Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Emily Poirier


Today I am excited to feature author Emily Poirier, author of Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation & The Color Thief! I read her book, The Color Thief, a month ago and it was a wonderful story I encourage you to check out! I’ll be providing a review for the sequel, The Color Plague, sometime later this month.

Emily graduated from Hampshire College in 2017 where she studied Creative Writing and Literature. She spent her final year working on my Division III project, “No More Lions and Lambs: Examining and Re-Writing the Vampire Romance Novel,” which went on to become Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation. She enjoys cats, dragons, and magic. Her goal is to tell important and inclusive stories that also have magic and dragons. Girl power is a good start, but more than that is a better start. She loves Strong Women, but champions the Soft Boys. Apart from writing, she spends her days drawing, consuming media, and playing videogames – all those alone-in-your-room hobbies perfect for hermits. She likes salt and vinegar chips, pineapple on pizza, and loves tea but hates coffee.

Why did you choose indie publishing?

I indie published because my first book was a vampire romance novel. It was good, well-researched, and clever, and I stand by it, but I knew that no agent in their right mind would take a chance on a vampire romance novel from an unknown author at this stage of the game. Then, the more I wrote the more I realized my books aren’t marketable. No one is going to look at any of the books I’ve written or the ones I have planned and think, “Yes, this is perfect for the market as it stands.” These books are still worth writing, so I’ve got to do it all myself if I want them done.

What inspired you to write?

Generally: I’m an introverted only child and books and other media provided me a sense of companionship that didn’t drain my introvert batteries. I’ve dedicated so much of my heart to the fictional worlds of other people that I feel compelled to give some back.

Specifically: Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation is inspired first and foremost by Twilight, but also the vampire romance subgenre on a larger scale. I wanted to take it and bend it so that it retained the good and got rid of the bad. The Color Thief was inspired by a class I took my freshman year called The Philosophy of Color. We looked at color from every which angle, and I wanted to take those ideas and craft a magic system based on color. The Color Plague was inspired by me falling in love with my own characters and from a dissatisfaction by how much fantasy is set in pseudo-England and how little takes place on tropical archipelagos.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

I’m writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling called Beauty and Beast. It’s morally grayer than the original, and I have unceremoniously described it as: Beauty and the Beast but Beast doesn’t give a shit and also Beauty doesn’t give a shit. I’m on the second draft now.

What is your writing routine like?

When I’m working on a project, I write every day. I have a daily minimum wordcount, but it’s only 500 words. Most days, I write more than that, but having such a low daily goal means that I still get something done on the hard days. I don’t always, but when I feel like I’m having trouble focusing, I set a 25 minute timer for writing. Another small burst that means I can chip away at my goals without overwhelming myself. If I hit the daily goal, great. If I don’t, I haven’t wasted too much time on a session that isn’t working. I re-calibrate and try again in an hour or so. I work until I finish a draft, then I take a few weeks to a month off to get distance, then I go back in and work every day on the next draft. I try to think ahead to my next project, but I don’t do any real work on it, just note taking and idea jotting so that I have something to start from when I’m ready.

Can you give us an out of context spoiler?

There is no Supreme Vampire Council, so Grayson calls his mom.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Figure out what you’re trying to say. You can write through Writer’s Block, as long as you have something in the future to write toward; transitions are always weird. Revision is good, actually, and you should never sweat your first draft. Nothing about a first draft has to be good except for its ability to propel you into a second one.


Follow Emily Poirier

Books

Vampires Don’t Need an Invitation

The last thing Grayson thought he’d have to worry about his freshman year of college was vampires. Making friends, getting his work done on time, the freshman fifteen? Sure. Vampires? Definitely not. Yet, here he is, the survivor of a vampire attack, nursing a huge crush on the vampire who rescued him.

Leah hasn’t been close with a human since she was one, twenty years ago. She hadn’t realized how much she missed it, missed being around someone with eighteen years worth of baggage instead of a hundred. When a dangerous group of vampires moves into town, she decides to fight for Grayson’s humanity since no one fought for hers.

In this clever reimagining of the vampire romance novel, Leah and Grayson come to question the pervasive tropes that keep influencing how their relationship forms and must decide for themselves which literary precedents they’ll allow to color their own feelings. 

