Meet J.S. Fields

This week we’re getting to know author J.S. Fields. If you love the hero’s journey with all the trappings of traditional fantasy, you’ll love The Source trilogy. The first two books, Center Of Magic and The Isle Of Brigadoon, are available now and the first is free until Saturday, January 20.

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Thirty years ago a spell was cast that exploded the magic in those who wielded the power and millions were consumed by fire. Countries and Governments that had grown dependent on wizards for the new arms race were left floundering and confused. Tensions rose and bled into World War III, and the world was broken by the global bombardment. Magic was thought lost forever.

Reese, a young girl, knows the stories and the lore. She has grown comfortable with life in the miles of caverns that make up Mammoth Cave. When Tereo, a wise traveler, arrives to weave a tale of fantasy and fact, the pulse inside her screams out that she is meant for more.

Tereo knows that Reese is the only one that can help him perform an unimaginable task. Together, with her cousin Erik and her friend, Emily, the team departs to move the Center of Magic.

Dangers, both magical and mundane assault them from all sides. New faces and allies find them, while betrayal lurks close. Can they accomplish their goal before the gathering evil finds the Center of Magic and destroys what’s left of their world?

1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.

I’m J.S. Fields, Kentucky boy, born and raised, feel free to make fun of my accent (you know that I have one). I’m working on the last book in The Source trilogy, which is a YA fantasy. If you like magic, dragons, werewolves, a floating island, in a post-apocalyptic world, you may like these books.

You As A Reader

2. When did you first fall in love with books?

I know this is not going to be popular, but I really didn’t like to read when I was a kid. I wanted to be outside, constantly, but the older I got the more I liked it. I’ve only loved reading in the last ten years.

3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?

By the time I got to high school, I would read anything by Edgar Allan Poe, he was about the only thing that held my reading attention. I know I’m weird, it’s okay, the normal ship sailed away from me, long ago.

4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?

The Lord of the Rings probably changed me the most, it taught me you didn’t have to be the biggest person to make a difference.

5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?

The last book I read was The Dark Tower IV – Wizard and Glass. Stephen King is always interesting; wordy, but interesting. I just recently started reading the Dark Tower series.

My current favorite is The Road. I re-read it on vacation and I guess I had forgotten just how good it was in so many aspects.

6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

I would want to meet Edgar Allan Poe, that guy was broke, on drugs, a drunk, possibly disease ridden, and while all that was happening he turned out some of the best writing in history. It should make all of us (writers) feel bad for saying we don’t feel like writing, I’d just want to find out what made him keep writing.

You As A Writer

7. When did you first know you were a writer?

I always loved to write, even when I didn’t like to read. I guess I’ve always been a writer, it just felt like a socially acceptable way to lie my butt off.

8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?  If so, what was it about?

I remember letting people pick items that they wanted me to put in a story and make it up on the spot. While I don’t remember my first story, my favorite when I was younger was about a vampire in Montana, because I thought if people go to Montana they never came back and the vampire was the reason.

9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey?  The best part?

The most difficult part has been finding time to write consistently, doing this with a full time job and a full time family that I love spending time with means, I get less sleep if I want to write anything.

The best part is when I write something and it even surprises me that the story went there, it wasn’t supposed to, but there it is in all its glory. I also love discussing with other people’s theories on what they think will happen next in my story. I love a good theory!

10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?

I don’t think it was ever writing advice, but just advice from my mom in general. She would say, “The world doesn’t owe you anything, if you want it, go get it.”

11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.

My current project is the final book in The Source Trilogy, it’s a post-apocalyptic world, where wizards and witches were part of a new arms race, until all “full bloods” were destroyed by a spell. War ensued and left the world in ruins. Now ancient beings called Sources, who are a magical conduit to partial blood wizards have emerged and spells can only be cast if a Source is near. One Source, Ambrose wants to burn this world to the ground and rebuild it as he sees fit, but he’ll need The Center of Magic to do it. A young girl, Reese, living in Mammoth Cave thirty years after WWIII, may be the key to keeping it out of his hands. When a Source named Tereo asks her to come with him, she knows she must but not without her best friend Em and cousin Erik who will help on her quest.

