The Soul Scribe Trilogy Book 1 by Tera Lyn Cortez Genre: New Adult Fantasy
What if you woke up one day and discovered all the things about yourself that you thought made you a walking disaster, actually made you very special?
Growing up on Earth left Everleigh totally in the dark about the magic that exists in the world. In fact, she was unaware that the realms beyond her own even existed. She spent her life struggling to hide her peculiarities from the world, believing she was an anomaly, a freak of nature.
Then a stranger showed up on her doorstep one day, leaving cryptic instructions that would lead her to discover just how much she didn't know. If she follows them, she will learn that not only do the other realms exist, but that she is an integral part of their survival.
The abilities she spent years trying to bury inside are just the tip of the iceberg. She must not only embrace them, but nurture them, and master them as quickly as she can.
The world is counting on her, whether they know it or not. By the time she's capable of making a difference, will it already be too late to save the ones she loves?
Everleigh's life has gone from Isolation and loneliness to being bombarded with magical beings from all sides.
When she is forced to flee the safety of the cabin and travel to the other realms, her world is turned upside down yet again. As she struggles to meet the needs of those relying on her, will she be able to balance the demands of learning her magic and preparing for war?
If she wants to survive in a magical world, she'll have to.
What steps would you take to ensure that you came out the victor in a war that had been brewing since before you were born?
Everleigh must answer that question correctly to ensure that magic as they know it will not cease to exist. To protect the realms, and those she has come to love, she must make life-altering choices guided only by her intuition.
She has gathered warriors from every magical race available, seeking out those who are willing to help her put an end to the dark mage's reign of terror. As they march on to the final battle between good and evil, will their forces prevail? Will everything they have done be enough? Even if it is, will the cost of victory prove to be too much for them to pay?
At the end of the battle they can only hope that what is left of their world will be worth living in.
In addition to being a newly published indie author, Tera Lyn Cortez is a wife, mother to five and a voracious reader. She is also a lover of coffee, the ocean and all things chocolate. Her home is in the lovely Pacific Northwest with her family, although she does admit to being consumed with Wanderlust. Life as a writer allows her to indulge in traveling both our world and those that live only in our imagination when she can’t leave her office.
Pen or type writer or computer?
I almost always write on my laptop, although if I am traveling I sometimes open google docs on my phone and work that way until I can get back to the computer and copy it into my work in progress.
Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. My goal is to eventually have my writing income be the only income we need.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Silence. I have five kids, noise is constant in this house. I can write with it, and just tune everything out, but I enjoy silence. There is enough going on inside my head when I am writing that it helps to not have the outer noise as well.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Don't wait so long. You CAN do it, you just have to believe in yourself.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I'm a total pantser. I just let the words come. I tried to write an outline once. After a week I had exactly 47 words. At this point it doesn't work for me, but I am well aware of how quickly things can change so I will continue to attempt to make outlines randomly in the future. You never know when something will click.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre? I am a voracious reader. Since I have started writing more seriously I don't have as much time to read as I used to, but I still finish at least a book a week. I'm a fast reader and can read an average length novel in about two hours. I like mostly fantasy, but also enjoy thrillers, romance, women's fiction... If the cover and blurb grab me I will give almost anything a try.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
So far not much. I have based the books I have written so far largely on what I already knew. I write until I come across something I need more input on and Google it.
How long have you been writing?
I had my first short story published in a magazine in high school. (25 years ago!) Then I took time off to do other things. I am coming up on the one year anniversary of my first novel's publication on May 29th. In that year I have completed and released a trilogy, a standalone novel and a novella that is the prequel to my next trilogy.
Who designed your book covers?
All the books I currently have published are done by Rebecca at Dark Wish Designs. She does amazing work. I do have some books in the works that have covers by other designers as well.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Lots more books!! I have a notebook full of ideas, as well as a few covers that I fell in love with that will need to be filled with words. I am working through a sequel to my most recent novel, Just Once More, that will release at the end of May. It is called Embracing Tomorrow. Then I have a couple more trilogies planned, at least one of which will be completely released by the end of this year.
What are you passionate about these days?
My “pet” cause is organ donation. I think everyone should be an organ donor. I am registered with Be the Match, a bone marrow registry, as well as on the list of living donors, should someone need a kidney, etc. And, of course, I am an organ donor. I have the little icon on my driver's license as well as a living will that states I want my body to get as much use as possible out of it if I die while I still have healthy organs and tissues.
What do you do to unwind and relax?
I love to lay in the sun with a good book, preferably on a sandy beach somewhere. I also find horseback riding to be very therapeutic. A good long soak in the hot tub or bath helps me to relax as well.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
I have a few that are in various states of completion, but none that I have completed and hidden away or anything. Everything that I have written so far will be put out into the world for my readers at some point.
How to find time to write as a parent?
