Interview With 2019 Debut Renee April!


In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!

Last year, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Renee April and her novel HER CROWN OF FIRE, and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Renee on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Renee! 
Renee April
Renee April is the author of the young adult fantasy novel, Her Crown of FireIn addition to being an avid reader and writer, she streams games badly on Twitch and acts as dungeon master for her D&D group. As a result, she spends far too much time in fantasy realms. She can be found on various writing sites such as Wattpad and Goodreads, but usually lurks on Twitter to hand out bad advice and genuine sympathies.
Keep up with Renee: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Facebook 

Interview!

The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Renee: Thank you so much! To be honest, even though I signed the contract in 2018, it's only just hitting me now - as edits are finalized and the cover is revealed. The work is winding down and I have this incredible book that has taken a village to write and edit.  
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what is the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?
Renee: The best bit? Getting the idea. Fleshing it out in your mind and assigning the perfect MC. Drafting your supporting cast and coming up with the main plot points. The hardest? Starting. Because no matter how much planning and time you've put in, it's at this point you'll remember that writing is a whole different beast. Your first page will be nothing like you planned, and finding the motivation to continue on what is now a different project to the one you've envisioned can be difficult. 
The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for HER CROWN OF FIRE?
Renee: Her Crown of Fire has been an evolving book through my entire adult life. I wrote the (angsty) first draft when I was a teenager instead of doing my homework, and I've rewritten it about eight times since then. My MC, Rose, has changed as I have, reflecting how I've grown and adapted to life. I wrote the first draft just for me, the book I wanted to read. It was a mix of teenage drama and action and adventure. It was nerdy and self-indulgent and teenage me loved it. Adult me much prefers the current draft (which is still nerdy).
The Book Bratz:  Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest?
Renee: My favourite character would have to be Tyson. He's strong, sensible, and just good to his core. He's the voice of reason and support. Early drafts only had him up until the second chapter, but after overwhelming feedback, he became a major plot point and I loved spending more time with him. The hardest was definitely Rose. Not only do we spend the entire book in her head, the changes she goes through morphs her into almost an entirely different creature by the end of the book. She gets injured, she's hurt, she's frightened, she's angry. Her realm of emotion and change reflected a lot of what I've been through in the past few years, and now I feel like I have an ally in this character. 
The Book Bratz: How hard is it to come up with a fantasy world, in your opinion? How do you know what decisions to make?
Renee: Honestly, world-building is one of the best parts of writing fantasy. Creating countries, cultures, systems of government, languages... The freedom is intoxicating. I know a few people who just stick to world-building and are incredibly good at what they do (if I get my way, one day they'll actually write the book for the world they designed). While a lot of stuff comes naturally, I tend to draw from history and other works of fiction. I'm even writing a small campaign for my D&D group in my world - this forces me to further develop some half-baked concepts I had hanging around on the edge of the world because they will ask me questions about everything. 
The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from HER CROWN OF FIRE?
Renee:A good time. I write books to entertain, to provide an escape from the everyday world. I hope that people will find themselves in my characters and become invested in their journey, but at the end of the day if they finish the book and enjoyed the time they spent with it, I'll be over the moon. 
The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of HER CROWN OF FIRE in the future, or do you have any other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?
Renee: I'd love to return to this world! Depending on how this first book goes, Rose's journey may continue. I also have several novellas that take place in the same world at the same time, and would love to dig into those. I'm writing an Australian historical novel, which is proving to be a very different challenge to fantasy. It turns out I'm pretty partial to digging through badly-scanned documents, and websites written in Comic Sans, looking for a reference or crucial piece of information. There's also an urban fantasy set in the 90s, a dark historical fantasy set in '49, and somewhere far off in the future, an elemental cyberpunk book. Too many ideas!

About HER CROWN OF FIRE!

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Title: Her Crown of Fire (Molten Crown, #1)
Author: Renee April
Publisher: Write Plan
Publication Date: November 1st, 2019

Summary: In the dull, everyday world, seventeen-year-old Rose Evermore struggles to plan beyond her final year of high school. But when fire suddenly obeys her every command and her dreams predict the future, she becomes hungry for more of this strange power. Under her dreams’ guidance, Rose lands in the fantasy realm of Lotheria–with a tagalong. Tyson, her best friend since childhood, winds up there with her, just as confused and a hell of a lot more vulnerable. In Lotheria, Rose is welcomed and celebrated as a fire mage at the Academy, while the very un-magical Tyson is forced into hiding under threat of death from the masters of Rose’s new school. As Rose’s talent in fire magic draws unwanted attention and Tyson struggles to transition from high school student to blacksmith, Rose must find a way to return Tyson to their own world before the masters discover and execute him–no matter the cost. 
Thank you so much to Renee for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about HER CROWN OF FIRE and can't wait for it to be out in the world on November 1st


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