After having my book accepted by a publisher, they ran into financial difficulties within a year of the release, so I decided to take my rights back and re-publish First Charge. Having had the experience of being self-published, and having a publisher, I can see the benefits to both. I like the freedom to set my own price. With a publisher, more people share money, so it makes sense that the price may be higher. I never felt comfortable asking people to buy a paperback copy of my book for £15 though.
About the series
This is the first in the YA Fantasy series, The Destiny Initiative. Between the time of getting my book accepted by the publisher and now, I have completed book 2, and I’m halfway through the first draft of the final book in series. The second book will be out shortly after I re-release First Charge, with the final book becoming available for pre-order soon after.
Where the ideas started
These books have been a journey for me. I had written in other genres before, but this was my first leap into YA fiction. The idea started when I was taking part in a zombie walk. I started thinking about writing a book about mermaids. I’m not sure why. There were no mermaids on the walk, but I thought it would be YA book, as I wanted to try another genre. I started writing the book a few days later. My Character (Meredith) is a fifteen-year-old descendant of mermaids and a protector, destined to save people with a purpose. Her being a lesbian was something that just seemed to fit. It was never something I sat down and give much thought to, she just was. As a bonus, it also meant she wasn’t going to have a romance with Theo, the male lead character, which seems to happen in a lot of YA books.
Interviews and feedback
I’ll always be grateful to my publisher for seeing something in the first book, and their ongoing support while my book was with them. Just having a publisher at all gave me the confidence to approach different outlets for reviews and/or interviews. I got myself interviews with YourMcr on Canal Street, and the podcast Genuine Chit-Chat.
A reviewer wrote “the fact that the author chose a LGBT main character was refreshing.”
More about Meredith
Meredith’s heritage means she has been working towards a pre-destined purpose for most of her life. While she has tried to have some resemblance of a normal life, she embraces her destiny sometimes, while fighting against it at other times. She is flawed but tries to do the right thing. I think it’s important to remember she’s just fifteen, so she not always sure about her life or the choices that have already been made for her.
What I enjoyed about writing this
Writing First Charge (and the rest of the series) allowed me to create a strong lesbian lead character, without the sexual scenes that other YA fantasy books often have. While I would say the book is aimed at readers aged 14+, I didn’t want to treat them young children. So, I included the fight scenes and deaths. I tried to create a balance between not going over the top, but I didn’t attempt to cover them up either.
The idea of descendants of mermaids, shapeshifters and other mythical creatures could have become a little childish, but the story poses questions about the world the characters want to live in and what they will or should do to save it. I feel that this talks to readers as the young adults that they are, instead of treating them like children.
Where to buy the book
Or in paperback from Amazon.