Friday, February 15, 2019

Interview with Janell Rhiannon, SONG OF SACRIFICE

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
The Homeric Chronicles is a chronological retelling of Trojan War mythology, including the Iliad and Odyssey that raises the heroines’ voices alongside the heroes. The major storylines follow Clytemnestra, Helen, Andromache, and Penelope, as well as the familiar heroes like Achilles, Hektor, Paris, and Odysseus. Song of Sacrifice is the first book in a planned 4 book series.

Do you have a favorite character?
Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon and Queen of Mycenae. She is calculating, yet relatable. Here’s a link to her video autobiography on You Tube:

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I decided to go indie from the beginning. I enjoy the process of learning things and it seemed the logical choice as digital publishing is becoming more main stream. There was a time when you had to buy a physical book (which I still prefer) but many readers today rather the convenience of reading on devices and phones.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
Yes I’ve had a critique group for each book. We make a private Facebook group and I send everyone a draft, digital or a physical ARC. They read and comment in the group. This allows them to also communicate with each other, not just me. I post specific questions I have about plot, scenes, characters, etc. and they comment back or message me if they want to keep it private. I love doing it this way. I value the feedback and several times recognize when I need to change course on the manuscript. My current group for Song of Sacrifice (SoS) helped me get to the conclusion I needed to change the title and supported me on the scary journey of actually doing it. I’ll be looking to form a group for book 3, Rage of Queens, if anyone reads book 1 and 2 and wants to be a part of the next group. Message me on social media :)

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I always listen to music when I write. I prefer soundtracks that touch the feelings I’m trying to convey in the story. I listen to Game of Thrones and the Tudors quite a bit, also some medieval and fantasy compilations.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I’m a big outliner with this series, because without that there are too many characters and storylines to keep track of. But, even so, characters still surprise me and end up doing things differently or arrive at a place the way I didn’t originally intend.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
That it takes a long time to get it all together, to build your village of creatives. I’ve found great success with Regina Wamba, Nadege Richards, and Melissa Ringsted as my publishing team. I probably made all the mistakes someone can make. I think my fear of not being able to write a “big” book hampered me in the beginning. It wasn’t until I wrote Song of Sacrifice that I realized I could.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Barnes and Noble

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I’m doing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Amazon Ads to promote Song of Sacrifice. I also started a podcast called Greek Mythology Retold to help get the word out about my writing, while I talk about the characters of Greek myth. I’m planning a series of YouTube videos, as well. I just need to get over my fear of seeing my face in a video!

What’s next for you?
First of all, getting the second book Rise of Princes of to a good start via preorder. Then back deep into writing cave to finish book 3, Rage of Queens. After that, I have a dragon book and a pirate book in mind. I’m going to keep podcasting because I love it. Hope to see you on social media!!!

Thank you for giving me the space to talk about my books. Hope you enjoy reading them.

Song of Sacrifice
Janell Rhiannon
(Homeric Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: December 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.
Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…
…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.

As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.
Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.
In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.
Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…
Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.

Author Bio:
In graduate school, Janell focused on the ancient history of Greece and Rome. Hooked by the “sword and sandal” world, she studied everything she could about mythology and Alexander the Great.
The Homeric Chronicles series is dedicated to merging dozens of Greek myths, including Homer’s epics, with plays, history, and archaeology. Her intent is to raise the heroines’ voices equally alongside the heroes, opening up a traditionally male focused genre to a female audience.
She lives in CA and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a pack of two big dogs and two cats.

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