Naomi Kelly is an author that agreed to a Behind the Book interview. During this interview she got me so intrigued about her syren, I had to read it.
The book is set in a fantasy world. Their are gods, magical beings, and humans. Those with magic have ichor in their veins, turning their blood purple.
The main character, Wren, is a syren princess that has escaped The Seven Spikes, home to the tyrant queen (her mother). She doesn’t want to sing her lullaby to kill a man. She wants to be left alone.
Along comes Kellan, a warlord and descendant of god Ares. He has dreamt a syren will save his family & decides to kidnap the MC from the ocean. Kellan has inherited his lands from his recently deceased father.
Sexy Siren? Hot Warlord? An epic battle at the end? Yes! Yes! Yes!
This is the first book in Naomi’s Syren series & can be read as a standalone. Meraki has great Worldbuilding introducing you to the isles, syrens, gods, magic, and a whole cast of fantastical creatures.
Wren is a runaway syren princess. Kellan is the warlord that needs a syren’s song to save his family. He kidnaps Wren, but with her comes her tyrant mother’s wrath!
This story was so good and like no other. The world building is brilliant.
I gave it 4.5 stars, and highly recommend you go read it!
This book by Pagan has been on my To Buy list for way too long. Here’s the Trailer so you can add it to your list (or basket) too:
You launched your book and it became a best seller. When did you start marketing it?
Before it was even signed with the publisher, if I’m being honest. I was already sharing teasers and talking about it because I knew people had to be excited by the get-go. I haven’t really stopped marketing since and I probably never will—though now, I tend to market the series as a whole because I have more books out to catch reader interest.
This book is traditionally published. How did you get signed – can you share your pitch?
I got signed with The Parliament House from Twitter’s #PitMad event in December 2017. This was the Tweet I pitched that got their attention:
You share what you have learned to support fellow authors. Can you tell us about some of your courses and coaching?
I sure can.
A great starting point for new authors is my membership community, The Authorpreneur Kingdom, which is where I do quarterly trainings (and you get access to a vault of past masterclasses on topics ranging from book marketing to publishing to mindset work). We also do weekly coaching calls in there and the authors find it very helpful to stay accountable each month.
I also have two courses that I launch twice a year.
Storyteller Academy is my course helping authors to write their novel and build success habits for full-time authorship, and Storyseller Academy helps authors with book launching, marketing and brand building. Both are self-paced, come with a range of bonus resources, and have direct access to me via a group community.
Please share a snippet or teaser from Lanterns in the Sky?
“Hey! Hey, wake up!”
Someone was shaking me. When I first opened my eyes, everything blurred together. I blinked to adjust them to the night sky. I could hear crickets chirping somewhere. Hovering over me was the face of a boy with emerald eyes and brown hair. I stared at him — my mind was scrambled, and pain throbbed in my temple. Between that and my momentary amnesia, I couldn’t really concentrate on much else.
“Are you okay?” he asked in a smooth voice, his brow furrowed in concern. “Do you need me to call someone?”
I slowly sat up, which prompted the pounding in my head to intensify. I hissed and raised a hand to my forehead.
“What… happened?” I groaned, trying to recall the moments before I’d blacked out.
He rocked back on his feet to give me some space. Still crouching, he folded his arms as he said, “You tell me.”
I shook my head, thinking hard. It came back to me in pieces. I remembered the dread I had felt … the light…
“I was hit… I think,” I told him as my memories slowly came together, but I wasn’t sure. My head swam and the throbbing pain in my head was distracting me.
“By who?” he asked, furrowing his brow. I shook my head again. It sounded stupid, but I was certain of what I saw.
“It wasn’t a who… it was a light.”
The boy frowned, his mouth twisting. “A light?”
What did you enjoy most about writing your fantasy novel?
Wrecking havoc in my characters lives! Mwahahaha!
But also, building the plot. That was a lot of fun too.
What was hardest about writing your fantasy novel?
Making sure the plot was consistent, fixing plot holes and reducing the amount of side plots from my first draft back in 2011. It took me 18 drafts to get this story right.
What inspired you to write Lanterns in the Sky?
Well, it actually started as a psychological horror novel—but then I realised that was not for me. It was only when a friend convinced me to keep writing because she liked the concept of the stars being lanterns in the sky that I was able to adapt some of my newer, fantasy ideas into the story (e.g. the princesses, the magic, etc.) and kind of did a 180 with the story to bring it to life.
