Q&A for Readers, Teachers, Writers

#LoveOzYA Author Q&A With Helen Scheuerer

  • · 2 months ago
#LoveOzYA Author Q&A With Helen Scheuerer

War of Mist, the much-anticipated final book in Helen Scheuerer’s YA trilogy The Oremere Chronicles has just hit the shelves and Helen has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about her books, writing process and love of reading.

Welcome to the LoveOzYA blog, we’re so happy to have you here!

Thanks for having me!

Let’s go back to the beginning...have you been telling stories since you were a kid or was writing something you fell in love with as an adult?

Definitely been writing since I was a kid! One of the first stories I remember writing was when I was about six or seven. It was about a clown and a kitten who ran away from the circus… Riveting stuff!

Tell us about your new book.

My new book is called War of Mist, and it’s the third and final book in my YA fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.

The story follows on from the previous two books, with 19-year-old magic-wielder, Bleak at the helm, trying to save her people from destruction.

It’s a book that’s true to its name… A war is brewing and my cast of characters must unite to take a final stand against the enemy.

You can check it out on Goodreads here.

Did you have a favourite OzYA book when you were growing up?

Absolutely. Looking for Alibrandi by Merlinda Marchetta was (and still is) one of my all-time faves from when I was growing up. My friends and I were obsessed with it.

And same goes for The Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody.

Did you have anyone that encouraged your love of books, reading and writing when you were younger?

Yes, I was very lucky in that respect. My mum was always reading and encouraging reading. She’d get up to drive me to the bookstore at 7am when the newest Harry Potter was out.

I also had some wonderful English teachers throughout school who encouraged my writing. In primary school, one teacher secretly submitted a story of mine to the school newspaper, where to my great surprise, it was published.

I was incredibly fortunate in all of these aspects. Throughout most of my life, I’ve been surrounded by people who appreciated books and who read regularly.

What do you think sets Australian YA stories apart from those set internationally? Do you have a favourite bookshop or library?

That’s an interesting question, as for the most part I read fantasy so it’s not always necessarily where it’s set that sets the story apart. That being said, I think many Aussie authors have a distinct sort of voice that I find very relatable, whether the novel is contemporary or otherwise.

I have manyyyyy favourite bookshops. I’ll always have a soft spot for Dymocks on George St, Sydney. I remember being taken there as a kid and thinking how huge and wonderful the place was. It was probably the first multi-storey bookstore I’d been in and I thought it was magical. Even now, sometimes I’ll go in for a cup of tea and a wander.

There’s also something beautiful about Harry Harthog’s in Miranda, and of course I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Better Read Than Dead in Newtown.

What was the last book you read and enjoyed?

I’m a tad biased here, but I’ve just finished re-reading fellow Talem Press and #LoveOzYA author, Bronwyn Eley’s debut, RELIC.

After the stress of releasing my most recent book, it was a breath of fresh air to dive into someone else’s world of magic and intrigue!

Aside from writing, what else do you like to do to explore your creativity?

I’m currently based in New Zealand, so when I’m not chained to my desk, I love to go snowboarding. Although I’m not overly good at it yet, there’s something incredibly invigorating about being up in the mountains.

I find it hits refresh on my brain and I come back to my office feeling positive and ready to tackle my next project.

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you’ve received? What do you love about OzYA?

Oh that’s a great question! The worst pieces of advice have to be:

  1. Write what you know
  2. Don’t study creative writing. You should get a real job

And as for the best advice…

  1. Write what you love reading
  2. Weigh up all your publication options and choose what’s right for you

And finally, as for what I love about OzYA… The community, hands-down. Without the #LoveOzYA community, my books may never have found their way to the right readers.

It’s such a supportive environment, particularly for emerging authors :)

More about Helen

Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Her debut novel, Heart of Mist, was the bestselling first instalment in her trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles.

After writing literary fiction for a number of years, she was inspired to return to her childhood love of fantasy by reading the work of Sabaa Tahir, V.E. Schwab and Sarah J. Maas.

Helen holds a Bachelor of Creative Arts, majoring in Creative Writing, and a Master of Publishing. She is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), one of the world’s largest online learning platforms for emerging writers.

She is now a full-time author living amidst the mountains in New Zealand.

You can find out more about Helen by visiting her website and keep up to date with her writing by following her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

War of Mist, the epic conclusion to Helen Scheuerer’s The Oremere Chronicles was released on July 25. You can grab a copy here, at Better Read Than Dead in Newtown, Sydney or via the Talem Press website.