It’s that time again where we check in with our authors and see what they’re doing on their publishing adventure!
Every month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.
Today we have a new author joining us on her publishing adventure! Please welcome S.F. Henson.
1. Welcome S.F. Henson! Please tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in the deep south. I graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Animal Science, which I put to great use by attending law school. My law degree has gotten some mileage, though, giving me the experience to write about criminals and other dark, nefarious subjects. I live beside a missile test range in Huntsville, Alabama with my husband, dog, two oddly named cats, and, of course, the missiles that frequently shake my house.
2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with Devils Within?
Devils Within tells the story of Nate, a boy who grew up at The Fort, a white supremacist compound, and whose only means of escape is to kill his father (the leader of the group) in self-defense. No matter how far he runs, he can’t escape his past or the horrible things he did while with the group. It’s a story about hate, acceptance, owning up to your mistakes, and learning to forgive yourself. You can read the full description here: http://www.sfhenson.com/books.html
The idea came to me after reading an article about a boy just like Nate. He, too, killed his white supremacist father, except it wasn’t in self defense, and the real boy was ten. It stuck with me. I kept wondering what he’d experienced to reach a point where murder was his only way out at such a young age. That’s when Nate came to me. I did a lot of research on hate groups, especially how they recruit, how they operate, and how they handle the media. The Fort is based on a real compound here in Alabama. Every hate incident in the book was inspired by something that happened in real life. This is a story I was terrified to tell, but one that wouldn’t let me go. While I was writing this story, Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Eric Garner was killed in New York, conversations and debates were happening across the country. This book is part of that conversation. Through it, I hope readers see how easy it is to let fear and misinformation navigate your decisions.
Today we also celebrate Rosalyn Eves release of Blood Rose Rebellion!
1. Your book Blood Rose Rebellion has released! Yay! How does it feel?
Being a debut has been such a wild mix of emotions I’m not sure I’ve untangled them all yet. There are some really wonderful parts–seeing so many friends and family come out to support me and my book, seeing my book in the wild for the first time (actually, that hasn’t gotten old yet). Finding my book in unexpected places, like an airport bookstore or Target. But I’m a pretty strong introvert, and so it’s also been a little exhausting and I’m still catching up on my life. Some days it doesn’t quite seem real. 🙂
2. How has the book tour been? What’s it like?
Book tours are probably different for everyone–some authors get sent with other authors. In my case, I was sent by myself, but other, more established authors hosted each event, which was really helpful since I was never sure what to expect (or if anyone would show up!) I always tend to expect the worst, so I’ve been relieved to have people show up to all the events and they’ve been uniformly gracious, interested, and welcoming. I wound up spending quite a bit of time by myself between events, and even for someone who *likes* being alone, I was definitely glad to be around people when the events came around. (Hmm. Maybe that was part of my publicist’s plan!) Ultimately, I loved getting to visit new places and meet new people, but I’m also happy to be home with my husband and kids too.
3. What is next for you?
1. You were featured in NY Times! How do you feel about that?
Oh man. Honestly, I’m still in total disbelief. It was a literal dream come true, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen so SOON, you know? I’m still six months out from publication! When I got the email saying a reporter from the New York Times wanted to interview me, I was stunned. And then to hear MY little book mentioned on The Book Review podcast? Amazing.
2. Dear Martin is being published in Brazil! Congrats! How did that come about?
Beyond my wonderful fairy god-agent submitting it to publishers there and one of them liking it, I have no idea, lol! Like the New York Times feature, the Brazil sale also caught me totally off guard. Definitely excited about holding DEAR MARTIN in Portuguese though!
3. You recently went to MADCAP Retreat. I”ve always wanted to go and learn from authors like you! What was it like?
Oh my gosh. I would seriously go to every single last Madcap Retreat ever if I could. It was magic. Being in the company of so many incredible writers, all of whom are in pursuit of becoming even better, was really encouraging, especially since writing can be such a solitary endeavor. You just meet and connect and spend time and forge legitimate bonds with so many amazing people. I highly recommend!
Oh, my gosh. It’s surreal and delightful and strange. I’m behaving a bit like a mom who can’t stop checking up on her kid at college—Are you hanging in there, book? How are the shelves treating you? And the Internet? Need me to send you more snacks?
