Today I have an interview with another of the wonderful authors who have a book listed on the Awesome Indies site.
Christina Mercer writes fiction for children and young adults. Her varied interests prompted her to study creative writing, earn her official degree in Accounting, acquire a certificate in Herbal Studies, and learn beekeeping. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference and was a semi-finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest. She enjoys life in the Sierra foothills with her husband, two sons, four dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.
Honeybees? Mmm, interesting, but not quite as crazy as my wallabies, echidnas and lyrebirds.
Tell me about your book. What is it about and why should I read it?
ARROW OF THE MIST is a Middle Grade/Young Adult “Tween” Fantasy where terror strikes the Celtic inspired kingdom of Nemetona when barbed roots breach the land and poison woodsmen, including 15-year-old Lia’s beloved father. Lia embarks on a quest to the forbidden land of Brume to gather ingredients for the cure. She relies on her herbal wisdom and newfound gift as a tree mage through a land of soul-hungry shades, fabled creatures, and uncovered truths about her family.
Publisher’s Weekly said, “Ancient magic and herbal lore mark this engaging, fast-moving fantasy with a botanical bent. Lia, 15, is a winning heroine, discovering and wielding her magical gifts. Smoothly crafted writing conjures up a wondrous world where trees impart wisdom and dwarves tend ancient and powerful crystals. Well-developed characters, elegant dialogue, trickster creatures, exciting scenes of mystic battle and intriguing riddles stir up a powerful potion that will charm readers.”
One of the things I like about Indie books is that they tend to be a bit different. Is yours different, and if so, how?
ARROW OF THE MIST is a traditional fantasy hero’s quest with many well-known creatures of lore, but what’s absolutely unique about it is how the story delves into Herb and Tree Lore. That aspect, along with the world building as a whole, has been described as “fresh and new” for this genre.
How long have you been writing?
Well, since childhood, really. I filled many journals with little stories and poems, acted as reporter for my 4-H club, and went on to study creative writing during my first year of college. Life sort of took over then and my writing went back to private journals until about 8 years ago when the seed thought for ARROW OF THE MIST began. It started out as a story for a much younger audience, but kept growing and developing until it became the novel for tweens & teens it is today.
Why do you write?
Writing, for me, is the ultimate creative expression of all that swims in my head. I can’t imagine life without writing; it is the quintessential exhale of who I am.
How do you see the role of Indie publishing today and in the future?
Indie publishing is worlds apart from where it was when I started writing over 7 years ago. The doors are wide open now for authors to publish without going through a big house. I believe the ebook revolution will continue to thrive and affordable resources will continue to grow to help authors put out their product.
Why did you decide to take the Indie route for this book?
I connected with an Indie collective “Indie-Visible” who impressed me greatly with their independence and talents. Their encouragement and collaborative support was just the push I’d been waiting for to get my book out to the world.
What does it mean to you to be listed on the Awesome Indies site?
I kept reading around the web about this awesome site for indie books, so I checked it out and submitted my book. It was a true honor to be accepted through the vetting process and included amid such quality works.
What have you found the most difficult aspect of Indie publishing?
Time management is perhaps the greatest challenge. Balancing the business and marketing aspects with time for completing other works in progress takes effort, though it is such a worthwhile endeavor.
What have you found the most rewarding aspect?
Seeing my “baby” out in the world where others can enjoy it is huge. Also, I must acknowledge the wonderful relationships I’ve formed with others in the writing industry.
What advice would you give to anyone starting out who is considering self-publishing or setting up their own Indie publishing company?
Be prepared to put in a LOT of (rewarding!) work. And never cut corners when it comes to putting out a quality product.
Find out more about her here http://christinamercer.com
And check out her book.