I am delighted to welcome Shelley Wilson to Me, My Books and I today to talk about her YA fantasy trilogy, The Guardian Series. You’ll also get the chance to win a signed copy of Book 1 in the series so keep reading…
Shelley Wilson’s love of fantasy began at the tender age of eight when she followed Enid Blyton up The Magic Faraway Tree.
Inspired by Blyton’s make-believe world, Shelley began to create her own stories, weaving tales around faeries, witches, and dragons. Her fantasy books blend a love of the supernatural with strong female protagonists.
Shelley’s non-fiction work is rooted in a passion for helping women to believe in themselves and become strong, motivated individuals. Can you spot the common thread between the two genres?
As well as writing, Shelley is an obsessive reader and book reviewer. She lives in Solihull in the West Midlands, UK, with her three teenage children, a black cat called Luna, and a fat fish. Shelley describes herself as a teetotal, pizza-loving, Facebook addict with a preoccupation with list writing. She would love to live in the Shire but fears that her five-foot-ten-inch height may cause problems.
Find out more:
Firstly can you give us a quick introduction to The Guardian Series?
The Guardian Series is a young adult (YA) fantasy trilogy. It starts off in a small town in the UK and then swiftly moves through various gateways to other realms. Our protagonist, Amber Noble, is swept up in a quest to save her best friend from a demon realm. She meets a host of characters along the way, some good, some bad, some cute! She has always had trouble believing in the supernatural but when it’s trying to kill her and her friends she begins to believe – and fight back.
Landed with a destiny she doesn’t want and powers she can’t control, Amber’s one goal is to reunite her family and return home, but her friends, guides, and the magical characters she meets along her journey have other ideas. She must first save her friends, fight for a faerie queen, and vanquish the biggest evil the realms have ever known. It all comes to an explosive conclusion in book three – but will it be the happy ending Amber is hoping for?
How did you come up with the titles?
The initial story idea came to me when I saw an image in a magazine. The picture was of a spooky headstone in a cemetery with three hooded figures. All of a sudden I had these characters chatting in my head and talking about ‘Guardians’. When I began to plot book one these Guardians were going to be supernatural soldiers who defended the town, of course, once I started writing, the characters took over, and my Guardians became the bad guys who lived beneath the tombs of the old church – Guardians of the Dead.
In book two I introduce dragons to the story, and so Guardians of the Sky had a nice twist to it. As well as the winged saviours who love to breathe fire over any unsuspecting bad guy, I also have my faerie characters. Both the male and female fae are warriors, but only the female have wings and can launch themselves into the air to attack from the skies.
Book three is set in the Lost Lands of the necromancers and the title, therefore, became Guardians of the Lost Lands. The guardians in this book, however, are two-fold, the necromancers and demons who are defending their home, and Amber and her friends who are fighting as guardians of the realms.
I love the atmosphere of the covers. Who designed them and why did you go for those particular designs?
Thank you, I adore the covers and receive so many compliments about them. I can take no credit whatsoever for these particular designs. I work with an incredible publishing partner, Blue Harvest Creative, who produce award-winning covers for authors across the globe. I send over my synopsis and let them work their magic. I have total faith in them. I can’t wait to see what the final cover will be when we launch in November 2016.
Which of your characters would you like to meet in person and why?
I’m sure many writers’ are invested in meeting their main characters, but for me, I would have to say that I’d love to meet Tom, one of my secondary characters. I love this guy! He developed quite by accident and took to his role with charm and honour. In book one he is kidnapped by the guardian soldiers and so his part is not a big one, which was always the plan, however, he creeps under your skin at the start, and suddenly you find you’re missing him and willing Amber to save Tom in time. He refers to Amber as ‘cutie’, and I could hear him rolling the word over in my mind. He’s like the Xanda to Joss Whedon’s Buffy!
What makes The Guardian Series stand out from the crowd?
The one thing I love about reading YA fantasy novels is the pace. Teenagers don’t have time for waffle, they want to be thrown straight into the thick of the action and swept along on a wave of action and adventure. I’m very fortunate to have three teenagers under my roof who I can ask for advice on scenes and pace.
At just over fifty-thousand words per book, my Guardian Series is full of action, with plenty of twists and turns, and a host of loveable characters, and yet they can be read quickly. I write them short and punchy because that’s the kind of person I am in my day to day life. Always on the go and never leaving myself enough time for recreation, I am drawn to the quick read – so I chose to write the book I was looking for.
Why did you choose to write in this particular genre?
