Hey, everyone! As you probably know, I've been binging/obsessing over Helen Scheuerer's incredible Oremere Chronicles this last month. I recently read and reviewed the first two books in her epic trilogy . . . and now, TODAY, book 3 launched! So I know what I'll be reading these next few days . . .
You all should definitely give this series a try. And you should also take a moment to check out this fun interview I did with Helen, picking her brain about her fabulous series!
Thank you so much for making time for this interview, Helen! I know you’ve got to be CRAZY busy getting ready for the big launch of War of Mist, so I really appreciate you carving out a little time for my questions.
Helen: You’re more than welcome, I’m thrilled to be here!
At the time of this interview, I just finished reading Heart of Mist, the first book in the series. Wow! What an incredible epic you have created. The world itself is huge and intricate, and then you peopled it with such a cast of colorful characters, all of whom are developed in detail. So my question is this—how long did it take you to develop this story world and characters? Were you working on it for years before you sat down to write, or did everything grow and evolve as you told the story?
Helen: Thank you so much! And what a great question. Heart of Mist was born out of a need for escape from another book I was working on at the time. As such, I didn’t really have massive plans for it other than to write for the sheer enjoyment and creativity of it.
It developed across the span of multiple rewrites. I introduced various layers of setting and worldbuilding with each draft. It made for a very long process, I’ll tell you that!
The other thing I did which really helped develop my characters was write prequel stories for the main protagonists. These stories helped me get a real sense of what each character had been through before the events in the main story, and how they’d come to be who they are.
You can actually read the 9 prequel e-shorts for free by subscribing to my mailing list.
Bleak makes for a distinctive heroine in the genre. You introduce her as desperate and flawed, crippled by alcoholism and seemingly unable, despite all her best efforts, to change her circumstances. And then you take her (and the reader) on a crazy journey of growth and change, and I couldn’t help but root for her every step of the way. Was it a difficult choice for you, as the writer, to start out with a character so deeply flawed and struggling? Or was Bleak simply the right fit for the story you wanted to tell?
Helen: Bleak was definitely the right fit for this story. I’ve always loved deeply flawed characters – they’re far more interesting, relatable and realistic.
There’s nothing more frustrating than a protagonist who’s perfect.
While Bleak is the stand-out character for the series, there are SO MANY beautifully developed characters to love/hate (sometimes simultaneously). Bren broke my heart more than a little, Henri made me waffle between wanting to smack her and give her hug, Swinton just . . . yeah, Swinton . . . (shivers. But you know I love him!). So which one is YOUR personal favorite? Whose chapters do you look forward the most to writing?
Helen: Oh thank you! I’m glad you’ve been enjoying them. :)
You know, it really depends on the book. Who I’ve favoured has never remained the same over the years, though I’ve always loved writing the bromance/banter between Swinton and his brother-in-arms, Fi.
I was actually just speaking to a reader the other day and realized that throughout writing War of Mist (Book III, which is quite dark), I definitely appreciated the characters who offered a bit of light – Fi, Luka, Dash… Each of them have a cheeky, competitive side that makes them really fun to write.
So, with that said – it’s not one particular favourite character, but rather particular dynamics I enjoy writing.
Now that you’re wrapping up this incredible epic trilogy, what is next on your writerly horizons? Can readers hope for more adventures set in this world? Or is your imagination carrying you toward new horizons?
Helen: Ahhhh, I would love nothing more than to talk about the projects that are on the near horizon, but at this stage, everything is being kept quite hush-hush.
I can tell you that I’ve got a number of exciting things in the works, and there’ll be at least one new Scheuerer title each year for the foreseeable future. ;)
Last of all—can you tell my readers the best places to find and connect with you on social media?
Helen: Absolutely! You can find me on most social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and my website.
If you’re interested in reading the prequel stories I mentioned, you can get them HERE.
So what are you waiting for, reader friends? Rush on out and get this awesome series today!