I absolutely agree with Helena, writing is therapeutic and publishing and all the marketing it entails, is not! Reading is also a great escape especially when reality is difficult and challenging. Those of you who know me personally, will understand that finding the right book at the moment is not easy. Helena's look like ideal escapism...
At what point did you discover the joy of writing?
I won a writing competition when I was eight years old. Since then, writing has been a lifetime passion for me.
Why do you write? And where did the idea for The Younglings come from?
I write as a form of relaxation, and to escape the real world—plus, it’s good for my mental health. Out of everything I read, I have a weakness for the freedom that fantasy offers. Although I have many unfinished and unpublished manuscripts, my current ones have all been in the fantasy genre. The concept of The Younglings—a diverse range of supernaturals coming together to fight for good—has been an idea of mine for quite a long time. I wanted this concept to be a coming-of-age type story—teenagers dealing with teenage life, and being thrown into a supernatural world, whilst discovering who they are, forming the bonds of friendship, and falling in love, as well as all the usual teen-angst. As a writer, I wanted to be edgy, to write like young adults would think and speak, and really get into their mindset. The theme of self-belief, family bonds and friendship is important to me—and this is a theme throughout the book. And we have to remember, teens don’t want to be treated like kids. Teens read to understand friends, frenemies, but mostly themselves. My goal was to empower teen readers.
Tell me more about your characters Quinn and Eve.
The characters in my series are real teenagers, from the decisions they make, to their reactions to certain situations, and the confusion that is falling in love—like ordinary teens. Their heightened sense of emotion (and hormones) can cause immaturity and self-doubt issues. We see The Younglings cope with their new-found abilities and watch them grow and mature throughout the series. For Quinn, though, 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 is half-angel, and a witty, strong female MC, who is compassionate and loving. As a half-demon, Quinn struggles with self-belief—will he become evil? His and Eve’s relationship is ironic but works. Quinn is secretly in love with Eve, but does she feel the same? You’ll have to read the book to find out …
What future ambitions do you have? Is there another book to the series on its way?
Well, 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. Whatever happens, I will carry on writing.
The Youngling: Fire & Magic is being released on the 6th June 2022.
The final book in the series, The Younglings: Starlight & Magic, will be late 2022.
Do you have any tips for those who might like to start writing?
The best tip I can give is keep writing! The more you write, the better you become. If you have a story to tell, tell it! And … never give up, whether or not you publish, you’re still a writer.
Lastly, how might my readers keep in touch with you?
I’m on Twitter @craggs_h, IG @craggshm, Facebook Helena M Craggs Author and my website is: helenamcraggsauthor.com I’d love to hear from you!