Which novel do you love and wish you wrote?
Honestly, none of them. I love so many books and there are definitely writers I wish I could write as well as, but I also love my own writing style and my own stories. Their stories are theirs and that’s why I could never come up with their ideas.
Tell me about a typical day in the life of author Pagan Malcom?
On most days, I’m actually working on my business, Paperback Kingdom—but I sprinkle in time to market my book, send out a few emails, and do the authorly stuff that needs doing. On a true writing day though, I can be at the kitchen table (which is where I enjoy writing most lately) for hours on end. I spend a lot of weekends like this with cups of tea and some kind of snack.
Where can we find out more about your coaching, courses and buy your books
For my books, check out psmalcolm.com (you can also find the membership site there—but you have to be a Patreon supporter of mine for access).
What genre is this book and can you name any similar books?
This one, like many of my other books, is high fantasy romance. It’s slow burn romance mixed into a hero’s quest.
You write books of different genres, does this mirror your reading style?
Very much so. I tend toward high fantasy romance, but also read dystopian, post-apocalyptic, thrillers, psychological novels, paranormal, and various things relating to WW2. In most cases, I prefer to have a romantic arc within the story. I don’t like contemporary or reverse harems. And I rarely read younger than Young Adult.
Are there any genres you cannot see yourself writing?
Contemporary, Harem, or Reverse Harem. I got close to harem/reverse harem with a novel that’s currently in edits (title to be announced later), but it doesn’t quite fit the bill. It just has several love triangles.
What inspired your novel Soul Bearer?
A dream, actually. The prologue was a dream. None of the characters in it were going to do the work of fixing the whole dragon problem, though. It was perfect for setting up the world and showcasing the issues facing the main characters, so I kept it as the prologue.
Which mythical or magical creature do you wish was real?
I’ve given this a lot of thought, probably too much. Honestly, I don’t know which one I would choose. I can’t think of a single one that wasn’t an absolute nightmare in some tale or other, and I have terrible luck. If I chose a mythical or magical creature to make real, it would be the bad version of it. Or it would be the good version, but humans would poach them for their horns or magical feathers. I do wish humans were more interesting, though. Horns, wings, tails, whatever.
Tell me about the krakken style octopus on your website?
That octopus was a gift and rests in the center of the coffee table in my library. It’s my favorite animal, and I have several of them scattered through the library (most of which are not real, though I do have a few preserved in formaldehyde). They’re intelligent, creative, and unbelievably unique. They use tools and communicate by changing the colors of their skin. They shapeshift, morphing their bodies and altering the texture of their skin to lure prey and hide from predators. There are even a couple octopus cities in the ocean now, a fact which is one part awe-inspiring and one part terrifying. Basically, I just find them fascinating.
Please share a snippet or teaser from Soul Bearer?
Spinning slowly, Aurisye looks at everything around her. Chaos rules the land as the great red beast rules the air. Another roar threatens to shatter her eardrums, quickly followed by another stream of fire as the dragon flies overhead, so close that Aurisye could count its scales if it would only hold still.
She reaches out, passes a hand through the tip of its tail as it passes her. The dragon roars so loudly that, for a moment after, the world loses all sound. A high-pitched ringing sound punctuates everything, chasing away the screams and the crashing of buildings falling in upon themselves.
Up above, the dragon executes a perfect hair-pin turn and rockets itself toward Aurisye. Yellow eyes shining in the firelight, it stares straight at her, the only being here capable of seeing her. Each flap of its wings fans the fires all around, sending them climbing even higher into the atmosphere. Jaw dropping, it prepares to launch a blazing assault on Aurisye.
In an instant, she snaps back into her body, sitting bolt upright on the roof of her cottage. Her chest heaves with choppy breaths, pulling nothing but panic into her lungs. Her heart races, and she puts a hand to her chest to calm it.
Only then does she notice the soft red light coming from the mark on her arm. Her world goes cold. She pulls the sleeve of her jacket down to cover it, hoping it didn’t draw any undue attention.
Where can we find out more and buy your books?
My website has information and links for all my published works, as well as little tidbits about my WIPs. My blog is chock full of (blunt) writing advice and updates on all my work.