Today’s interview is with Becky Villareal, author of The Broken Branches.
Today we have an interview with J. Lynn Else, author of the Awakening Series.
Best, -Vincent Lowry
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)? J. Lynn Else, long-time resident of Minnesota (though a few times in Wisconsin too).
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre? “The Lost Daughters of Avalon” is book 2 of my Awakenings series. It’s a YA Fantasy set in the magical land of Avalon.
3) What is the book about? When an ancient evil threatens, four Minnesota teens must learn to harness magic in order to save the realms of Avalon and Earth.
4) Where did you come up with the idea? I came up with my idea for Awakenings a while ago. My first incarnation of the story focused on a wishing well and an evil wizard who stole people’s wishes to make his own come true: total world domination (what else would an evil overlord want?). Those elements are still in my first book to a point, but I’ve added an Arthurian slant to it bringing in some of the characters from King Arthur’s time like Morgan le Fay and the Lady of the Lake (and others you’ll need to read to meet).
5) How long did it take you to write it? I’d say a year for Awakenings book 1. My first draft was completed during NaNoWriMo. When I pitched it to my small-market publisher, they were interested but had edit suggestions for me. So I edited my heart out and resubmitted. They accepted! But, as it goes with publishing, next came the re-writes, editing, and more editing. I also completed book 2 during NaNo this past year. Now its set to be released late October of this year–so faster than the first time!
6) Did you learn anything from the project? The publishing process is SLOW. Also, know that editors are trying to bring out your best. So take their criticism as an opportunity to grow. First draft is not final draft. I’m amazed at how far my second book has come.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? Of course. My website is: www.teasippinnerdymom.com. I had a blog, but I rarely have time to keep it up. My last entry was my favorite reads of 2018 (which was a while ago!). I do have a newsletter (also on a hiatus with the final touches of LDA being made). Sign up here: http://www.subscribepage.com/www.teasippinnerdymom.com
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? Keep writing and keep reading. I am also working on a fantasy novel set in ancient Egypt. I read a lot of non-fiction on ancient Egypt because I want the everyday life stuff to feel authentic. Just because I’m writing fantasy doesn’t mean I can make everything up. Grounding your story in reality helps readers relate to the more fantastic bits of your story. So read, be it non-fiction or fiction stories that enraptured you as a reader. What did those authors do to keep you enthralled in their tales?
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work? I love YA fantasy and historical fiction. I’m a reviewer for the Historical Novel Society (historicalnovelsociety.org), so I read from new authors all the time. Its very exciting to discover someone who’s passion shines through each page.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why? My kids often ask me about my one favorite. I don’t have just one favorite of anything because so much depends on my mood. But I’ll keep it brief! For Fantasy, I’ll pick Spinning Silver by Naomi Novak. For historical fiction I’ll pick Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart. Both books are completely immersive with great characters and rich settings. Both plots were compelling and well layered. I wanted to explore and stay in those worlds long after the last page.
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