As if I didn't read enough already, I am helping form a book club this year. We had our first meeting last week, and I very much enjoyed it. Nothing quite like talking about books you've all read. Last month, we read Finding Dorothy by Elizabeth Letts. It's fiction, but based on the true story of L. Frank Baum's wife Maud and how everything happened to get him to the point of writing The Wizard of Oz and then later how she was involved (or at least tried to be) with the making of the movie. It was fascinating and sweet, but also sad because of the reality of the times.
We've set up our list of reads for the rest of the year, and I'm looking forward to delving into several I've read in the past as well as quite a few new to me, including a few mysteries, not usually my go-to genre.
So, why are groups like this important? Well, not only for the camaraderie and joy, but also because it gets me a little more out of my comfort zone. I might never have discovered that book if my friend hadn't recommended it for our club to read. And then to be able to discuss things about the story that bothered us or encouraged us, sometimes can bring to light little details someone else might have missed in their reading. It adds depth to the experience.
Normally, my author interviews are on here on the first Monday of every month, but we moved it one day this time because TODAY is the book launch day for my friend, Erin Howard. She's been on here a couple times now, and I'm so excited to celebrate the birth of her new book today, The Silencer. This is the third and final installment in her urban fantasy series, The Kalilah Chronicles. If you like fantasy, I highly recommend you check them out. They're all great.
Erin and I have gotten to know each other over the last few years through KenTen Writers Retreat and through the Mantle Rock Publishing group. She's become a great friend and we often trade manuscripts to edit or critique. We also launched our Once Upon a Page YouTube channel last year with our other friend, Heather Greer. I've loved getting to know this creative gal and I can't wait to share her with you.
Okay, without further ado, here's Erin.
This is the final book of your series, The Kalila Chronicles. Does it feel finished to you now?
In some ways, it does feel finished. I think it will feel even more real when I can place the print copy next to the others on my desk. But honestly, I love this series and story world, so much, that I would have loved to keep going.
The farther into the series we got, the more different groups and characters you introduced. Was it hard for you to keep up with everything and make sure all your backstories worked together?
Yes! The more the story world emerged and expanded, it could be difficult to keep track of everything. I had to keep detailed notes spanning the whole series, and sometimes I would have to go back and look to see what I said in The Seer or The Soul Searcher.
Will we see more from these characters or are you going to move on to something else now?
I’m working on a couple of projects at the moment. But the first one is a novella series that is in the same story world as The Kalila Chronicles. You will see some familiar societies and new characters. Maybe some familiar faces in the future. I’m also working on a dystopian romance novel with my Once Upon a Page authors.
What is one of the best things you've learned on this journey of publishing three books in three years?
Make sure you take care of yourself. For me, writing can be draining. I think it’s because I put so much of myself and my emotions into the stories. I found that I had to make time to recharge. I can be such a perfectionist and a procrastinator. Not a fun combination at deadline time. But if you’re serious about writing, make the time and write. Don’t worry about the first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You can fix it in the re-write and editing stages.
I know some of your other interests have taken a bit of a back burner while you were working on finishing your series, but now you've reopened an online craft store. Can you tell us a bit about it and why you decided to do that?
Crafting has always been a part of me. They seem to go hand in hand. Crocheting, and making other crafts, re-charge my creativity for writing. I owned and operated a retail store before my youngest son was diagnosed with Leukemia. I made items every day and sold other local artisan's work. I loved every minute of it. We had to close the store while he was getting treatments, and now that the treatments are over, I’m trying to add things back into my life that I’ve missed so much for the past three years.
I know this is your third interview with me, and you know how I end all my interviews. Can you think of something else to tell us about yourself that very few people know about you already?
I hate going to the movies by myself. I don’t like to go out and do things alone. But I have friends who say they love it and I wanted to be able to say that I’ve at least tried it. So I went. It was horrible. I felt awkward the whole time and wanted to get up and leave so many times. Perhaps, I shouldn’t have gone to eat alone beforehand either. It was too much. LOL!
That's funny! I think I'd feel the same way. I like going with people so we can share looks like, "did you just see that, too?" Thanks for joining us, Erin. We can't wait to see what you come up with next!
To know more about Erin's new book or how to find her online, keep reading.
Sam’s parents asked him to do the unthinkable:
And it cost him everything.
When Sam Hart was forced to walk away from everything and everyone he knew, The Kalila became his new home. He thought he could keep the past buried but after an unexpected visit from his brother, a family secret is revealed.
Already reeling from a murder of one of their own, an unimaginable chain of events leaves everyone questioning each other’s loyalty. Will Sam, Viktor, and Matthias be able to stop this newest threat before they lose another?
Erin R. Howard is a Developmental Editor, YA Urban Fantasy Author of The Kalila Chronicles, and has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. When she's not writing, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, fueling her craft addictions, and teaching writing workshops. Erin is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the KenTen Writers Group. She resides in Western Kentucky with her husband and three children.
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This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)