The Inked looks like an exciting story. Can you tell us a little about Yuri, Britt, and Tanis?
Of course! Yuri, Britt, and Tanis are closely bonded sisters and the three main characters of my novel. All three were born with long black tentacles instead of mermaid tails and are banned from entering merfolk territory because of their deformity. While they share a similarity in appearance and backstory, they are very different in personality. When their mother passed away, each of them coped with her loss in different ways. Yuri, the eldest, had to take on a mothering role to care for her two younger sisters. While Britt, the middle sister, lashed out in childish ways to avoid having to deal with the anger that bubbled in her over the loss of their departed mother. Britt's reckless behavior caused many fights with her eldest sister and unfortunately, Tanis, the youngest, was always caught in the middle of the quarreling sisters, attempting to play peacekeeper. Despite this, she remains the most lighthearted and innocent of the three and is my favorite out of the three sisters.
I had an artist draw up my characters, and I think they did a wonderful job capturing exactly how I described them in my novel! Fiverr Artist: itsnateart
(Yuri- Silver Hair, Britt- Pink Hair, Tanis-Blue Hair)
How many books do you have planned for the series?
Yes, I am optimistic to have two more books in this series but right now I am working on promoting my first novel and hoping that readers love it and want more. Fingers crossed (Or should I say tentacles crossed? Heh.)
How long did it take you to write The Inked?
Oh my. Well, almost three years. I started writing my first draft in 2020, during the pandemic. It took me a year to write, and I submitted it in 2021 and got rejected (whomp whomp). But my publisher liked my story and gave me extremely great feedback on what would need to be revised for them to accept my manuscript. I took the following year to do all the heavy lifting needed to clean up my story. When I finally felt confident, I resubmitted again and was accepted. Now, I have a release date of August 31st!
Writing and publishing a novel has been one of the most challenging, time-consuming and rewarding projects that I've ever worked on. The experience has given me a new appreciation for all writers and the amount of creativity, hard work, and consistency that goes into getting a manuscript published.
That's an amazing cover. Can you tell us about it?
Thank you! My cover art was designed by Diana Carlile who works for my amazing publisher, The Wild Rose Press. I wanted it to be eye-catching but also not give too much away about my story. I appreciated that they allowed me to express the vision that I had for my cover and that they were able to capture it!
What motivated you to become a writer?
I've loved writing since I was a kid doodling in my Lisa Frank notebooks! I was never popular and being able to create worlds outside of my own was an escape from that reality.
In college, I opted to take all the writing classes that my peers would often avoid because they didn't want to do the work. I was especially interested in creative writing classes and as a communication major, I signed up for all the television writing classes available to me.
Writing a novel has been on my bucket list for as long as I could imagine and I'm ecstatic to be able to draw a giant check mark next to that accomplishment. It would be wonderful if my novel could also be turned into a movie but that's another check box waiting to get marked (Disney, call me)!
How did you come up with the story in The Inked?
Mermaids are always the loved characters of every mythical ocean fantasy novel. I haven't read too many books about creatures that are akin to mermaids but have tentacles instead. The mythical name for these creatures is usually Cecaelia but in my book, they are known as The Inked.
I wanted my characters to be the outcasts and give them the chance to find the power within themselves to embrace how they were born and find their strength. I needed to write a novel that wasn't just another mermaid fantasy but instead an empowering tale of accepting our differences and overcoming negative stereotypes. My work of fiction promotes the idea of self-love and self-acceptance which is an idea that I sometimes struggle with myself.
Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing The Inked?
Editing, so much editing! Draft one, draft two, draft three, draft 4850000 (Okay, that might be an exaggeration)! I much prefer the creative/storytelling aspect of writing than the cleanup.
What do you like to do when not writing?
I love movies, reading, crafting, thrifting, museums, and interactive shows. I pretty much love the arts and anything creative!
Where can readers find out more about your work?
I set up a Linktree account that has the links to pre-order my novel and to also follow me on my social media sites (and I truly appreciate everyone’s support):
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