Hi, I’m Ari, a newly self-published author, and my debut novel was released in August 2022. I’m a dedicated bookworm, a passionate traveler, and a chocolate aficionado; I often exercise so I can keep eating.
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA/NA (NA characters but no spice – many reviews said the book reads like YA easily)
Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what is it about?
My latest (and debut!) novel is called Soul of Light and Thunder.
The novel tells the story of Sophie, an aspiring astrophysicist starting college, whose life is turned upside down when two Japanese fighters tell her the truth about her beloved heirloom. The mirror she inherited from her aunt is magic, and it can make or break the fate of a world she doesn’t know yet. Sophie falls in love with Kane, one of the fighters, who shows her their world, and promises to protect her from it. But there’s no time for them to dwell in new love’s bliss – the tournament is just around the corner, and great power awaits the fighter who can defeat all others. Sophie’s safety is endangered not only by all fighters looking to steal the mirror’s power but also by the lethal presence of Kane’s older brother, Raiden.
Q2: How long does it take you to write a book? How long does each stage of the process usually take?
From the first word on the page to the readers holding the book in their hands, it took me one year and three months to write and publish my debut novel. But there are many other steps in between.
Writing Soul of Light and Thunder took me around six months. After that, I went into two rounds of self-editing my manuscript, which took me another month.
When I was slightly more confident in the book I wrote, I sent it over to my beta readers, who were also given a month to read and provide their feedback. Based on their notes, I went into the third round of self-edits on my manuscript for another two weeks.
The next step was to send the book over to my editor. We went back and forth with comments and questions from my side, rewrites where necessary, and were done in about two months.
While I was waiting for the cover design to be done, I planned some social media strategies for my launch. Once the cover was done and I could set up the pre-orders, I gathered an ARC team and sent them free copies of my book in exchange for honest reviews. They also had about a month to read and review the book.
And for the remaining time before the release, I focused on promoting the book!
Q3: What is your favourite type of character to write?
So far, my favorite character to write has been the villain. I find it fascinating to make cruel, vicious characters come alive between the pages, and love them either way.
Q4: Do you mine your own life for ideas, settings and/or characters? If so, please give an example from your current book release where you have done this.
I have very few ideas or character traits in my book that are based on my own life, one of the most present being Sophie’s love for chocolate, which indeed is inspired by my own.
Q5: What is something you wish you had known earlier on in your writing career?
“You’ll make it if you keep going.” It took me many, many years to realize that I can only follow my dream of sharing my stories with the world if I don’t give up writing. Even when it’s the hardest, longest writer’s block – don’t give up.
Q6: What do you do when you find yourself in a bit of a writing rut? Is there any strategy you find works for you to help the words start flowing again?
What works for me in those situations is accepting my writer’s block. I acknowledge it and allow it to live within me, while I’m focusing on anything else at all – reading other books, exercising, taking walks, or meeting with my family and friends. I found that once I remove the focus from the block, it melts.
Q7: You mentioned that you really like writing cliff hangers. How do you make sure you get the balance right between giving the reader a satisfying conclusion and making the reader desperate to know what happens next?
For Soul of Light and Thunder (and the second book in the series too, but this is a secret between us!) the last chapter of the novel ends leaving room for the story to develop further and the reader to be curious. I’m concluding the scene, the event that has been built up during the entire book, so the readers have closure on that. But there’s a twist at the end.
Q8: How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
The ideal reader is anyone with a passion for stories, anyone who loves to read about magic and romance.
Q9: What authors or books inspire you the most?
I’m loving the fantasy works of Holly Black and Sarah J. Maas. For romance, I found both inspiration and a fun time in the works of Sarah Adams and Taylor Reid Jenkins. And the idea and will to write Soul of Light and Thunder came to me about 15 years ago, when I first read Twilight by Stephanie Meyer, and I was also watching my all-time favorite anime, Naruto.
Q10: What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, Friend Shipped by Savannah Scott, and The Guidal by Roxy Eloise. I always read at least two books at a time, mixing self-published authors with traditionally published works.Soul of Light and Thunder is available in paperback and ebook. From the blurb:
Sophie’s mission is to hold on to a beloved heirloom. For her, it’s just a simple mirror. But for others, it’s a key to tremendous power.
When a whole new world full of magic is revealed, Sophie learns that her amulet can bring peace or chaos to it. She thought college was going to be the most exciting time of her life, yet the lurking danger and an all-consuming love make studying seem insignificant.
Will she risk the collapse of a world she barely knows to save her life, or hold on to the mirror to keep her promise?