The Color Thief

The King and Queen of Teqell have kept a terrible secret for twenty-seven years. Now, it’s killing them. Magic is draining them of their color, and they are dying. Princess Helena is obligated to marry and ascend to the throne, told to ignore what she has learned and accept their fate, but she cannot.

Instead, she hatches a flimsy plan with Dresden, one of her Royal Guards, to right this wrong. They must help each other travel across the kingdom that she helps rule but has largely never seen while evading other Guards who would bring them back to the castle and stop short their quest. On the way, Helena must also struggle with her changing and complicated feelings about her own family, keep her first and only friend, and reevaluate magic’s role in her kingdom.

The Color Plague

Iria should have been a Princess. Instead, she spent twenty-seven years struggling to survive in the Wasteland beyond her kingdom’s borders. Now, thanks to the love and bravery of her sister, Iria finally has the life she was born to. She never has to worry or struggle again.

So why is she still unhappy?

When her magic finds the source of the plague that has been killing witches, it becomes clear that Iria is the only person with a chance of stopping it. Iria hopes that this quest will allow her to avenge a fallen friend, but doing so would require her to stop grieving and move on, and she’s not sure how to do that yet. She’s not sure how to be part of a team, either, and she’ll be forced onto one that doesn’t know her but fears her anyway, and she’ll have to battle their distrust as well as the plague.


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Nikki Mitchell


Today I am excited to feature middle-grade author Nikki Mitchell, author of Nightshade Forest! Her book releases TOMORROW, June 20th. You can read my ARC review here! Definitely worth the read…and kids will love it!

Meet Nikki. She is a stay-at-home homeschooling mama of Evelyn (6) and Everett (4) and married to her college sweetheart. She is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (a yooper, born and raised!). She has freelanced for my local weekly newspaper for the last 7 years, and is a Northern Michigan University alum with a degree in English Writing and journalism. She is a theater nerd, and loves musicals. She even used to owned a used-bookstore. She collects copies of Fahrenheit 451, and her most treasured book is the copy of the 4th Harry Potter book that she received in 8th grade.

Why did you choose indie publishing?

Honestly, I wanted complete control over my books, especially the cover and the illustrations. And I wanted to get my book into the hands of children as soon as possible.

What inspired you to write?

When I was a kid, I was bullied a lot and didn’t have a whole lot of friends. When I discovered Harry Potter in middle school, reading was a game-changer for me. I realized that I could disappear into books and the kids didn’t bother with me too much anymore because I always had my face in a book. I want to offer that escape to other middle-grade readers, and if I can reach just one, it will be worth it. Eleanor is much like I was, and so she disappears into this magical fairytale books and finds friendship and adventure.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

Yes! I am currently editing book 2 of the series and writing book 3!

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

I have three. Harry Potter because those are the books that started everything for me. Fahrenheit 451 because Ray Bradbury taught me that writing books make you live forever and that they are key for the society to thrive. To Kill a Mockingbird because it is a lovely read.

If you could apologize to one of your characters, what would you say?

Sorry about the gargoyles.

What is your writing routine like?

Haha. I have two kids at my heels every day. I try to have one, but it is hard.

Can you give us an out of context spoiler?

Ooh this is a tough one! A strong force of magic that had been banished from the kingdom for years comes back to aid the thief.

Who do you hope to inspire with your writing, if anyone?

I really hope to show kids that books can take you on magical adventures just by opening and reading that first line.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Self-publishing does not mean your book won’t be loved or successful.

Any shout outs?

Yes! My editor, Jennifer Navarre was absolutely amazing and she really brought Nightshade Forest into it’s best version. And everyone else that has helped it come alive. It really takes a village to publish a book!


Follow Nikki Mitchell

Books

When eleven-year-old Eleanor receives a gift from her father, she never imagines it will open a portal to a fairytale world. Upon reading the first sentence of chapter one, she finds herself standing in the middle of Nightshade Forest—a dark woods with glowing blue and purple trees. She soon learns that the magic in the kingdom is out of control, and it is up to Eleanor to restore what has gone missing.

Join Eleanor and her newfound friends, Elfie and Milo in a search for a magic crystal as they fight off creatures Eleanor has only dreamed about. Can she make it to the happily-ever-after and rejoin her family, or will she be stuck in the Nightshade Forest forever?


