gold chandelier trimmed in gleaming crystal. A string quartet in the—

“Elsey.” The man across from her mother placed his elbows on the table. He rested his hard, flat chin on top of his folded hands.

Her striking blue-green eyes sliced to him.

Gray peppered Micha Adamson’s slicked-back chestnut hair. His tailored navy suit hugged his wide shoulders, complementing his speckled robin’s egg eyes. A crooked nose offset the features of his otherwise magazine-worthy face. He wore an arrogant sneer that seemed to fit with his prominent cheekbones and strong square jaw. Towering over the other attendees, his strapping build demanded recognition. His skin shone under the lights like raw pine treated with a layer of varnish.

“You always seem to be growing.” Micha’s stare lingered on the sweetheart neckline of her black velvet dress. “What are you now? Seventeen?”

“Yes.” Her voice—like a crackling flame—carried an extra bite. “The same age as your son and daughter.”

A pinch nipped her left side. Elsey jerked from her mother’s grasp. Digging her black nails into her dress, she ignored the look she received from her father, Gregor, at the head of the table.

Micha’s thin lips twisted up. “My last girlfriend was eighteen.”

If Elsey had a weaker stomach, she would’ve vomited. “I’m not taking applications at this time, and I’d still pass on yours even if I were of legal age.”

“What legal age? There are no laws dictating what I can and can’t do.” He burst into laughter, slamming his hand on the table. The dishes rattled. All eyes fixed on them. His gaze narrowed. “Don’t worry. You’ve always been too willful for my liking.”

The bitter pain knotted even tighter into her heart.

“Besides,” he continued with a voice colder than frost, “what would a man want with a girl who looks like a jigsaw puzzle?”

Her face grew almost as scarlet as her long, voluminous curls. Every stare felt sharper. Elsey felt too aware of her appearance. The jagged line cutting from her forehead into her right brow. The deep hole creating a concave against her high cheekbone under her right eye before cutting into a sickle down her face. The pitted dip in her chin that forked at the end. The hollow stitch of skin at the left corner of her heart-shaped lips. The strained skin twisting around her left eye and slicing toward her jaw. The thick line carved along the valley of her left cheek. And underneath her long-sleeved dress and flesh-toned stockings, more scars—rough lines and gouges—defiled her entire body. Turning her creamy muted rose skin into a map of puckered and gnarled terrain.

Rage unfurled its wings in her chest. Burying all her pain in a shallow grave.

She gripped the table.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Author Interview - R. S. Williams

R. S. Williams is a fantasy author from Somerset, England who lives with her husband, daughter and two cats.

She started writing in her late teens and grew up on a steady diet of books and tv shows feeding her imagination. When not writing, Rhianne can be found reading a book, watching Netflix, playing video games, spending too much time on TikTok or going for walks.

If you want to be notified about new books, cover reveals, and latest news straight to your inbox, sign up for Rhianne’s newsletter, and get a free deleted scene from Kingdom of Lies.

Genre: Fantasy, YA & NA

Q&A

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Return of the Dragons, The Kane Saga Book Two.

This entire trilogy was inspired by an adopt-a-plot I found during my second year of NaNoWriMo. I never did anything with it to begin with, then when I was on holiday with my then boyfriend, now husband, I was lounging by the pool and it just hit me. All the books I had been reading had incredible female main characters. Which is fantastic but we were nearing the end of my holiday, I’d read 9 books and all of them were female. A thought struck me, and I wondered what boys were reading if all the books had a female lead because as I saw myself in these main characters, could they? So, I gender swapped the plot I adopted, added in some magical elements like dragons, a mad sorcerer and the chosen one and voila. I wrote down 6 pages of notes that afternoon of my main character, Elijah, books 1, 2 and 3 and never looked back. I wrote the first draft that year and continued with the other two.

Q2: What’s your favourite and least favourite part of publishing? 

Favourite has to be getting the finished book in your hands. Seeing your cover with your name on an actual book is something that will never get old. Although necessary, I actually hate editing. I do between 6-9 rounds of edits so it can get a little boring after a while, but I know it makes the story stronger.

Q3: What authors, or books have influenced you?

Oh man. There have been loads over the years. Sarah J Maas and Elise Kova continue to be authors I admire and look up to. Along with Lyndsey Hall and Chloe C. Peñaranda. They’re all killing it and their writing styles are so immersive I love every book I read by them.

Q4: What is your schedule like when you’re writing a book?

Chaotic. I spoke about this in episode 18 of my author accountability podcast with my co-host Donna. I used to have a real solid plan, and in a way I still do, things just got a little chaotic when I had a baby. In the lead up to my maternity leave I wanted to have as much done as possible so I could take a few weeks off - I wrote 3 novellas, a standalone and rewrote book two and three of my trilogy. Then I had my baby and took a few weeks off and got right back to it when my daughter was about 4 weeks old.

I’m really territorial about my writing time. I write between 5/5:30am to 6:30am every weekday. Then I do extra bits on a Monday and Wednesday evening. This gives me time to work the muggle job, build my VA business and still have time to spend with my husband and friends. It took me around four years to get here but it’s what works for me, and I stick to it.

Until October 2022 I’m on Maternity Leave from my muggle job so if my daughter has a nap, I try to either write or read during those as well.

Q5: What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?

Never give up. It will feel shitty at times but it will be so worth it when you get to the end. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other authors and make friends. Lyndsey is not only an inspiration, she’s one of my best friends now and we met on Instagram, then in real life back in 2020.

Q6: What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you? 

Being unable to get what's in my head out, or having a blank moment. It can mean many things but to me it’s whenever I have a barrier in my way.

Q7: What part of the book was the most fun to write?

Oh can I do one for each book? For Kingdomof Lies it was the scene where Elijah meets his love interest for the first time. In Return of the Dragons it’s when the pact is broken and we see the dragon transformation and in book three it was during the massacre… I won’t say too much on that, but my critique partner still hasn’t forgiven me.

Q8: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

Someone who enjoys fantasy books, chosen ones with found family tropes and a little romance. Although I’ll be branching out into that more in my next series as that’ll be NA.

Q9: What are you working on now?

Quite a few things! I’m editing a couple of short stories for upcoming anthologies that I will be a part of. The origin stories for my next fantasy series which I just finished drafting book one for and outlining a standalone. Oh, and editing book three for The Kane Saga which will come out next year.

Q10: What are you currently reading?

I’m currently doing a re-read of Graceling. As a mood reader I find it difficult to get into books sometimes. I’m also reading A Queen Comes to Power by Chloe C. Peñaranda.

To find out more about R. S. Williams follow the social media links below.

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Return of the Dragons is available as paperback and ebook.


Having grown up in Rheanydd, all Elijah wanted to focus on was entering the annual Hollom horse race. A year later, he’s one of Princess Sienna’s Elite bodyguards in Adelith, where he learns more about his hazy past every day.

King Roderick’s solution to Eli being revealed as the missing crown heir is to marry Eli to Princess Sienna and combine their two bloodlines. But when a body is found with a blood-splattered message and the queen reveals a secret about Eli’s magic, a wedding is the last thing on everyone’s mind.

Eli starts to doubt the Dragon Elders’ motives when their answers only come in the form of cryptic messages. Yet he can’t help but feel a connection between the dragons and himself. So, he agrees to fulfil their task to get the relics before The Master’s Agents of Cyran.

But the agreement between the dragons and his father is due to end soon, setting the dragons free from their human forms and able to rebuild their race. Unless The Master gains control of them.

Can Eli and the dragons work together to stop The Master from getting the relics, or will he gain control over the dragons to rebuild the world and become a god?