Fun Stuff About You

12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?

I love hanging out with my family. We love to go to the movies together.

I’ve been a Seattle Seahawk fan since I was a kid and yes I’ve always lived in Kentucky. And because I’m from Kentucky, of course, I’m a UK basketball fan – Go CATS!

13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?

If I could be an instant expert in any one thing it would have to be in Microexpressions. I think it would be incredible to be able to read someone just by small involuntary movements in their face or body language.

14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world.  Where would you go?

My wife and I went to Hawaii, about a dozen years ago, it was beautiful and tranquil. I would definitely want to go back there, we did so many things and relaxed at the same time, it was amazing.

Final Thoughts

15. How can people connect with you?

The best way to get in touch with me would be on Twitter @jsfields151, I have a FB page as well @jsfieldsauthor.

16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

Thank you so much for giving authors, an outlet to share our “crazy”. I hope my ramblings were enjoyable.

Thank you J.S. for letting us get to know you a little bit. I haven’t finished Center of Magic yet, but I can tell you I’m stoked I’ll get to read two more when I’m done!

If The Source trilogy sounds like your kind of book, you can find the first two books (the first of which is free until Saturday, January 20) on Amazon.

Center Of Magic

The Isle Of Brigadoon

Meet Jewel E. Leonard

I’m kicking off a new year of author interviews with the delightful Jewel E. Leonard. Jewel is the author of Rays of Sunshine, Smiles by Trials, and more. Her newest book, Alight: The Witches’ Rede book 1, is a historical fantasy romance as fun and delightful as it’s author.

Alight cover 2

Maeve lives a charmed life in the small desert town of Redington in Arizona Territory–where spousal prospects are sorely lacking, career choices are shamefully limited to the saloon, and Death himself has a vendetta against her.

All Maeve wants is her independence but 1883 society has decidedly different expectations for her.

Enter Shadow Wolf: notorious for his dark reputation and grotesque mechanical arm. The gunslinger, a suspiciously werewolf-esque man whose social situation bears some obnoxious similarities to Maeve’s, has found his place among the masses by walking on the wrong side of the law.

When Maeve stumbles upon Shadow Wolf’s scheme to rob a stagecoach, he forces her to choose between her life or breaking the witches’ Golden Rule. Despite certain karmic retribution, Maeve relies on her wit and a sprinkling of magic to survive the heist. When nothing goes according to plan, she finds herself not just on the ride of a lifetime, but also roped into an unanticipated romance with a sexy bandit at the reins.

Jewel author pic

Jewel calls herself a writer of romantic biographies for fictional people. She lives with her husband, 9-year-old son, 3-year-old daughter, and minion of darkness in Arizona.

Jewel has been writing since the early 1980s and enjoys reading historical fiction, paranormal (vampires? yes please!), and romance (the steamier, the better). She has a long-standing affinity for witches, werewolves, ghosts, vampires, and epic relationships. Her alpha-style leading men fall in love hard and fast (and on occasion, even unapologetically). On the flip-side, her leading ladies are feisty, head-strong, and disinterested in falling in love (until the right man comes along).

When not writing, Jewel may be found wielding pointy sticks (knitting hats, gloves, and socks) or crocheting, and she has even been known to paint the occasional landscape.  She fancies herself a photographer (those pictures in the header of the website are all from her shutter-button-finger and come from a variety of places–from the World Famous San Diego Zoo to the Grand Canyon, Walt Disney World to Disneyland, and the list keeps growing).

Those who know Jewel well can tell you all about her penchant for pumpkin spice everything, coffee, felines, flowers, and friends.

  1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.

Hi there! My name is Jewel. I’m a mom of 2, wife of a wonderful man, a yarn crafter, and—of course—a writer. I live on caffeine, my imagination, and the continued wishful thinking I may someday get a full night’s sleep.