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

Feature Friday

Surprise Feature: Lane Northcutt

Technology is terrible isn’t it?

On June 12th, 2020, I had a wonderful interview with Author Lane Northcutt that I was so excited to share with everyone. Only to have Instagram to crash the moment the interview ended. And for me to lose the entire video.

I didn’t want to lose our conversation though, so let me tell you a bit more about Lane and his upcoming novel, The Delivery Co.

Lane Northcutt lives in New York with his wife, where he dabbles in array of artistic endeavors. He is an actor, a photographer, a screen writer, and now…a novel writer! His experience as an actor has given him a unique perspective on writing. One day while performing, he came up with the idea for The Delivery Co. and proceeded to write the story on the train to and from work each day. With the help of his wife and friends, they have been able to tackle The Deliver Co., hoping to have it published by the end of the year.

So what is The Delivery Co. about?

In a dystopian society, where humans go to a company to receive the “ideal” child (or at least what society deems “ideal”) known as Replacements. Yet, there are children rejected for deformities or not meeting certain criteria. So meet Ahna, a girl who has been trained to be a perfect and ideal replacement, only to be rejected and sent outside into the Junkyard. There, she meets another reject named Sticks, as well as the other rejected children. She’s an anomaly of sorts, since she wasn’t rejected at birth, but rather after the fact.

And like in any other fantastic dystopian novel, cue a series of events that force these kids to dismantle the system.

I mentioned to Lane how it reminded me of elements of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, as well as elements of the movie Gattaca. So, with it coming out towards the end of the year, it is definitely one to watch.

Lane’s experience in theater, as well as with photography and other art forms, has helped him in his writing process. He can easily visualize scenes and placement when something happens. Although, Lane is the first to admit that sometimes this skill did result in some underwriting issues.

Lane said that while he didn’t outline The Delivery Co., he intends to outline in the future to avoid more rewrites than necessary. He’s started one idea already using note cards, where he can flip through them and make notes as necessary, which is a unique way to outlining that some writers might want to try themselves.

Lane’s piece of advice to new writers is simple though: if you want to write, find time. It’s hard. But whether it’s on a train via your phone, in a cafe on your iPad, or at home on your computer…find time to write. After all, you can’t edit a blank page.

The Delivery Co. is anticipated to come out towards the end of 2020.

Follow Lane Northcutt for updates:

Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Catherine Downen


Today I am featuring Catherine Downen, author of The Markings.

Catherine Downen, 22, grew up in a small town in southern IL and went to school at Bradley University. She graduated May 2019 with a degree in mechanical engineer and now works as an engineer in St. Louis! She has always loved to write and tell stories, and a lot of times use it as an escape from her science/technical job. She likes to think she has the best of both worlds in the sense that she is 50% science 50% arts. Her favorite genre to read and write is YA Fantasy. She’s just beginning her journey as an author with her debut novel, The Markings.

Why did you choose indie publishing?

Self publishing found me honestly. I was always blinded by the idea of the only option was the traditionally route until I joined the writing community on twitter. that was when I discover the option of self publishing and even though it seemed daunting I new I wanted to try it. I look at The Markings as my beginning. I want to use this book to help grow my platform and better myself as a writer and maybe one day return to the traditional publishing route. I had thought that, anyways, until recently I’ve just really enjoyed the process of self publishing. the book feels 100% mine. Ive had so much fun with cover design, internal formatting, marketing, and getting to work with other self published authors that I don’t know if I’ll go to the traditional publishing route. Self publishing has also forced me to learn about the publishing market. I have learned so much by making myself go through this process that I think every author would benefit from having to learn how to do it all on their own. It’s been a fun experience, and one that has given me more knowledge and experience than I ever would have gotten going the traditional route.

What inspired you to write?

I was inspired to write The Markings through a dream I had freshman year of high school actually. In the dream I had seen the basic parts of the world in The Markings, and had seen the first 5 or so chapters play out. I also knew exactly how I wanted the entire series to end. I was so excited about this idea that I began to try an outline this story and fill in the gaps.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

Yes! My debut novel The Markings was just released on April 24th. Now I am working on the second book in the series. The Markings will be a trilogy and this will be the project I will spend almost all my time on for the next year or two.

