Written in the Stars Author: Shelley Russell Nolan
Interview with Shelley Russell Nolan:
Tell us what prompted you to start the series? Be as detailed as you want.
Angel Fire was prompted by a recurring dream I had as a teenager. I was an adult in my dream, and it felt so real that I would wonder if it was not really a dream but a memory from a past life. From there, I got the idea for another teenager having a recurring dream, one that turned out to be a memory. As I often daydreamed about developing psychic abilities as a kid, the story grew from there. It was written in a notebook, as I didn’t own a computer back then, and stuffed in a drawer in my filing cabinet for years. Then a writing group I was in decided to do an anthology, Sisters of the Shadows, and I pulled out that first draft of Angel Fire and revamped it. It was only meant to be one book, but readers kept asking me what happened next, so I did a fresh rewrite and turned it into a series.
How did you feel as you were writing the first book? Has that feeling changed between then and now? If so, how?
Writing the first draft of Angel Fire was a lot of fun. I loved being able to create characters and situations that matched some of my favourite daydreams, and it was great to be able to develop that first draft into a polished story ready to be published. Back then I had no idea of the amount of work that took place after the first draft was written. Now, I still love to write and am excited to start each and every book. That is the easy part, where anything can and will happen in the story. After that comes the hard work of revising and editing to make sure my words do the story justice. When I’m editing, I sometimes get distracted by new ideas and have to force myself to knuckle down to get the current series finished before I can start a new one.
How many times have you had a specific idea for the story but it has been derailed because the characters decide to go a different way?
That happens all the time. Angel Fire was meant to be a single book. Then it was going to be a series of three. As I was writing the third one I realised the story was not done, and the characters had more challenges ahead of them, and it turned into six books altogether. I have had readers tell me that there are some things they did not expect to happen, and I had too admit that I didn’t either. It was only as I got to that part in the story that the characters revealed their true plans
What was the most difficult part in writing the series?
The hardest part for me was keeping track of timelines and where all my characters were at one time. I would read the previous books before writing the next one in the series and jot down notes to remind me of things like dates, times, and setting, to help me keep it all consistent.
If you could give advice to anybody else considering writing a series, what advice would you give?
Know the main series arc before you start writing. If you know where you are headed, it is easier to write the steps your characters need to take between them. I know how I wanted Arcane Awakenings to end, I just didn’t know it would take six books to get there. Also, it is good to jot down notes about timelines, settings and characters, etc, as you write, so you can easily keep track of anything that needs to remain consistent from one book to the next without having to go hunting through earlier books to find it.
About the Author:
Shelley Russell Nolan is an avid reader who began writing her own stories at sixteen. Her first completed manuscript featured brain eating aliens and a butt kicking teenage heroine. Since then she has spent her time creating fantasy worlds where death is only the beginning and even freaks can fall in love, with more fantasy and sci/fi series in the works
The first two books in her debut adult urban fantasy series, Lost Reaper and Winged Reaper, were published by Atlas Productions in 2016, with Silver Reaper published in 2017 to complete the series. 2018 saw the release of her Arcane Awakenings Novella Series, while Odyssey Books published Dark Justice, the first book in a new post-apocalyptic series, in 2019. The sequel, Dark Vengeance, was released in 2021 with the third book coming soon. In 2021 Shelley also released the first three books in her Merry Magic Series, portal fantasy books featuring witches, magic and talking cats.
Born in New Zealand, moving to Australia with her family when she was seven, Shelley currently lives in Central Queensland, Australia, with her husband and two young children. They share their home with two wrecking ball kitties, and two crazy dogs on a mission to chew. She loves to hear from her readers so feel free to contact her on Facebook, Goodreads, or at her website – shelleyrussellnolan.com.
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