Today we're excited to chat with E. Latimer author of
Witches Of Ash and Ruin.
Read on for more about E. Latimer and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet E. Latimer!
LATIMER is the author of Witches of Ash and Ruin, and The Strange and Deadly Portraits of Bryony Gray. She lives on Vancouver Island, and her breakout success on the online writing platform, Wattpad.com, has resulted in a fanbase of over 100k followers, with over 20 million combined reads. She also vlogs weekly on the Word Nerds Youtube channel, and spends the rest of her days reading, writing and consuming too much tea.
Meet Witches Of Ash and Ruin!
Modern witchcraft blends with ancient Celtic mythology in an epic clash of witches and gods, perfect for fans of V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic trilogy and CHILLING ADVENTURES OF SABRINA.
Seventeen-year-old Dayna Walsh is struggling to cope with her somatic OCD; the aftermath of being outed as bisexual in her conservative Irish town; and the return of her long-absent mother, who barely seems like a parent. But all that really matters to her is ascending and finally, finally becoming a full witch-plans that are complicated when another coven, rumored to have a sordid history with black magic, arrives in town with premonitions of death. Dayna immediately finds herself at odds with the bewitchingly frustrating Meiner King, the granddaughter of their coven leader.
And then a witch turns up murdered at a local sacred site, along with the blood symbol of the Butcher of Manchester-an infamous serial killer whose trail has long gone cold. The killer's motives are enmeshed in a complex web of witches and gods, and Dayna and Meiner soon find themselves at the center of it all. If they don't stop the Butcher, one of them will be next.
With razor-sharp prose and achingly real characters, E. Latimer crafts a sweeping, mesmerizing story of dark magic and brutal mythology set against a backdrop of contemporary Ireland that's impossible to put down.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I often steal shiny bits and pieces from around me. I love witchy women, which means I hang out with a lot of them. A lot of the witches’ mannerisms, practices and character traits, their strong friendships and their interactions, are influenced by the women in my life.
I also have to deal with Somatic OCD, which is what the main character, Dayna, struggles with in the book.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
My favorite character is probably Cora. She’s very internally conflicted. She’s a “good guy” but still very morally grey and pretty ruthless, which made her really fun to write.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
This book was titled “Literal man-eating bisexual witches” for a while there. The real title came later.
YABC: Do you have a favorite writing snack?
I usually have a cup of earl grey tea with oat milk, but no snack, as I tend to drop stuff on the keyboard.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Probably patience. It took me a long time to develop the patience I have now. Publishing moves at roughly the speed of a glacier, so learning to throw yourself into other projects while you’re on submission, or waiting on beta readers, is really important.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
When I heard the paperback was getting a new cover, I was both nervous and excited. There’s always the fear that it won’t match up with your vision for the story. But in this case, those fears were completely unfounded. Shane Rebenschied managed to capture the eerie-yet-magical undertones I’d hoped for, and the graveyard “reflected” in her cloak, with its Celtic grave markers and the steeples of some ancient church or castle rising up in the background…it’s just breathtaking.
YABC: What’s on your TBR pile?
I’m just about to read We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal, for the second time, because my memory is completely rubbish and I can’t remember what happened in the book (all I know is I liked it). I just bought book 2, and I plan to read them back-to-back.
YABC: What’s a book you’ve recently read and loved?
Someone is surely going to yell at me for this, but I’d never read the Percy Jackson series before. I’ve just finished The Lightening Thief on audiobook, and it was a fun romp.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m currently working on a proposal for my next book, In a Forest Dark & Deep, which features psychotic bisexuals, a monstrous old-growth forest, and a “dark academia” style school with a deadly secret. I’m also planning a middle grade for the second half of the year, which involves one of my favorite pieces of obscure mythology.
YABC: Are there any film adaptations, tv shows, audiobooks, or other adaptations in the works for this book?
The audiobook is read by Katharine Lee McEwan, and I cannot recommend it enough. In my opinion, the only thing better than reading a book, is having it read to you by someone with a gorgeous accent. Her narration style, and the voices she does for the characters are fantastic.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
I had to be really careful while writing about Dayna’s OCD, since I’d given her my same “theme” so to speak. The way that OCD works, is that you can kind of get “hooked in” or triggered by something, and you’ll fall into this obsessive thought loop.
So, while writing the story, I’d have to do a kind of self scan to figure out how my state of mind was. If I was liable to tip off the edge and into obsession, I’d work on a different scene that day, but if I was having a really good day, sometimes I’d write one or two scenes where Dayna was having her obsessive thoughts. It was really a balance and learning to read my own cues and figure out how long I could write about those scenes.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Dayna was a tough one, because of everything I mentioned above. Grandma King also gave me trouble, since I had to walk a fine line between showing a bit of what was going on with her, without giving the whole game away. But I enjoyed the challenge with that one.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
This question made me laugh because I have arguments about this with my writer friends. I love drafting and I DESPISE revising. I love having revised. Having a polished book is fantastic, but during the process I’d rather be doing anything else. I have friends who LOVE it, and I regularly will look at them and be like, “What on earth is wrong with you?”
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Putting things off, maybe. Or drinking more earl grey tea than should be humanly possible. I wouldn’t make the Avenger’s team, I don’t think.
Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
There are a few things. Mental illness is always going to be something I want to spread awareness about, the stigma against it, and the day-to-day struggles.
I’ve also been doing some research for In a Forest Dark & Deep and learning about the aggressive logging of the world’s last remaining old growth forests. These forests provide far more climate benefit than younger forests do, but we seem very as determined to chop them all down AS we pollute ourselves to death. I live on Vancouver Island, which has some absolutely magnificent groves of ancient trees, which are home to entire ecosystems, animals and plants that will be wiped out in the near future, if we continue logging them the way we are.
A lot of these trees are sacred to the island’s Indigenous people. They’re also a living part of history, some of them over eight-hundred-years old. If you’re curious to learn more, you can check out the Ancient Forest Alliance: https://www.ancientforestalliance.org/
What advice would you give to new writers?
- Learn to be patient.
- Concentrate on perfecting your craft.
- Enjoy the process of creating. Don’t let rejection steal that joy. (You’ll be rejected, it’s inevitable, but press on anyways).
- Find friends to share the journey with.
Witches Of Ash and Ruin
By: E. Latimer
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 16th, 2021
Three winners will receive a copy of Witches Of Ash and Ruin (E. Latimer) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*