Whenever I can. Before they get up in the morning and after they go to bed at night are the two biggest opportunities. I do have Google docs on my phone and if we are out where I have a few minutes I open it up and get some words in, then go home and add it to whatever I am working on.
Can you, for those who don't know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I don't find myself to be a particularly enthralling person. LOL I can sum up the basics for you in a couple of sentences. I am going to be 40 years old this summer, and my husband and I just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. I've got five kids ranging in age from 6 to 20 and they all still live at home. I love animals and would love to have a small farm some day, but for now I love travel more. I am totally consumed with Wanderlust.
I've had a number of jobs in very different fields. I worked in booking at our county jail. I worked as a hospice CNA making home health visits. I've been a district supervisor for UPS and worked for a lab that makes orthotics. My most recent job was being a Para-Educator at my girls elementary school. And now I write!
I began writing as a child and published my first short story in a magazine in my sophomore year of high school. I went on to publish some small stuff in other magazines and an anthology. Then life got busy...
I met my first husband when I was only seventeen. I moved out into the world, had my first two children, got married (and then divorced). Went to college, married my second husband – yay for second chances! - had three more children, and did more college. Through all that writing was always in my blood, but I worried I “couldn't” be an author. Once all three of my youngest were in school full time I decided it was time to get my butt in gear and see if I could do it. So I did.
I am coming up on my first anniversary of being a published author at the end of May. During my first year I released a completed trilogy, and single novel that has a sequel coming out next month, and a novella. I proved to myself that I certainly can do it, and I have no plans to stop any time soon!
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
I only have one character inspired by a real person. My novel Just Once More is about a young woman who discovers she has an inoperable brain tumor and has only a few weeks left to live.
My aunt has been battling brain tumors for the last twenty years. She has had eleven surgeries to remove those tumors, in addition to radiation and a host of other interventions. Her most recent surgery last fall was only partially successful, as they weren't able to entirely remove the tumors. Throughout all the curve balls life has throw at her she has remained the most positive and uplifting person I have ever known. She always has a smile for you, and focuses on how blessed she is.
I took those qualities and applied them to my main character when I wrote the book. The character's name is Cassie and we follow her journey through her last few weeks as she attempts to check things off her bucket list and make the most of the time she has left. She learns quite a bit about love and loss, and accepting the things that you can't change. She wants to live her best life and know that when her time comes she will have as few regrets as possible. It's definitely a story that tugs at the heartstrings.
A day in the life of the author?
This one might be difficult to answer, since every day in my life is it's own unique version of carefully controlled chaos. Given the current state of the world everything is a little different from the way it was before.
I try to get up before my kids so that I have a tiny bit of time to drink some coffee in peace – and while it's still hot! Sometimes I am successful, other days not so much. If I am successful I try to write at least a thousand words on whatever my current work in progress is.
Once they get up it is time for breakfast and getting ready for the day. We are distance learning now, so I have three kids in three different grades, all elementary school, to get through their studies. We try to get “most” of their learning done by lunch time.
After lunch we get outside as weather permits. We live in Western Washington so weather is always hit or miss, but the good days are coming. We are planting a garden this year of flowers and plants so we make sure to water them if it hasn't rained and get some P.E. time in.
Before I know it it's time for making dinner; thankfully they don't have homework these days because we do it all in the morning. Evenings they get baths taken care of while I do some housekeeping. Once they go to bed I have some uninterrupted time to really work on my writing. My goal is 2K words a day, but since the pandemic it doesn't always happen and I try to give myself as much grace as possible. I am not writing a book a month like I had hoped for 2020, but I am still on track to release five, which I am going to call a win.
I work until I am too tired to do any more, and I am usually in bed between midnight and 2 a.m. There it is in a nutshell, the bare bones of my day. Things are crammed in or crossed out as needed and we just muddle along the best we can!
Advice they would give new authors?
Any advice I give is solely based on the mistakes I am already aware I made. I'm sure there are plenty that I don't even know about yet.
First, find a professional cover designer who is proficient in the genre you are writing in. The designer I originally hired made fantastic art, but did not tell me that the covers I asked for would not sell well in the genre. An expensive mistake when you have to turn around and hire someone else to do them over again!
Second, get yourself a good developmental editor. Yes it can be expensive, but it is worth the money. My editor told me originally to cut approximately 30,000 words out of a 60k novel. Ouch! I wound up throwing the whole thing out and starting over, then copying and pasting the portions of the original manuscript that I really loved. It stung, but she was right and the story is so much better for it.
Maybe the most important thing? Keep writing. Get the words down on the page. I have a post it note above my desk that says “You can edit bad writing, but you cannot edit a blank page.” It's not my quote, I saw it on FaceBook and the author was unknown, but it serves as a daily reminder that getting the words down means I am making progress and I can always revise and edit later.
Last, but certainly not least, find your tribe. Gather people around you who believe in you and truly want you to succeed. They are priceless.
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