GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Interview with Dark Fantasy Author Elexis Bell + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

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Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Interview with Dark Fantasy Author Elexis Bell + giveaway

Describe your writing style.
Gritty, lyrical, character-driven, and punchy. My characters drive the plot, and I don’t waste time with unnecessary details. I use a lot of sentence fragments, a lot of dependent clauses and paragraph breaks, all in the name of flow. And I never shy away from the tough subjects my plots demand.

What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?
I’m what’s known in writing communities as a pantser/discovery writer. Some people prefer discovery writer because it sounds more serious. I prefer pantser because it sounds more fun and writing is supposed to be fun. But regardless of what you call it, I write by the seat of my pants.
No outlines. No story bible. No character profiles.
I get an idea, and I start writing.

Beyond that, I do a lot of things that are commonly preached against in writing circles. Many people say not to edit as you go because it might trap you in a cycle of rewriting/fixing rather than writing the rest of the book. But I edit as I go, and it works for me.

A lot of people say to write every day, but I work 12 hour shifts at least two days a week. I don’t usually get to write on those days.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I just let the story be what it needs to be. There’s an audience out there for any book. It’s just a matter of finding them. Yes, writing this way rather than writing to market means that marketing will inevitably be more difficult, but the integrity of the characters and the story means more to me than saving myself a little difficulty in advertising.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?
I write somewhat quickly. Despite working full time and maintaining a semblance of a social life, I can usually finish a first draft in about four months. Some books take a little longer, depending on how much overtime I end up with during that time.

Allmother Rising took one day less than four months. The writing started out slow thanks to work, but then Covid happened, and the factory I work at got shut down for two months. So, I still got it done in four months.

However, my current project, The Regonia Chronicles, is an exception. It’s a series that I didn’t know would be a series until I was about 90,000 words in with no end in sight. (Most sci-fi/fantasy novels are between 70,000 and 120,000 words, for reference.) And then, when I started writing what I thought would be book two, I had to go back and add several chapters to book one, which changed the point at which book one ended. Then, book three meant more additions to book one.
So, for this project, I honestly have no idea how long each book is taking because they’re all under construction up until the completion of the whole series. Not to mention the fact that I’ve stopped to write unrelated books a few times, and since I’m making up a complete language for one of the races in the book, I occasionally have to stop writing to fill out their dictionary.

But usually, I can stick to an average of four months per first draft.

Allmother Rising
by Elexis Bell
May 25, 2021
279 pages
Genre: Dark Fantasy with Straight and LGBTQ Romance
A broken-hearted priestess and a deposed prince team up with a ranger and a rebel with one too many secrets. In the name of The Allmother, they go to war to save their lands.

A coup in a neighboring kingdom brings threats of invasion and fire to Priestess Rising Veliana’s home in the forest. Under the guidance of her goddess, The Allmother, she forms an alliance with the deposed prince, Tyrvahn, and his ex, Garle, the leader of a rebellion that’s been brewing for years.

But Garle has many secrets, one of which could unravel Veliana and Tyrvahn’s budding romance and the future of these uneasy alliances. Veliana’s best friend, Kivala, tries to soften Garle with the ways of their fallen homeland, but what she learns chills her to her core.

At war with a vicious man twisted by the god of greed, they can’t afford to fight amongst themselves. Can they overcome their differences to save their home and their goddess from the new king? Or will the forests burn over blood-soaked earth?

Fans of magic and grit, high stakes and godly secrets will love this dark high fantasy novel with straight and LGBT romance.

**Only .99 cents until June 1st!!**

The Sailon Forest closes in around me, dark and foreboding in the night. A twig snaps behind me, and I know I haven’t escaped them. With my parents dead and my kingdom stolen, a moon spent on the run has flown by.

Yet my cousin’s men nip at my heels. I feel them getting closer each day.

I pick up my pace, refusing to give them an easy kill.

Sprinting through the undergrowth by the scant bits of moonlight that filter through the leaves, I remind myself who I am. Tyrvahn Mahrdur, Prince of the great nation, Jun. My last shot at an ally, at getting my kingdom back, vanished when the High Seal agreed to Paikon’s terms, but I won’t go down easy.

I try to think through how many of my assailants I’ve picked off, but it’s no easy task. Their numbers change, and I can’t be sure we haven’t passed by another of their camps.

Sweat beads on my forehead and drips down my scalp. Droplets of it trickle around the base of my antlers, matting my thick black hair down. I force myself to focus despite the exertion.


I strain my ears, desperate to pick any order from the crashing footsteps behind me. Yet, the cacophony is not as terrible as I expected.

Two of them?

Maybe three?

I try harder to siphon out the sounds of my footsteps and the violent beating of my heart. I pick out the sounds of the river and change direction, heading straight for the rushing water. My legs pump harder as I push myself toward the water and the promise of moonlight.

Behind me, a long, high whistle sounds, and realization hits me. These are scouts. The rest of the party follows behind, waiting for a signal before closing in. The whistle sounds once more, and my blood runs cold.

They’re far too close.

I have to eliminate the scouts before the others catch up.

Maybe then I can slip away.

My heart stutters as I think of the other possible outcomes. Being overrun by a horde of assassins doesn’t exactly sound appealing.

The trees begin to thin, and saplings claw at my clothes, already far from the glory they once were. My shirt rips as a small branch catches my side, but I keep going.

Another sapling reaches out, whipping a thin branch against the black tip of my ear. My breath comes in great gusts, but warmth builds in my chest. The warmth of the Allmother’s approval.

I’ve only come to feel it recently. All it took was nearly dying, but I’ve seen her. And now, I feel her urging me along this path.

So, I run faster.

As I near the rushing river, fewer twigs crunch underfoot, and the sounds of my pursuers grow clearer.

Definitely no more than three.

I smile, liking my odds.

Allmother, grant me strength…

About the Author

Elexis Bell writes gritty and emotional novels. Born and raised in the midwestern United States, she dreams of a cabin in the woods rather than a house surrounded by cornfields.

She loves writing well-developed characters facing real problems in vibrant, magical worlds. Armed with a degree in psychology and a rollercoaster past, she sprinkles gut-wrenching emotions over high fantasy romance, science fiction, and the occasional thriller.

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  1. Sounds like an interesting dark fantasy read. Love the cover.

  2. This sounds like a great read.

  3. The description sounds interesting. Looking forward to checking it out. Thanks.