I first met E.E. Rawls during the first Silmaril Awards. And she provided some very helpful feedback during an early draft of The Last Motley. Now her first fantasy novel is about to hit the shelves! So I’m very excited and honored to be a part of her release tour and share a short interview with her about the book.
You’ll also get a chance to win your own hardback copy of the novel! Read on to find out more.
Isn’t the cover amazing? I was privileged to read and advanced copy but I’m really looking forward to reading the final version. See below for more information on the book. But first, let’s hear from the author herself.
First off, congratulations on the release of your book. I believe you’ve been working on it for a while. So How did this project get started and how long have you been working on it?
Spending part of my childhood in Italy and traveling across parts of Europe is what inspired me to write novels. I’d always loved writing stories, but something about the magical scenery and lifestyle overseas made it become my dream and something I wanted someday to pursue, even though at the time I had no idea when or how I would do that.
When the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, and I was living in America again, Tolkien’s work showed me a whole other way of storytelling: the fantasy genre, and how expansive the world-building could be. That was the other inspiration for me writing Strayborn. The idea for the story line first came into my head in 2009, though I’d been drafting parts of the world-building since back in 2001. From there, it was an on and off project, since I was still trying to figure out life and what God wanted me to do. It wasn’t until self-publishing became a thing that I finally had an answer and started really working on Strayborn, and learning how to become an author.
This might be a tough question—or it might be easy. What’s your favorite thing about this book?
That is tough! So I’ll have to mention two favorite things: One is the possibility of having an elemental power (because who wouldn’t want that? You could move objects, fly on the wind, keep the ice in your iced tea cold…). Two is the world itself, with all of the many different human-like races that are based off of mythology (like dwarves, deer people, vampires, fairies and more).
Can you give us a brief overview of the plot and main characters?
What if mythological races were real (such as fae, goblins, dragons, and more), and they had to flee our world and create their own place, a second Earth, where they could thrive? That second Earth is where Strayborn takes place, and where our main characters Cyrus and Aken are born. The road ahead will be hard for them, as they manifest dangerous powers that make them outcasts, and enemies seek to either use them or destroy them. The only sanctuary our main characters can find is the Draev Guardian Academy.
Who do you see as your audience? Younger? Older? Both?
If I have to be specific, it’d be from ages 10 to 24. But almost any age can enjoy this story, though there are scary parts, so I’d say no younger than ten. Anyone who likes the Percy Jackson series’ sense of humor, or the fantasy adventure of Sanderson or Ranger’s Apprentice, will enjoy Strayborn.
I always like to ask authors this one: why write? What’s your motivation? What’s your vision? Why do you take up the pen and share what’s inside? And what do you hope to accomplish with your books in general and this book in particular?
It feels like I can’t not write, honestly. Whenever I question whether I should be a writer or not, my brain right away starts thinking up a new story and world. Writing stories has become a part of me, I guess, and I want it to be something that God can use. I hope to spread His love and truth through everything that I write, including Strayborn, to reach those who are lost and seeking.
One last bonus question, slightly off topic. Do you listen to music when you right? If so, care to share any favorites you listened to on this project? If not, what would be a soundtrack you’ve heard that would evoke the mood of this book?
Sometimes I do, especially when I need to get into the mood of a certain scene or character. In fact, I have a playlist over on Youtube for anyone who wants a listen: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkU1aZdzjuI0i0LxfrcXVERAowJRoRntU
There’s a mix of David Arkenstone, Fiechter, OSTs, TSFH and more. 🙂
Thanks for answering all my questions. I wish you all the best with the release! Where can people find you on the web or on social media?
Thanks for having me, DJ! My website is www.eerawls.com. I’m most active on my newsletter and Instagram, so if anyone wants to keep in touch, that’s the best way. Plus, there’s a sweet bonus ebook for anyone who signs up to the newsletter!
Join the Strayborn adventure
Here is a quick intro to the novel:
Elemental Manipulation is a tricky business. Only those with the power can train to become a Draev Guardian.
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.
There is also a FREE prequel story, entitled Storm & Choice. Click on the image to get your copy.
- 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.
Giveaway ends on Monday, October 21.
About the author
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.
Thanks for stopping by. If you don’t win the contest, I hope you’re able to pick up your copy soon. If you do, be sure to leave a review on your favorite retailer’s website!