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

Currently it’s Victoria Aveyard and the Red Queen series. I chose this because I feel like the Red Queen series really saved me and my writing when needed it most. in 2018, prior to deciding to self-publish, I had really doubted The Markings would ever get to be a real book. But that was when I found the Red Queen books, and the sparked the writing flame inside of me and it fueled my and my self publishing journey.

If you could apologize to one of your characters, what would you say?

Oh what a good question! I’d probably apologize to Codian because I wish he could have been given the second chance he deserved. I would tell him what happened wasn’t fair and wasn’t his fault. But as Adaline would say, “You can’t save everyone.”

What is your writing routine like?

I have to start with pen and paper. I have so many notebooks that I shuffle through. I sit down and I put pen to paper and let the plot start to take me somewhere. Then I transfer it to my computer and in the reread process I fill in the story. I try to write every day, but my schedule has been thrown off a little with the recent launch of The Markings.

Can you give us an out of context spoiler?

“We both look at each other for a long time. Something flashes in his eyes and suddenly I feel as though I have known him all my life and this is the moment I have to lose him.”

Who do you hope to inspire with your writing, if anyone?

I hope to inspire any kid in a freshman English class that’s dreaming of being an author. I think back to when I was that age a lot and the idea seemed so impossible, when in reality if you want to do It you can! I love that about self-publishing. Yes it’s hard but it is possible. Kids now a days say they want to be an author and people are so quick to tell them it’s a near impossible dream. It’s not, and I hope my writing can inspire the future authors to come!

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

It would be to know your options. Don’t get blinded by the path of traditional publishing because there are so many other opportunities for you out there. Every single person will take a unique path to reaching their dream. Also, success is something you define. What reads a successful to you might mean something different to someone else. You’d define your own success and you create your own unique path to achieve it.

Any shout outs?

I’d give a huge shout out to my beta and arc readers! They took a chance on The Markings before anyone even knew my name or story. A big thank you to my mom, dad, sister, and boyfriend Brad that helped me revise, edit, and revise some more. Finally I’d thank all the people who are just simply a part of my life. Whether they know it or not they helped me achieve this dream too!


Follow Catherine Downen

Books

DATHER IS AN ISLAND THAT WAS ONCE KNOWN AS OHAU. A nation that rose from the ashes after an asteroid shower has divided itself when people began to discover their unique powers. At sixteen-years-old Adaline sits in prison with her mother and younger brother, and today is Parting Day where more prisoners will be executed. After seven years of being spared, Adaline’s luck has run out. But she won’t go quietly or easily. Her life depends on her ability to escape the grasps of the King and find a place of freedom. Discovering her unique powers is the turning point Adaline needs to get a second chance at her freedom. In this thrilling novel of friendship, family, and secrets Adaline runs for her life and learns the truth of her past along the way. 


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Emé Savage


Today I am featuring Emé Savage, author of The Genesis Chronicles (Book 1, Book 2).

Emé Savage currently lives in Dearborn, MI with her husband of 8 years and two tiny tyrants they call “cats”. She used to run a disability advocacy organization until she was diagnosed with Lupus and fibromyalgia. She published her first book in 2009 and the second in 2020.

Why did you choose indie publishing?

Because I have full creative control over my work. I decide the cover, the content, and how I want to market my work. I enjoy the intimate relationships I’ve made through these efforts.

What inspired you to write?

I grew up on 80 acres. We would find fossils and artifacts. I wondered what the lives of these people were like. I started with the Genesis timeline and built the world from there adding spiritual and magical elements.

Are you working on any projects at the moment?

I’m currently drafting Book 3. The theme for this one is disability and how they cope with these changes. It is the rawest story yet.

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

Madeliene L’Engle. She blends spiritual, supernatural, and sci fi elements in a way that is pure genius.

What is your writing routine like?

I love writing late at night. I take notes on what I want to accomplish and then execute. Right now I’m rewriting parts of Book 3

Can you give us an out of context spoiler?

“I am not worthy of this,” Kayfa protested placing her hands beneath her legs. “Kay,” The Lady interrupted. “You don’t deserve a gift. A gift is given out of love of the giver. All you have to do is accept.” The Lady’s hands trembled as she held out the book.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Write. Don’t allow your day job or petty concerns keep you from it. Develop your craft, absorb your world, then spill your blood onto the paper.If you have something to say, go for it! Your story might bring joy or insight to a reader out there!

