Hope dangles by a silken thread. When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.
It is my pleasure to introduce Hailey Edwards, a fantasy romance author with Samhain publishing. I found out about her books via a friend and I knew I had to read “A Hint of Frost.” I wasn’t disappointed; the story had a unique premise and an interesting world. Please join me in welcoming her.
1. What was the first book you sold?
The first novel-length piece I sold was Everlong, to Samhain Publishing. I just looked it up—the one thing I noticed is you like to world build, that is outstanding. World building is my favorite part of writing. No doubt that’s why I love writing (and reading) fantasy so much. I don’t outline my worlds at all. They grow organically as the book/series progresses. I do keep a series bible in OneNote so that each series is well-documented and there is no overlap of names/events/terms/etc. Even with those measures in place, one of my beta readers, Dawn, never fails to spot at least one minor inconsistency in each novel. I’m so blessed to have her help maintaining series continuity. That is a life saver to have someone who can catch those things we miss. I like the idea that you keep a series bible.
2. How did you get the call or was it an email?
It was an email. I remember walking into the living room and curling up beside my husband on the couch. I was already crying and shaking with excitement when I told him my news. Samhain was my dream digital publisher. Looking back, I had no idea how blessed I was the day Sasha Knight sent me that email. She is the most fantastic editor I could ever ask for. Congratulations—that first sale is always the sweetest. I have a soft spot for “the call/email” stories. J Thank you. I understand congratulations are in order. You just sold your first novel to Crimson Romance, right? That’s wonderful news. Congrats! Thanks so much! And yes it’s through Crimson Romance, I am very excited.
3. Will there be more books involving the world you built in Hint of Frost?
Yes, there will be. The second Araneae novel, A Feast of Souls, has been contracted and will release sometime in December. I have plans for several more characters, so I hope time allows me to explore those ideas. Excellent, I like that you are being allowed to explore this world. Besides, there were a few threads that I wanted to find out about. I’m glad to hear it, because things are about to get interesting. I’m especially excited to write books three and four. Oooh, four books in the series, I am very intrigued.
4. Tell us more about how you write:
- Are you a pantser/plotter? I’m a pantser. In an effort to become more organized, I’ve learned to outline, but it’s more of a safety net. I tend to start the book with the outline then toss it out the window by the end of chapter one. Ah, a pantser. I can identify with that!
- When do you write? I have a 2k a day write goal. So I tend to write 1k in the morning doing #1k1hr sprints on Twitter. The other 1k is written after my family goes to bed, late at night. I actually like this idea--very inspiring. I think I may try this, it's an outstanding idea.
- What is the hardest thing about writing? Developing a plot is the hardest part of writing for me. I’m a character-driven writer, so my plots grow from the characters. People are complex, so figuring out their motivations and prodding them until they tell you their story is difficult and time-consuming. That probably involves lots of wonderful day dreaming. Or lots of revision… LOL –that is my saving grace. J
- Do you have CP’s/Betas that read for you? Yes, I do, and I recommend everyone has at least one. I have three primary crit partners and a crit group, plus a half dozen betas. Since I write fantasy, I have very complex worlds. I want to make them as flawless as possible, with as few continuity errors within series as possible, which means passing the book through several hands before it reaches my editor. I must say my final line editor is amazing as well. The things she remembers from book to book, the teeny tiny errors she catches, amaze me. I’m with you, having critique partners is imperative, but it’s hard to find one that is a good fit. They are like gold. J I know mine are. I agree. I’ve had my CPs since I started writing—so about three years. We have grown from critters to friends over that time, and I couldn’t imagine navigating this career path without them. That is true! Nor could I.
4. Tell us one thing about you that would surprise someone if they’ve never met you?
Women in my family go gray in our late teens/early twenties. When the BB&B Book Club hosted my first book signing last September, I got a good laugh out of a lady who joked about my cradle-robbing ways. (My husband is very baby-faced. He’s also four years older than I am.) So I think it surprises people to learn I’m only thirty after seeing my salt and pepper hair. LOL, I understand that. My dad was white by the time he was thirty. It’s no fun at all…. I told my husband I’m waiting for the right moment—probably while he’s at work—to use a purple rinse and dye my white hair a more interesting color. ;) Oh that is fabulous! I keep wanting to dye my hair all sorts of interesting shades…alas, the day job would not appreciate it in the slightest—although my kids would.
6. Finally, which do you prefer Coffee? Tea? Wine? Or all three….(Sorry, this is based on the fact, that I love them all. ) :-)
Coffee is my drug of choice. The way it smells…Mmm. Yeah. I’d drink coffee for the aroma alone. I totally agree…it’s wonderful. I like French roast..yum! One day we will have to have a cup of coffee together. Definitely! I would love that. Excellent!
Thank you so much for stopping by Hailey, I look forward to more of your books and having you visit again. May the words always flow!
**For one lucky commentator, I have some Earl Grey Lavender tea. (unfortunately it must be here within the continental U.S.). ** I will post the winner tomorrow.--JoAnn you won! I will email you. Thanks everyone!
Thanks for posting this interview -- very interesting! I'm adding A Hint of Frost to my "must-read" list. Love the title.
Great interview. I have a question for Hailey - with your Beta readers, do you ever give them questions about the story/hint at things you want them to read for, or do you prefer for them to be tabula rosa?
Most interesting premise. Like JoAnn, I believe I need to add it to my list too.
I love world building. It's always amazing when it's from the ground up.
I think you'll like it, I know I did. ;)
That's a good question...now I am curious. ;)
Hailey is very, very good at world building. That was my favorite aspect about this whole book. :)
I hope you'll enjoy it, JoAnn. I couldn't decide on a title for Frost. For the longest time, the file was labeled "Spiderling". But once I reached the end of the book, and the hero told the heroine his first impression of her, something clicked. I pulled the title straight from his dialogue. :)
Heather, I attach the file and write "slice and dice" in the body of the email. That's all. I don't want my concerns (or doubts) to cloud my betas' first impressions. Once they've read the book and sent me their opinions, then I ask about anything niggling at me.
Carla, I believe worldbuilding is the most fun a writer can have. It's by far my favorite part of the creative process.
Thanks, Mary! And thanks for having me today! I spend so much time learning the characters and their motivation, discovering the story they want to tell, that the organic nature of worldbuilding is a treat for me. I love watching new worlds unfold.
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