Interview: urban and steamy high fantasy author Shana Vernon

Hello lovely folks, I’ve got a real treat for you today! I had the immense privilege of interviewing the incredible Shana Vernon, author of The Hybrid Chronicles.

I recently read an early copy of Shana’s new release Of Shadow and Ember, and it’s my favourite book of the year so far (a review is coming soon). So let’s see what Shana had to say when we chatted!

Hi Shana, it’s so lovely to have you with us! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am originally from Baltimore Maryland, USA, but I moved to Israel at nineteen years old. I love to travel around the world, cook and eat delicious food, create and write new worlds, read, drink wine, and play with my twenty-one-month-old triplets and our frenchie, Lola. 

We could be best friends, because those are all my favourite things! Say hi to Lola for me!! So, when did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was about twelve, but I only took it more seriously during my pregnancy when I was stuck on bedrest. Two years later, I have three books and one novella published, with another on the way!

Wow, that’s an incredible achievement in just two years. And especially when I know that your pregnancy was with triplets who are now eighteen months old! I’ve got one 3.5 years old, so I can only imagine the fun and chaos of having three baby boys to deal with. What’s your favourite genre to read and write?

Fantasy.

Me too! And your favourite tropes?

  • Found family
  • Enemies to lovers
  • Slow burn romance
  • Kick-Ass heroines

Those are definitely some of my faves too, especially enemies to lovers. But I have to admit, I’m a sucker for royalty and the chosen one trope. Tell us about your upcoming release.

My newest release, Of Shadow and Ember, is now available for pre-order and comes out 15 September, and everyone who orders will get two freebies!! 

Claim your preorder goodies here:

https://forms.gle/qK5w3UWMVCm2KTEB6
https://forms.gle/zYCcFE4vAkRp8Utn9 

Add it to your TBR on Goodreads.

Awesome, I can’t wait to see what the preorder goodies are! I loved the book and found the world building incredible. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings? 

Each kingdom in Elaerys has a unique magic system and culture that were inspired by different lore and legends. Kalamia was inspired a bit by my own ancestry. 

When I originally began outlining and writing OSAE, there was only one main character. After the story started, I really fell in love with the other two sisters and made them both MCs as well. 

I really enjoyed seeing inside all three sisters’ heads, I think it made the story more three-dimensional and layered. You’ve made me want to write a multi-POV story next! Do you consider yourself a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

Hard core plotter. I outline the entire book, including the characters, before I even start writing. 

I’m a big plotter too, although I do leave room to find my way, but I need a chapter by chapter breakdown to keep me on the right track. What are you working on right now?

I just got started working on two different WIPs. One is the second book in the “Heirs of Elaerys’ series, and the first in a new urban fantasy series. 

I’m so excited for the second Heirs of Elaerys book! What one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Don’t give up. Just keep writing – sung in the ‘Just keep swimming’ tune. 

Perfect, thank you so much for chatting with me today! It’s been an honour. Before you go, how can we find out more about you and your books? 

Shana’s website:    www.shanavernon.com

Sign up to Shana’s email newsletter: https://www.shanavernon.com/newsletter 

Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorshanavernon/ 

Join Shana’s Facebook group:   https://www.facebook.com/groups/shanavernonssupernaturalsquad 

Shana will also be featured in the upcoming anthology, Season of the Witch!


I cannot recommend Of Shadow and Ember highly enough, and I’ll be impatiently waiting for book two, Of Earth and Bone, until March 2022 when it comes out. I’m definitely adding the Hybrid Chronicles to my TBR! How about you? Which of Shana’s books are you reading first?

Lyndsey

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Meet Tullia Artfulbeau, Baroness of the Northern Wolves

Last week, we revealed the (frankly, gorgeous) cover of Once Upon a Name, the upcoming collection of fantasy short stories that I’ll be publishing alongside nineteen fellow authors in April 2022.

Today, I want to introduce the main character of my story, Baroness of Blood and Bone.

Meet Tullia Artfulbeau, Baroness of the Northern Wolves.

Tullia Artfulbeau is the alpha of the Northern Wolves, a pack of shifters who rule the Ancient City with an iron fist. Despite being the smallest pack in the city.

On the night of the Blood Moon, Tullia performs a ritual to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. With the help of the local vamp club owner, she’s able to uncover the mystery and reveal her mother’s true killer.

But will she be able to take her final revenge?

Find out on 20 April 2022 when Once Upon a Name comes out!

Preorder the ebook here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B09C2TDGJV/

Preorder the paperback here: https://bronzewoodbooks.com/product/once-upon-a-name-paperback/

Add it to your TBR here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/58804078-once-upon-a-name

What do you think of Tullia? Are you excited to read the full story next year? I’ll be revealing more snippets and introducing some other characters over the next few months, so slip on your leather jacket and hop on your motorbike and get ready to ride into the Ancient City.