2. How has the book tour been? What’s it like?
I really spread out my so-called tour—a few events here, a few events there. So far my favorite ones have been the events with kids. Last week, I got to do a workshop with students from the high school where I first trained as a teacher. The next day, I stood in front of an auditorium full of middle schoolers and got them to laugh. I’ve always loved talking with young writers about their stories, so in some ways this isn’t new territory for me, but as a “guest author” I’m able to interact with students in a new way that is so, so satisfying.
3. What is next for you?
At some point I’m going to stop sending my book so many metaphorical snacks and let her be out there in the world on her own. I may need an intervention or a stiff drink to get there, but I think it will be good for both of us once I do. I’m looking forward to having more time and headspace to work on my next book!
Thank you for joining our Pre-Pub Adventure Katie! We look forward to your next adventure.
I’m probably the only author who will ever say this . . . but I actually have been preparing by doing . . . less. I got a lecture from my doctor saying I’m pushing myself too hard. So I’ve had to majorly back off doing marketing. Or, really, everything. Not the news you want to hear before a book launch, but one I needed to hear.
In lieu of marketing I’ve been trying to focus on Book 2. I was working on a novella for the series but was able to finally figure out how to fold that into Book 2. Now my first draft is even closer to being finished! Best feeling ever!
2. There is a blog tour going on now, which I had the pleasure of interviewing you for, how has that been?
The blog tour has been really fun! (and thanks so much for interviewing me!!). I loved answering all the questions and it’s been really fun reading some reviews. I don’t think I’ll keep reading reviews once the book releases, just to keep my head clear. But it’s really fun to be seeing people enjoy the book. Totally makes my day 🙂
3. What have you been doing to lay low before your publishing date next month?
I’ve been doing a lot of reading but I’ve also been painting again! I haven’t been able to paint much lately, so it’s felt r-e-a-l-l-y good to be back in my loft. It’s my happy place 🙂 I’ve finished a couple pieces and hope to re-sharpen my watercolor skills. Watercolor is one of those mediums where you have to be constantly dong it to stay sharp. At least, I do. I have to know my paper and brushes and colors. The longer they sit, the more I have to figure out their temperament again before we can work together. I’m excited to dive back in!
However, the core of the idea is an amalgamation of a lot of different concepts. The novel follows two characters and their two different plotlines: Enne Salta, a lady-to-be, who has left her entire life behind to find her missing mother in the “City of Sin;” and Levi Glaisyer, the card dealer with crime lord aspirations, whose unraveling Ponzi Scheme could end his life before it truly begins. Additionally, it is set in a world where the source of currency is directly derived from magic, a magic created by a select group of bloodlines.
The plot of the story and the characters definitely came from Spirited Away, one of my all-time favorite movies. Enne is Chihiro, Levi is Haku, and Vianca–the vicious owner of one of the city’s most famous casinos–is Yubaba. Although the novel has some major Six of Crows vibes, its influencers were several years older, like the street gangs in THE DEMON KING, the relationship of Day and June in LEGEND, and the cons of WHITE CAT. As for the Ponzi Scheme, I’ve held a long-time interest in them ever since my dad told me the story of how a company he worked for collapsed due to a Ponzi Scheme run up top. Seems appropriate, now that I’m getting my masters in accountancy. My accounting nerdiness really comes through in the story.
I was able to offer some feedback on the overall stylistic choices for the cover, like the colors and such. I think the artist did a great job selecting a very eye-catching, unique backdrop that does a great job in suiting the feel of the Gomorrah Festival, the circus city where DOTBC takes place. The smoke, the size, the bright colors–it’s very Gomorrah.
1. What are you working on now?
Thank you! I’ve had such a blast doing those posts. On New Year’s Eve, I saw someone post a month’s worth of prompts for January, so I jumped in—and found I really enjoyed the structure of having prompts, especially in this busy season where I’m putting so much energy into writing/revising (which means I naturally have less time/energy for social media). The challenges have been so much fun, because everyone puts their own unique spin on each day’s prompt. I did another one in February, but when I couldn’t find one for March, I decided to just…create one! That’s how #writereadrepeat was born. So many people participated, which was great, because I met a ton of new writer friends. This month’s challenge is #writelifeapril, created by Gina Denny (@ginad129) and Darci Cole (@darcicole)—I’ve missed a few days this month, but it’s always fun to jump in when I can!
3. Tell us something silly you recently did!
Until next month!