Please join me in congratulating E. E. Rawls on the publication of her debut YA Fantasy novel. This is the first in a series that even a young YA reader can enjoy and grow with, much like fans of Percy Jackson or Harry Potter did! Make sure you get a copy too! Links below.
But before we get to that, let me share more about the book and introduce you to E. E. Rawls in the virtual flesh!
What’s coming up in this article: an interview with the author, all about the book, and a giveaway!
Available now is Strayborn by E. E. Rawls!
What’s this new book about?
Cyrus Sole hates life. She’s only half-human, with weak wrists, and not a day goes by when someone doesn’t say something mean about it—especially her step-mom. But when the forbidden power to manipulate metal awakens inside her, she finds herself on the run as the Argos Corps is sent to kill her…
Aken is a Scourgeblood, the last in a line of monsters. But all he really wants is to gain wings and be free. Until a new power suddenly awakens, changing the course of his life…
The Draev Guardian Academy is their only sanctuary. But training to become a Draev won’t be easy. Cyrus has to hide her human side, as she gets placed in Floor Harlow with the outcast students, and nightmares of her deceased mother keep returning.
With creepy Corpsed on the prowl, and whispers of Cyrus possibly being a reborn Hero, both she and Aken find themselves caught up in a web of secrets, racial tension, and an old legend with enemies that could spell their untimely demise…
—This book is a good fit for those who’ve enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, Brandon Sanderson’s fantasy world-building, and the fun of J.K. Rowling.
Interview with E. E. Rawls
Rachael: Welcome to the blog, E! We are so excited to have you here, so be prepared for some random and fun questions as we get to know you better and find out more about your new book. I’d like to start out by asking, what was your first inspiration for writing Strayborn?
E.E.: There were a lot of things that inspired Strayborn. The six years of my childhood spent living in Italy widened my imagination, and grew in me a love for fairy tales, folklore and stories. Afterwards, when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, I discovered Tolkien and his works, which opened up a whole new genre of books to me: the epic fantasy genre. 🙂 I loved all of the different races (especially the Elves) and knew I wanted to write stories that had just as much adventure, intrigue, and various human-like races. Narnia added to that soon afterwards. I was also fascinated by the old X-Men series back then, with all of their cool powers. That’s why I gave the characters in Strayborn unique elemental powers.
Rachael: So cool! It must have been interesting spending your growing up years in Italy! I love hearing how some famous classics entered your life, and I can see the influence in Strayborn. What was the process you went through to finally choose that title?
E.E.: It was a looong process, lol. I made lists of what the book focused on: the themes, any important objects, etc, in hopes that something would inspire a fitting title. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a series online with the word “stray” in its title that I realized my characters embody that word, and that it should be included in some way in the title. From there, it was just a matter of adding the right word to go with it, namely born. And so “Strayborn” came about!
Rachael: Sometimes naming a story can be easy, and other times it’s like coaxing a smile out of a grinch! But I think you landed on a perfect title for the book. Which character in Strayborn is your favorite, and what is one thing they do that drives you crazy?
E.E.: I can’t choose a favorite, come on, they’re each great in their own way. 😉 Okay, well, I do have a soft spot for Aken, I’ll admit it. I feel sorry for him. How could you not? But he has had moments of bad behavior, which…he will have to grow out of, heheh.
Rachael: Ach! Aken is so likable and also such a naughty thing! Haha I could see why you like him. Since I can’t get more out of your on that topic, do you have any special habits or writing rituals that help you get focused before you write? If so, what is/are it/they?
E.E.: I try to exercise and have some reading time before I dive into writing. It’s my way of refueling the tank before working on a WIP. 🙂
Rachael: Those are great habits. Exercise helps get oxygen to the brain and reading activates the imagination! Since I’m getting a little personal here, tell me about something that you learned about yourself while writing this book.
E.E.: How much time and dedication it really takes to be an author! This process has shown me how and where to be patient (especially with the technical side of preparing files for print), and how to engage with other writers more, instead of staying in my own little bubble. Being an author forces you to grow as a person, and be more flexible.
Rachael: Preach it, writer-sister! Tell us more about you. Do you have any pets that help you write? If not, would you ever consider getting a writing buddy of the animal sort?
E.E.: I have two adorable cats, who have the softest fur ever. And they both like to sit in the computer room with me while I write. One even curls up in the chair behind me, and rolls so that I’ll pet her soft tummy. It’s both hilarious and adorable!
