Helen Scheuerer, a very talented YA fantasy author from Sydney Australia, explores a variety of intriguing themes in her literary fictional works. Young Entertainment received the opportunity to chat with her more about both her positive and negative experiences while becoming the successful writer she is today.
YEM: Did your novel, HEART OF MIST, receive as much success as you had initially expected when writing it?
HS: Well it’s early days yet, as it’s not out until August 31st but I have to say, I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the positive response I’ve had from readers and reviewers so far. It’s both incredibly exciting and terrifying to have a book come out into the world, and to have people share their thoughts on sites like Goodreads, Amazon, book blogs and Instagram.
YEM: If you could compare the strong character of BLEAK to a celebrity, who would you choose and why?
HS: Ohhhh that’s a really interesting question. Perhaps Elizabeth Olsen, Shailene Woodley or Dakota Fanning… All of them have striking eyes, and have played strong female characters. I can see any of them as Bleak.
YEM: What made you primarily want to become a YA author? Were there any individuals who inspired you to do so? If so, who were they and how did they inspire you?
HS: I’ve always wanted to be a novelist, or at least since I was about seven years old. However, it wasn’t until a few years back I had this “light bulb” moment that I really needed to be writing what I loved reading.
I’m lucky that with my work for Writer’s Edit, I’m constantly surrounded by inspiring writers. Kyra Thomsen and Claire Bradshaw, with whom I’ve worked closely for years, encouraged me to write the book and did NaNoWriMo with me at the same time.
YEM: Were fantasy series, similar to THE OREMERE CHRONICLES, the type of series you enjoyed reading prior to writing the novels?
HS: Absolutely. As I said before – I had a bit of an epiphany about writing what I loved reading. At the time, I was devouring a whole range of girlpower YA fantasy books – Throne of Glass, Queen of the Tearling, The Winner’s Curse… As a child I’d loved Tamora Pierce, and it was like I rediscovered the genre all over again.
YEM: Were there any authors that inspired your style of writing? If so, who were they and how did they inspire you?
HS: It sounds a bit odd now that I write YA fantasy, but previously I’d always been inspired by the styles of Cormac McCarthy, Damon Galgut and Julian Barnes. I’m a big fan of stark prose and raw dialogue, I think the dialogue aspect of this definitely comes through in my work.
YEM: When you first started receiving reviews for your novel what was your initial thought and how did it make you feel?
HS: It felt (and still feels) very surreal. I’ve been lucky that all the responses so far have been super positive and kind. I’ve had one reader requesting to make Heart of Mist candles, and another begging for the second book in the series, so these instances are music to an author’s ears!
YEM: What would be some advice you wish someone would have given you when you first started to pursue a career in writing?
HS: I wish I had of been told to write what makes me happy, rather than to write what others deemed ‘serious literature’. I spent a good few years of my career trying to fit a particular mold, and wish I had of started writing YA fantasy sooner!
On a more entrepreneurial note… I wish someone had of told me to start building my subscriber list sooner! Us authors tend to get caught up in writing and the social media side of things, but a solid list is a must.
I currently offer two free Heart of Mist prequel stories for those who sign up. You can get them here 🙂
Helen Scheuerer continues to display her talented writing abilities in her new novel, Heart of Mist. Be sure to be one of the firsts to sign up to receive free prequel stories! If you’d like to get to know more about Scheuerer, check out the links below.
Goodreads Book Page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34865933-heart-of-mist
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9898249.Helen_Scheuerer