We are returning again to young adult fantasy, and with good reason! Gillian Bronte Adams is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fantasy reads. Her newest novel, Of Fire and Ash, book one of The Fireborn Epic, will have you flying through the pages. I mean … check out the first line … “The scream of the fireborn stallion shivered against her spine.” That gives me shivers down MY spine! Flames rage and oceans rise in this explosive first installment of The Fireborn Epic as the exiled heir, a novice priest, and a reluctant rebel wage war against a hidden power that threatens to shake the world. If you have a fantasy lover in your life (even if you don’t love fantasy, you’re going to love Gillian’s brilliant writing. Also included in the limited edition hardcover is the beautiful map of Soldonia.
Make sure you stick around to the end to see how you can enter to win a signed limited-edition hardcover of Of Fire and Ash!
Writer’s Desk with Gillian Bronte Adams
Gillian Bronte Adams is a sword-wielding, horse-riding, wander-loving fantasy author, rarely found without a coffee in hand and rumored to pack books before clothes when she hits the road. Working in youth ministry left her with a passion for journeying alongside children and teens. (It also enhanced her love of coffee.) Now, she writes novels that follow outcast characters down broken roads, through epic battles, and onward to adventure. And at the end of a long day of typing, she can be found saddling her wild thing and riding off into the sunset, seeking adventures of her own (and more coffee).
Q&A with Gillian Bronte Adams
Do you have a writing routine? When/Where do you write?
My writing routine has seen a number of changes this year, as I’ve been experimenting to account for some new challenges. I’ve tried joining the 5 AM writer’s club (brutal for this night owl), and I’ve tried heading straight to the coffee shop at the end of a workday to crank out some words. But lately, the place I’ve been the most productive has been outdoors, seated under my oak tree, dodging spiders and acorns while writing, whether that’s for an hour or all day long. Surprisingly (even with the spiders), I get far more done out there than when I’m seated at my desk where I tend to be distracted by all the business tasks that come with being an author.
When are you most productive?
Either first thing in the morning or late afternoon, just as the day starts to slip toward evening. There’s a period of time midafternoon when my brain seems to turn to mush. I do wonder, though, if it has more to do with the length of time I’ve been steadily working rather than the time of day because I often hit another burst of energy later in the evening after my brain has had some time to relax.
What do you snack on or drink while writing?
I love drinking coffee while writing. Honestly, I love drinking coffee any time, so writing isn’t exactly unique. I don’t necessarily have a go-to snack, but I do enjoy snacking while writing, as long as it’s not overly messy which gets distracting.
How do you overcome writer’s block?
It helps to know what, exactly, is blocking me. Am I unable to carry the story forward because I don’t know where it’s going? Time to either take a walk or break out my giant whiteboard and brainstorm. Am I nervous about this next scene because it’s going to be particularly challenging and I’m anxious about doing it justice? Work to psych myself up for it. Am I stumped because I truly am drained and burned out and have no creative energy left? Then I need to take a breather to rest and refresh and refuel my imagination.
What is your outlining process? Are you a pantser/plotter or something in between?
Definitely something in between. I do work from a general outline, so I have a fairly good sense of both the plot and character arcs, but I discover how to get from one point to the next while writing. That means that there is so much to uncover in each and every scene, and my manuscript definitely grows quite organically, in that much of the story is just constantly living and working its way out in my head.
Best advice for someone who is just starting out.
Read, reread, and binge listen to your favorite books—not to the point that they stop being your favorite books, of course, but so you can begin to notice how the author develops beloved characters, how they reveal worldbuilding and historical details, how the subtle things like themes and foreshadowing are set up, how the pacing keeps you turning pages (or not), even how the emotional arcs draw you in so you feel the story along with the characters. You’ll be surprised how much you can pick up when you spend additional time in a story and experience it in a variety of ways, both on the page and through the voice of a narrator.
What is your favorite thing to binge-watch: The Lord of the Rings films
What are you currently reading: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch and The God in the Garden by Andrew Peterson
What is your favorite song: Pale Moonlight by The Gray Havens
What is your favorite specialty coffee/tea drink: Hazelnut latte
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More about Of Fire and Ash:
She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction.
Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people.
But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds and looming civil war, she begins to wonder if the greatest threat to the kingdom may, in fact, be her.
With fire before her and ash in her wake, how can she hope to unite instead of destroy?
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