Any shout outs?

My Critque Partner Ashley K Wilson. My cover designer Annie Hara. Technical consultant Donny Dust. And of course my husband, writer Adrian M Holmes


Follow Emé Savage

Books

The Gidat have existed since the First One, who was the Hearer of the Voice and defender of his People. His journey revealed a malevolent entity more powerful than anything that came before.

Thousands of years in the future, the Gidat are all but extinct due to a genocide perpetrated by a King who has acquired unnatural powers. The Lady must find and deliver a boy out of the hands of the King. This boy is the Last Gidat, and the best hope for a ravaged Sadatian people.

Through The Telling, the First Gidat reveals a malevolent entity that can take any form… including a King. Can the echoes of a long-forgotten story help a boy who has lost everything?

Kayfa has a secret.

She ran away from her father and found a home in Melodi. Here she is just Kay, a curious young woman with a talent for the bow. In reality, she is much more. She has always known one day she would return.

The Lady gives her a magically enhanced book which can only be read by a direct descendent of Felana, the Mother of All. This book holds the secret to defeating the entity called Etevun.

Thousands of years in the past, Felana finds that Minkos has been keeping secrets. Secrets that could have a deadly effect on her People. Etevun has grown stronger. Felana must become the leader she was always meant to be. With the help of a novice mage and an ingenious hunter, they have a fighting chance.

Can the parallels in Felana’s story help Kayfa accept a long denied purpose, or will she allow her fear of the past determine her future?


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Mari Hamill


Today I am featuring Mari Hamill, author of Werewolf Nights.

Mari Hamill is a comic book retailer, an avid reader, and a movie fan who loves being immersed in fantasy. Currently, Mari is working on her next novel. The first thing she plans to do once the lock down ends will be going to the movies.

Why did you choose indie publishing?

I was eager for my novel to find readers who would enjoy it. I spent a lot of time researching and writing my manuscript and couldn’t wait to put it out there.

What inspired you to write? And why did you begin writing in the first place?

Most of my academic career consisted of reading and writing. Once I graduated, I felt that I needed to continue that path. Writing soothes me. I feel a sense of accomplishment after finishing each chapter. Also, I like to document people and scenarios that don’t really belong in any history books. I like to write those details that don’t really matter but kind of make a difference.

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

J.K. Rowling! Her worlds are very complex and unique. I binge read her Harry Potter series and moved on to her detective series. She’s a truly remarkable talent.

What is your writing routine like?

I like writing when there’s no one around. It allows me to block distractions and dive into my fantasy world.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

If you have something to say, go for it! Your story might bring joy or insight to a reader out there!


Follow Mari Hamill

Books

Threatened by financial ruin, widowed bakery owner Catherine Mercy leads a solitary life with more interest in reading about werewolf lore than in finding a man. Her one true love disappeared after high school and her now deceased husband kept her trapped in the house claiming that a werewolf might hunt her down one day, just as her grandmother repeatedly warned her. When Hollywood interrupts the town’s monotony by shooting a werewolf movie on location, Catherine’s best friend Anne pushes her to audition. Already in her thirties, Catherine feels ridiculous trying to become an actress, but lands the leading role.

Catherine’s daily routine turns into a hair-raising adventure as fame begins to surveil her wanderings and she falls for her sexy costar Greg Byron despite this actor’s neon warning sign that flashes conceited womanizer. He’s also smitten by her, but just when they are about to find happiness, a wolf bites him.

While Greg’s features turn lupine, Catherine discovers a resemblance between the movie script and her family’s history. Frightened, Catherine recruits werewolf expert Steve to figure out if the movie’s werewolf legend is real and if Wolfern, the werewolf her grandmother dreaded, has finally come for her. If so, Greg will turn into a werewolf. Only undoing Greg’s curse and destroying Wolfern before the next full moon can save their love and their lives.

Mari Hamill blends fantasy, intrigue, and passion to create a chilling, unique story.


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Author Esther T. Jones


Today I am honored to feature Esther T. Jones, Author of Tedenbarr of Have Lath and Thorunn. You can read my review of Tedenbarr of Have Lath here, and be on the look out of my comprehensive ARC review of Thorunn prior to its release date of May 20th!

