Today, we have the honour of an interview with author Nyna Queen. Nyna is a lawyer by a profession and (more importantly for our sakes) the author of the YA Fantasy novel, By A Thread, which is the first volume in The Trueborn Heirs series.
Recently, I got in touch with Nyna and she kindly agreed to an interview.
Where do you come from and has this place influenced your writings at all?
I come from Hamburg, Germany, and I don’t think it has greatly influenced my writing. To be honest, I am not even sure there is a part of German culture or mythology that has influenced me. This is because I am more into Irish/Celtic history and mythology.
Actually, I do not even promote that I am from Germany that much. This is because I am a little afraid that people might not pick up the book, if it’s not written by a native, English speaker.
This blogger: That’s fair enough. Although, I would never have known from your author’s name, Nyna Queen, that you were German. In my mind, it doesn’t matter. You have got talent and have written a quality book. That’s all that matters to me.
You are a lawyer by profession. What kind of lawyer are you? And has your career in the legal industry helped you write your fantasy series?
I am a lawyer working in customs and sanctions. So, very much in international law. And, content-wise, being a lawyer has not influenced my writings at all.
But it does support my writing, so far as it supports my living. What is really cool is that I can work part-time as a lawyer. So, I only work from Monday – Wednesday in the law firm, and the rest of the time I can spend on writing.
Your book – By A Thread – is part of a YA Fantasy series, called The Trueborn Heirs. What three books or films have been the biggest influences on the novel?
I would say On The Edge by Ilona Andrews, which is also urban fantasy and I really like the style. Also, The Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop, which is one of my all-time favourites. Lastly, I would say the Marvel Jessica Jones TV-series.
Who is the target audience for the series?
That’s a good question. At the beginning, I would have said a female audience. But since then I have had quite a few male readers who told me that they enjoyed the book, so it appears it is not just for females!
It is also more of an adult book, so definitely not for children. But, equally, a lot of people told me that they think that it’s a young adult book, maybe fifteen or sixteen upwards. This is because there is some language, there’s some fighting, and there’s also some sexual content; although, nothing heavy. (*Chuckles*.) Over-all, I guess it is for the upper part of young adults.
This blogger: Need we say anymore. Let the imagination take over! (*Laughs*.)
By A Thread has received terrific reviews online. Why do you think people have enjoyed reading it so much?
I think what people are looking for is something new, something fresh that they haven’t read before. And I think that there are thousand of vampire and werewolf books out there. My book has something new in the form of the Shapers, which are a bit like shape-shifters, but it’s something people haven’t read about yet. So, it’s a fresh idea.
Also, I think the book is quite funny, but deals with very serious topics at the same time, like racism. So, that might be the reason.
On a meta level, what does your story mean to you?
Apart from that it is one of my life dreams come true, and to have published a book, it’s never to have given up my dreams. And keep fighting for what you really want in life. Also, probably, don’t feel bad for being different.
A while ago I wrote a few blog pieces on secondary characters. Which of your secondary characters is the most interesting, and what is his/her role in the story?
Blade. He’s the patron of the pacified zone, which is a place outside of the laws of the realm. So, no weapons are allowed, it’s very secluded, and he claims to be this really, really neutral guy. And he’s pretty cool because he’s augmented, meaning his magic is special.
Yet, while he claims to be neutral, when things come up he tips the scale in the right direction on a subtle level. And I really like that. (*Smiles*.)
This blogger: Absolutely. Readers, look out for Blade! (*Chuckles*.)
Which of the characters in By A Thread is the most like you? And how?
I really like to think that my main character, Alex, is a bit like me. Or that I am a bit like her, as she’s kind of the person I strive to be. Of course, I don’t have superpowers, and I am not as cool and badass as her. And I don’t curse that much; well, only in my head.
Alex is both vulnerable and trying to do the right thing, and I really strive to be like that. So, I try to put that into her.
If you could go back in time and meet your younger self, what advice would you give her about the writing process?
Don’t wait for such a long time to work on your dream. I knew for a very long time that I wanted to write books as it was my passion. Once I decided to sit down, write and publish my book it was a liberation. It changed so much of my life, and I would like to tell my younger self – just do it. Don’t be afraid, just do it.
What is the best piece of advice someone has given you or that you have read with regards to the writing process?
Don’t wait for inspiration to hit. Don’t wait for the special moment, when everything is aligning and is perfect. I learned that if you sot down, every morning and just simply put in the time, after a couple of months you will have a book. There’s nothing magical about it, you just have to sit down and take the time.
This blogger: Yep, you are absolutely right. If only it would work that we could just magic it, so to be speak, and the book would appear exactly as we’d like it to be. (*Smiles wryly*.)
What do you find the challenging part about the writing process?
For me, it’s probably my perfectionism. This is because it’s really hard for me to let go, and it’s really hard for me to say to myself that the scene I have written is a good one. Sometimes, I have a scene in my head, and it’s already perfect. And then I have the feeling that I have to get it down exactly as I see it in my mind.
Sometimes, I deliberate over whether a word should be a ‘but’ or a ‘yet,’ an ‘and’ or an ‘or.’ Arguably, it really doesn’t matter. That’s when I have to say to myself that the scene I have written is good enough. Be done with it.
What have you found harder – writing your book or marketing it?
Both are hard in their own ways. But I would probably say marketing because writing is a mental effort and it’s what I really love doing. More to the point, I know what I am doing with writing.
However, marketing for me was a completely new field. I am just really lucky because I have friends who know how to do all the marketing stuff; who knew how to do ads; and who know how to work with Amazon. So, I could really work with them. The only thing I really have to do is be active on social media, which is a really big challenge for me because it’s way out of my comfort zone. Being on social media on a regular basis is challenging for me.
Have any of your friends and family read By A Thread? If so, how do you feel when they talk to you about your book?
First of all, I have a twin-sister and she is my first proof-reader. I talk about the story a lot with her, and she knows the scenes when they are still pretty crappy. She seems to always know what I want to say, and she can really help me.
My mother read the book and a couple of my friends read the book. Mostly, I feel really proud because they are so happy and really proud that I did it. Yes, sometimes it’s a bit awkward as I think about that they read sexual content that I have written. Somehow, that’s just weird. But, in the majority of cases, it’s good and they tell me that they really like it.
This blogger: Good. I am really happy that you have such great support, even if they read scenes that make one blush (*Chuckles*.)
It says on your website that you are currently writing the second book in the series – Web of Lies. How far into it are you?
Actually, I am almost done. As it happens, I finished the last scene yesterday and sent it all to my editor. At the moment, I am just waiting for feedback and I am hoping to be able to publish it quite soon, like the mid-May or early-June 2020.
This blogger: Wow, that is really soon. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Keep pushing it on. You’ll get there.
Lastly, outside of writing, what do you like to do?
Obviously, I like to read. (*Laughs.*) I like to read fantasy books of all kinds. Also, I do lots of sports, like yoga, Pilates and going to the gym. And I like to paint when I have some time, which is not so much the case these days.
So, those are the things I really like to do. Then, of course, I like to meet up with family and friends. (*Smiles.*)
End of Interview
That concludes our interview with author Nyna Queen to a close. I would like to thank Nyna for taking the time out to be interviewed, and to say that it has been a pleasure speaking with her. I wish her all the best with her future writings, sports, paintings and socialising.
You can purchase Nyna’s book, By A Thread, on Amazon. If you like YA Fantasy with some sexual content, By A Thread is the book for you!
Otherwise, like Nyna on Facebook; follow her on Twitter and Instagram; and visit her Goodreads’ page and her website. That way, you can keep up to date with her and know precisely when Web Of Lies will come out.
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