The Avadi Series
M. R. Pilot
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Romance
Date of Publication: December 29, 2017
Cover Artist: Illustration – JDSarte
Typography – Rebeca
Tagline: A missing father. A handsome stranger. A feud within the Avadi. Cori will find out who she is in this tale of romance and adventure.
Eighteen-year-old Cori has been tucked into a corner of Verbena her entire life. With no memory of a father and an abusive mother, her escape came in the form of living and working in her town’s inn, a place that happens to be owned by her best friend. Cori was all but resigned to the uneventful and dutiful life as a barkeep.
That is, until a hooded stranger showed up—just in time to witness an incident Cori herself cannot believe—and changed everything. Now Cori must leave Sagebrush, the only place she has ever known, setting off to discover love, adventure, heartbreak, and more about herself and the world she lives in than she could have ever imagined.
Rylo quickly pulls me behind a wall, out of sight of any onlookers. Ignoring the roughness hitting my back, I take in his closeness, and he leans in even closer. I don’t know if it’s my imagination or if a pleasing scent of forest is wafting from him. My gaze flits across his features as if for the first time.
Have his freckles always been splayed out so perfectly?
My heart pauses until his voice encourages it to beat once more. Someone is missing. An Elder of Kamai, no less. The position of his freckles is not the thought that should be occupying my mind.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it? ?
In all honesty—and this was before the story concept was fully developed—I started to write it because I was seeking fulfillment I wasn’t getting elsewhere. And it worked; I found that fulfillment and more.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist? ?
For my protagonist, I wanted a level-headed character who had experienced a lot but very little all at once; I also wanted her to be strengthened rather than scorned, and still achingly curious. For my antagonist—I’m treading lightly here—I wanted each character to be multifaceted, even the villain. I want readers to hate them, yes, but to also understand them a little.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it? ?
For me, writing is exercising the mind and keeping the body semi-immobile. It’s easy to get distracted. When “it” strikes, I dance around the house, I play with my dogs, I might huff and puff a bit, but the most effective thing is to park in front of the computer and string words together until they make sense.
5. Your all time favorite book? ?
Red Winter by Annette Marie refuses to not be my answer.
6. What made you pick that one above all others? ?
Well, likely because it’s fresh on my mind. “All time favorite” is hard—but I enjoyed it immensely more than my other recent reads. I love Japanese culture and this book embraces it. It feels like reading an anime, but with a writing style that does it justice. So beautiful and vivid. I loved it.
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project? ?
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way? ?
Subtle changes in my mentality. For one, I feel creative now, when before I felt like a chip of beige paint in the artistic world. But now I have something that’s all mine. Granted, the process is mine, but every story needs its readers 😊
9. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind? ?
I have consistently viewed writing as a joyful experience. There are times when I think, “is this even a coherent sentence?” and I might feel like a dud, but I’d rather be a dud writer full of joy than not write at all and be a sad, empty writer-wishful. If I stopped writing, it would hurt for sure.
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing? ?
Fur, cuddles & calculus! Not mathematic calculus—the bacterial, matured-plaque sort. I clean teeth during the week and I come home to two doggies and a husband. I read, watch anime, do some Alaskan-y hikes, and make vegan cupcakes. And I drink coffee, lotsss of coffee.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect? ?
Ah, I’m still new enough that I haven’t dealt with this in force, but I’ve seen it. I think criticism is healthy to an extent. I mean, no doubt that a scathing review would hurt my heart, but everyone is entitled to their opinion, be it valid in my eyes or not. My advice would be repetition of advice I’ve seen multiple times online: look at reviews of your favorite book; there’s likely a scathing one in there. Not every story is for every person.
12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series? ?
This is! A Bloodline’s Echo is book one of The Avadi Series. The end of this book answers some questions but opens up a lot more. There’s plenty of adventure, action, and truth-uncovering to be had. Some secondary characters left behind will re-appear. Which ones? That I can’t say. 😉
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series? ?
While this book was going through a round of edits, I began a “breather” project. An urban fantasy to change things up. The manuscript is weeks away from draft completion; it’s lots of fun, and it’s set in modern-world Anchorage, Alaska. The tentative title is The Curse of Luma.
14. What made you decide to go the self-pub way? ?
Time is the biggest factor. For me, story progression is the priority. Trying to pitch it to agents and/or publishers is time consuming and a somewhat daunting prospect. If I were focused on that, I don’t know how long it would take me to finish the series.
15. What would you say was the toughest part? ?
Of self-publishing? To be honest, Amazon makes it easy—too easy! I actually uploaded my first draft because I was so excited right off the bat. Then I downloaded it, found typos, freaked out. Because publishing yourself is so accessible, patience is the toughest part. I have always, always struggled with patience.
16. Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting? ?
Editing—yes! After I discovered my overlooked typos. When you’ve read a story enough times, you almost stop seeing the words. Fresh eyes are essential. I also commissioned an illustrator for the cover, a graphic designer for the typography, and a fellow author formatted the interior print version.
17. How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros? ?
The artists I chose because of their portfolios and their price range. I chose my editor, Stephanie, after having about 10 editors do sample edits for me. Her edits felt the most natural; I didn’t feel like my voice was being interrupted. It was almost like she understood my voice better than I did and pointed out areas where I stumbled over it.
18. How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’? ?
Six months of drafting plus a month or two of edits? I think it’s safe to say 8 months.
19. Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with? ?