Esther been creating stories since she was a kid, and really started writing them down when she was about 10. In her teen years she got serious about learning the craft, and hasn’t stopped since, going on to publish her debut novel Tedenbarr of Have Lath as well as her newest novel, Thorunn, coming out on 20th. Outside of writing, Esther loves gardening, cosplay, and music (as she is a flutist and pianist).

Why did you choose indie publishing?

Creative control! It’s fantastic working with editors and beta readers, but ultimately (unlike traditional publishing), it’s up to me to decide what I want to include or cut from the final product, and I love that.

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

I still really love the Redwall series, because of the rich descriptions, the nuanced characters, and the ability Brian Jacques’ works have to take you to a completely different world. Recently though, I’ve been loving everything by Jeff Wheeler, and I’m currently enjoying his “Harbinger” series.

What is your writing routine like?

I don’t really have one right now, haha. I’ve just started working on a new WIP (a portal fantasy about a lost princess), and I’m just aiming to get in around 1000-2000 words a week. When I’ve got the first draft down I’ve probably be a little more methodical about it, but since I’m a pantser, I need to have ample time to think about my story between writing sessions so that the words can flow when I sit down to type.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Please, please read books, of all genres and types! It’s the most important part of being able to write well.

Do you want to give a shout out to anyone in particular?

I want to say thanks so much to my amazing cover artist Don Jones, who was awesome during the whole process. The cover for Thorunn turned out beautifully!

Can you give us an out-of-context spoiler to get us excited for Thorunn?

At one point, Kenton’s best friend Bo finds himself hurtling off a mountain on a makeshift hang-glider, trying to escape from the murderous, pterodactyl-like Chsaa-Rhee before they can stab his eyes out.

Thorunn is available for pre-order now! Check it out!


Follow Esther T. Jones

Books

Adventure! Treachery! Danger on the High Seas! After months of forced servitude aboard a cargo ship en route from the Kingdom of the West, all Tedenbarr wants is to return to his beloved home. But when a brutal pirate attack leaves Tedenbarr stranded on the far shores of the Eastern Kingdom, Tedenbarr must embark on an arduous and harrowing journey from East to West with only his wit, and will to survive against the many trials that beset him along the way. Faced with danger from land and sea, foreigner and country-kin, Tedenbarr’s travels promise to take him through perilous, lonely mountains, across vast, thirsty deserts, and into the very heart of a city poised on the brink of civil war. Only time will tell if Tedenbarr can succeed in his quest to return to Have Lath, and finally reunite with his friends, family and the woman he left behind. 

Thorunn

Nine years ago, Skytown soldiers brutally murdered Kenton’s family. Now those same men aim to return and destroy Kenton’s hard-won, idyllic life amongst the peaceful shifter people of the Hinnom Forest.

Meanwhile, Laine Riven–dragged from Earth to Thorunn against his will–is stuck navigating an unfamiliar school, his jerk of an uncle, and the rising threat posed by the Outpost Terrorist.

When their paths clash amidst tragedy and betrayal, Kenton realises he and his best friend Bo may have rushed headlong into a situation too impossible to fix.

Time is running out as frix season closes in, and their only shot at victory hinges on outrunning the seasoned bounty hunters, savage creatures, and unpredictably violent weather trying to kill them every step of the way.


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Author Naomi Kelly


Today I am featuring Naomi Kelly, author of Trial by Obsidian and Meraki: A Syren Story.

Naomi Kelly is a young Irish Indie author who released her debut novel, Trial by Obsidian, last year. She has recently released their second novel, Meraki: A Syren Story on May 1st. She writes YA Fantasy with romance subplots, inspired by all the fantastic books she has read over the years. Her writing style is very character-centric, which leads to writing in the first person. She loves diving deep into the feelings and thoughts of her characters and really put herself in their shoes to figure out what they would be going through.

What inspired you to write?

Sometimes when I would read a really good book that I couldn’t stop thinking about, I would start thinking about where I would imagine the characters going next. This gradually developed to me drafting my own plot lines and characters which eventually lead to me writing my first book, Trial by Obsdian.

What are some of your current projects?

I have a few ideas in the pipeline, I think all Indie authors are prone to having multiple “works in progress” at once. I’m hoping to grow my first book with a sequel, and I’d love to write a collection of short stories that revolve around the side characters from my books. For now, I’m just enjoying Meraki‘s release.

