Today we're excited to chat with H.S.J. Williams, author of Fairest Son. Read on for more about H.S.J. and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet H.S.J. Williams!
When a human huntress stumbles upon him in her search for a legendary predator, their fates are intertwined. But she hides deadly secrets, and if he dares to trust her, he may risk the doom of both courts to an ancient evil...
A Novella Retelling of Snow White
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Some years ago, Rooglewood Press began annual writing contests to retell a selected classic fairy tale. Five winners would be chosen and published in their collection. It started with Cinderella, than later Beauty and the Beast, than Sleeping Beauty. For a long time, I waited for the Snow White contest to be released, but by the time it came, my story had grown too large to be entered, and I realized I wished it to be my standalone debut. As for story's inspiration itself.....well....I've always had a thing for princes in peril, fey folk, and celtic lore...so my love of all these things wove together to create Fairest Son.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
Definitely Idris, Prince of the Seelie Court. He's the kind of person you want for a best friend. Cheerful, compassionate, and clever enough to keep you on your toes. I love how he pushes through his disabilities and finds ways to make life full through figurine carving, faerie braille books, and taking care of all the mountain animals. He needs to be fed cookies and wrapped in warm blankets.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The poetic prophecy from which the title comes came fairly early on, so I say they arrived at about the same time.
A Crown to Last,
4. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Give yourself time and grace to grow. As a kid or a teen, you have a lot of energy and a lot of ambition, so one should definitely use that time to pursue their passions. But it's important to realize that good things take time, so goals like publishing are best seasoned with practice and experience. Constantly look for ways to improve, through reading or classes or contests. But even if you feel like you're too slow or behind everybody else, just remember that goals are achieved through hard work and resilience.
5. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The slight glow in the dark forest leaves. You can just sort of feel the heart of a dark forest, pulsing with ancient amber life. The little sparkles remind me of fireflies.
6. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
Wait, I'm supposed to choose just one? Well, as for an anticipated book still releasing this year, I would have to choose Blood in the Snow by Sarah Pennington. It's an Asian-esque retelling of Snow White and The Goose Girl, so I'm intrigued. Also, because it's cover is absolutely gorgeous.
As for books I am just plain looking forward to, I would have to say Return of the Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I mean....after so many years.....the end has come....I'm not sure if I will survive.
7. What was your favorite book in 2017?
Halayda by Sarah Delena White. An exciting and delightful epic faerie story with two awesome couples, an intriguing and gorgeous villain, and lots of magical adventure. I can't wait for the second book!
8. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
There are satisfactions to both. It's exciting to see the story come together for the first time in a draft, but it feels good to clean it up in revision. In the end, I probably enjoy revising more because it's less work and I'm lazy that way.
9. Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
It's that time of year when I start thinking about Operation Christmas Child! If you haven't heard about it, it is this amazing ministry where people pack and wrap gift boxes to be sent to Samaritan's Purse who then distribute the presents to needy children all over the world, some of them in very hard-to-reach locations. The gift boxes are encouraged to be more than toys (although these things surely bring smiles to children's faces) but also practical supplies. Samaritan's Purse also hosts a Gift Catalog year round where you can purchase life-saving gifts such as farm animals, medical supplies, or even donate towards construction for disaster relief or poverty stricken countries.
I'm working on the next draft of my Big Project. In other words, the first book of my multi-stage series, Kings of Aselvia. It's been in progress for some time now and keeps growing in new ways, but I am glad to come ever closer to releasing it to the world. It has all the good things--epic elves, clever smugglers, a sassy mammalian dragon creature....
I might publish another fairy-tale retelling before then, but we'll see.
Not only do the illustrations look beautiful in the book, but they were just what I needed to create my book trailer!
By: H.S.J. Williams