I enjoy romance, the paranormal, the fantastic, and various points in history (so, yep, that’s what I write!).

My current WIP is a long-term project that I classify as Steampunk although it can be categorized into many genres, especially when the genre influences shift from book to book. My genre is life!

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This pretty much perfectly describes the second book in the series!

If I can keep my schedule, it’s going to have me publishing 2 books a year through to 2021. Hope I don’t die before then!

You As A Reader

  1. When did you first fall in love with books?

You know, honestly, I don’t remember an exact moment. My earliest reading passion was Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitter’s Club series and I positively ate those up. From there, I moved into Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series, as I think was the progression many girls took.

And then I was introduced by a middle school friend to LJ Smith’s books (many of you would be familiar with the TV show based on her Vampire Diaries series), suffered my first real book heartbreak at the hands of The Forbidden Game—for which, this many years later, I STILL don’t forgive her—and it’s been a love for the paranormal ever since.

  1. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?

I’d have to go with Bunnicula. (See, seriously, it’s always been about those fangs for me!)

  1. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?

I don’t remember specifically which book it was, but I know for sure that Nina Bangs wrote it.

She has had a profound influence on my writing and I didn’t even realize by how much until I picked up one of her older books and read what felt so familiar … not because I’d read it before (I did) but because I guess my style became a bit of an unwitting homage to hers.

I really don’t think I could have picked a better influence.

  1. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?

I’m currently reading Dangerous Books for Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels Explained by Maya Rodale—it was a gift from the glorious Vania Rheault, and I’m enjoying it very much. It’s inspiring me to put together a blog post of my own on the topic. (Just … maybe, um, don’t hold your breath that it’s coming anytime soon.)

My current favorite would have to be Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. I need to give that one a re-read one of these days.

  1. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

Nina Bangs. I’d love to thank her for being such a positive influence in my writing.

You As A Writer

  1. When did you first know you were a writer?

This is kind of a tricky question. I’ve been a writer since I was a young child … 5, 6-years-old. I didn’t come to accept that I was a writer until I was in my 20s.

I didn’t embrace it until, I’m ashamed to say, I hit my mid-30s. Only a few years ago. It’s been a process.

  1. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?  If so, what was it about?

The first story I wrote that was a “complete” story was done in Kindergarten. My teacher went so far as to bind it and create a beautiful little cover for it. I don’t know if any of my classmates still have their books, but I still have mine—well, my son has it, now. He read it as a Kindergartner, himself, and loved it as a reader as much as I know I loved it as a writer. I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful that felt! Better yet: He insisted on keeping it.

I haven’t looked at it for a couple years, but I recall it was about a bunny who ran away from home.

I have … never really gotten away from that formula. I must have some long-standing hang-ups!

  1. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey?  The best part?

I had a very difficult time just accepting the fact that I’m a writer. The occupation is not a particularly well-respected one (unless you’re one of the greats, which, obviously, I’m not) and it’s certainly not one at which you can make a solid living—unless you’re one of the greats, incredibly lucky, or have, as an indie author, an enormous backlist.

And maybe not even then.

I remember being at a gathering where other adults were discussing their jobs and careers and it came around to me and the moment I commented about my writing, the conversation moved on without me surprisingly quickly. It didn’t count. I may be a writer but I’m just a customer service rep, if you know what I mean. That’s what pays the bills, and that’s not a career either. It’s really disheartening.

Now, the best part? The best part, far and away, is the pride of holding a beautiful, finished book in my hands. How many people say “oh, I want to write a book,” but never actually do it?

There it is: Alight. 105,000 words, COMPLETED. Edited until both it and I cried. With a front and back cover. Its own ISBN. Ready to go out into the big mean world, to be loved, to be scrutinized. To get 5-star “Waiting on pins and needles for the next installment, Leonard’s now my insta-buy author!” reviews, and 1-star “DNF!!! I wish I could give it NO stars, death to the author!” reviews.