Why did you start writing?

I actually started writing in my early teen years as a part of my counselling sessions. I found it really hard to explain how I was feeling, and I was advised to write a couple of pages a day. Sometimes I showed my work, other times I just ripped up the pages, but just getting the words out of my head and into the real world helped me immensely.

Who do you hope to inspire with your writing?

I’d hope to inspire the young adult readers with my writing because they are in the age group my main characters usually tend to be in. In the first book of the trilogy, Kanna is 14 to 15 years old. If you strip away the fantasy and adventure aspects, she goes through the same things that a 14- to 15-year-old teenager goes through in the real world. She’s insecure, unsure of herself, has trust issues, is self-conscious, and a whole lot more. Long story short, she’s not perfect. It’s okay to have flaws and be vulnerable, because realistically there is not a person out there who doesn’t have them, and I think it’s an important thing to see.

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

Sarah J Maas and Amanda Bouchet would be two of my favourite authors for the same reason. They both manage to create these large fantasy worlds that are navigated by relatable female characters. (And they both have a brilliant ability to write steamy romance which never hurt anybody!)

If you could apologize to one of your characters, what would you say?

Dear Wren of Meraki; A Syren Story.

I’m sorry that you had to go through a lot of heartache and pain, but I ensure you there was a point to it all. By going through it you finally learnt how strong and capable you are, and I think you would agree that you came out a better person than you started. (Also I gave you a lot of good things too so I’m not so big baddie!) Love always, Your creator and friend, Naomi.

How do you normally begin a writing session?

I normally begin a writing session with a mug of tea, and I’ll read over what I did the previous day. Apparently, it’s a writing sin to edit as you go, but I find recapping my work really helps me get back into the scene and if I can catch a few typos along the way- even better! When working on a project, I try to do it every day. There will always be days you are too busy, but I do believe you can make time no matter what. Often, I’ll write a quick sentence or idea as a text to myself whilst out and about. Writing isn’t always just typing, and if you need a work break, then editing, reading, drawing out characters, maps, title ideas are all useful ways to keep the momentum going.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Not everyone is going to love your work. No matter how perfect you think your plot is, or how amazing your characters are, someone, somewhere will dislike it. So don’t worry about trying to impress that one person, because you’ll never be able to, but that’s okay. Write what you want to read.

Follow Naomi Kelly

Books

Trial by Obsidian

The poverty-stricken southern lands of Deshure have kept Juniper Obsidian hidden all her life. Her concealed identity kept her safe. Until now. The northern lands of Sinlara are home to the Chambers. Here rules are enforced and wars are waged, but since the end of the War fifteen years ago things have been quiet. That is until they get their hands on Juniper. [Read More]

Meraki: A Syren Story

Her song is a gift bestowed by the gods; so why does it feel like a curse?

Seventeen-year-old Wren thinks she has just swum away from the greatest threat in the sea. That’s until she finds herself being hauled upon a warlord’s boat. With her life at the mercy of a young, temperamental King, Wren must decide who is her ultimate enemy. [Read More]


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Author Kaitlyn Legaspi


For my first ever Feature Friday, I have the opportunity to feature a student at my Alma Mater, Kaitlyn Legaspi, a student at the University of Florida. Today she is launching the final book in her Dark Irregular Trilogy, so why don’t you find out more about her and her path to publication below!

Kaitlyn Legaspi is the author of the young adult fantasy trilogy Dark Irregular. Writing passionately on a daily basis, she is publishing the third book in the series…today, May 1st! She plans to add more to her repertoire in the near future. Kaitlyn is entering her junior year as a business undergraduate student at the University of Florida, in addition to writing. Kaitlyn enjoys singing, studying in the nearby boba tea shop, and reading whatever has catches her interest.

Why did you choose to Indie Publish?

I chose to indie publish because compared to when I had traditionally published with a small publishing company, I have a lot more freedom when it comes to how much I can spend on certain services such as editing and getting a book cover, and I can keep track of everything and how much time and money is spent on certain things. I like the control I have over it. It’s a lot of work, but I definitely believe it’s worth it.

What are some of your current projects?

