Grace is one of the first folks I met when I began making connections in the writing world. She’d just begun the publishing journey with running Splashdown Books, and she’s been such an encouragement and fount of knowledge in my own publishing and writing journey. I recently got to read Rotovegas and I’m super excited to show you guys a little bit about it today! 🙂
I’m a big city gal who fosters kittens and rescued hens and likes to wander in the forests and beaches that define our suburbs. After writing for some time about Ireland and space, I really wanted to write something based here at home in New Zealand. So I chose Rotorua, where my dad was born, for its otherworldly ambience—where the earth’s power is always forcing its way to the surface. Seriously, what isn’t cool (haha) about a city where geothermal steam greets you out of drains and cracks in the road? To say nothing of the blubbering mud pools in parks and yards, the geysers that have created alien landscapes, the brooding volcanoes, crater lakes, and hot streams. It was practically begging to be made into a supernatural tale.
*What’s the funniest/weirdest thing you’ve ever had to research for a story?
In Mariah’s Dream, there was a food shortage and people had to forage for any pitiful edibles such as dandelions or the leaves of pumpkin vines. I wanted to know what these really tasted like, so I cooked some up. Verdict: Dandelions are awfully chewy unless the leaves are tiny; pumpkin leaves are kind of prickly on the throat. Neither tastes good at all. The hens seem to like them, though.
*Where do you usually write? Can you show us a picture/describe it?
On my couch, with a cat or several and a cup of tea in reach, and a view of the sea to exercise the eye muscles now and then. I do like to pick a different chair and location for each new novel, so it can establish its own work feel.
*Do you have a strange quirk or habit while writing or preparing to write?
BINGE WRITER. Strange enough? I’ve written three novels in the past year, but they only took about a month each. I outline to the max so I’m prepared for speed, get to the starting line, and shoot off on a crazy race which is surprisingly more pantsy than all the outlining would suggest—only to get to the end and take a long breather. To be honest I just find it more fun this way. If I’m not having enough fun with a story to write it down as fast as I can think it, then why would anyone have fun reading it?
* Can you give us a hint of where the story is going next?
Book two is Volcano City. After Anira and her friends save Rotorua (that’s a bit of a spoiler, but I bet you knew it was coming!), she goes back home to Auckland and, oddly, forgets everything that happened—until Tiger shows up with water from the hot stream behind his house. Meanwhile, the city is shaken by uncharacteristic earthquakes and it is up to the Earthcore team to find out why someone is trying to revive the 50 very dead urban volcanoes.
Book three, Aftershocks, sees our heroes head to the South Island where their presence unwittingly triggers a war in the unseen realms from where they draw their powers. It’s up to them to set right what they have wronged—and more: to make true supernatural peace where only an uneasy truce once ruled.
The whole trilogy is in edits.
Thank you, Grace! Check out Rotovegas below, and be sure to sign up for Grace’s newsletter and find her online!
Anira doesn’t like live volcanoes very much, but still has to go along on a family trip to the geothermal wonderland surrounding the city of Rotorua, New Zealand. Around her forms an unlikely band of heroes, united by the strange and diverse abilities they gain from the area’s earth-fed hotspots. The Earthcore team is about to find out the reason that goes deeper than DNA. All of them—and their supernatural backup—will be needed to outwit the unscrupulous developer bent on turning the whole town into a gambling strip.
Book 1 is up for pre-order, and will release on July 28th at Realm Makers in Reno!
Books 2 and 3 will be out later in the year.
EARTHCORE: INITIATION is a free short story introducing Rotorua’s supernatural geothermals and the Earthcore team. To read it, sign up to Grace’s newsletter.