Today, I'm pleased to introduce Beth Elisa Harris, author of Vision, the first book in her trilogy starring Layla.
This is the eighth stop on her blog tour to welcome the release of the second book in the trilogy, Soul Herder - look out for it on 1 May!
Where did the idea come from for the VISION trilogy?
About ten years ago, we discovered some family history in Colonsay, an island off the coast of Scotland. We learned about our clan and others. From there my imagination took over. I’ve always been fascinated with the power of the sixth sense and human connection. The trilogy formed because I needed to tell Layla’s story over a period of time, and it spans long periods of time.
SOUL HERDER, the second in the trilogy, is set for release on May 1. What can readers expect?
In VISION, readers are introduced to Layla, her family and her boyfriend, and they learn about her history. Her Clear abilities – the profound capacity to read thoughts and predict events through dreams – create danger and geo-political interest, and bad things happen. She has a unique relationship with her mum and a woman from Colonsay, which blows the lid off life as she knows it. She discovers her connections and why she can no longer lead a normal life.
In SOUL HERDER, Layla is transformed. Without giving the story away, it’s a game changer. Layla goes from isolated bookworm to a significant global citizen almost overnight. My hope is that when readers finish this book, they will recognise it is a story about transformation, connection, power and fulfilling destiny. The geo-political component adds a complex dimension, but, most importantly, Layla is not the same girl who left Portland the previous year. There is also tons of action in SOUL HERDER, including an intense battle scene.
What can we expect in the final book and is there a release date?
WRITTEN IN TIME will conclude the trilogy and go further back in history to unveil how Layla’s prophesy came to be. It will also reveal the origins of the Bane revenge for power and land. Enough said! We are aiming for a release towards the end of the year. It’s ambitious – two in one year – but I have other projects I’m working on, and I really want to have the full trilogy out there for readers while I turn my attention to other partially written books. As much as I love the story and characters, it will be time to say goodbye after the third and final book. I am sure I will cry, as I did with the others!
Describe a typical day as an author
The first thing I do is check emails and social media to see if there are any hot issues to tend. Then I either work on whatever book I’m writing, or I’m editing or formatting. I write well in the morning through to noon, and prefer minimal conversing during that time. After that, I work on what seems most pressing. I don’t need inspiration or a particular place or a particular song playing to write. I don’t get writer’s block. I just require time and maybe some caffeine!
What inspires you to tell stories?
Yikes! Well, when I was just learning to speak, my mom used to tell me how I would not leave her alone to use the restroom. She would hear me breathing under the door and I would beg her to let me in so I could tell her a story. So, the inclination started early. I am not sure where the inspiration comes from – people always ask me how I ‘come up with this stuff’ and I can only respond by saying ‘it just does’. I can create a story around just about anything – the challenge is determining whether that story can be expanded into a book, and an interesting one that people will want to read.
I want interesting things to happen to my characters. I admire fearless storytelling, when authors go to places that others dare not tread. I can handle dark places, but give the reader something that is redeeming, that inspires or connects in some way. Otherwise, I think it’s a letdown and a negative experience. Fiction has the power to uplift and change people. I can finish a book and be a little sad, but I don’t want to be angry or feel the situation didn’t resolve well.
What can we expect after the trilogy?
There are a few projects on the burner. One I started awhile back called FLYERS, about a young woman and others with the ability of flight. I am really excited about getting that published. I’m also working on a story about a mother who judges her daughter’s boyfriend based on appearance, and the fallout caused by her actions. Those are just two. It’s exciting!
In your blogs, you talk a lot about the business of writing. Is being an author worth the time spent on the business side of the industry?
Ideally, I think most authors, if given a choice, would opt to write all day. The business side is unglamorous and requires a ton of daily attention, but it’s necessary to connect with readers, grow sales and promote your work. There is no way around it, unless you are not trying to make a name for yourself and earn a living. So, yes, it’s worth the time, energy and effort, because selling books allows you to continue writing. It’s all connected.
What is the most difficult part of the writing process for you?
Honestly, I agonise over every word, sentence and paragraph. I lie awake in bed rephrasing something I’ve written and can’t relax until I’ve made the change, or at least jotted it down so I remember later. There are countless ways of saying something. I consider how the character speaks – is it true to their speech pattern and vocabulary? When you write a series, the voices become second nature because you know the characters well. In the VISION trilogy, Layla grows, matures and changes through the books, so her voice evolves. Stuart, on the other hand, is steadfast, although in SOUL HERDER we see more of his thick dialect, influenced by years of living in proper times!
Hop to Beth's blog to follow her blog tour - http://bethelisaharris.blogspot.com
Amazon author profile: http://www.amazon.com/Beth-Elisa-Harris/e/B0060RJ00S/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Twitter: @Bethelisaharris https://twitter.com/Bethelisaharris