Author Interview – Sky Sommers

Author of Charm and Mayhem.

I am excited to chat with Sky Sommers today about her contribution to the Realm of Darkness boxset, Charm and Mayhem, which released yesterday! October 4th, 2022 and is currently available to order.

Helen: Welcome Sky, I am so excited that we get to chat about your book today!! I love how all your books have a little twist, and I am sure Charm and Mayhem is no exception. Tell us a little about your book.

Sky: My book in the anthology is a quirky and slightly humorous romantic fantasy between a guardian angel bodyguarding a noob Goddess of Fate. It’s called Charm& Mayhem: The Goddess of Fate. It’s the first book in a new Goddesses Saga, but it builds on my multiverse that encompasses the modern Earth and Magic Kingdom. And then some. I use magic mirrors as portal-hopping elements and there is some hilarity around Medieval dating intricacies of being married from first kiss (and even before). Marina introduces Gabriel to Moscow’s glitzy life, he saves her from the havoc of her own making. It’s light, it’s fun, I hope it’s worth a read.

Helen: I have no doubt it will be as you always bring a new aspect to the most mundane of things. I love the way you think!! How about your cover, I assuming it’s Marina and Gabriel?

Sky: It’s a quirky romantic fantasy between a Russian-born goddess and a guardian angel who has got something to atone for. Hence, a couple on the cover; the girl looks Russian and the angel’s wings are a little less than white. Since most of the book takes place in Moscow, there’s a St.Basil’s Cathedral in the corner.

Helen: What made you write a novel for an anthology?

Sky: Jealousy. Pure and simple. An author friend of mine who I look up to was in a USAT aiming set and touted her badges last year and I asked her – how did you do it. She told me. I approached the set managers and here we are.

Helen: As good as reason as any! If I asked your characters why we should read your book, what would they say?

Sky: If it’s Marina you’re asking, she’d say, don’t be daft, it’s fun and the kissing scenes, ahhh.

If it’s Gabriel, he’d think for ten minutes and then say something about hope and new beginnings. In French. Without cusswords.

Helen: Love it!! Now the set is launched, what are you working on now?

Sky: Current WIP: book #2 in the Goddesses Saga called Life&Death: The Goddess of Light. It takes place 10 years after book #1 finishes and is about the Goddess of Death needing a replacement coz she wants to check out.

Helen: Oh I am already rolling my eyes at the fun you are going to have with that! Who do you prefer to write heroes or villains?

Sky: Villains have more layers and better whys, so gimme those. In fact, one of my most loathesome character of all time – Godmother from Cinders – is begging for her own book coz she wants to be the Red Queen in Wonderland. And I’m sooooo tempted.

Helen: That would be awesome. You have the most wonderful ideas. Cinders was a brilliant book. How you twisted the relationship between the step mother and Cinders was clever and so funny! Do you find you have to do much research for your books?

Sky: Initially – minimal. But on the go – I check stuff obsessively. And then I twist them beyond recognition, but based on facts. Absolutely.

Helen: If you didn’t write Fairytale retellings, is there a genre you would be tempted to try?

Sky: Well, I might just try historical fiction – Russian Civil War and WWI time in a retelling of The Nutcracker – with one of my favourite authors, Astrid V.J. no less. #happydance

Helen: Oh! What a tease, that would be great! I hope you guys do collaborate. Thank you, Sky, for spending time with me today. Just to close us out, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Sky: Based on my own recent experience of getting a first draft of a book together in 40 days – set an aim to write a specific word count every day – e.g. 1k words or 2k words or 500 words. You’ll inevitably end up overshooting and if you think about it – 1k words for 50 days and you have a decent-size novel. The perfecting and polishing and developmental edits and proofreads will all come after. Just write something, anything during a designated time and hit that target. Even when you think you don’t want to write. Even when you think your head is empty. Write something and it’ll grow. Trust me.

Helen: Great advice. Thank you so much Sky. We can go and continue celebrating now, as it’s launch day +1!! I hope all you readers come and join us for the party in the Dark Book Boyfriend Facebook Group. Play the games and comment on the giveaway posts for a chance to win prizes. Spread the word – Realm of Darkness is now live!

You can order the anthology here for the insane price of 99c!

Realm of Darkness Anthology

Make sure you can check out some of my other posts as I interview and spotlight the authors!

Want to know which is the best book for you in the boxset? Take the ‘Which book is for me quiz‘.

About the Author:

Sky Sommers

Sky was born to Estonian-Russian parents and for most of her life has lived and worked as a lawyer in Tallinn, Estonia, with brief escapes to Finland and the United Kingdom for work/study and to all but the top and bottom continents in search of her muse. Her debut e-book in 2012 was about ancient goddesses running amock, trying to get their wilted powers back. She then proceeded to indie publishing her own ebooks and paperbacks and found her way from myths and legend via the Angelic Agency to fairytales retold for young adult and adult audiences.

So far, Thumbelina has been updated for suspicious adults, a more sinister version of Cinderella was released on 21.12.20 and an adult Red Riding Hood retelling is about to be released on 21.03.21. A Wizard of Oz retelling and several short stories are in the works. All her books are linked by some character or another and she loves making you choose at the end – by letting you pick an ending to read – one for the optimist and a slightly different one for pessimists (well, except in the Cinders-Embers-Ash trilogy because only Douglas Adams could pull off a trilogy in 5 parts). She lives in a house with a small garden with her husband and mostly one, but on occasion plus four kids. No dog.

