All my fellow readers and writers better get their confetti canons ready to fire, because it's time to spotlight another author!
Today I'm pleased to introduce to you Emily Hayse, aka, The Herosinger. She's a YA speculative fiction author of over THREE books, some of which include unique takes on Alaskan culture and/or the myths surrounding the underwater city of Atlantis...
In our brief conversation, we talked about her inspirations, why she's drawn to her specific genre style of speculative fiction, and what she's learned over the past three years on her journey from imagining stories to sharing them with the world.
Keep reading to gain insight into The Herosinger's life and her passion for the written word, and catch wind of some wisdom from a rising veteran in the fictitious realm.
AND, we have a special bonus Giveaway at the end!
When did you first fall in love with the written word? Was there a catalyst of a moment that provoked your attraction to story, or was your appreciation for the art always present?
I think it's always been there to some degree. My mom supplied us with lots of high quality books growing up and so I've always had a thing for good literature, which turned into telling my own stories from a very early age. When I hit my teens it kind of naturally transitioned into writing, which eventually turned into a career.
Why speculative fiction? What is it about the genre that keeps you writing books within its sphere?
When I wrote strictly for fun my books fell half into historical fiction and half into speculative fiction, the latter mostly because my idea didn't particularly fit with a certain period in history. So whenever one of those ideas struck I would make up my own world and history for it. What I love about this genre is the ability to play around with the storytelling and the worlds. History with a twist of fantasy, whispered legends being real, portals from our world into others? There is so much opportunity for creativity. There's no other genre like it.
Where did you get the initial idea for the name of your handle, The Herosinger?
I love heroes. One of my favorite books is The Shining Company, by Rosemary Sutcliff, which is a fictionalized account of a true event where three hundred young warriors went out against the invading Saxons with no hope of surviving, but before they went out to battle they sent their bard away with an escort so that he could survive and tell their story in song. It was kind of that idea that I pulled my name The Herosinger from.
Who are some authors who have influenced or inspired you in your work?
I grew up loving Marguerite Henry, Elizabeth George Speare, Armstrong Sperry, all very diverse historical fiction authors. Once I got a little older I got hooked on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Rosemary Sutcliff. They are all authors with strong characters, vivid settings, and the ability to draw you into the world and make you feel as if you just lived the story.
What is your favorite part about writing? What is your least favorite part?
My favorite part about writing is definitely the beginning. When you first get an idea and you start to build on it; I often will create a Pinterest board for collecting images and ideas, create initial characters, brainstorm the world, and then write the first few chapters. I just love it. Least favorite is probably that moment where you are in the middle of edits and cannot figure out a plot problem. I've always gotten through it, but it's not fun.
Your debut novel, Crowning Heaven, released in May of 2018. Since then, you’ve written and published two other books, Seventh City (August 2019) and The Last Atlantean (April 2020). What are some things you’ve learned over the course of this journey? Do you have any core takeaways of wisdom now that you wish you would have had over three years ago?
Don't hang all your hopes on your debut novel. You want as good of a first release as possible, but if you're in for the long haul, the numbers will start to come with your other books. Also, your book really is your best marketing tool. If your book is good then people will come back for more. Biggest takeaways so far are: take care of yourself. Writing and publishing aren't accomplished in a day. Learn to take breaks. And change can be a good thing. You will sometimes outgrow your former strategies or professionals you've worked with, or your needs will change. That's not a bad thing, in fact, it's healthy. It's a sign of growth.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new writer who is looking to be published one day?
Write. Write a lot. Conferences and books and blog posts are helpful in moderation but nothing will prepare you and make you a good writer like lots of practice and experience.
It's GIVEAWAY time! How would you like to win a brand new, beautiful copy of, Seventh City?
Entering our Giveaway is simple! Check out the rules and steps below! <3
RULES: Physical giveaway is for United States only. Should entree choose to participate from another country, winner will receive digital copy instead of physical.
DEADLINE to enter is September 28th!
STEP 1 - Sign up for Emily Hayse' Email Updates!
STEP 2 - Comment below and let us know that it's "Mission Accomplished!"
(Or, if you don't have a Facebook account, email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know you've accomplished all the steps!)
MEET THE AUTHOR!
EMILY HAYSE is a lover of log cabins, strong coffee, and the smell of old books. Her writing is fueled by good characters and a lifelong passion for storytelling. When she is not busy turning words into worlds, she can often be found baking, singing, or caring for one of the many dogs and horses in her life. She lives with her family in Michigan.
Want to know more about The Herosinger? Check out her website, as well as her social media handles!