Hi everyone! Welcome back to my author interview series. Today I’m sitting down with E. Rachael Hardcastle, member of the Indie Eden Book Club and bestselling author of the Finding Pandora series. Her YA high fantasy novels are about a young woman who must learn to believe in herself and her gifts as much as her supernatural friends do in order to save her planet. Let’s see what the author has to say about her books and about her writing process!
Hi Rachael! Let’s start by finding out which question I should avoid during this interview. Which typical author interview question do you hate the most?
“Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a fine question, but most authors (including myself) don’t know how to answer it. Ideas do sometimes just come to me – a sight, a sound or something in the media is all it takes. It always sounds like I either can’t be bothered or I don’t want to answer when I tell people ‘they just come to me’ when it’s not the case – they honestly do!
I can totally relate to that! Ideas just happen, you can’t always easily explain where they came from. So, building on those ideas, can you give us a short description of your book or books?
Finding Pandora: The Complete Collection combines all four of my gripping high fantasy books into one action-packed volume.
World (Book One) – Arriette Monroe never expected to be thrust into the heart of supernatural chaos, nor did she deem herself worthy of four very special gifts. But now she’s got friends to rescue, Vampyrs to fight and impossible expectations to meet. Although Arriette thinks she’s walking pandemonium, The Recruit think she’s their saviour. And they’re willing to prove it…
Heaven (Book Two) – Arriette Monroe is confident she can succeed as the Recruit’s newest leader, despite the trouble she’s caused and the innocents she’s killed. Having mastered the basics of her gifts, Arriette is prepared to tell her mother that she’s been chosen as Haeylo’s saviour, until an unexpected visitor creates chaos. Thrust into action once again, Arriette must determine if recent events, revealed secrets and the rumours of an opened box are interlinked, because if they are, she’s going to need a lot more than luck to save her friends this time…
Book Three (Infinity) – Haeylo’s thriving supernatural community comes under threat from a trusted, high- ranking Everlast, and after targeting Arriette’s newest sanctuary, she knows it’s time the Recruit challenged his actions. Stripped of her new powers and burdened with the arrival of another unique Vampyr, Arriette must find a way to protect her vulnerable community, and to prepare for the largest battle Haeylo has ever seen.
Book Four (Eternity) – Arriette Monroe has finally located Pandora’s Box but it’s guarded by a ferocious fire-breathing dragon. Using magic, the Recruit think they can bring it safely to their sanctuary, but greedy Everlast Falkon Lou has other plans for such power. Eager to gain control of Haeylo’s HPS, Falkon sends his army of Orcs and Werewolves to storm the Recruit’s lair and kill any Supe who stands in their way. Fortunately for Haeylo, that Supe is Arriette Monroe, and this time she won’t go down without a fight…
Those sound really exciting! Your books are in the genre of young adult high fantasy. What drew you to this genre? Do you also like to read books in this genre?
I’ve read books such as Divergent and Hunger Games and I loved them, so I guess you could say they inspired me to write YA. But Finding Pandora dates back to 2010 – it’s an old series I’ve re-written and re-released to suit the audience better. The book I’m writing for release in December 2017 is targeted at adults.
I’m looking forward to finding out more about that book too. In the meantime, is there any famous author that inspires you, or that you admire?
Mitch Albom – his work is fascinating and beautiful. If I’m ever 10% of the writer he is, I’ll count myself lucky.
When you write a book, do you plan out everything beforehand, or do you let the story follow its own course?
I use what I call ‘story beats’. These are notes I write alongside the first draft, kind of like my book Bible that I can use to reference the timeline, the descriptions of the characters, a break down of what happens etc. I do this as I go, then update it with every edit and re-write. It helps me keep track of things like a road map. I don’t plan in detail beforehand but I do plenty of research.
That’s a great idea. I need to do that too – you sound a lot more organized than I am! Aside from that, do you have any writing tips for other writers?
Be brave. If what you’re writing makes you cringe and worry what other people think, you’re probably on the right track. Don’t let that stop you. Write it down, edit it later. Be bold with your writing – you need to stand out from the rest of us.
Great advice. :) What would you say is the best way to market your book? With which method have you had the most success so far?
I actually put an Introduction to Marketing Webinar together to help indies follow in my footsteps. I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but the past 18 months have been fantastic and I wanted to share how I managed it. I was on TV, have had several radio interviews, became a bestseller and I have now got my book into two independent bookshops. I sat and listed the top 10 things I did to get there, then developed a one hour webinar to teach others. The techniques are tried, tested and in some cases even evidenced. I hope it will help other indies like me.
Wow that’s so great, you’re living the dream! So, how did your book originally come to be published? What was your journey to publication like? Did you get a lot of rejection letters before you finally saw your name in print?
I had an agent and even had an offer from a small publishing house when I first started out, but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to give it a go on my own, learn the ins and outs of the publishing world and prove my worth first. I’m enjoying being indie but would love to be hybrid one day too.
That’s really admirable. Thanks for sitting down for this interview, and for sharing some of your secrets to success with us!
About the Author:
E. Rachael Hardcastle is a high fantasy and post-apocalyptic author from Bradford, West Yorkshire in the UK.
Rachael has been learning her craft since early 2010 and first published at the age of 14 having written an inspirational poem in school. Her debut novel, The Soul Sanctuary, was published at just 18 years old while still studying her A-Levels.
Rachael has taken courses about writing for children and young adults, and she is now studying to copy-edit for publishers across the UK. She supports local businesses, visit schools and promotes independent publishing, so all her stories are written, edited, formatted and published without external help, offering a low-cost, epic adventure and a memorable escape from reality for her readers.
Rachael believes that through writing we face our darkest fears, explore infinite new worlds and realise our true purpose. She writes to entertain and share important morals and values with the world, but above all, she writes to be a significant part of something incredible.
About the Book:
Arriette Monroe never expected to be thrust into the heart of supernatural chaos, nor did she deem herself worthy of four very special gifts. But now she’s got friends to rescue, Vampyrs to fight and impossible expectations to meet. Although Arriette thinks she’s walking pandemonium, The Recruit think she’s their saviour. And they’re willing to prove it…
You can find this book and the others in the series at www.erachaelhardcastle.com/books.