Rachael: Awww! I bet they’re inspiring. Speaking of, how do you find inspiration for characters? Is it all you or do you find yourself inspired by other characters and real life people? I know I am often inspired that way…to write a certain kind of character but different.
E.E.: Sometimes I’m inspired by movie characters or something cool online. At least for the beginning stages. But then I craft my own character from that idea to fit the story and world.
Rachael: I see how well you did that for Stayborn! If you could reveal one secret about your favorite character in Strayborn, who is it and what would that secret be?
E.E.: One secret, hm? That’s tricky, without giving any spoilers away. But I guess I can tell you that Master Nephryte wasn’t always a perfectly good student when he was young and at the Academy. 😉 I’ll leave you to wonder what I mean by that…
Rachael: Oooo, I’m not quite finished reading yet, but I do find Master Nephryte an intriguing character! I love that he’s a follower of Lord God. How difficult is it to balance your faith with the fantasy world you write in?
E.E.: I just treat the fantasy world the way I would the normal world and let the characters work through the hardships of life while also holding to their faith. Cyrus is like me, so if there’s something I wouldn’t do because of my faith, she won’t do it either because of hers.
Rachael: That is a fair and honest approach. I happen to enjoy faith in fiction, even fantasy fiction, and the way you do it is not heavy-handed. But you mentioned things you watch inspire you too. What is your favorite movie? Why?
E.E.: You’re asking a lot of tough questions! 😀
Rachael: That’s why I get paid the big bucks! Errr…no, that’s not me. Nevermind. haha Stop distracting me and answer the question!
E.E.: 😀 As far as an old classic goes, it has to be “Beauty and the Beast.” There’s just something so special and beautiful about it, even after all these years. And the characters are unforgettable.
Rachael: I love “Beauty and the Beast,” even an older live-action version that follows closer to the original tale. Great inspiration for how to make characters likable and perfectly unlikable! You know, I’d have ended that movie just the same, I think, with Gaston meeting his end. If you could kill off one character from someone else’s book, who would it be? Why?
E.E.: Lol, that’s so mean! I really have to think with this one. Hmm…let’s see… I don’t care much for the girl Scarlet, in Lunar Chronicle’s Scarlet. But I’d still feel bad killing her off, since her wolf boyfriend would miss her, and…she is one of the main characters. XD
Rachael: haha! Can’t have wolf boyfriends missing their girls. And MCs are kinda important to the plot, so…yeah, I feel ya! I have just one more burning question that cannot be left unanswered for the posterity of the world. *deep breath* If you met a stranger who happened to be blue and who offered you a million dollars in exchange for your favorite relative’s right eye, would you do it?
E.E.: No! Thou shall not offend your relatives! Haha, we all know that it’s best to stay on good terms with family and relatives, right? 😉 Totally joking, I wouldn’t take that offer no matter what, little blue alien. People are more important than money and whatever else. Go back to your planet.
Rachael: Bahahaha! Seriously, that’s good to know. You’re an author who can put your main characters through the ringer, but when it comes to real life, you’re one loyal woman! Congrats on the release of your debut novel! On Saturday I’ll be sharing my review of Strayborn, and I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone else thinks of it too. Thank you so much for joining me here today and sharing your secrets with us, E!
E.E.: Thanks for having me on the blog, Rachael!
Down below you’ll also find more info about a free e-book prequel to Strayborn!
Book Purchase Links
First place: One hardback copy of Strayborn, and one Percy Jackson soy/vegan homemade candle by A Court Of Candles.
Second and Third place: One ebook copy of Strayborn.
Ends on Monday, October 21.
Rafflecopter Link: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/a716244a1/
E. E. Rawls has got even more goodies for everyone!
STORM & CHOICE is the prequel to Strayborn and is yours for free by signing up for E. E. Rawl’s e-newsletter (which you’ll want to do anyway!)
Cyrus Sole, a girl who can manipulate metal, and Aken-Shou the last Scourgeblood, must learn to survive in a world that is determined to either destroy them, or use them…
This ebook is available FREE at Rawls’s newsletter: eerawls.com
E.E. Rawls is the product of a traveling family, who even lived in Italy for 6 years. She loves exploring the unknown, whether it be in a forest, inside a forgotten castle, or within the pages of a book.
She runs on coffee, cuddly cats and the beauty of nature to keep the story wheels of her mind running, as she writes tales that will both entertain and inspire others, giving them worlds they can explore and become lost within.