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- Where did your writing journey begin?
Like most creatives, I can’t point to a single beginning, but I grew up hearing the stories my dad told of his adventures. My mom is a very literary person and encouraged my writing – though she wishes I’d steered clear of genre fiction, once my dad introduced me to Fantasy and Sci-Fi, I was hooked!
Professionally speaking, my Fantasy debut, Smoke and Rain was where the publishing journey began and I’ve never looked back!
- What is your favourite genre to write?
I adore anything speculative and introspective, so I gravitate toward psychologically dark fantasy and science fiction. Dreaming of the world I wish for and exploring what it means to be human is what drives me back to the page every time.
- You’re a fully qualified archaeologist… Why choose writing?
I do both! Like the vast majority of authors from any walk, I maintain a day job. Publishing is a merciless mistress, and I think more authors ought to open up about their struggles and their privileges when it comes to how we support our creative endeavours.
During the warmer months, I dig. When we’re laid off during the winter, while the ground is frozen, I write. It’s definitely a life below the poverty line, but writing helps soften that! In a more poetic sense, writing and archaeology are the same for me–the exhumation of story.
- When you wrote Disciples, did you intend to create it as a prequel?
After completing ‘Travelers’, which is a close third-person narrative, I wanted to explore the machinations of the mysterious and dangerous love interest, Lin. It was originally written for an anthology, ‘Beamed Up’, but it soon developed a life of its own. It helped me hone in on who Lin was, and explore more of the tech-side of the new world Nel fell into.
- What was the reason behind this decision?
Honestly, business. I knew ‘Disciples’ was a great way to tease folks into the Nel Bently world, so I retooled it to be my reader magnet–speaking of, if any of your readers and listeners curiosity is peaked, you can grab your own copy of ‘Disciples’ free on my website, or for just 99p/99c!
- How did you create this world surrounding Nel?
I was eyeballs deep in the rich layers of Blood of Titans, my fantasy world. I needed a palate cleanser and wanted to explore the modern world of archaeology. What would happen if everything went wrong on your dream site? What about if the people who were studying came back? Add to this a disdain for the “ancient aliens” theories and an adoration for the camp of the E-files.
I expanded this to include the complex conversations around colonialism and the many issues in white archaeology.
- What other authors, or professionals, have inspired your writing?
So many! I love V. E. Schwab, Patrick Rothfuss, Karen Lord, and Kathrin Hutson to name a few.
- What other work have you done? Is it all Sci-Fi?
I straddle the sci-f and fantasy line pretty evenly–four books out in each world, currently! I have plans to push both genres into some more gothic and horror directions, but there are many stories I’m excited to share across the board.
- For inspiration for other independent authors, what advice would you give them?
Treat it like a business, but never lose your heart. No amount of marketing and publicity will help if you don’t believe in the story you’re telling. Find what works for your process and life, not what others say you should be doing. There is no one way to be a writer!
- What’s the next thing/project/idea for you?
Heretics (Nel Bently 4) hits stores April 27th, so I’ve in the finalizing process with that right now. There will be two more books in Nel’s main arc, and I have some standalone books planned in her world as well, some featuring her and Lin, others different characters. I’ll also be returning to the Blood of Titans world with a flintlock fantasy duology in 2022!
My third project is a gothic necromancer story full of death and sex and redemption that is unlike anything I’ve written yet, so stay tuned for that! Like all my work, these projects feature queer and disabled protagonists.
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For ‘Heretics’, Pre-order here!