Today I’m thrilled to have blogger friend and follower Cherie Reich here to share about her new YA fantasy REBORN that was released on May 23, 2014. This sounds like a fantastic epic fantasy that’s on my summer TBR list. I’d planned to read it before Cherie’s interview but have gotten really behind in my reading.
Here’s a blurb from Goodreads:
To save a kingdom, a prophetess must challenge Fate.
On the day of Yssa’s death and rebirth, the god Apenth chose her as the Phoenix Prophetess.
Sea serpents and gods endanger the young prophetess’s journey and sour the omens. Yssa is cursed instead of blessed, and her duties at the Temple of Apenth prove it. She spends her days reading dusty scrolls, which does nothing to help her forget Tym, the boy back home. But the annoying yet gorgeous ferryman’s son Liam proves to be a distraction she can’t predict, even though he rarely leaves her alone for two sand grains.
Her boring temple life screeches to a halt when visions of her parents’ murders consume her. Yssa races across an ocean to stop the future. If she can’t change Fate, she’ll refuse to be the Phoenix Prophetess any longer. Fate, however, has other plans for her and the kingdom.
Yssa must either accept her destiny or fight to change Fate.
Hi Cherie! Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you became a writer.
2. I’d love to have a job as a librarian assistant. Where did you get the idea for REBORN?
While I was roleplaying in the fantastical world of Harry Potter, I had created a character named Clarissa Black. She was Sirius Black’s niece by his half-brother John. Clarissa had an interesting origin story. She was stillborn, but her father, with Apollo’s help, brought her back to life. From that moment on, she had the gift of prophecy. From Clarissa’s origin story, I created Yssa, the main character for Reborn. Although the two characters diverged widely from each other, I have my Harry Potter roleplaying experience to thank for the idea of my debut novel.
3. What a fun way to come up with the story idea. World building is so important in fantasies. Share a bit about the world building in REBORN and your tips for the rest of us on world building.
As soon as I knew the premise of Yssa’s story, I had to figure out the world. I instantly went to my college studies and decided I wanted a world loosely based off Ancient Rome, but with Royals instead of Senators. I pulled from different mythologies to help fill in the gods and goddesses as well as the creatures in Reborn. And I enjoyed expanding upon Amora (backwards for “a Roma” or “to Rome”) to create the world Yssa lives in.
As for tips, not all world building has to be created at the beginning. I found new things about the world as I wrote and edited. I even discovered things in the final edit and first proofread to add. I suggest keeping a list of places, people, language, etc. And the biggest tip I learned while writing Reborn is to figure out distances as I go. When I went to draw a map of the Kingdom of Amora, I learned I had some dates wrong based on the distances. People couldn’t be in a place, if I didn’t change things. It involved a lot of math to get back on track. Next time I create a fantasy world, I’ll be figuring up distances as I go.
4. That’s great advice to keep track of everything. It’s so easy to forget if you don’t. And I never thought to track distances. Plotting can be challenging to keep track of in high fantasies. And I know you have sequels planned in this series. What was your plotting process like for REBORN and what advice do you have on plotting a series out?
As my first novel, Reborn was written differently than my other works. I knew various scenes throughout the story before I started writing, but when I sat down to write, I would write the chapter I was on and then use a few days to figure out the next chapter, if I didn’t know it. When I rewrote Reborn, I wrote out an outline with each basic plot of each scene/chapter. I’ve done the same for Reforged, Book Two, and Redestined, Book Three. A lot about Yssa’s story hit me all at one time. I knew the beginning and end of all three books before I started writing Reborn as well as various scenes throughout. I just needed to know the plot in between those scenes. Even if you aren’t a plotter, I suggest making some note of what each chapter/scene is about. It’ll be helpful when it comes to revising and writing the rest of the series.
5. Lucky you to know the whole story when you started reborn. I have to know the general story start and end points too. Tell us a bit about Yssa, the main character of REBORN. Is there any of you in her?
Yssa is god-chosen as the Phoenix Prophetess. She’s grown up knowing who she is, but that doesn’t
6. How cool you’re a bit psychic. I know you started your own publishing company Surrounded by Books Publishing. What made you decide to start your own press and what was the process like? Do you recommend this for self-published authors?
When I decided to self-publish, I had to decide whether or not I wanted to create a company, so to speak, or just use my name as the “publisher.” I wanted to treat my writing as professional as possible, so for me, creating a company was a step in the right direction. So far I haven’t done anything official for the company, like setting it up as a LLC, which I plan to do once I start making more money from it, but I have created a website for the company. And if I ever had the funds, I would like to expand SBB Publishing beyond myself because I do enjoy the creation of a book, particularly cover art and formatting. As for recommending this to self-published authors or not, I don’t think creating your own company is necessary. Whether you give it a fancy name or just publish under your own name, you are the publisher. If a different name helps you make that distinction, then so be it.
