Friday, August 31, 2018

Author of Reign of Mist tells us all about her writing idea's and process

About the author

Helen Scheuerer is a novelist from Sydney, Australia, and the Founding Editor of Writer's Edit. She has university degrees in both creative writing and publishing. Her #1 bestselling YA fantasy novel, Heart of Mist is available now. She is a full-time author living by the beach.


1. Where do you get your ideas?

That’s a hard question… I’m inspired by anything and everything, but for me, ideas tend to be a slow burn. Rarely I have a lightning bolt moment of clarity where I get an amazing idea. My stories and characters are the result of lots of brainstorming, hard work and refining!

2. What is your writing process like?

Well, I think I’m definitely more of a morning writer. I like getting up early, and sitting in front of the laptop with a tea before the rest of the world is awake. Somehow, it’s when I feel the most free.

But apart from that, I tend to work off a chapter plan; basically a bunch of dot points that resemble the scenes within the chapter, and I go from there. The first draft of anything is always rubbish, so I rely on a lot of rewrites and edits to sharpen the manuscript.

3. What advice do you have for writers?

I’ve been giving writing advice long before the Oremere books came out. I started a learning platform for writers in 2013 called Writer’s Edit. There, we publish a tonne of in depth advice for authors and self-publishers, so that’s a great place to start.

But if I had to pick one thing to say, it would be: write what you love reading.

4. What is the first book that made you cry?

I’m absolutely stumped with this one… I honestly have no idea. I’m not a big crier… I think I cried while reading Harry Potter…? Potentially when Fred dies? But it was a long time ago I was reading that for the first time!

5. What other authors are you friends with? and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with a lot of authors who are yet to release their first books, but they’ve been a massive help to my development as a writer. They’ve helped beta read my books, listened to my concerns and supported me through the tough times. I think the best thing author friends do is make you feel supported no matter what, and mine certainly do that.

6.If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t worry about what you think you should write. Worry about what you want to write.

7. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I don’t spend too much time researching before I plan a book. I do some outlining and planning, but more often than not, the research occurs for the smaller details in the books, like weaponry, clothing and tools.

The Oremere books are set in a medieval-inspired fantasy realm, and so I’ll find myself looking up the different parts of armour, or the medicinal uses for herbs and things like that. I usually do this research as I need the information, rather than in a big session before I write the book.

8. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

It depends which day you ask me. When a book is newly released, I’ll try to look in on reviews here and there but generally, looking at reviews is a bad idea in my experience. You could have nine good reviews and one bad one, and it’s the bad one you’ll worry about.

That being said, I’ve read some wonderful reviews for both Heart of Mist and Reign of Mist, and they’re very much appreciated. It’s always lovely to know that your story and characters have had an impact on readers.


Links to include in your intro/conclusion if you like:

Heart of Mist Prequels:
Writer’s Edit:

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