As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Helen’s YA fantasy series The Oremere Chronicles and I have been lucky enough to get to interview Helen once again for her new book that is releasing this week – Dawn of Mist.
I recently reviewed the book, which you can find here (I highly recommend picking it up after it launches!). In this interview, I got to ask a few questions that were plaguing my mind and a few curiosity questions as well. I hope you all enjoy it and there are links to find both Helen and Dawn of Mist below!
What made you decide to publish prequels to the Oremere Chronicles rather than follow ups to the character’s lives after the conclusion to the series?
Well, I’d been writing these prequel stories since before Heart of Mist came out in 2017, as a way of exploring the characters and I found I really enjoyed teasing out the different aspects of their past and what made them become who they are in the main series.
I shared a few of these stories with my mailing list subscribers and to my utter joy, my readers requested more of them! After receiving several requests, I decided to continue to write the stories while I wrote the main series and when War of Mist (the final book in the trilogy) was complete, I’d add more to the stories and create a collection.
Did it come easily to you to create new prequel stories in addition to the ones that were exclusively for newsletter subscribers?
I’m not sure I’d say it was easy, but I definitely knew there were a lot more stories to tell in addition to the 9 I’d already shared. I also knew I’d saved the best (or the most harrowing) til last.
The stories with the most heartbreak and those with the most secrets revealed are exclusive to the Dawn of Mist collection. No one has read those yet!
The cover is noticeably different from its predecessors, was it your original intention to make it unique from the others?
Absolutely. While I wanted it to tie in with The Oremere Chronicles, I wanted it to be clear that it’s not a continuation of the series.
I had a bit chat with a dear friend of mine who’s helped guide the design process from the beginning about how we could go about doing that. I felt like the colour was a big risk, but it suited the title and the book so well, and I think it really paid off.
We gave my cover designer a very detailed brief about what we wanted and the results speak for themselves 🙂
Thinking back on the series now that you’ve delved back into their lives – is there a character(s) you would alter their storyline? Or perhaps an alternate ending?
Hmmmm… That’s a really interesting question, Jen! I don’t think I would alter any character’s storyline or ending (however sad some of theirs’ might have been).
That’s not to say the books are perfect. If I knew then what I know now, I would have changed certain aspects of my processes and timelining. But ultimately, I think the characters went through what they needed to, and ended up where they needed to.
Do you have a new favorite character to write now that you have dived into the main character’s pasts?
You know, I do love writing the relationship between Swinton and Fi. I love the banter between them and the way they struggle with their masculinity and stoicism.
I’ve always received wonderful feedback about Fi and sometimes I find myself daydreaming about what a story centred around him would be like…
Are there any themes you haven’t had room for in your novels yet, that you’re hoping you can include next?
I LOVE this question. I’ve actually already started work on a new series and I can tell you that a big theme featured is ambition. What we want, why we want it and best of all, what we’d do to get it…
About the Author
Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Her debut novel, Heart of Mist, was the bestselling first instalment in her trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. Helen holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing, and a Master of Publishing. She is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), one of the world’s largest online learning platforms for emerging writers. She is now a full-time author living amidst the mountains in New Zealand.
Book: link to come!