7. How are you planning to market REBORN and will it be different from the marketing of your other books you’ve published? If so, why?
With Reborn, it’s all about getting the word out. In May 2013, I announced I would be publishing Reborn in a year. At that time, I created a form for people to sign up for the cover reveal, to review the book, and the blog tour. In January, I had the cover reveal and got a great response to the cover. I made sure Reborn was up on Goodreads early, so people could add it. In March, I sent out the eARCs to reviewers. This month, I published Reborn two weeks early, so I could make sure everything looked right and I would have purchase links for the blog tour. About the blog tour, I have 30+ hosts over a period of a month (May 23 – June 23). Early reviewers are getting their reviews up on Goodreads/Amazon/etc. I’m looking into some cheap advertising sites as well as trying to find other reviewers. Also, I’m publishing a chapter every first and third Wednesday of Reborn on Wattpad, so people can read for free to decide if Reborn is for them. By December 2015, the entire book should be up there, and I hope to have all the books except book three published by then.
For the other books in the series, I don’t plan to do such an extensive push to spread the word. I’ll likely contact people who have reviewed and enjoyed Reborn to see if they want to read and review the next book. I plan to have a free novella prequel set in The Fate Challenges’ world available by the end of this year. I’ll also do a smaller tour or just a promo blast when other books are released.
8. You’re so organized. I’ll have to talk to you about my marketing plans if I ever get published. You also work as an assistant librarian. What’s the best way for authors to connect with librarians and to reach out to librarians across the country when their book is published?
Well, I work at more of an academic library instead of a public/school one, so we don’t really work with authors. But I used to work at a public library, and the best way is to approach the library director and ask to speak about your book or set up a time to speak about it. The worst they can say is “No.” Be presentable. Have some information handy for them. Even offer to donate a book to add to their collection.
I’ll tell you a little secret, though. The best way for an author to get their book into a library is to get readers to request the book. A request from a patron means a library is more likely to purchase the book. Libraries serve their patrons first, after all.
9. Thanks for sharing your secret. What are you working on now?
I’m finishing up the first draft of Repledged, a prequel novella set 800 years before Reborn. Then, I’ll start writing Remarked, Book 1.5 of The Fate Challenges and told from Liam’s point of view. As for editing, I will begin editing my epic fantasy short stories from my Kingdom of Foxwick world in June/July in hopes to publish the short story collection People of Foxwick and Their Neighbors later this year.
Thank you so much for having me!
Thanks for sharing all your advice, Cherie. You can find Cherie at
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The authors of Untethered Realms and I are giving away over $50 worth of books to one lucky winner. The giveaway is open internationally.
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A self-proclaimed bookworm, Cherie Reich is a speculative fiction writer and library assistant living in Virginia. Her short stories have appeared in magazines and anthologies, and her books include the horror collection Nightmare, a space fantasy novella collection titled Gravity, and the fantasy series The Foxwick Chronicles and The Fate Challenges. Reborn is her debut novel. She is Vice President of Valley Writers and a member of the Virginia Writers Club and Untethered Realms. For more information, please visit her website.
Cherie is also offering a print copy of REBORN for US residents or an e-book for International residents for a giveaway. To enter, all you need to do is be a follower (just click the follow button if you’re not a follower) and leave a comment through June 14th. I’ll announce the winner on June 16th. If your e-mail is not on your Google Profile, please leave it in the comments.
If you mention this contest on Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, mention this in the comments and I'll give you an extra entry. You must be 13 or older to enter. International entries are welcome.
Here’s what’s coming up:
Next Monday I have an interview with debut author Skylar Dorset and a ARC giveaway of NEVER TRUST A FAIRY, a urban fantasy that sounds really good and that I would have read if so much hadn’t been going on in my personal life lately.
Next Wednesday that week I have a fantastic guest post with follower and debut author Jessie Humphries and her agent Sarah Davies. There's going to be a big giveaway, including a giveaway of KILLING RUBY ROSE, her YA mystery thriller, a t-shirt, a $20 Amazon Gift Card, and a query critique by Sarah Davies.
The following Monday I have an interview with debut author Bethany Neal and a ARC giveaway of MY LAST KISS, her YA ghost story/mystery. I loved it.
The following Monday I have an ASK THE EXPERT interview with a high school student and will be offering a number of MG and YA books for a giveaway to get you and/or your kids started on your summer reading.
And don’t forget Casey’s Agent Spotlights.
Hope to see you on Monday!