In the city of Solantha, mages rule absolute, with shifters considered second-class citizens and humans something in between. No one outside the mage families are allowed to have magic, and anyone born with it must agree to have it stripped from them to avoid execution.
Sunaya Baine, a shifter-mage hybrid, has managed to keep her unruly magic under wraps for the last twenty-four years. But while chasing down a shifter-hunting serial killer, she accidentally loses control of her magic in front of witnesses, drawing the attention of the dangerous and enigmatic Chief Mage.
Locked up in the Chief Mage’s castle and reduced to little more than a lab rat, Sunaya resists his attempts to analyze and control her at every turn. But she soon realizes that to regain her freedom and catch the killer, she must overcome her hatred of mages and win the most powerful mage of all to her side.
Now, let’s learn more about this wonderful author!
Are you a plotter or a pantser? I started off at a pantser, but I kept on getting lost or meandering off into nowhere with my books, so I read a couple of books on plotting and haven’t looked back since. It helps keep me on track and I’m infinitely more productive when I have a plot.
What do we have to look forward to in the future? Lots! I’ve got at least four more books coming out this year, with possibly more in the series, and I’ve also got some ideas for two other series in the works.
You are a published author! What made you succeed where others fail? Honestly it comes down to research. A lot of indie authors hit publish without having any idea what to do about marketing and most of them tend to fall flat on their faces. I must have read 30 or so books on self-publishing and book marketing when prepping for my launch, and I studied the hell out of my competition when getting my cover designed and setting up my book’s Amazon page.
What advice would you have for someone who is just starting out? Write. A LOT. I wrote something like a million words of fiction before I self-published my first book, and I still have a lot of room for improvement. Also, read a ton. Fiction, and also books on self-pubbing and marketing. You’ve got a lot to learn if you want to be successful.
What attracts you to your genre? I love the idea of magic and exotic worlds where all kinds of things are possible that we just don’t get to experience in real life. I’ve read and love all kinds of fantasy, and along with romance is my primary love in fiction.
Where do you like to do your writing? I tend to alternate between the chaise in front of my fireplace and my local Starbucks. Occasionally I’ll write at my actual desk, but I usually save my desk for editing and non-writing related things.
Do you have a specific writing style? I’d say that I tend to focus more on emotion and action than description in my writing. I always had a tendency to gloss over long paragraphs of setting description when reading, and apparently this has transfered over to my writing, LOL.
What book are you reading now? I’m currently enjoying The Wilds by Donna Augustine. It’s a great dystopian adventure fantasy!
Do you see writing as a career? Absolutely. I always intended to make money writing — for the past couple of years I did it as a ghostwriter, and now that I’ve self-published and my first book has been so successful I plan on putting out many more books under my own name.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Karen Marie Moning, I’d have to say. I have quite a few favorites, but I’ve yet to read another author that infuses her work with quite as much passion.
Who designed the covers? My cover illustration was done by Judah Dobin. You can find out more about his work atwww.judahdobin.com.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? Burned by Magic was the first full-length work I’d ever written in first person, so it taught me a lot about how to tell a story through a single POV when in the past I’ve relied on multiple POVs in third person.
What were your expectations for your novels before you were published? Honestly, I expected very little out of my first novel, since I’d been told for as long as I can remember how tough the industry is both in traditional and self-publishing. I expected to sell maybe a couple hundred copies of the first book at the most. Instead I’ve already sold over 2000.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? How do you get through it? All the time. I’m a major procrastinator and a lot of the time I struggle to get started. But I was ghostwriting for years before I self-published, and I’ve become accustomed to just slogging through it until I get going again. After all, I couldn’t afford to miss a deadline.
Do you ever write naked? Not on purpose, LOL. But I generally sleep in the nude and sometimes I’ll sit in bed and write either while I’m settling down or when I’ve woken up in the morning.
How do you react to a bad review? I don’t. Bad reviews are par for the course. Of course on the inside I flinch a little, but for the most part I try to put them out of my mind. You can’t please everyone, and besides, a few bad reviews lend you some credibility.
What are books for? For me, books are about escapism. They’re about traveling to another time and place to relieve yourself of the stress of real life by allowing you to live vicariously through another’s eyes. Books also teach you valuable lessons, even fiction, as you get to experience things and learn from them without having to go through them in real life. And lastly, they tend to remind you that your own life isn’t quite so bad — there are no witches trying to cast spells on you or barbarians swinging their swords in your direction.
How many hours a day do you devote to writing? Usually around five hours, often more.
Do you write every single day? I should, but I don’t. I tend to burn out after my marathon sprints and need recovery time… Plus, real life often intervenes.
Do you prefer e-books, paper backs or hard covers? I prefer ebooks because my hand doesn’t cramp from hours of holding my phone or iPad, and they take up less space. 😉
Do you buy a book by the cover? Not exactly… I always read the blurb first, even if it’s an author I already known and like. But I’ve been drawn to check out many a book because of its stunning cover. Covers matter.
Thank you for the great interview Jasmine, I know I’ve learned a lot and will take a lot of your tips to heart … I’m even considering becoming a plotter … maybe!
If you’d like to read more about Jasmine, you can do so at her blog.