She’s (yes, Alight is a ‘she’) ready to go out there for people to pass judgment on, and for people to judge me over. That’s terrifying. I faced my fears and I saw it through. It took me 4 difficult years, but at long last, it’s done. I did it! How many people who say they want to write a book actually see it through to fruition?

That’s no small feat!  

I own the badge of writer and author now. (Seriously, I should find one online and order it. And wear it where people can see it.) It’s about time!!

  1. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?

I think the one that helped the most is probably the simplest bit of advice I’ve seen (really about life, in general):

“You do you.”

And it’s often what I tell others who’ve asked for advice on the topic. There is no one way to go about this journey. Writing is a subjective field—as every agent rejection letter will tell you—and as such, there’s no one right way to do it. Do it the way that helps you get your job done the way that makes you happy and produces your highest quality product.

Simple as that!

  1. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.

Well, The Witches’ Rede is a hefty series—9 books in all, and likely many little side stories as time goes on. If each book exceeds 100,000 words (hahaha, “IF?”—they will), I will have written just shy of a million words by the time this series is done (excluding the little side projects and my previously published Rays of Sunshine book).

I’m going to try to concentrate on this series for the foreseeable future with what I consider a tight publishing schedule (1 book every 6 months). I realize other authors put out books more often, but I have 2 kids (whose special needs vary from slight—you’d never know unless I told you—to severe—she gets attention when we go out in public), a full-time job, and I turn into a raging monster if I don’t get my 8 hours (which … well, let’s just say I’m monstrous most of the time lately). I respect those writers whose lives are as busy as mine but who make the time. I write slowly. I edit more slowly. I take long breaks. It is how I need to work to keep myself happy with my process—and products—flaws and all. #TurtleWritersFTW!

(learn more about the TurtleWriters here.)

If people knew the conditions under which I do my work, I think it would be obvious a production schedule of 2 books a year is miraculous. Maybe someday when my daughter is in school full-time and I’m earning enough from my backlist, I can make the changes necessary to behave more like a big-time player.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

Fun Stuff About You

  1. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?

I love animals. I love photography, though it’s something I haven’t really done for a long time. I love nature, and I love to travel. Now that I’m back in Arizona, I’m waiting for things to settle so I can get outdoors with my camera and go see some of the most beautiful terrain in the country all within my state’s borders!

I also love knitting and crocheting, though those hobbies have taken a bit of a backseat to this writing thing.

And of course, music flows in my veins.

  1. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?

No-brainer: Motherhood, without a doubt.

The other day, I forgot to grab my daughter’s glasses before we took her to pre-k/her therapy. Her eyesight is in the 20/800 range. She is legally blind.

I can’t tell you how awful that felt!

For what it’s worth, her teacher said she’d never seen my daughter happier!

  1. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world.  Where would you go?

Another no-brainer: Pompeii. I have plans. *devious grin*

Final Thoughts

  1. How can people connect with you?

My favorite way for connecting is Twitter: https://twitter.com/JewelELeonard

I’m also on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Jewel.E.Leonard/ (While I’m chattier on Twitter than I am on Facebook, Facebook is getting some exclusive content for Alight’s book release, and my team is likely to continue that way for future book releases.)

I’m on Instagram, though I’m not so good at it:

https://www.instagram.com/jewel.e.leonard/

And, of course, I encourage people to visit my website:

http://www.jeweleleonard.com/

I have an email, too: author (at) jeweleleonard (dot) com.

  1. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

I really enjoyed your questions, and am honored you took this time with me. Thank you so much for having me! I hope to be able to return the favor sometime soon!

Thanks for sharing a little about you! If I’m ever in Arizona I’ll have to look you up so we can go hiking and knitting together (though I haven’t done either in a while too). Maeve is so much fun and I can’t wait to finish this first book!

Does Jewel sound like your kind of author? You can find all her books on Amazon.

