Interview: Fantasy author N. D. T. Casale

Hi friends, how’s life? Things are getting better every day here in the UK, public spaces are reopening and the weather has turned to full Spring, bringing the cherry blossom out on the trees.

This week, I want to introduce you to another lovely writer friend of mine, N. D. T. Casale.

Hiya, thank you so much for joining me today! Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself, e.g. where you’re from, family, pets, hobbies, etc.

I live in the New England region of the United States. I am Italian-American and very proud of my roots. I have a love for learning languages. I am trilingual (I speak English, Italian, and Spanish), I am trying to learn French and I have aspirations to learn more languages. I like cooking and trying foods from different cultures.

I have a love for animals. I currently do not have any pets but I want dogs and horses in the future. In my free time I snowboard, ride horses, workout, dance, travel, and go on adventures. I am a bit of a fashionista, I have an obsession for shoes, makeup, and skincare products. Lastly, I have a love for mysteries, I like to give my brain a workout, and challenge myself by solving the crime. 

Gosh, trilingual, that’s so impressive! I speak English and Spanish, but I’m really rusty so don’t ask me to prove it! Have you always been a writer, and what inspired you to start?

I have been writing stories since I was a child. My family had a big role in nurturing my creativity. When I was little during summer break, my mother gave me a notebook to practice my writing. She would give me random topics and challenge me to write a story.  My dad and I read Harry Potter together and the book series drew me into the world of fantasy.

Lastly, I used to tell my sister stories I created myself before she went to sleep each night. This inspired me to envision magical realms and go on adventures. As I have grown my writing has blossomed into multiple books that I hope to publish in the future. 

You must have some wonderful memories of telling your sister magical bedtime stories and creating your own worlds as a child, it sounds like an idyllic childhood filled with books and magic! What are your favourite genres to read and write now?

My favorite genres are fantasy and mystery. 

Me too, I love fantasy, but my second favourite genre is definitely a good mystery, especially anything by Agatha Christie. I love the mixture of period drama and whodunnit. Can you tell us about your upcoming projects and works-in-progress?

Enchanted Waters is my first publication. I look forward to sharing The Arctic Mermaid and Sea Ghosts of the Isle with all of you. I have more novels that I am working on and hope to publish soon. 

I’m so excited to read your stories in Enchanted Waters, and I can’t wait to see what you publish next. Where do you tend to find inspiration for your characters or settings? 

I find inspiration through life. The highs, the lows, the joys, the trials, the tribulations, the people, the feelings, all have a big influence in my writing. I love the quote “what we give power has power,” because being a writer gives us power.

In many of my stories, the situations my characters partake in mirror experiences I have gone through and what I have felt. Throughout my life there were times I did not like certain outcomes or I would wonder why something had to happen how it did. I will revisit those scenarios and emotions in my novels and rewrite it to have a better resolution. This helps me cope in a way.

Most importantly, I write for others. People are my inspiration. I incorporate characters of different walks of life, nationalities, races, and backgrounds in my novels because I want everyone to feel welcome in my books.  I hope that my stories can help people like myself who have gone through challenging times find hope again. I want readers to know they are not alone. No matter how challenging our lives can be, we can persevere. We can overcome, we are warriors, and we can find happiness again.

Lastly, many characters I magically create in my head. I wait for them to talk to me and tell me what to write.

I love that, life is the best source of inspiration, and it’s a beautiful gift to be able to make another person feel seen and understood. What are you working on right now?

I am in the process of revising my novel Sapphora: Shards of Secrecy. It is a fantasy story that combines sorcery and Egyptian Mythology. It is the first book in a trilogy.

Shards of Secrecy tells the tale of a young woman named Sapphora whose life is plagued by secrets. The secrecy begins when she discovers she is not a 19 year old college student. She is an 897 year old Egyptian princess, sorceress, and guardian of the Ankh for the magical realm of Avagodro. Avagodro is a parallel universe to Ancient Egypt. Sapphora’s memory has been wiped clean due to unknowingly consuming a magical potion for years. She has no recollection of her past life.

Sapphora discovers she is being hunted due to her failure to fulfill a prophecy. To make matters worse an evil foe is returning to Avagodro and seeks an ancient spell book that contains incantations of almighty control. In order to save the realm, Sapphora must navigate through a series of death challenges created by the Ancient Gods to protect the sacred book. As Sapphora continues to unravel the secrets of her past, she struggles with accepting her true self, who she can trust, and what to do when it comes time for her to battle evil to right the failures from the past.

I have more novels, short stories, and children’s books that I am in the process of creating. 

Wow. That sounds incredible! I haven’t read any fantasy novels inspired by Ancient Egypt, I can’t wait to read it! What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Truthfully I still consider myself to be in the early stages of authorship. I am learning so much yet I still have a lot to learn. Advice I would give to others is write from your heart, believe in yourself, and believe in your writing. Never let anyone try to change your style. Get involved, join groups on social media, and talk to other authors.

Lastly, do your research, there are many steps to publishing a book that I never knew existed. Take your time and go at your own pace. 

That’s great advice, it’s so important to be yourself and take as long as you need to write, edit and publish. It’s not a race, and we all have different speeds and are on different steps of the publishing journey.

Thank you so much for chatting with me today, it’s been so lovely getting to know you better! How can we find out more about you and your books? 

Instagram: @ndtcasale  (https://www.instagram.com/ndtcasale/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/n-d-t-casale 

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21051236.N_D_T_Casale 


I hope you enjoyed getting to know N. D. T. Casale as much as I did! How amazing does Sapphora: Shards of Secrecy sound?! You can read The Arctic Mermaid and Sea Ghosts of the Isle in Enchanted Waters from 16 July, along with 8 other magical short stories about fantasy water creatures.

