Serena Chase lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and a big white dog named Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today's Happy Ever After blog, Serena is an avid reader of young adult fiction and inspirational romance and has become a respected influencer within those communities. When not engaged in her varied roles within the publishing industry, Serena can be found watching action movies and dreaming about someday living in a cottage by the sea.
How to connect with Serena...
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Purchase: The Sunken Realm
Author Interview | Serena Chase
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I can’t remember a time I wasn’t writing something, whether it was poetry or short stories or song lyrics. As far as what keeps me doing it . . . I guess I don’t know how to stop!
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...The Ryn (Eyes of E’veria, book 1) will probably always be the “book of my heart” -- it was the fulfilling of a calling for me; but I do enjoy re-reading The Seahorse Legacy (book 3.) And once I have a little more distance from The Sunken Realm (book 4), I think it will be fun to revisit. Those last two books read kind of like movies, so that makes them fun to visualize while reading.
Tell us a little bit about your book. Why did you write it?
...Ah, The Sunken Realm. You see, I left poor Erielle in a bit of a bad way at the end of The Seahorse Legacy, so I had to resolve that. *winks* It’s the series ender… at least for now… so I had no choice but to write it or risk a lynching from my readers.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...Cazien! I love that snarky pirate. He’s just . . . there are no words. That’s not true. There are a lot of words. Tons. But you’ll have to read the book to see them.
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?
...There is no mistake beyond redemption.
You are an indie author. Tell us a little bit about what went into making the decision to self-publish?
...I had a story to tell. At the time The Ryn was ready to go, no one in CBA was buying YA Fantasy. I hadn’t planned on indie publishing, but it was a spiritual decision, in a way. I felt a deep urging to get that book out in the world, as if there was one person that needed to hear what it had to say. I honestly published it for that one person. But it turns out there were more. I know it was the right thing to do, because of the letters I’ve received from readers. The Ryn needed to be published exactly when it was published, and indie publishing was the only way to see it happen.
What are some challenges you face by being independently published? Some benefits?
...Win, lose, rise, or fall on my face, it’s all on me. And it is expensive! Marketing, editing, cover design . . . These days, anyone can self-publish whatever they want (and many do), but I believe in striving for excellence, and there’s a lot that goes into putting a quality book out there in the world. That’s a lot of pressure. Mentally, sometimes physically (chiropractor and massage therapist on speed dial, anyone?) and certainly financially. My book production budget comes out of our family budget a lot of the time and it is sometimes difficult to justify even necessary expenses. Sometimes the money isn’t there to do all you want to do and you have to wait. That’s hard. On the other hand, I am a certifiable control freak, and . . . I AM IN CHARGE! *LOL* I can’t imagine not having a say in my cover art or marketing plan. I’m my own boss, and if I fail, I fail. But no one else will sink with my ship. That’s a comfort, in a strange way.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for indie publishing?
...Hire quality editors, both developmentally and for line/copy editing. I cannot stress that enough. And for the love of monkeys, study relevant cover art in your genre and make your book covers competitive and eye-catching! If you don’t have the skills (I don’t) then save up and hire out your design needs. No more stupid clip art covers, k?
When you get an idea for a novel, what is the first thing that you do?
...I write down my ideas using the Evernote app--and I also have a Word doc where I keep random ideas. I also daydream. A lot. And I annoy my children by talking about my imaginary friends too much.
September is Classical Music Month (who knew?). In keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?
...My favorite classical literature is in play form. I love Shakespeare’s comedies, specifically Much Ado About Nothing. Readers may see a Beatrice & Benedick/Erielle & Cazien parallel or two in The Seahorse Legacy and The Sunken Realm! Even in The Remedy one particular character (Taef) was created in homage to one of The Bard’s Much Ado characters. But in classic novels, I’ll go with Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice. She’s classy and spunky.
What is your favorite fall snack food?
...Pumpkin bread! Delish.
Emilie here: Eeikk! I'm so excited to have Serena on the blog today. So, fun story about how we met. We were both at the ACFW Conference last year and attending the post session with amazing teacher and writer Randy Ingermanson. During one of the breaks I turned around and started talking to Serena. She was warm, welcoming, and supremely funny! Since then we've connected over social media-everything and I've been drooling over her books. I haven't yet had the chance to jump into her Eyes of E'veria series but you better believe it's on my list (and my Kindle hehe).
Not only is she my guest today, BUT it's her release day!!! How lucky am I to have her? So, please leave her a ton of awesome comments of congratulations which will also get you entered in to win an eBook copy of the coveted last book of the series.
I had Katie Ganshert on the blog last week and offered an eBook giveaway of An October Bride. The lucky winner is....
Congrats Bonnie! Contact me using the form to the right and I'll get your eBook sent to ya.
Thanks again everyone :D