Thank you so much for sharing your book with me and agreeing to do a Q&A for my readers.
My pleasure! Thanks so much for having me. I’m looking forward to connecting with you all.
Give us a quick summary of your book, At Water’s Edge, the first book in your Young Adult fantasy series?
At Waters Edge is the tale of a seventeen-year old girl named Dezaray, who accidentally trades places with a magical version of herself and ends up in another world where she is forced to impersonate her magical counterpart. This world is on the brink of a monstrous war with a villain who wants to kill her. And if that isn’t enough, Dezaray also starts to fall for the boy with blue eyes, but they both know that she cannot remain in his world.
Half of your book takes place on the fantastical world of Coldivor. What was your inspiration for this dark and exciting world?
I’ve always been obsessed with magic and powers and other worlds/ dimensions where such things are possible. The more I read fantasy stories like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and such, I was inspired to create an exciting world of my own. One with its own laws, rules and dark history that leads to the trouble it faces today.
Although Dezaray and Lexovia are identical, they come from different worlds and have very different lives. They are both powerful, though, in their own right. Was it important that you create strong female protagonists when you created this series?
Absolutely. Dezaray definitely has some inner demons that she must overcome before truly finding her strength and I wanted to show that progression as I feel it is something we all face when growing up, but I was determined that ultimately the female protagonists would be strong and know themselves.
Were multiple/parallel worlds something you were interested in before you began writing this novel or something you had to research afterwards?
Multiple/ Parallel worlds are something I have always been interested in. I find the whole concept of it fascinating! When I was as young as four years old, I would imagine myself stepping through my mirror or getting flushed down the toilet and ending up in another dimension haha
You’ve done very well self-publishing your book. Why did you choose to self-publish and do you have any recommendations for our readers who may be interested in the same path?
I chose to self-publish at first because even though I’d always loved writing, I enjoyed writing scripts the most and would occasionally experiment with songs and stories. So, when I first wrote At Water’s Edge, it was more for me to see if I could write an entire novel and if it was something I could see myself doing full-time. Now that I know I do absolutely love writing in all its forms and cannot see myself doing anything else, I have started another series which I am taking the traditional publishing route with.
For those considering self-publishing, my biggest advice would be to start building your platform now. Start sharing who you are and what your book is about even if you haven’t written it yet. Keep your audience engaged and include them in the process. Ask for advice, share the highs and lows and make your journey less about the book and more about that fun community feel. Also connect with other authors and learn all you can from those that have gone before you.
How long did it take you to get this book published, from its initial conception to the release date?
The first book took the longest as I was just starting out and planning everything. So, from start to finish with rewrites and finding editors, cover designers etc. and just learning how things worked, it took a little over a year. Now I know more and have go-to designers etc. so I can usually have books written and published within five-six months depending on my editor’s schedule.
What was the biggest hurdle you had to overcome in completing your book?
The biggest hurdle for me was starting. I had the story in the back of my mind for ages and kept talking myself out of it or putting it off but once I said enough was enough and decided to just start, the characters and the world poured out of me.
What other books and authors inspire you?
J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series (Swoon!!), Cassandra Clare and all her books. I love her writing style and Cassandra’s writing is what inspired me to finally start. Others who inspire me are Sarah J Maas, Leigh Bardugo, Sabaa Tahir and Roald Dahl.
You have three other books in this series, Caught in the Ripples, Swept Away and Once Upon A Tide. The fifth book will be out in November. Was your original plan to create such a long and epic series?
Yes, I always knew it was going to be a five-book series but I did not plan on the novella (Once Upon A Tide). I remember when first thinking about the series, I thought I was going to write a trilogy but as soon as I started plotting, I knew it would be longer.
What makes your series unique among the Fantasy genre?
I think the most unique element in my books is that it involves magical versions of ourselves in another world. There’s also A LOT more to this world than meets the eye but I can’t share without spoiling things :p
After your last book in this series comes out in November, what will you be working on next?
There is one more book in the series after the one coming out in November which I’ll be releasing early next year! It will be so strange saying goodbye to the characters. After that, I have, however, begun brainstorming an elf and shifter series that I will write 😊
What is the first book that made you cry?
If I remember correctly, that was Charlotte’s Web by E.B White.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I tend to always power through regardless when it comes to writing but I do find that if I’m reading a book that I don’t really enjoy, my writing doesn’t flow as easily. Reading a good book and thinking “I want to make my readers feel like this!” is definitely my inspiration and anti-kryptonite lol
What advice do you have for aspiring writers looking to publish their first novel?
Know your target audience—who you are writing for—and know what message you are trying to share through your tale. Be patient, be positive, be you!
What is your favorite book to recommend to others?
Aside from the Harry Potter series, I think everyone should read The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.