Alight: The Witches’ Rede book 1

Rays of Sunshine

Smiles by Trials

In Which I Try Not To Be Awkward

I did an interview of sorts recently, with the delightful Mr. Brian Aiello. It’s a fun conversation in which we ramble about awesome writerly things and I try to sound like I know what I’m talking about. If you’d like to listen to it, the link is below. You can learn more about Brian Aiello and his podcasts Origins and Mirage on his website, bryanaiello.com

A Conversation With M. L. Moos

Meet Sam Baker

This week I’d like to introduce you to another good friend, Sam Baker. She is the author of the novel Variant Wars and editor and contributor for the anthology Winter Neverland.


There are many things they call the Variants…diseased, dangerous, cursed. But it’s not all true. The Pures have attempted to eradicate the Variant people for nearly a century. After the first three Variant Wars, the Variants are barely surviving in the unforgiving world of theirs. The inhuman things they can do strikes fear in the hearts of the Pures. And now, some anti-Variant groups like the Patrol have vowed to exterminate the Variants. How far will the Variants go until they stop trying? How long with they fight to defend their people? These are the raw truths of the Variant Wars. This is what the people must do to protect their family and friends in the face of disaster. No one will survive without cost, and some may not survive at all. This is the story of the Fourth Variant War. This is the story of its prisoners.

Sam Baker is a science fiction author with an interest in post-apocalyptic worlds. Her books also take on many aspects of the fantasy and dystopian genres. In her stories, she focuses on unfortunate conflicts of humanity and what her characters must do to survive their grim realities.

1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on?

I’m an author trying to make it in this world, trying to share my work and help other authors along the way. I’m also a college student surviving off of coffee, bagels, and a fear of finals.

You As A Reader

2. When did you first fall in love with books?

I first fell in love with books before I could read. My dad read The Lord of the Rings to me when I was a kid, and I was instantly hooked.

3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?

One of my favorite books that I read as a kid would probably have to be The Three Musketeers because it’s full of action and companionship.

4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?

One of the books that has changed me the most is Big Fish by Daniel Wallace. This book taught me that it’s okay if your life seems mundane because the stories you tell can be as creative and magical as you want. And in the end, you’ll likely be remembered for the stories you leave behind, fictional and true.

5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?

The last book I read was Oliver Twist.

My current favorite book would have to be The Road.

6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

I would have loved to meet Shel Silverstein because his poetry fueled much of my childhood (and adult) imagination.

You As A Writer

7. When did you first know you were a writer?

I first knew I was a writer before I even knew how to write. I loved creating new stories as a kid. I would tell my mom my stories and have her write them down for me before I knew how to write.

8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?

My first ever story was about two kids who got stuck on a pirate ship and had to try and survive their journey across the sea.

9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey? The best part?

The most difficult part of my writing journey was admitting to myself that writing was something I needed to do. Once I came to terms with that, writing was freeing in a way.

The most enjoyable part of my writing journey is when I get to know my characters on a deeper level with each page written. I also really enjoy talking to other people about my writing and hearing their different theories about how the story is going to continue on.

10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?

I don’t know if I received this advice or realized it myself. But my best writing advice is to write every day and write everything down (even if you think it’s stupid). These two things have helped me immensely.

11. Tell us about you current project and any others you’re working on.

I have a few projects I’m currently working on. I’m in the process of revising my book Variant Wars: The Prisoners in preparation to release the second edition re-print of it next year. Another project that I’m excited to announce is that I just finished writing an anthology of winter themed short stories with five of my close author friends. Our anthology Winter Neverland is currently available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

(J Douglas Burton is one of the contributors to the anthology and you can find his interview here.)

Fun Stuff About You

12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?

I have a love for film. When I’m not writing or reading, I’m usually spending time with my cats and watching movies.

13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?

Given the opportunity, I would become an instant expert in Neuropsychology because it was once my career goal (before writing thankfully took over my life).

14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world. Where would you go?

I know it’s not possible, but I’d love to visit Ancient Rome. Their culture is so fascinating.

