Author of Sparks and Shadows.
Today, I am chatting with YA Fantasy author, Ceara Nobles, about her novel Sparks and Shadows which releases today!!! Congratulations Ceara! Sparks and Shadows is the first book in the Rising Elements series.
Helen: Welcome Ceara! To start us off, tell us about your new novel.
Ceara: Sparks and Shadow is the first book in the Rising Elements series, a modern, action-packed YA portal fantasy featuring Fae mythology, magic, and slow-burn romance.
Seattle is full of monsters, and I’m the only one who can see them.
I’ve spent the last 17 years (AKA my whole life) pretending I can’t see the monsters who disguise themselves as humans. I may not have a place to live and my best friend may be moments away from getting in too deep with the city’s most dangerous drug lord, but I’m rolling with the status quo.
That is, until I save my arch enemy’s stupid life and find myself in a warehouse full of monsters.
Next thing I know, I’m in Monster Land (AKA not Seattle) and up to my ears in monsters, magic, and inevitable mayhem. If I want to get home, I have to join a band of revolutionaries and stay alive long enough to get back through the portal before war breaks out.
This’ll be a cinch.
Helen: Congratulations on the release of your novel! Such a special feeling! This is such a lovely cover! Can you tell us how you came up with the design?
Ceara: This cover was so fun to make! You’ll see Everly, my main character, on the cover. Elements are a huge part of the series, and Everly’s magical element is fire, so we chose warm colors to go along with that. Most of the story is set in the mystical land of Thios, a city built into a massive forest in Faery, so we had to incorporate trees onto the cover. I wanted the cover to match current cover trends but also be meaningful to my story.
Helen: Is there a story behind the title?
Ceara: Funny story about the title. Originally, I had chosen the title SPARK OF FATE. I loved the title, researched the heck out of it to make sure there were no other books using it, and commissioned the cover from my designer. I even announced it and did a cover reveal on my Instagram page. Then I realized another author had published a book IN MY GENRE with the exact same title a few weeks before I announced mine. I was heartbroken! But I knew it would cause too much confusion to have two books with the same title in the same genre, so I brainstormed some other options and came up with SPARKS AND SHADOW. I have fallen in love with it, and I think it fits the series much better than my first one!
Helen: Oh, what a shame and how frustrating after all that work! I am so glad you found another title you love just as much and I think it works just as well if not better! What made you write this book?
Ceara: This book was born from my love of Ireland. We went on a family vacation there a few years ago, and I fell in love with the moss-covered forests and fae mythology. I also have a deep love for the Pacific Northwest, specifically the Seattle area. I combined the two, and SPARKS AND SHADOW was born!
Helen: Sounds like the best inspiration! Is YA fantasy your favourite genre to write?
Ceara: I write YA fantasy, and I love it! SPARKS AND SHADOW is a portal fantasy, and I love the idea of marrying the real world and a fantasy world. It makes my job really fun, and I get to combine the best of both worlds. I love imagining the possibilities of a fantastical world, creating new magic systems and societies and species.
Helen: I agree, part of the joy of writing fantasy is the creative freedom to make up whatever you want. How does writing fit into your everyday life?
Ceara: I have a 2-year-old, so writing whenever I want just isn’t going to happen. She’s in preschool 2 days a week (soon to be 3, and I can’t wait!), so I head to a local coffee shop on those days and work there for the day. Something about the change in location really gets me into the headspace to work! A good iced chai always helps too. 😉 My husband also takes her two evenings a week and gives me three solid hours to work. Overall, I’m able to work about 20 hours a week.
Helen: How wonderful, supportive hubby’s are the best! Do you have time to fit in any hobbies?
Ceara: I love traveling! Between my hubby and I, we have family in three states, and we spend a lot of time traveling between them. I also love visiting new places, so we usually take at least a few trips per year. Besides that, I love long hot baths with a good book and thrifting!
Helen: You are very busy! Is there anything anecdotal you would like to share with your readers?
Ceara: I have to shout out to my husband! We have dubbed him my “creative director,” and he’s actually the inspiration behind my publishing company’s name: Riverside Press. When the idea for Sparks and Shadow first came to fruition, it was on a solo camping trip with my hubby and I. We spent an entire afternoon sitting in folding chairs by the river, plotting and brainstorming the first version of my story. He’s always there to support me, whether by brainstorming ideas with me or taking our toddler for the day so I can catch up on my deadlines. I wouldn’t be able to do this without him!
Helen: That sounds perfect! Thank you so much for chatting with me today. As we reach the end of our time together is there any advice you would share with new writers?
Ceara: It sounds cliche, but my best advice is this: you CAN do hard things. Writing stories and sharing them with the world is terrifying and difficult, but it is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. As for the publishing process? It’s not as hard as it sounds. Just learn as much as you can and keep failing until you figure it out!
About the Author:
Ceara Nobles is a Utah-based author of romantic suspense and fantasy novels. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2016 with a B.A. in Computer Animation, then realized she hated it. So she decided to pursue her true love of writing instead. She spends her days writing sales copy as a copywriter… and her evenings writing exciting stories as an author. And she loves both! When she’s not busy writing, you can find her snuggling her new baby girl, road tripping with her hubby, or shooing her cats off her laptop.
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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my books which are available in eBook, paperback or hardcover: Book One: Sentinals Awaken. Book Two: Sentinals Rising. Book Three: Sentinals Justice. Book 3.5: Sentinals Recovery. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next book releases.
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