Hi Helena! It is a pleasure to have you today to talk about books and writing. First of all, let me congratulate you on the release of the sequel of “The Younglings” series. I am sure a lot of readers have been waiting patiently to read about Quinn and his friends’ further adventures.
Helena: It’s wonderful to join you, Eve. Thank you for inviting me! Yes, the sequel, Fire & Magic, is out in the world. I hope readers enjoy the progression of Quinn and his team, and their new misadventures.
Eve: My first question is about writing characters. The main character of “The Younglings” is Quinn. Please share what’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Helena: As a mother, I have, in the not too distant past, had a house full of teenage boys. The joie de vivre that they have is inspiring. But most teens can experience many difficulties in their day to day lives—from bullying, to gossip, to drugs, to mental health issues, isolation, and so on. Subsequently, overly polished plots and people won’t resonate. I think Quinn is the messy, real deal—a real teenager, from the decisions he makes, to his reactions to certain situations; the teen angst, and the confusion of falling in love. A teen’s heightened sense of emotion (and hormones) can cause immaturity and self-doubt issues. Quinn is somewhat based on my son Thomas, and from my experiences throughout this phase of his life. As a writer, I wanted to be edgy, to write like young adults would think and speak, and get into their mindset. I honestly didn’t really struggle to portray Quinn at all. Bringing in the supernatural element, on top of being a normal teen, was fun to write—it was a matter of integrity—finding out your father is not human but a demon king; would it break him or make him stronger?
Eve: In the first instalment of your fantasy series “The Younglings: Shadows and Magic” you introduce readers to a set of versatile characters. Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
Helena: I think it’s probably Millie, the witch. Millie goes from being an anxious young lady, whose self-confidence is almost below zero, to a confident and powerful witch. We see her growth throughout book one, and this continues in book two. The key factor for her growth is the group of teenagers she meets—The Younglings—and their belief in her. As they say, anything is possible when you have the right people there to support and believe in you. This resonates with me, with my family and friends, as well as a few very motivational author friends I have the privilege of knowing and being close to.
Eve: And now, the question everyone asks when they find out that you write. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Helena: I won a writing competition when I was eight-years-old. Since then, writing has been a lifetime passion for me. Even though I’ve written my whole life, I’ve never particularly wanted to publish. When my sister was terminally ill, before she passed, she asked me to publish my new book idea, The Younglings. After grieving, I fulfilled her wish.
Eve: I can relate to your motivation to publish, and I’m deeply sorry for your loss.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Helena: Publishing and marketing—every author has to put themselves out there, whether you’re self-published or with a publisher. It is annoying for two reasons, one because most authors are self-effacing souls and two, because it takes time and energy away from actual writing.
I have a whole middle-grade fantasy series written and waiting—maybe I’ll publish that after The Younglings series? I’m not sure, though, as I find writing to be therapeutic, publishing, however, is not.
But, whatever happens, I will carry on writing.
Eve: Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? Which platforms you are most active on?
Helena: I’m most active on Twitter & IG
You can find me here:
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I’d love to hear from you!