Final Thoughts

15. How can people connect with you?

The best way to contact me would be through Twitter @SamBakerWrites. I also have a website, SamBakerWrites.com that I update occasionally with writing tips or news about what’s going on in my life. And for those who love snail mail, my PO box is listed at the bottom of my website!

16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support!

Thanks for telling us a little about you! I can’t wait to get my copy of Winter Neverland!

If you’re interested in reading Sam’s books you can find them both on Amazon and Winter Neverland at Barnes and Noble as well.

Variant Wars Amazon

Winter Neverland Amazon

Winter Neverland Barnes and Noble

Meet Alicia Gaile

This week I’m introducing Alicia Gaile, author of Trial By Song and upcoming novella A Coat Red As Holly, both enthralling fairytale retellings.


As the youngest of seven brothers born with magical gifts, Jack’s often felt he has something to prove. But revealing their powers makes them targets of the fae, who will stop at nothing to hide their existence from mankind. 

In spite of the danger, Jack sneaks out on Halloween to compete in the Battle of the Bands, shattering his family’s rule to guard their secret at all costs. When Jack gets dragged through a portal and winds up in Faerie, he finds an ancient relic he simply can’t leave behind. But escaping from Faerie is only the beginning as the harp’s former owner is determined to see Jack pay for his crime.

With old enemies returned new enemies awaken, revealing the Sorleys aren’t the only family in Straifield with ties to the fae.


Alicia Gaile is a YA contemporary fantasy author whose love of fairy tales and mythological retellings led her to write her first fairy story at the age of twelve. After receiving a Creative Writing degree from Georgia College and State University she began writing early versions of Trial by Song while living abroad in southeast Asia. She currently resides in El Paso, Texas with her family and two dogs.

1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.

This month I’m releasing a prequel novella to Trial by Song which tells Eira’s mother Gwen’s story and is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Once I finish that I’ll jump back into editing the sequel to Trial by Song. 

You As A Reader

2. When did you first fall in love with books?

I fell in love with books before I knew how to read. My mom likes to tell a story from when I was two. She came downstairs and found me flipping through a magazine crying because I didn’t know how to read what it said. As soon as I learned to read I started devouring books by the cartful.

3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?

The Harry Potter series played a huge role in my childhood. I knew those books backwards and forwards. I listened to the audio books every night as I went to sleep. Not only were Harry’s adventures magical, but I found J. K. Rowling’s rise to success just as inspiring. Her story made the idea of becoming an author seem possible. 

4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?

I was in high school when I first read Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier. It’s a gorgeous retelling of the Six Swans that adds real depth and dimension to the fairy tale. That book really set the bar for what I wanted my stories to accomplish. It layers elements of folklore and mythology into a story about family and personal sacrifice. Not to mention it’s told in a really beautiful way. 

5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?

I just finished Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick. It tells a really interesting series of linked short stories set against the backdrop of a mysterious island. My current favorite is Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour. It’s a retelling of Tam Lin set in a small town in New York that blends ghost stories and fairy folklore in really interesting ways.

6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?

I would love to talk mythology and folklore with Stephen R. Lawhead. I read the Pendragon Cycle in middle school and really enjoyed his take on the Arthurian legend, and I recently reread the King Raven series, which grounded Robin Hood in some interesting historical ways. 

You As A Writer

7. When did you first know you were a writer?

I started telling my own stories as soon as I learned to spell, but when I was ten or eleven I wrote my first fairy tale, The Enchanted Meadow. My aunt taught fourth grade at the time. She read the story to her class, and they wrote me letters afterward. I even had the chance to visit her class at the end of the school year and they treated me awe like I was a real author, and that experience has stuck with me ever since. I still have all their letters.

8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?

I wrote stories before The Enchanted Meadow, but that one was when I started to take my writing seriously. It was about fairies and leprechauns who work together to find a missing unicorn. When the unicorn who protects their meadow mysteriously disappears, a group of magical creatures travels to the human world to track her down and bring her back. 

