Erin Rhew is an editor, a running coach, and the author of The Fulfillment Series. Since she picked up Morris the Moose Goes to School at age four, she has been infatuated with the written word. She went on to work as a grammar and writing tutor in college and is still teased by her family and friends for being a member of the "Grammar Police."
A Southern girl by blood and birth, Erin now lives in a rainy pocket of the Pacific Northwest with her amazingly talented (and totally handsome) author husband, Deek Rhew, and their patient-as-a-saint writing assistant, a tabby cat named Trinity. She and Deek enjoy reading aloud to one another, running, lifting, boxing, eating chocolate, and writing side-by-side.
1. Who inspires you? My husband definitely inspires me. He made me believe in love again, and he supports my dreams. He challenges me as a writer and editor, and our conversations constantly spark new writing ideas. My family and friends also inspire me. My grandfather (whom I call PaPa) is a born storyteller. I remember sitting on his knee as a child, listening to him spin a story like a spider spins a web. My parents taught me about struggling and overcoming. And my friends have each influenced me with their own experiences and their unfailing support and love. You can find out more about my husband at www.deekrhewbooks.com and about my friends who formed my Dream Team at http://www.erinrhewbooks.com/the-dream-team.html.
2. What got you into writing? I have always been a writer. When I was four years old, I wrote my first poem. My family made such a big deal about it that I just kept on writing. ;)
3. Are you working on anything at the moment? I have so many stories lined up, but right now, my historical fiction called Restore to Me is begging for its turn in the limelight. This novel represents years and years of research. I set it aside to work on The Fulfillment Series, but I’m pulling it back out now. Using what I’ve learned about the publishing process, I hope to revamp Restore to Me and send it out into the world.
4. What do you do when you're not writing? I love spending time with my husband. I mean, I adore him and he’s my best friend, so it’s only logical. ;) We enjoy talking, running, lifting weights, boxing, taking trips, reading, watching TV (we are obsessed with Bones right now), and loving on our overly fluffy kitty named Trinity (yes, from The Matrix).
5. Who are some of your favourite authors? Well, Deek Rhew is my most favorite writer of all time! I also really enjoy Rick Riordan’s work. I mean…PERCY JACKSON! <heart eyes> In addition, I seriously enjoy the work of Richelle Mead, William Shakespeare (though he’s technically a playwright), Victoria Scott, Michelle Pickett, and Cassandra Clare (Will and Jem—‘nuff said).
About the books
Growing up on a small farm in the kingdom of Vanguard, seventeen-year-old Layla Givens lives a deceptively tranquil existence. But her carefully constructed life quickly falls apart when she’s abducted by a religious zealot who proclaims her The Fulfillment of an ancient peace prophecy and whisks her away to marry her greatest enemy.
Wilhelm, Prince of the Ethereals, is reluctant to meet his new bride. He's grown up believing Vanguards are evil, an enemy to fight and fear...not love. Can he set aside his prejudices and work alongside Layla to bring lasting peace after centuries of war?
Nash, a loner who has never fit in, carries a huge secret, one big enough to destroy both kingdoms. When he accidently meets Layla, he’s no longer content to live in the shadows, but he must resist his growing attraction—for her safety and for the longevity of the two kingdoms.
When Nash's secret is revealed, a firestorm sweeps through both realms, with Layla at the center. Now she must choose between duty and desire while the fate of two nations hangs in the balance.
With King Jesper dead and Prince Wilhelm mortally wounded, Halfling prince, Nash, and the Fulfilment, Layla, assume the throne of Etherea. They must contend with a new Prophecy Candidate who asserts her position, and Layla is surprised to find her fate intertwined with this challenger. Facing a myriad of choices, Nash and Layla’s decisions affect not only their own futures but that of two kingdoms.
Unbeknownst to the Ethereals or the Vanguards, a slumbering menace stirs in the south, awakened after centuries. The Outlanders, a force shadowed in mystery, sit poised to tip the balance of power, sending ripples of fear throughout both warring kingdoms.
Elder Werrick proved a formidable foe, but Layla may yet meet her match in the monstrous Outlander queen. This mistress of the dark’s plans, rooted in revenge and ancient lore, now threaten the livelihood of all three kingdoms.
Racing against time, Layla travels to the Borderlands—home of the Voltons and Ecclesiastics—to discover as much as she can about the war, the First Ones, and the prophecy itself. Lives teeter in the balance, kingdoms sit on the cusp of ruin, and a beast, greater than any she’s ever faced before, plots a catastrophic attack.
Katie Cotugno went to Catholic school for thirteen years which makes her, as an adult, both extremely superstitious and prone to crushes on boys wearing blazers. She routinely finds herself talking about the romantic endeavors of characters on TV shows as if they actually exist in the world.
Katie is a Pushcart Prize nominee whose work has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Broadkill Review, The Apalachee Review, and Argestes, as well as on Nerve.com. Her first novel, HOW TO LOVE, is out now from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. 99 DAYS will follow next spring.