Interested in getting your hands on a free ARC in exchange for an honest review?

Join our street team!

You’ll receive two exclusive short stories by EW authors just for joining, and when we reach 100 members in the private Facebook group you’ll be entered into a huge giveaway to win a stack of fantasy ebooks and short stories!

Click here to fill in the Google form and join our street team.

Lyndsey

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Five fantasy anthologies to get lost in

I’m a big fan of fantasy books, and the only thing I love more than a fantasy story is several fantasy stories in one boxset! I’ve collated a few of my favourite boxsets and anthologies below, from short stories to full length novels, and clean YA tales to steamy-as-you-like fantasy romance.

Fantasy collections to fall in love with

Realms of Fae and Shadow

Enchanted forests. Deadly bargains. Welcome to the magic of Faerie.

Sadly, this short story collection is no longer available to buy, but you can find the authors on Instagram and head to their websites to get your hands on these stories.

My favourite so far is Heir of Bitter Thorn by Kay L. Moody, and I cannot wait to dive into her series, The Fae of Bitter Thorn. Because, did I mention, every one of these shorts leads into a full length fantasy series?? So good.


Once Upon a Broken Crown

Your favourite fairytales, reimagined.

If you like your fairytales with a pinch of spice, this is the anthology for you! Over twenty fantasy romance writers have joined together to recreate your favourite fairy tales with added steam and sass.

Find the authors on Instagram to find out more about the stories, and add it to your Goodreads shelf too.

Coming March 2022, you can preorder this collection on Amazon now for just 99c/77p!


Enchanted Kingdoms

Old tales: New twist.

This USA Today bestselling collection of twenty-two full length fairy tale retellings is FREE on Kindle Unlimited! Does it get better than that?

Many of the books included are the first in a series, so there’s plenty more where that came from. Discover your new favourite author between the pages of this boxset and you won’t be running out of reading material for a long time…

Add it to your Goodreads shelf or grab the ebook on Amazon.


Girls of Might and Magic

Find your might. Discover your magic. 

This anthology is a collection of diverse YA fantasy tales, showcasing diverse characters and stories from #ownvoices authors. With twenty short stories by some of my favourite authors, there’s bound to be something for every fantasy lover.

Alice Ivinya’s story features a girl with a stutter and chronic muscle weakness, set in an Asian-inspired fantasy world! (Alice Ivinya features in no less than three of the anthologies I’ve sharing today because I adore her incredible words.)

Coming 22 June, you can preorder the ebook on Amazon now.


Enchanted Waters

Find out what really lies beneath the waves…

I couldn’t share the anthologies I’m most excited about without mentioning Enchanted Waters! My story, Daughter of the Selkie King will be featured in this collection of ten water-magic fantasy stories this summer.

With tales featuring every fantasy water creature you can imagine (and some you almost definitely can’t), from mermaids and kelpies, to sirens and selkies, you’re bound to find at least one story to fall deep in love with. Discover your new favourite author in our captivating collection of short fantasy stories.

You can preorder Enchanted Waters on Amazon now, and read it from 16 July! And add it to your Goodreads To-be-read shelf here.


Join the Enchanted Waters street team!

Hopefully I’ve helped you to build your TBR with a couple of those anthologies, but if you’d like to get your hands on a free ARC of Enchanted Waters in exchange for an honest review, keep reading…

Still with me? Great!

Click here to fill out the Google form and sign up to be on our street team.

When you become a member, you’ll get access to our private Facebook group and your free gift of two stories by authors from the anthology!

Once we reach our goal of 100 street team members, you’ll be entered into a giveaway to win ten ebooks and short stories from the authors. And if we hit 250 members, another huge giveaway will be announced, so invite your friends and let’s get to our goal!

Sign up to the street team!

Lyndsey

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Book trailers: love or loathe?

If there’s one thing that divides the bookish community more than any other, it’s book trailers.

OK, and love triangles, but book trailers are pretty controversial.

Personally, I love them. Nothing gets me more excited for a new book than a trailer with epic music, flashes of the characters in exciting scenarios, and gripping titles that give me just enough of the plot to really grab my attention.

One of my closest friends is brilliantly talented at creating and editing videos (she edits all my [frankly terrible] video snippets for my day job) and she made these absolutely gorgeous trailers for my debut novel, The Fair Queen, and my short story anthology, Enchanted Waters.

Sound on for an epic cinematic experience!

The Fair Queen book trailer
Enchanted Waters book trailer

I honestly fangirl over my own stories watching these.


The first book trailer I think I ever saw was for Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, which is still one of my favourite series. It was captivating and lured me in, and sadly I thought it meant there was a movie in the works because I had never come across the concept of a book trailer before. Now I’m addicted to watching them – although they still make me wish every book would be turned into a film.

Have you read Nevernight by Jay Kristoff? It’s a really dark and bloody adult fantasy series inspired by Roman culture, with some of the most incredible world-building I’ve ever experienced. There are three suns so it is almost literally “nevernight”. Genius.

Anyway, I digress.

So, an actress named Piera Forde decided to film a series of shorts adapted from Nevernight and share them on her YouTube channel, and it is one of my favourite things. To have an actor love your book so much that they decide to fund their own serial adaptation of the story? Absolute author bucket list item right there.

(Piera actually has a short film of The Assassin’s Blade by S. J. Maas on her channel too – definitely worth a watch to see her play Celaena!)

If anyone feels like doing the same thing for The Fair Queen, let me know! I’m all for it.

Lyndsey

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