I recently read the first book in The Oremere Chronicles, Heart of Mist, and fell in love with another fantasy world. I was beyond excited when I was given the opportunity to be part of the Regin of Mist blog tour and even more so when I got the opportunity to ask Helen some questions!
Helen Scheuerer is a novelist from Sydney, Australia, and the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit. She has university degrees in both creative writing and publishing. Her #1 bestselling YA fantasy novel, Heart of Mist is available now. She is a full-time author living by the beach.
Amy: What was your favourite book as a child?
Helen: Definitely Harry Potter. I think it was one of the first books that made me fall in love with binge-reading! If we’re going back earlier than that, there was also Deltora Quest by Emily Rodda, and Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness.
As a younger child, I mayyy have also liked Pony Pals and The Babysitter’s Club 🙂
A: What is your favourite way to relax?
H: There’s nothing I love more than a slow weekend morning. I pop a couple of croissants in the oven, make a pot of tea and sit out in the sun on my patio. Often I’ll have a notepad and pen, but those writing mornings are for the pure pleasure of it and don’t feel like work.
I’m also lucky enough that I live by the beach and so taking a long walk with a friend in the sunshine is another way I like to rewind and reset my brain.
A: Do you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what are your methods for getting through it?
H: Hmmm… I’m not sure I’d call it “writer’s block”, but I definitely have times when I’m not motivated and it all feels a bit too hard. I had one of those days yesterday actually. I ended up doing no work at all. But then today, after having a rest day, I’m powering through.
I’m slowly learning to listen to my mind and body when a burn out is looming. I try to rest, or at least do something different. Getting outside helps as well. If I listen to my needs, I find I’m far more productive the next day.
A: What experience since deciding to become an author has been your favourite so far?
H: That’s a really tricky question because there have been so many wonderful moments since Heart of Mist hit the shelves.
Seeing how many people showed up to support me at the book launch last year was a surreal and magical moment. As was seeing the book hit #1 on Amazon and being a bestseller in under 24 hours. I couldn’t believe it.
It’s also been incredible receiving emails from readers from all over the world. I’ve had people tell me how much the book has helped them through difficult times, and that’s always such an amazing feeling.
A: How long did you spend working on Heart of Mist and Reign of Mist?
H: I wrote Heart of Mist for NaNoWriMo in 2015. I managed to hammer out the first draft in about 6 weeks. However, the process then took probably about a year to get it ready for publication.
Reign of Mist was a harder book for me to write, and all the while I was publishing and promoting Heart of Mist, so it took longer for it to come together. I’d say I wrote it on and off over the course of 6 months or so, and it’s now been about a year in between the publication of the two books.
A: Your main characters are all complex. What inspired you to write them?
H: To me, it’s incredibly important that characters in fiction are as flawed as people in real life. There’s no such thing as a perfect person, and we all come with our own traits, good and bad. It was this notion that drove me while I was creating the cast of characters in The Oremere Chronicles.
I didn’t want anyone to be perfect, and so I worked very hard to ensure that each protagonist had a rich history, rife with moral shades of grey.
A: Can you tell us anything about the third book in the Oremere Chronicles?
H: Well, I’m currently working on the first draft of Book 3. I’m hoping to have it complete and ready for rewrites by the time Reign of Mist hits the shelves, but that’s rather ambitious…
I haven’t revealed the title for Book 3 yet, but it will be out in 2019.
In the meantime, I do publish multiple Heart of Mist prequel stories each year in between the books, to keep readers happy. These explore events in the main characters’ pasts and give us a glimpse into the things that made them who they are in the series.
You can sign up to receive them here, and they’re 100% free 🙂
A: Do you have any plans for books after the Oremere Chronicles and can you tell us anything about them yet?
H: I’m a big planner, so I actually have books planned (or at least semi-planned) up until 2021.
However, I can’t say too much about them, or it ruins the fun!
Thank you to Helen for taking the time to answer my questions!
Buy Heart of Mist -> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07556VD4Y/
Add Heart of Mist on Goodreads -> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36128982-heart-of-mist
Buy Reign of Mist -> https://amzn.to/2x2pJ1h
Add Reign of Mist on Goodreads -> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39216289-reign-of-mist
Heart of Mist Prequels: https://bit.ly/2GLxVdf
Writer’s Edit: https://writersedit.com/
Keep an eye out for my review of Reign of Mist which will be up in a few hours time!
Also, mark 9am EST on September 10 down on your calendars and join in the #MistPH Twitter chat hosted by Shealea of That Bookshelf Bitch!
Until next time bibliophiles!