Author Interview Heart of Mist

How long have you been writing?

 I’ve been writing since I was about seven years old, but I wrote my first (albeit terrible) novel when I was about 12. From memory it was about a clairvoyant lady pirate…

 

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I used to write literary fiction, but in recent years I’ve fallen back in love with fantasy. I love how much fun it is to write, and the freedom that comes with creating your own world and rules.

 

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’m deep into the fantasy genre at the moment so it’s hard to think about writing anything else, however, I think I could potentially see myself writing contemporary YA fiction…

 

  • Please tell us about your book.

 Don’t mind if I do! Heart of Mist is a YA fantasy novel, the first in a planned trilogy called The Oremere Chronicles. In the novel, we follow 19-year-old Bleak as she seeks a cure for her power, trapped in a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden.

 

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Ahhh that’s a tricky question! Without wanting to give too much away, one of my favourite characters is Henri, who is the leader of an elite warrior race called the Valia Kindred. She’s cold and fierce, and has the deadly fighting skills to match.

As for my least favourite… I’d have to say Maz, who’s the blacksmith’s son in Bleak’s hometown. Let’s just say – he’s not a nice guy.

 

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I’ve never written a series before, so I suppose one of the more challenging aspects was figuring out how to plot the story over the space of three books, and knowing where to start and end each novel.

On a similar note – working out how the characters relationships with themselves and with each other would change over the span of the series was quite difficult.

 

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Generally I need to be at my desk, with a steaming cup of tea at the ready. I work best in the mornings, so my routine involves dragging myself out of bed at around 6.30 -7am, making a tea and plonking myself down in front of my laptop.

I also work best when I’ve got a few dots points of the scene I’m working on plotted out – just so I know where to take the writing and the characters.

 

 

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

If we’re talking about the first draft – I wrote most of it during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I’d say I wrote the whole thing in about 6 weeks or so. However, the redrafting and editing processes took much, much longer.

I’d say it was about a year from putting pen to paper until I had a manuscript that was ready for copyediting.

 

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I’d love to! While working on Heart of Mist I discovered the life-changing benefits of using beta readers. I was so lucky to have an incredible beta reader team who helped me identify the structural issues of the manuscript.

From there it was a matter of brainstorming solutions and building more detail into the world I’d created. After I’d done a structural edit, the manuscript was ready for my copyeditor, who did an incredible job of ironing out any kinks and inconsistencies.

For me, editing is a very collaborative process, and I was lucky enough to have very talented writers and editors help me along the way.

 

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

It is indeed! It’s the first book in a planned trilogy called The Oremere Chronicles. The production schedule at the moment is Heart of Mist 2017, Book II 2018 and Book III 2019.

 

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I get asked this question a lot, and I always end up giving out different advice depending on where I’m at in my own process… So today I’d say: have trusted writer friends read and critique your work. Get beta readers for your books. I can’t tell you how much this process will improve your book (and also get you ready for reviews and criticism in the real world!).

 

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Haha, I love this question! I’d say, if you like Sarah J Maas, V.E. Schwab or Sabaa Tahir, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Heart of Mist. It’s packed full of strong female characters, intrigue and danger.

 

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I can only pick three??? At the moment they’d have to be… J.K. Rowling, Sarah J Maas and Diana Gabaldon. Preferably over a bottle or two of wine!

  • What inspired you to write your book?

At the time, I was working on a literary fiction novel and was going through some very difficult structural edits. I had been reading a lot of YA fantasy as a means of escape and then it occurred to me – I should be writing what I loved reading. With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing in the genre I’d loved since I was a child. As it turns out, it was a great decision, and the fun I had writing that first book inspired my whole series.

 

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m currently working on Book II in The Oremere Chronicles. It’s very surreal having Heart of Mist due out for release so soon while working on this next instalment. I can’t really say too much about Book II without giving away big events in Heart of Mist, but it’s safe to say – the adventure is far from over for these characters…

About the Book

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.

Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.

But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.

The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.

Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

Author Bio

Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.
After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like Throne of Glass, Elantris, The Queen’s Poisoner and The Queen of the Tearling inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.
Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Buy the book from Amazon.

Comments

  1. Sounds like a fun book, and great interview! The advice about beta readers and critiquing is helpful I’m sure to aspiring writers. Thanks for showcasing this, and hope the book does well. I’ll be keeping an eye out for it!

Speak Your Mind

*