Please give a warm welcome to author Willow Hayes
I announced to my parents when I was sixteen years old that I wanted to write a book. When they asked me what kind I simply shrugged my shoulders and said, “I don’t know yet, but someday I’m going to write a book.” It was exactly twenty years later that I published my first book, Flicker and Flame. I love the quote by Stephen King, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” I was a voracious reader from the time that I was in second grade, reading at nearly middle school level. From the sheer number of books I’ve read between second grade and the day I published I’d say I’m doing pretty well at that ‘write a lot’ portion of Stephen’s advice, and I’m hoping this is just the beginning of the ‘write a lot’ part.
What was your inspiration for your current series?
I’ve known the VERY basic premise of girl finds out she’s magical/royalty and must take the throne back for years, but try as I may I was never able to get past the initial stages of planning. Early this year I dove down the reverse harem rabbit hole, and something about the switch in genres helped me get the story to paper. Having been a voracious reader and fantasy lover since I was young I have many authors who have inspired me as a person and a writer. There are so many aspects of Flicker and Flame (and the other two books in the series) that reflect that. It was as if I was collecting threads to this great story as I read these great books, and those threads finally came together in the form of my Magic Bound series.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the final book in the Magic Bound series, Shadows and Lies. I’ve also started the research for a new fae reverse harem series, and I’m hoping the first book will be out sometime in July.
Do you have any quirks while working?
I invested in some great noise cancelling headphones because it has be nearly silent in order for me to really work, and with a twelve year old at home silence is hard to come by. I’m a total control freak and plot obsessively. In fact, I’m often teased about my color coded sticky notes that sit on the back of the door outside my office. I can’t write (like at all) until I know exactly where the story is going to go. Now, that’s not to say it doesn’t change, but I can’t start until I have plan.
What are your hopes for the future?
Once I started writing Flicker and Flame I figured out just how much I loved the entire process, and I would love to make this my full-time forever job. I’m a single mom, and my son watches me carefully, so making this work, making my dream work, has never been more important. He’s picked up a few habits and has started keeping journals of story ideas and talks constantly about the different things he could do in his writing. I want to live out my dream as author for me but also so my kiddo can see that it’s possible.
Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
Invest in the right people. I couldn’t do any of this without my PA, Hannah. She’s amazing. Having the right team of alpha and beta readers is everything, and hiring an editor was an absolute must for me, really anyone publishing. See, as much as I love to write and read…I’m crap at grammar! Ha! So much of my anxiety is reduced by simply having the right people on my team, and it’s made writing that much more enjoyable.
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
I am so incredibly humbled and blessed that you’ve shared this journey with me. Your kind words are seriously what get me through my moments of doubt. Thank you for letting me tell you my stories.