Please welcome author Erin McFadden to the blog today! She writes a new adult/contemporary fantasy series called Descended from Myth. Also, read through to the end of the interview for a chance to win a signed copy of Muse!
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Muse page: https://www.facebook.com/NovelMUSE
How many books have you written? This can include both published and unpublished works. Describe each of them in 1-2 sentences apiece (if published, feel free to include the links as well).
My first published novel, Muse (Descended from Myth: Book One), is a young adult/new adult contemporary fantasy loosely based on Greek mythology. It focuses on the world of Talents, the descendants of the original Muses and their dedicated protectors, the Brotherhood of Guardians.
Muse is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, as well as Smashwords.
Tell me a little bit about your current WIP
I’m currently working on the second book in the Descended from Myth series, Talent and another unrelated novel, Whimper. Talent reveals even more about the Guardians and the corruption that is threatening their very existence. Whimper is a New Adult contemporary that deals with a new viral strain that threatens to wipe out the under forty age group as it spreads chaos. It was inspired by the T.S. Elliot poem, The Hollow Men. “This is the way the world ends/ Not with a bang but a whimper”
What does writing preparation look like for you? Do you do full outlines and character profiles, or do you just start with a general idea and write?
I wish I could make and follow outlines! Most of my book ideas come from dreams actually. I’ve been blessed with a very active imagination and I often have these vivid dreams that stick with me. I wake up, type up notes and just obsess from there. I can’t write out of sequence either. I pretty much have to be able to visualize the action and I just narrate.
Editing is a challenge for many writers. Give us some of your tips for editing efficiently and well.
I re-read my own work a lot and am constantly reworking phrasing and catching typos as I go. At a certain point though, I have to turn it over to others. I think it is very difficult for a writer to catch their own mistakes, I always see what I meant the text to say rather than what it actually says. Luckily for me, my husband was an English teacher and he catches a lot of my grammatical errors. Then I have a few fantastic beta readers and an editor who I think did a wonderful job on Muse, Todd Barselow.
Research is another challenge writers face, but is an important part of the writing process. What are some of your research tips?
We are so fortunate that we are writing in the age of the search engine. I’m certain that my search queries have landed me on some sort of watch list. I look things up, verify the source when I can (Don’t trust Wikipedia!), and take notes. Whenever I’m not sure if something is correct, I check it out. Even though I write fantasy and make up huge parts of the story, I think it helps to have it grounded in reality.
I’m still struggling with finding the right marketing strategy for me. Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter and blogs have been my primary focus so far.
What genre do you write in? What are some of the challenges to writing this particular genre well?
I write mostly contemporary fantasy, and paranormal themes. The fantastical and strange just appeal to me. I think one of the challenges is keeping these worlds believable, to make them feel as realistic as possible. I want the reader to be able to lose themselves for a little while and wonder, what if?
What advice would you give to a writer who is starting out?
Make the decisions that are best for you and follow your gut. After I finished this novel and knew that I wanted to pursue publishing, I did a lot of research. I was offered a publishing contract right away, one that I eventually rejected. It was a terribly hard decision to make, because that’s the golden ring, right? That contract taught me a lot about the process and I ended up deciding that self-publishing was the right choice for this book and for me. I may change my mind in the future, but the important thing is to recognize what your options are.
What are your writing, editing, marketing, and research goals for 2013?
I’m hoping to finish Talent, the sequel in my series and have it ready for editing and beta readers by the end of the year. I’d hoped it would be sooner, but I want it to really shine so I’m not rushing it. I also want to keep spreading the word about Muse and get readers invested in the series.
Pretend I am from a publishing house and you are looking for me to take on one of your books. Pitch it to me in 1-2 paragraphs
Muse (Descended from Myth: Book One) The Brotherhood of the Guardians has existed for thousands of years to serve a single purpose: the protection of Talents, the mortal descendants of the original nine Muses.
Twenty-one year-old Daniel Lyoncourt has trained his entire life to join the Guardians. Daniel is prepared to risk his life in order to keep his Talent safe, but when he’s assigned to nineteen year-old Anna Saint-James, he discovers that his life isn’t the only thing he could lose. Anna has no idea how special she is and knows nothing about her abilities. He must teach her to control her gifts, keep her safe, and hope that he can find a place in her life as something more than just her bodyguard.
All power comes at a price. Like all Talents, Anna must one day make a choice: lose all of her powers, or ascend to a higher plane, leaving behind everyone she loves.