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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

AUTHORS TO WATCH: FANTASY AUTHOR ANDI O'CONNOR








Andi O'Connor is the award-winning author The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. She’s written multiple books, including the critically acclaimed Silevethiel, which is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy, and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013. Andi's short story collection, Redemption, is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist.

You can frequently find Andi as a ​guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Philcon, Conclave, WizardWorld, and Chessiecon. Andi also writes for Niume where she provides writing tips, advice, and insight on her career as an author. You can connect with Andi on
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, visit Andi’s website.




Darrak's adventure concludes with this thrilling finale of The Dragonath Chronicles!  

Following the betrayal of two of his trusted companions and a devastating battle in Mystandia, Darrak's talents are desperately needed by the citizens of both Earth and Dragonath. Torn with the decision of where his loyalty should remain, he finally decides to confide in Andillrian. Together, they craft a plan they hope will save Darrak's home planet, but their optimism is short-lived.

The Hellborn's army has begun the march to war.

With less than two weeks of preparation remaining, their weaknesses become unavoidably apparent. Planning for defeat suddenly becomes as important as planning for victory. Darrak's insecurities continue until the moment the first arrows begin to fly. He can only hope that help from a few unlikely sources will be enough.

For if they fail, Dragonath will fall.

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We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?

I’ve been a huge reader for as long as I can remember. My mom got me into reading when I was little, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’d always loved the Fantasy genre, and mom helped fuel my passion. She bought me the complete Shannara series by Terry Brooks when I was twelve, and he’s remained my favorite author ever since.

My love of reading went hand-in-hand with my active imagination and creativity. When I was a sophomore in college, I got the idea for The Lost Heir and began writing it as something fun to do between semesters. There would be months and even years when I wouldn’t touch it, so whenever I did finally pick it up again, I essentially had to start over.

I always wanted to finish it for my mom, but I’m notorious for leaving things unfinished, and it eventually got added to the pile with all my other forgotten projects. Then in 2011, nine years after I first started The Lost Heir, my mom died. I dug out the mess of unfinished drafts, sat my butt in a chair, and finished it for her. Once it was completed, I decided I might as well try to get it published, and things went on from there. Writing is now what I do full time, and I love it. Unfortunately, it took a tragedy to force me to find what I was meant to do.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

I’m definitely a pantster! I do absolutely no planning, outlining, or character sheets. Just the idea of that feels constricting to me. I like the freedom to let the characters take me through and let both them and the story evolve beyond anything I would have been able to plan beforehand. There are many things that have come to me while writing that shock me. My writing style is definitely more reactional and not something I would be able to sit down and plot in an outline.

I write full-time, Monday – Friday 8-6, and usually nights and weekends as well. I have an office with all of my essentials, but I find that I move around quite often. I’ll take my notebook or laptop to different rooms in the house, outside on the deck, or to the library or coffee shop. Many times, just the change of scenery can help me get a fresh perspective on something and allows my writing to come more fluently.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

Call To War is the third and final book in my series, The Dragonath Chronicles. It continues the story set up in the first two books which involves a young man from Earth being taken to another planet and finding himself with the burden of having to save both worlds from destruction. In Call To War, Darrak struggles with his identity and sense of home. He doesn’t feel like he truly belongs on either planet, and throughout a good portion of the book, he’s tormented with where his loyalty should remain.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

Mionee is my favorite because of her mysteriousness and complexity. She evolves the most of all my characters and struggles with the issue of repentance, not only from the point of view of others, but also from herself. If she doesn’t feel she deserves forgiveness, will others be willing to give it to her?

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

The most difficult thing in writing Call To War was writing the love scene. I’d written rape scenes before, but never a love scene, which was challenging in itself, but the book as a whole is extremely dark and violent with the characters being in extremely dire situations. A love scene felt right between two of the characters, but writing it, and writing it so it wasn’t out of place with the rest of the story, proved difficult.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on the third and final book in my other series, The Vaelinel Trilogy (title yet to be determined!) and I’m also working on another group of four short stories for my dark fantasy series The Legacy of Ilvania which follows the story of Juriel, a young girl fighting for justice against her abusive father and her brother on whose hands rests the blood of hundreds of people.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?

To take advice light-heartedly, particularly writing advice. Because something works for another author doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. I’ve had many people tell me that I’m essentially doing it wrong because I don’t outline, but my system works for me, and I’m not going to tamper with it. Listen to others ideas, especially when you’re first starting out, but don’t think of it as being written in stone. Experiment and find what works best for you.





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