Currently, I am working with a really close friend of mine, editing the first book of a new series I’m hoping to put out within a year. In addition to that, I am also writing my first YA romance novel featuring two different first-person perspectives. It’s not something I have done before, and it is difficult to do, but I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Why did you start writing?

At first, I started writing because I thought it was a super fun thing to do, and it really is. When I was in middle school, I was in an online writing community where we’d post a chapter on our own threads as often as we wanted. We’d read each other’s stuff and comment how much we liked it, and it was such a supportive community.

Who do you hope to inspire with your writing?

I’d hope to inspire the young adult readers with my writing because they are in the age group my main characters usually tend to be in. In the first book of the trilogy, Kanna is 14 to 15 years old. If you strip away the fantasy and adventure aspects, she goes through the same things that a 14- to 15-year-old teenager goes through in the real world. She’s insecure, unsure of herself, has trust issues, is self-conscious, and a whole lot more. Long story short, she’s not perfect. It’s okay to have flaws and be vulnerable, because realistically there is not a person out there who doesn’t have them, and I think it’s an important thing to see.

Who is your favorite author and/or book?

My favorite author is Eoin Colfer, and the Artemis Fowl series is my favorite. I love his writing because he’s able to insert humor into his books seamlessly, even in the most serious of situations. He has the humor I wish I had, because I can’t make a good joke to save my life.

If you could apologize to one of your characters, what would you say?

Hey, Kanna, my beloved first main character, I want to apologize to you for a lot of mean things I’ve done. I’ve nearly killed you maybe ten times, probably more, throughout the entire trilogy. You basically lose your memories twice, and I almost have you lose them a third time. You were bullied a lot as a child, which led you to have plenty of trust issues that most likely played a part in preventing some good friendships before you met Kenneth and Neel. I’m sorry for all of that, and I hope the ending of Gray Heart is enough to make it up to you.

If you could give one piece of advise to your past-self about writing, what would it be?

Always be open to criticism. It’s what helps the stories we want to put out to the world become better. It’s what makes our work ready to be published. There’s a reason why people go through multiple edits before they even think about publishing their book. Now, with that being said, there is a difference between constructive criticism and an attack. If someone has read your book in the early stages and their negative comments aren’t the least bit objective and have no solid base for why they’re being made, ignore them. That’s not necessarily going to help you. That’s going to hurt you.

Kaitlyn also wanted to give the following shout out…

Shout out to @primo_paints for his amazing character art and helping me out with the last two book covers of the trilogy! I love your work, and it’s been a joy working with you!

Follow Kaitlyn Legaspi

Books

A world consists of two planes of existence. There is the world of the living, where humans, elves, and every whole-spirited creature breathe. Then there is the Void, where demons and beings made of pure darkness, shadows, live.

Almost fifteen years ago, these shadows brought the deaths of the Kingdom of Sylenia’s beloved king and queen and the disappearance of their newborn baby. In the present day, the kingdom remains in the capable hands of a young queen, her major generals, and their knights but is constantly threatened by the growing number of shadows that enter the living world.

A secluded young orphan named Kanna is one of the new apprentices that have been chosen to be trained for the purpose of defeating these shadows. Suddenly called upon to become a knight’s understudy, she is escorted to the palace by two older apprentices. Along the way, she is attacked by the shadows, much to the apprentices’, knights’, and even the major generals’ confusion.

While Kanna is figuring out why the shadows are targeting her, something else occupies her mind. Every time she is knocked unconscious by a shadow, she has familiar visions about a little boy she vaguely recognizes. Kanna eventually finds the boy that keeps appearing in her dreams. However, she meets him as a price due to the presence of a darker, more powerful entity: the Dark Irregular.


Currently, I am not accepting any more applications for Feature Friday. Follow me for updates regarding when I will be reopening the application. Until then, signing off.

E.S. Barrison

News

Feature Friday – Indie Authors Wanted! CLOSED

UPDATE: RESPONSES ARE CLOSED AS OF APRIL 27TH, 2020

Hey Indie Authors!

Do you want the opportunity to be interviewed and featured on my website? Well I am currently taking applications for interested parties!

What do you have to do? EASY! Fill out the form below! If I’m interested in interviewing you, I’ll shoot you an email with further details.

This is a new venture I’m taking part in, so I have no clue if it will work…but here we go.