The great loves of Katie's life include child's pose, her little sister, and mozzarella and honey sandwiches. She lives in Boston with her husband, Tom. Twitter - website
1. Tell us about 99 days. 99 DAYS is a smart, sexy summer romance about a girl who comes back to her hometown the summer before college to face the mess--and the boys--she left behind. Molly spent her senior year at boarding school after she confessed to her mom, a novelist, that she'd cheated on her longtime boyfriend Patrick with Patrick's broither Gabe--and her mom turned around and wrote a bestseller about it. Now Molly's got 99 days, the length of one summer, to try and make things right, but it's definitely not going to be easy. The novel explores first loves, second loves, girl friendships, betrayal, and the double standards we hold guys and girls to when it comes to sex and romance. 2. Who inspires you? My sister. My best friends. My mom. Shonda Rhimes. 3. Who are some of your favourite authors? I have so many! I love Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Hoffman, Tana French, Michael Chabon, Nina LaCour, Sarah Dessen, and I'm sure I'll think of a dozen more as soon as I send this. I like all kinds of different things. 4. Have you always wanted to be a writer? I've always wanted to be a writer, but for a long time I told myself it was something I'd do on the side--I thought about editing, or working at a magazine, or starting a baking business. For some reason that was more realistic to me than being an author, even though I don't really know anything about baking. 5. Do you have any advice for people who want to become writers/authors? And how to get past writers block? Read everything. Write everything down. Don't let anybody make you feel dumb about the stuff that's important to you. Don't let anybody shame you for watching too much TV.
About the books
This is a love story. But it's not what you think. This is not a first kiss, or a first date. This is not love at first sight. This is a boy and a girl falling in messy, unpredictable, thrilling love. This is the complicated route to happiness that follows.
This is real. This is life. This is how to love.
Reena has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember. But he's never noticed her, until one day... he does. They fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town, leaving a devastated - and pregnant - Reena behind.
Three years later and there's a new love in Reena's life: her daughter Hannah. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again.
After everything that's happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer again?
Where did the idea for Starborn come from? I’ve been asked this question rather a lot recently so I ought to have a glib answer to hand, but the truth is Starborn wasn’t birthed from any one idea, but a whole rambling tapestry of fantasy tropes, characters, settings… I spent my teenage years immersed in the genre, reading thousands of pages and picking up scraps of inspiration along the way. If I had to choose one stand-out influence, it would be Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, especially his first book, The Eye of the World. Something about its scale excited me; it’s a coming of age narrative set against a vast backdrop of history, which binds the protagonist and his friends into intricate destinies they cannot escape. I enjoyed Jordan’s prose and his diverse cast of characters (too many in the end), and when I encountered it at 17, it seemed the height of epic storytelling. It made me want to snatch up a pen right there and then.
Have you always wanted to write that kind of genre? The short answer is yes. My love of writing is intertwined with my love of fantasy and I simply wouldn’t enjoy it if I had to write something ‘straight’. I’ve always suspected as much, but it was cemented for me when I began my Masters in Creative Writing. I’d promised to give general fiction a go and I did try, setting my first short story in an asylum. But fantasy crept in anyway and I ended up telling a story about an inmate who turned into a great golden hunting cat and carried his fellow patients to freedom. Ask any of my classmates and they’ll tell you it was hopeless from the start!
What advice do you have for people who want to become an author? It’s important to make a distinction between author and writer. I’ve been writing all my life, but it’s only recently that I’ve become an author. When I wrote my first book (I was 15 and it sucked), it was for fun, because I wanted to, because I couldn’t help writing it. Starborn was the same, except that I entertained the hopeful notion that someone would publish it when it was done. Even if it hadn’t found a publisher, I’d still have written Book Two – this is a story I feel I have to tell. What I mean to illustrate by the above is that it’s the writing itself that I love and though being published is the most amazing thing, I would still be writing even if I wasn’t. Write every day and write what you love, not what you think will sell / what publishers are looking for. If you feel real passion for your work, you can’t help but infuse that passion into your prose.
What are some of your favourite authors/books? It’ll come as no surprise when I say Tolkien – there’s something enduring about The Lord of the Rings that seeps into your soul and stays with you forever. More recently, I read Uprooted by Naomi Novik and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s everything I love about fantasy all rolled into one. Jen Williams is another recent favourite for the way she casts a modern eye over traditional fantasy without sacrificing the tropes that made it great. And Samantha Shannon’s Bone Season books are an example of phenomenal storytelling combined with a rich setting and characters you really want to meet.
What do you do when you're not writing? Reading and playing RPGs like Skyrim (I just bought Dragon Age: Inquisition as a tiny present for myself so you might not hear much from me over the next month). I also play the piano.
Who inspires you? I’m easily swayed by great literature and inspired by whatever I’m reading at the time. For example, I was bowled over by Uprooted and found some of its images creeping unerringly into my writing.
Are you working on anything at the moment? I’ve just handed the first draft of Book Two over to my editor (eep). Although the story is always in the back of my mind, the wait for edits is a great opportunity to put some much needed distance between myself and the book so that I might have a better critical eye when it’s time to work on it again.
Death and destruction will bar her way. . .
Kyndra’s fate holds betrayal and salvation, but the journey starts in her small village. On the day she comes of age, she accidentally disrupts an ancient ceremony, ending centuries of tradition. So when an unnatural storm targets her superstitious community, Kyndra is blamed. She fears for her life until two strangers save her, by wielding powers not seen for an age – powers fuelled by the sun and the moon.
Together, they flee to the hidden citadel of Naris. And here, Kyndra experiences disturbing visions of the past, showing war and one man’s terrifying response. She’ll learn more in the city’s subterranean chambers, amongst fanatics and rebels. But first Kyndra will be brutally tested in a bid to unlock her own magic.
If she survives the ordeal, she’ll discover a force greater than she could ever have imagined. But
could it create as well as destroy? And can she control it, to right an ancient wrong?