Hello everyone! Welcome to another Jingle Books Author Spotlight! These will be posts where I discuss and showcase, authors and their writing talents and published works. So without further ado let’s get on with the Author Spotlight!
Meet the Jolly Author
Helen Garraway is the USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author of the Epic Fantasy Sentinal series and the Fantasy Romance SoulMist series. She has been writing about the world of Remargaren, a fantasy world of her creation, since 2016.
Helen has a Bachelor of Social Science in Politics and International Relations from the University of Southampton, and as a member of their alumni continues to offer support as part of their student mentoring programme. She has worked in Technology companies (for far too many years!) from High Performance Computing to the latest Video conferencing solutions, and is now a Product Manager creating services for the solutions they manufacture.
Helen lives in Berkshire in the UK with her cat; a rambunctious seven year old ginger and white called Alfie. Sadly she recently had to say a very tearful farewell to her long time companion, a black and white moggy, called Lily. She enjoys the odd glass or two of red wine and raises a glass to all who stop by, welcome.
What And When Started Your Love For Writing?
I have always loved reading fantasy books, but I never thought I would write one. I started writing in 2016. It was a pivotal moment in my life, when my mother unfortunately passed away, my daughter went off to university, and I was home alone with time on my hands.
I had a few ideas bubbling and I began to write. I came to writing later in life, and I am so glad I started because I love it. I have so many ideas, I wish I had time to write them all but the day job gets in the way! I self-published my debut novel in 2020. Sentinals Awaken, the first book in the Sentinals series. I have now published four books and two novellas in the series, with a fifth book, Sentinals Banished, releasing Feb 23rd. You can currently find it on preorder.
Of all of the book genres, what drew you to write about yours?
I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child, a love instilled in me by my mother. My favourite genre was fantasy (David Eddings/ Anne McCaffrey) and action and adventures, (Alistair Maclean/Clive Cussler). So I wrote what I enjoyed, an adventurous epic quest with rich characters and a vibrant new world. I hadn’t planned a trilogy, let alone a series when I first started writing, but the ideas flowed and so I kept writing. Having written six books, I then decided to publish them because I wanted to read them as an actual book and not as a word document on a laptop.
What’s your favorite book or book character?
From my own books? My favourite character is Birlerion. He is such fun to write as there is much more to him than first seems. My latest book being published is always my favourite book at the time, because I am so excited to release it!
One of my favourite authors is Michelle Sagara. I love her Sunsword series and the Cast in series. Severn from the Cast in series is one of my favourite characters. He is strong and mysterious and has hidden wounds which are slowly revealed and you can’t not love him – a bit like Birlerion! I must have a type!
What is one thing about writing that you can’t stand?
I love everything about writing. From first drafts to editing to formatting. I enjoy the whole process except grammar! No matter how hard I try, I still trip over the grammar rules. I find it very frustrating that I can’t get the hang of them. I get better each book, but my editor still picks up on my errors. Thank goodness!
What makes your book(s) special?
I’m not sure I’m unique, but I have had feedback from readers that my fantasy books are a great introduction to the fantasy genre if you’ve never read fantasy before and are easy to read.
So…what are you working on now?
I am really busy! Book Five of the Sentinals series, Sentinals Banished, is out with ARC readers. It is on preorder and launches on February 23rd. I am currently running a Launch giveaway up to launch day. Win a signed copy of Sentinals Banished, a Sentinals Across Time Tote bag and other Sentinals goodies. Enter here: https://kingsumo.com/g/ehfnff/sentinals-banished-launch-giveaway
SoulBreather, the first book in the SoulMist series, hit the USA Today Bestseller list with the Realm of Darkness anthology, and will release independently on January 23rd. Currently on preorder for $2.99, or on kindle unlimited via the Realm of Darkness anthology. Books2read.com/RealmofDarknessset
The Audiobook narration for my third book, Sentinals Justice has just begun and I am currently casting the narrator for SoulBreather. And I am 60% of the way through writing the second book in the SoulMist series, so plenty to keep me occupied.
I have also been selected as an Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) which is very exciting, and I am looking forward to helping more authors though their self-publishing journey. I have always tried to pay it forward for other authors, by reading and reviewing Indie books and posting Author Interviews to my blog on my website. If anyone has any questions about self publishing or my journey then please don’t hesitate to contact me via my website: www.helengarraway.com.
If you are interested in my books you can sign up to my newsletter to hear about my latest news and releases, and download a free novella. https://storyoriginapp.com/giveaways/e8fd4a52-fd1f-11ea-99de-9b6313745079 or find my social links via linktr.ee/Helen Garraway
Helen, I’m wishing you the best of luck with the new book, I know how that feels. And editing kills me every time. And congrats on your to ALLi If you want to get to know more about Helen, you can do through:
Thank you all for reading and remember:
Live. Love. Laugh.