I have been a fan of fantasy, mythology, supernatural, and paranormal for as long as I can remember. I can vividly recall the first time I read the Hobbit and the emotions I felt as I joined in with the quest in my head. Going back even further I relished my time spent up Enid Blyton’s Faraway Tree with Moon Face and the gang.
Creating other worlds, crafting strange creatures, and blurring the boundaries of normality fascinates me. The young adult fantasy genre gives me a platform to do all of this.
Which book is your favourite and why?
Out of the three Guardian books, I would have to say the third, Guardians of the Lost Lands, is my favourite. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this series and fell in love with all the characters. I even made myself cry on a couple of occasions! When I was writing book three, I was struggling with my depression and anxiety; this is something I’ve had for many years but due to a recent illness it had pushed its way to the forefront. Instead of letting it beat me, I channelled all my emotion into my writing. Book three goes much darker than the first two books, and Amber comes close to losing the plot – something I could relate to at the time. It was hugely cathartic to write my way through the worst of it, and it pushed the characters to make decisions that they might not have done if the cloak of darkness wasn’t hanging over them.
Sounds exciting! What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Oh dear! This is the kind of question that makes me realise I have no life! As well as writing books, I also review them. I’m a member of Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team and spend the majority of my spare time with my nose in a book. If I’m not writing or reading then I love spending a few hours with my adult colouring books – it’s a perfect form of meditation for me.
I love going to the cinema or watching films at home with a large bowl of popcorn, and I am fascinated with old buildings and castles, so I’m quite happy wandering round a pile of ruins.
Snow or sun?
Sun, definitely sun!
Breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Can I say all three? I love food! Okay, okay, IF I have to choose, I’ll say dinner – you can’t beat a large deep pan pizza!
Any last words for your readers?
Thank you. It sounds so feeble – two small words – and yet I wish I could shout them from the highest building. If it weren’t for my readers picking up my books and then taking the time to leave me a review on Amazon, or interact on my Facebook page or Twitter, then I wouldn’t keep writing. The comments, giggles, photo swaps and recommendations mean so much. I don’t think a reader who interacts with an author can ever understand just how special they are. So, THANK YOU!
I’d also like to offer my thanks to you, Kate, for allowing me to run riot on your beautiful blog. I hope you and your readers enjoyed learning about my writing journey and books.
Absolutely my pleasure Shelley, thank you for answering my questions. I particularly enjoyed finding out about your favourite book and how your own life experiences affected your writing!
Now check out the books:
Guardians of the Dead (Book 1)
“One girl holds the key to an ancient pact that could destroy the world…
When sixteen-year-old Amber Noble’s dreams begin to weave into her reality, she turns to the mysterious Connor for help. His links to the supernatural world uncover a chilling truth about her hometown and a pact that must be re-paid with blood.
As her father alienates her, and the Guardians take her best friend, her true destiny unfolds, and she begins a quest that will see her past collide with her present.
Drawn deeper into the world of witchcraft and faeries, it is only at the end of her journey that she realises how much she could lose.”
Guardians of the Sky (Book 2)
“Can one girl sacrifice herself to save the one she loves…
Following their daring escape from the demon realm, Amber, and her friends become caught up in a war between good and evil. They must join forces with the Queen’s warriors to overthrow a malevolent force that has spread across Avaveil, the land of the Fae.
As her powers grow, Amber is faced with the real possibility that she is a danger to the ones she loves. Her full strength is yet to be tested in a way she can’t comprehend.
Dragons, faeries, and humans stand side-by-side as they are drawn into a cunning battle of magic and surprising revelations. Can Amber survive long enough to see her dreams fulfilled?”
Guardians of the Lost Lands (Book 3)
Cover coming soon!
“Amber’s final quest could claim her soul, but it’s a journey she must make.
The evil that lurks in the Lost Lands threatens to infest the realms unless Amber, Redka, and Connor can destroy it. But Amber is more concerned about her father’s safety as he is held captive by the wickedness that terrorises them all.
Amber faces isolation and mistrust from her friends as they travel across land and sea to meet their most dangerous foe.
Will she be able to stay true to her destiny as the last Oracle, or will she be tempted by the darkness? The fate of the realms is in her hands.
Amber’s final quest will be her most terrifying yet. This time, it will be deadly.”
Release Date – 11th November 2016
The author has very kindly offered one lucky Me, My Books and I reader the chance to win a signed copy of Guardians of the Dead (Book 1)!
The giveaway will run for 3 weeks until 22 July 2016 and all you have to do to enter is click the link below and follow the instructions…
(Please note, Me, My Books and I will not be responsible for posting the prize to the winner)