9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey? The best part?

I think most writers suffer from self-consciousness, and in my case Trial by Song was in the works for almost five years. After so many years of saying I was going to do something with my story it was hard to justify the time it took to finish it and convince myself that this time was really it. At the same time, seeing my book in print was one of the most exciting moments of my life. To be able to hold a lifetime of dreams in my hand for the first time was a really wonderful goal to achieve.

10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?

I often find ‘what not to do’ advice more helpful than ‘how to.’ Some rules are made to be broken and understanding the reasoning behind the ‘what not to do’ tips gives me a better idea of what I want to do. That being said, one of the books I like to recommend is Hooked by Les Edgerton. It gives great advice with examples on how to write beginnings that hook your reader. Not only is it helpful but it’s entertaining. 

11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.
I’m putting the finishing touches on ‘A Coat Red As Holly’ which is a prequel novella that tells the story of Eira’s mother and how Eira came to be. It’s my take on Little Red Riding Hood. Once I’m finished with that I’ll go back into working on the sequel to Trial by Song. The first draft laid the bare bones of the story, but I’m excited to flesh out the world of Faerie and raise the stakes for Jack. 

Fun Stuff About You

12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?

I’m a self-taught artist and do colored pencil illustrations and acrylic paintings when I find the time. I’m trying to learn how to bake, but apart from my pumpkin cheesecake so far I haven’t had very encouraging results. 

13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?

Horticulture would come in handy. Knowing the different varieties of plants and their properties would make world building easier and I bet my yard would finally look pretty instead of being a potted plant graveyard. 

14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world. Where would you go?

It’s hard to choose between Ireland or Scotland. So much of the lore that inspires my stories comes from that corner of the world. I would love to tour the old castles and take in the beautiful countryside. 

Final Thoughts

15. How can people connect with you?

You can like and follow me at:

Facebook

Website: aliciagaile.wordpress.com

Twitter: @alicia_gaile

Instagram: @authoraliciagaile

16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?

It was wonderful to chat and share my love of books and writing. I am always happy to talk fairy tales and swap random bits of folklore and myths.

Thanks for sharing a bit about you! I can’t wait to read A Coat Red As Holly not to mention the sequel to Trial By Song. I’m having Jack withdrawals!

If you’d like to read Alicia’s amazing fairytale retelling, you can find it on Amazon at the link below.

Trial By Song

Apologies

My goal upon beginning this blog was to post once a week. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, that hasn’t been happening. And for that I sincerely apologize.

You see, the only unique thing I could think to post when I started this adventure were short stories. After all, there are plenty of blogs about SAHMs and their lives, and most of them are pulling it off a lot better than me. But that leaves the dilemma of not getting paid for those stories. So, if I wanted to save some stories for submission, what would I fill in the extra weeks with? Most writers go the writing craft and book reviews route, which I totally get. It makes sense, write what you know and all.

I hate giving advice though, since I don’t have anything figured out any better than anyone else. So if I go the writing craft route, I won’t be doing it all that often. As for book reviews, I’ve never actually written one. I’ve read plenty and most of them seem to either gush fangirl style, spoil it way too much, or rip into it like bubble wrap. So if I start doing book reviews, I probably won’t do them very often either, to be sure I do it right.

All that still leaves a lot of space to get creative, though. So I thought I’d put it to you dear reader. What would you like to see more of on this blog? What do you want to know about me? What don’t you want to see here?

For now, I will be spending the month of April participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and using its magic to crank out a bunch of short stories and post ideas I’ve been neglecting lately. Unfortunately, that means I probably won’t be posting here much until May. However, when I return, I will hopefully have so much new writing to share, you won’t be able to keep up. And while I’m busy writing, you can share your thoughts in the comments. I want to make everyone’s time here worthwhile, so if you have suggestions, please let me know.

With that, I bid you adieu.

Until May … the force be with you … the odds be ever in your favor … and all that good stuff.