A Bloodline’s Echo is currently exclusively available on Amazon. I went this route since I had heard good things about the KDP Select program.
20. If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change? ?
It’s all a learning experience, but I would have waited for professional editing before uploading on Amazon. Rookie mistake! Then I could’ve avoided having to reach out to Amazon so all previous downloads got the updates, etc.
21. If you were to recommend one article, blog, post, or book to someone hoping to self-pub, what would it be? ?
I mostly would just recommend joining twitter. The writer/indie author community is so encouraging.
22. In retrospect, what was the toughest part of self-pubbing? Was it the part that you thought would be toughest before embarking on this adventure? ?
Getting the word out. Reaching readers is not that easy, not with all the awesome titles available at any given time! I thought dealing with harsh reviews would be the most difficult. But…you need a lot of readers to get a handful of reviews. *thinking face*
23. What’s one characteristic of an author who self-publishes, one word that would describe them? ?
Independent. Yeah, independent is a good one. Total creative freedom, and, you know…independent publishing.
Fun facts: :
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for? ?
Oh man oh man. The vegan in me is about to shine. I guess…for animal cruelty to cease from existence.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you? ?
The logical answer is some sort of survival guidebook. Am I logical? I don’t know. Ask me when I have The Name of the Wind tucked under my arm.
3. Name your favorite fruit. ?
4. Coffee or tea? ?
Coffee. I’m an addict.
5. Favorite season? ?
Fall. Crisp air, colorful leaves, apple cider…I just shivered.
6. How about fav time of 24 hours? ?
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout? ?
Negative, though I’ve gobbled a couple boxes of thin mints in recent months.
8. Favorite food for breakfast? ?
Vegan quesadilla with super spicy salsa.
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read? ?
10. Do you collect things like stamps, or key chains, or shoes? ?
This isn’t a purposeful collection, but I collect eyeglasses. Neither of my dogs can resist chewing them, and I can’t bear to throw them away once they’ve been destroyed. They were the lens of my life for a bit of time, you know?
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us! ?
Bronze. Or some shade on the spectrum between gold and brown.
12. Drama or comedy? ?
In a book, drama. In a movie or show, comedy.
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto? ?
Pakkuna Matata. Because one of my dogs is named Pakkun, and also Hakuna Matata.
14. Cats or dogs? ?
I love all creatures, but my dogs are my fav.
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing? ?
Dinner by candlelight (hearts). I do like girls’ night out clubbing from time to time. And by time to time, I mean on an annual basis.
16. What song have you listened to most recently? ?
17. What first came to mind after reading question no. 1 of the Fun Facts section? I mean that thing that you reconsidered after giving it more thought 😛 ?
Other options included having all my family living happily nearby, for the earth to be healed, but amazingly enough, I hold true to my first answer.
1. Your top secret, uber guilty pleasure is… ?
My obsession with BTS.
2. If you could choose to be someone else for just one day, it would be… ?
This is getting deep! Hmm…hmm…I’m honestly battling “for good, for curiosity, or for fun.” To keep it light, I’ll go with curiosity. I’ll be Patrick Rothfuss for the day and I’ll spend every minute of it peeking through that top-secret manuscript…muahaha.
3. Your oldest memory is… ?
Stealing cold hot dogs out of the refrigerator and blaming it on the Cucuy.
4. If everyone would receive a prize for being best at something, you’d be no. 1 at… ?
Um, I won the “Plaque Widow” award at my dental clinic this year, so, there’s that. Please see my twitter media for proof.
5. The one thing you’d do anything to avoid/get out of is… ?
Folding laundry. I despise it.
6. Your favorite part of a date is… ?
I’m in my mid-twenties but I’m going to sound a lot older after this. My favorite part of a date is the food. Bonus: I don’t have to clean anything afterward.
7. If a character from any book could become real and you could spend a day with them, it would be… from the book… ?
Luna from Harry Potter.
8. You were/are a hardcore fan of… ?
9. You’d immediately fall for someone who… ?
*covers my husband’s eyes*…just kidding, he’s not here. Someone who is kind but a little wicked, accidentally silly and is always bearing candy and compliments.
10. The one thing you could/can never get over is… ?
Ace dying in One Piece. If you watch One Piece, you know what I mean, right?
11. If you could have any one superpower, it would be… ?
Teleportation. Final answer.
12. The one thing that always brightens your day is… ?
How responsive my dogs are. If I laugh, they run to me with tails wagging. If I cry, they run to me with cuddles and kisses. It’s seriously the sweetest thing in the world.
13. The most awkward moment in your life happened when… ?
I have way too many moments. Okay, I’ll share this one:
I went to a yoga class with my husband for the first time ever. We got there early so we were at the very front. After some basic moves, we did this thing where you lay on the floor with your limbs completely splayed. And I…knocked out. Yep, 90-minute class, fell asleep spread eagle 10 minutes in, slept the rest away. Why didn’t my husband wake me, you ask? Good question. I asked the same thing. I’m pretty sure he just thought it was funny.
14. The awesomest thing in your life is… ?
My dogs. My husband. Writing. My family. I’m going to get in trouble for saying dogs first again. Shoot.
About the Author:
M. R. Pilot is an avid reader, coffee-drinker and animal lover. When she’s not cleaning teeth, she’s partaking in Alaskan hikes, watching anime, relentless page-turning and/or keyboard clicking. She loves to talk about any of those things for an indiscriminate amount of time—feel free to reach out if you do, too.