I'm pleased to welcome another fab author to the blog today to chat about their writing journey so far!
Here we go...
Arielle Hadfield is the author of the YA Fantasy THE SECRETS OF SAUNDER. She is working on her next manuscript in between edits for her clients. She has four biological children and currently one foster teen. She also has a dog and 12 chickens, which she loves. She can be found on her website where she commonly blogs about faith, family, and foster care.
Princess Liviya has a secret. She's not a princess. She's a maid.
When the neighboring prince of Saunder proposes an alliance sealed through marriage, Liviya's king dresses her as a princess and sends her to wed the prince.
It's a dangerous lie, but Liviya is determined to succeed. The alliance may be the only way to free her people from their tyrannical king.
IN Saunder, the prince and Liviya must each prove their worthiness to rule by completing a seemingly impossible challenge.
With the help of Michael, the prince's loyal captain, Liviya fights to keep her secret and becoming queen of Saunder, even if it means marrying a man she doesn't love.
But Liviya's not the only one telling a lie. The prince, the king, and Captain Michael have secrets of their own, and any bit of truth will start a war.
Who are you and what do you write?
My name is Arielle Hadfield. I am a mother to four biological children and we currently have a foster teen living with us. She is the sixth foster child we've had in our care. I live in Northern Utah. I love dogs, but am not a fan of cats at all. I also have chickens, which I love. If you're considering chickens, totally do it! My first published novel is a Young Adult Fantasy without magic. I also write a lot of blog posts for my website about faith, family, and foster care.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I did not grow up thinking I was going to be a writer. I didn't major in English or Creative Writing, or anything relevant to publishing at all. However, I've always had a vivid imagination and have had stories running through my head, mostly just scenes that were funny, sad, or romantic with me and my imaginary friends.
But one day, I met an author. She was a keynote speaker at a small event in my community. She was the most regular person I had ever met. Up until then, I guess that I thought that authors were these mystical creatures, like artists or musicians. (Or maybe those are just regular people, too!)
And if this woman, who was in many ways very similar to me, could write down her ideas and someone would publish them, then maybe I could too!
So that evening, I sat down and began my first novel.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
I had no outline, and no real idea at all, and was something kind of like this, "Once upon a time there was a princess. Wait, no, no. Once upon a time there was a girl who wanted to be a princess."
And that's pretty much how writing the entire novel went. Up and down and back and forth for seven long years.
The biggest help to me was joining a writer's group. I took in my first chapter the first time, and I was so proud. I was certain that this would be about the best thing anybody had ever read.
Fortunately for me, they didn't hold. Over the months and years with that group, I learned about many things I didn't know when I had written that draft. Things like filter words, show vs. tell, headhopping. All of it. It was all wrong.
But I loved my story and I loved my characters, so I kept revising. And I revised again and again and again for seven long years.
Several times during that writing journey, I queried. When I received a bunch of rejections, I rewrote and tried again.
When I was finally certain that my story was as good as it would get and I still got no interest from agents, I decided to self-publish. It was a great choice for my family and career goals. I'm currently writing my next novel, another YA Fantasy, with no magic, and I plan to self-publish that as well.
So far, the writing journey has been hard. It's a lot of up and downs with motivation and inspiration. But it takes a lot of work with my thoughts and mental health to break through the walls of discouragement, boredom, and a bunch of other things.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
The hardest part of writing for me is finding the time and energy to write. The scenes play in my head all day long, but the thought of sitting down and typing them up is really overwhelming. The most enjoyable part of writing has come from the things I've learned about myself as I create these characters and their stories. This is the reason I recommend writing to everyone I know. There's so much to learn about life with it's condensed into a fictional world and a handful of characters.
Would you go back and change anything?
I wish I had learned to write BEFORE I started writing my novel. So much of my revision was rewriting weak writing on the word level, and then I had to go back and strengthen my story. A lot of the scenes I had worked so hard to clean up ended up not being in the story.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10?
In five years, I'd like to have several more books out. For the sake of setting a specific goal, I'll say three. I would also like to see a significant source of income from my writing. Right now it's small and inconsistent. In ten years? Wow. No idea. Maybe a million dollars??? That's pretty far out there, so I don't know yet.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
To all you new writers, welcome to the club. My advice is to find a writer's group, and never be afraid to let your work be critiqued. There are so many talented people out there willing to share their knowledge that will help your piece become even better than you imagined.
And most importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? Both. Mix them together and it makes fry sauce. It's delicious.
Night or Day? Day time. I'm not a night owl at all. 9:30 pm and I'm done.
Inside or Outside? Oh, tough question here. I like being outdoors in nice weather, like spring, summer, and fall. But in winter, I'm all about the indoors.
Dogs or Cats? Dogs 100%. It's not that I like dogs more than I like cats. I seriously do not like cats at all.
Twitter or Facebook? I use both for different purposes. I like the succinctness of Twitter and that it doesn't have strange games and quizzes and random things that people post. But most of my family and close friends are on Facebook, so I enjoy seeing their updates. Most of my Twitter feed are people I've never met in person.
e-book or Paperback? Paperback unless there's no other option, then I'll read an e-book.
Sun or Rain? Sun, baby, sun.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? In my head, I'm a fan of pencil and notebook, but logistically, it just doesn't make a lot of sense, so I do most of my writing on the computer. I do love a good paper planner, though.
Comedy or Drama? Comedy.
Chips or Chocolate? Chocolate. And any type of sugar, really. I have a major sweet tooth. It's a problem.
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
Get in touch today!