Lyndsey

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Interview: bestselling urban fantasy author C.C. Solomon

Hello! How’s your summer going? We’re in the midst of a serious heatwave here in the UK, but we’re due a big thunderstorm over the weekend so hopefully the heat will break soon and we’ll all be able to get some sleep.

This week, I had the huge privilege of chatting to USA Today bestselling author C.C. Solomon, whose brand new book, Dark Hauntings, came out this week! Read on to see what we chatted about and find out more about her new release.

Hi C.C.! Thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell us a little about yourself to begin with?

I’m originally from the suburbs of Baltimore, MD. I have a very dog behaving cat named Stormy.  I’m an avid traveler. Especially international travel. I’m also a big fan of karaoke, horror movies, anime and Asian dramas. During the day I work in civil rights, in the area of employment discrimination. 

I also love karaoke and international travel! But you can keep the horror movies, I’m a giant wimp. Your job sounds so interesting, I bet that’s really rewarding. So, when did you start writing and who encouraged you?

I started writing when I was around eleven years old. I wrote a short play in my English class that my classmates put on and did some other short stories as assignments. My English teacher, Ms. Weber, told me I was good and to keep writing and I have!

I love that, my teachers were really supportive and encouraging too. That’s so cool that your classmates performed your play! I bet that was an incredible experience. What would you say are your favourite genres to read and write?

I write what I like to read, mostly. I am a huge urban fantasy and paranormal romance reader. However, I also love a good contemporary romance novel. I mix them all up in my reading list. My favorite tropes are love triangles (I know many people hate them but I love the drama), friends to lovers, enemies to lovers (but only if it’s more banter and not the guy being a jerk or bully). And I love character driven story lines. 

I do enjoy a really well done love triangle, and enemies to lovers is my absolute favourite! But you’re right, only if it’s a bit of rivalry. I don’t personally understand the appeal of bully romance, but each to their own I guess! Tell us about your most recent release.

Right now I have a few recent releases. Last month, I along with several other authors released a YA fantasy and sci fi anthology called Girls of Might and Magic

I also updated the second book in my Paranormal World series, Mystic Journeys

This month, I release Dark Hauntings. This is technically the second in my new Paranormal Times series set in the same world as and a spin off of my Paranormal World Series. There is a first book/prequel novella called Mystic Memories. In this series a faerie with a missing memory is trying to navigate her way through a post apocalyptic world, solve a gruesome mystery, and capture a fae throne. All with a side of romance. 

OK, you have literally combined my two favourite things there – fae novels and true crime! Congratulations on your new release, I can’t wait to read it! I absolutely loved Girls of Might and Magic, it was such a fantastic collection. Where do you find inspiration for your characters or settings? 

I’m a huge anime, horror and k drama fan so they allow me to think outside of the box because of the unique, non-Western storytelling. I also am a daydreamer, people watcher and avid traveler so the combination is always giving me ideas, with new settings and scenarios popping up in my head. 

It’s always the strangest places inspiration can spring from, I find the final pieces of the puzzle for a story usually come from a completely different genre or format, like podcasts and documentaries. Do you consider yourself a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

Plotter. I usually have a fairly detailed outline but it gets revised along the way. Without some direction I’d have a hard time keeping focused and engaged. 

I’m the same, I need a vague map to where I’m headed, but I also leave myself room to take the scenic route. What are you working on right now?

I’m currently a little over mid way through my sequel to my novella, Mystic Realms, in which we again focus on my character Lisa who is forced to save an elven king from a curse or else she’ll have to repay a sinister favor to him. It’s heavy paranormal romance compared to most of my other work. 

That sounds like so much fun! I’ve recently fallen in love with novellas and short stories. Especially when they tie into a series I love. Before I let you go, what one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Keep writing. That’s the biggest thing. Especially for indie authors. A lot of our success can come from building a brand which comes from having several books published. This way you give readers something to come back to. Also writing that first draft is tough but don’t stop. Even if you know you’ll change something, just make note of it to go back to later and keep moving forward in the story. Once the first draft is done I think it gets easier and more rewarding. 

Such great advice, first drafts are always a hot mess, but they’re the only way to get to the second draft, and the third, and the final, polished book.

Thank you so much for chatting with me today, C.C.! It’s been so nice to get to know you better and hear about your new releases. How can we find out more about you and your books? 

Visit C.C.’s website

Join C.C.’s email list

Find C.C. on Instagram

Follow C.C.’s Facebook page

And join her FB group here


That was so much fun, if you love urban and paranormal fantasy I hope you’ve added C.C.’s books to your Goodreads! And don’t forget to check out her brand new release, Dark Hauntings: A Paranormal Times Novel.

Happy reading!

Lyndsey

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