Today I’m thrilled to welcome over Leonard D. Hilley II, author of Shawndirea, Chronicles of Aetheaon, Book I, a Fantasy (Epic, Adventure, Sword/Sorcerer) novel.
Publisher: DeimosWeb Publishing
Date of Publication: June 27, 2014
Number of pages: 536 printed pages
Word Count: 148,000
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Often the smallest unexpected surprises garner the most demanding dilemmas, which proves to be the ordeal that entomologist Ben Whytten faces. While netting butterflies to add to his vast collection, he mistakenly sweeps what he thinks is the most spectacular butterfly he has ever seen into his net. Upon examining his catch, Ben is horrified to discover he has captured a faery and shredded her delicate wings into useless ribbons.
Devastated, Ben vows to take Shawndirea back to her realm, Aetheaon; but he discovers that doing so places their lives into immediate danger. To get to Aetheaon, they must pass through a portal rift deep inside the haunted cavern, Devils Den.
Once they cross the rift, Ben enters a world where mysteries, magic, betrayal, and power struggles await. He must adapt quickly or die because Aetheaon is filled with enchanted creatures and numerous races where chaos often dominates order. And since Shawndirea’s destined for the throne of Elvendale, opposing dark forces plot to prevent her from ever reaching her kingdom again. The faery's magic isn't enough to fully protect them, so he must trust other adventurers to aid them during their journey.
Available at Amazon
What inspired you to write this book?
Shawndirea was originally meant to be a novella as a backstory for Devils Den (setting is twenty years after Shawndirea) that was published a couple of years ago. My plan had been to explain the history behind several characters, primarily Ben and the faery, Shawndirea. However, the characters had something greater in mind.
Most of the characters in these two books originated with a book I trashed almost twenty years ago. Although I killed that novel, the characters stuck around in my head and matured. After twenty years, when the opportunity presented itself, they decided to hijack my novel and let their voices be heard.
This is the longest novel I’ve written, and never has one of my novels flowed so rapidly. It was difficult for me to keep up with them. There were many days with 12+ pages came with ease.
How did you come up with the title?
Shawndirea is the faery’s name. Giving the book a different title would have dishonored her.
What made you choose the main setting for your book?
The opening setting for Shawndirea and Devils Den is a fictional town (Cider Knoll) in Kentucky near Somerset. Devils Den is the name of an enchanted cave that leads to a different realm, or realms depending upon how the maze passageways direct.
When I wrote Devils Den and the rural town, I had never been to Somerset, Kentucky. After I had written the novel, I decided to drive out to Somerset with my wife and kids. The eerie thing is a lot of the descriptions I wrote about in the book were actually there. The old general store and other landmarks were there. It brought chills when I realized how much description my muse had instructed me to put on the page.
Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
The faery on the front cover is Shawndirea. I scanned book covers online for hours and found this one. The second I saw it, I knew that was her. http://www.selfpubbookcovers.com/Tigerlily
I was blown away. While the image is great online with Kindle, Nook, and other digital readers, the paperback cover takes the breath away.
Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
I’m currently working on two novels. I’m working on the sequel to Shawndirea, and already a few chapters into it. I’m also working on a sci-fi novel based off a screenplay I had written while working on my Master’s thesis. This one should be a stand-alone novel and current word count is 25,000 words.
Tell us about your favorite writing environment. Is it indoors, outdoors, a special room, etc.
It varies from day to day. The majority of the time I write in my recliner while my 24-toed black cat, Slinx, watches from his perch above my head. Since I teach at a local junior college, I find that I have to write in my office between classes sometimes. Other days I go to the university library and hide in a cubicle on the top floor and write. That’s the good thing about having a laptop because you can write almost anywhere.
Are your book/books available in audio? In other languages? If so, give us more details about where we can get them and what languages they’re in.
I’m currently working on audio and hoping to get translations in German, Spanish, and other languages before the year is out.
How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?
I’ve been writing stories since I was 10 years old. For a time, I drew my own comics. I’ve loved books since I was three years old. I read everything I could get my hands on in school, and eventually decided to write books that I’d like to read except they didn’t exist. So I had to write them.
My first novel was published in 2007.
What genre/genres do you prefer to write? Are there other genres you’d like to write in the future?
I tend to write in cross genre. My first series was sci-fi suspense/thriller with other elements mixed in. I also love writing fantasy. And later this year I will be starting my teen mystery series. These will be shorter novels, but I already have three solid plots worked out.
Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.
My Darkness Series consists of four novels: Predators of Darkness: Aftermath; Beyond the Darkness; The Game of Pawns; and Death’s Valley. There is an air of dystopia in the first novel, but one of my characters is a genetically altered cat that can talk. Morton has a smart mouth, but readers love him. I love him. But he’s the hardest character for me to write. Since he’s a cat, he’s just that stubborn. He only speaks when he chooses. Believe me. When he talks, I write it down.
Thanks so much for the opportunity to let me share about my writing. All my best to you and your followers!
Thanks for joining me today, Leonard! Wishing you much success always.
About the Author
Leonard D. Hilley II currently lives in the mountains of Kentucky with his wife, Christal. He is a biologist that has also earned his MFA in creative writing. Having a passion for books at an early age, he knew he wanted to author his own creative works. He wrote his first novel at the age of eleven and has never lost his love for books.
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