You can find her on:

Facebook

Instagram

Other books by Sky Sommers

You can purchase Book One: Cinders here:

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook

Link to book on Amazon US: eBook

Link book on Amazon Canada: eBook

And Book Two: Embers here:

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook

Link to book on Amazon US: eBook

Link book on Amazon Canada: eBook

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy romance books then you will love my new release SoulBreather, part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology, and my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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Author Interview – Becky James

Author of The Shadow of Death.

Joining me today is another of my co-conspirators from the Realm of Darkness boxset. I am chatting with Fantasy author, Becky James about her contribution to the boxset, The Shadow of Death, which releases today! October 4th, 2022 and is currently available to order.

Helen: Welcome Becky, I am so excited that we get to chat about your book on launch day!! Tell us a little about your book.

Becky: I have always loved Scotland, and spent four years living there next to the sea, so I knew I wanted something Scottish. I researched and played around with some Celtic myths and legends for a romantic fantasy collaboration project. In some parts of Scotland, it was believed that a Cu Sidhe, a dog fae, could sense imminent death, and in other parts, they thought a black cat fae called a Cat Sidhe would steal the souls of the recently departed. Talking to an author friend, she suggested they were at war with each other over souls, and I started to put together why they would be at odds. What do they use souls for, or what do they believe is happening to them?

I came up with the Cu Sidhe taking them to be sent to the Otherworld, but they don’t know what that is, and the Cat Sidhe using them to generate magic, which they need to live. It’s been fun putting together a world that allows for shifters, a magic system based around different gemstones and selkies!

Helen: Your cover is very mystical with your main characters shadowed by their other forms. How did you come up with the design?

Becky: I knew I wanted Allegra Pescatore to make a cover: I love her vibrant styles and clever details. When she showed me the concept for Neri I was blown away, she is perfect! She has carried that style over into Book 2, The Thief of Souls, and done a fantastic job!

Helen: Allegar did a fantastic job! What made you write a novel for an anthology?

Becky: Writing can be a lonely hobby. Yes, you’re spending time with your characters, but it’s lovely to have a support system, a place where everyone is going through the same thing. Release week is full of ups and downs, it’s one of my favourite and least favourite times! It’s great to have your characters go off and meet new friends, but it can also be very stressful as you watch for fan reactions.

Joining into an anthology was a no-brainer for me. Working alongside other committed, caring individuals has been so refreshing. I have learnt so much, and also helped out a ton! My network has grown considerably.

Helen: I agree. It has been such a valuable experience. If you put in the hard work, then we all reap the benefits. Launch day is here, which is so exciting! Writing is so much fun, but what made you take that first step and begin writing?

Becky: Well, characters will stride into my life first and foremost, and then loudly demand that their stories are told. It took a few years to build up my writing skill to the point where I felt able to do their stories justice, although I’m still learning things every day. I write very character driven stories, so I’ll often only get a glimpse of the plot and then they will react to it faster than I can type!

Helen: Tell us about some of the other books have you written.

Becky: If you like sword and sorcery portal fantasy mixed with a bit of multiverse (think the good doctors – Doctor Who and Doctor Strange!), then The King’s Swordsman series is for you. It follows the adventures of a cocky swordsman and his exasperated companions. I’m over the moon to have people say good things about the series and how they enjoyed hanging out with these guys as much as I have. 

The Tempered Turns of Time, King’s Swordsman Book 4

Helen: I am already intrigued to meet your characters!. Readers can find links to book one at the end of the interview. Was their anyone special who inspired you to publish your books?

Becky: I grew up reading Tamora Pierce, Robin Hobb / Megan Lindholm, and Anne McCaffrey. McCaffrey is an interesting blend of sci-fi and fantasy but it’s all character driven to a large extent: Hobb very much so as well. Pierce has that wonderful blend of characters coming to terms with hard real life issues and not always making the right choices. The works I most admire are those by Leigh Eddings, as in David and Leigh Eddings, because she’s recognised as the “secret” co-author on some of the books too. The Redemption of Althalus was my first “grown up” fantasy, and I absolutely loved the characters with their balance of humour and heart. 

Helen: Oh yes, I love the Eddings books; they inspired much of my writing as well. We’re almost at the end of our time. Just to close us out, how do you fit writing into your daily life?

Becky: I usually write early in the morning or on public transport. I’ll be working on a Google doc to start with so I can use both laptop or phone, and then transfer it to Word for prettifying and self-editing before it goes to betas and my editors. 

I’ll listen to music when running, and have a story playlist where songs relate to how the characters are feeling, but I write in silence. I like to get up before anyone else and have time when no one is asking for a snack or where something is: just me and the page.

Helen: Thank you, Becky, for chatting with me today. We can go and start celebrating now, as it’s launch day!! I hope all you readers come and join us for the party in the Dark Book Boyfriend Facebook Group. Play the games and comment on the giveaway posts for a chance to win prizes. Spread the word – Realm of Darkness is now live!

You can order the anthology here for the insane price of 99c!

Realm of Darkness Anthology

Make sure you can check out some of my other posts as I interview and spotlight the authors!

Want to know which is the best book for you in the boxset? Take the ‘Which book is for me quiz‘.

About the Author:

Becky James

Becky James is the author of The King’s Swordsman series. Based in the UK, she has a deep love of the British countryside, canals, and all things fantasy; she devours anything that has magic, swords, good friends and good times.

For all the latest news:

Other books by Becky James

The Tenets in the Tattoos, Book One of the King’s Swordsman series

Link to ebook on Amazon UK | Amazon US
Link to paperback on Amazon UK | Amazon US

As an Amazon Associate I may earn commission from purchases made using these links.

If you enjoy fantasy romance books then you will love my new release SoulBreather, part of the Realm of Darkness Anthology, and my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey. Sign up to my newsletter and download a free novella called Sentinals Stirring and get notified when my next books are published.

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