Indie Author Spotlight Featuring Helen Garraway

GENRE: Epic/High Fantasy
About Helen Garraway

Helen Garraway lives in the UK and has been writing about the world of Remargaren, a fantasy world of her creation since 2016. 

Sentinals Awaken was Helen’s debut fantasy novel published in 2020. The second installment, Sentinals Rising was published March 17th, 2021 and Sentinals Justice which is currently on preorder and will release September 7th, 2021.

An avid reader of many different fiction genres, a love she inherited from her mother, Helen writes fantasy novels and also enjoys paper crafting and scrapbooking as an escape from the pressure of working as a Product Manager.

Having graduated from the University of Southampton with a Degree in Politics and International Relations, she remains an active member of their alumni.

***

To get to know the author better, we asked Helen, a quick round of questions, and here are her answers:

Q1: What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

I began writing my fantasy series shortly after my mum passed away. It was almost a cathartic release as ideas overflowed and I wrote six books without stopping. My mum would have loved them, and I think deep down I wrote them for her. I so wish she was here to read them. We would have spent endless nights discussing the characters, the plot and more!

My latest book, Sentinals Justice, is the third book in the epic fantasy Sentinal series. Sentinals Justice is currently on pre-order and releases on September 7th, 2021. If you haven’t entered the ancient magical world of Remargaren yet, then you have a wonderful experience ahead of you. I create immersive worlds that transport you out of your daily life and into an epic fantasy adventure with engaging characters who I hope you will love.

The story begins with Sentinals Awaken, the first book in the series. Jerrol Haven, a captain in the King’s Rangers is accused of treason and sentenced to death. Jerrol finds himself on the run, chased by assassins, bounty hunters and more. Accidentally awakening a Sentinal, a mythical Lady’s Guard, who at first, he thinks he imagined; he sets off to discover the source of the shadowy threat pervading the kingdom of Vespiri. Jerrol is unprepared for what he finds and faces an ancient threat which could mean the end of his world. 

The story continues in Sentinals Rising where Jerrol Haven, having rescued the king from the clutches of the malevolent Ascendants, knows they haven’t stopped their scheming. While trying to learn more about the mysterious Sentinals he woke from a three-thousand-year sleep, he has to defend his king and country from further magical attacks.

Should he trust the Sentinals in such vital positions? Can he trust them to protect the king and Vespiri? As Jerrol learns more of their capabilities, he realises there are more secrets yet to be revealed. Maybe those questioning their sudden rise in power have a point.

Before he can delve further, a call for help comes from the neighbouring country of Terolia. The nomadic Families are disintegrating into chaotic infighting. The king sends Jerrol to investigate, instructing him to do whatever is needed to protect the Families from the Ascendants. 

Q2: What are five words that describe your writing process?

Immersive, fulfilling, chaotic, creative, magical.

Q3: What authors, or books, have influenced you?

I grew up reading the likes of David Eddings, C. S. Lewis, and Anne McCaffrey. My mum was a huge fan! I continue to read all types of Fantasy books. A couple of my favourite authors being Lois McMaster Bujold and Michelle Sagara who write complex fantasy novels with epic world building, amazing characters and twisty plots that keep you riveted. I try to emulate their amazing creativity.

Q4: What is the first book to make you cry?

I honestly don’t remember. It was probably something like Greyfriar’s Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson, because I always get emotional over animals and that is a heart-wrenching story!

Q5: Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be?

I would love to write full time, but like most independent authors I also have a full-time day job. I squeeze writing around the day job, in the evenings and weekends. It is challenging trying to edit, write the next book and promote your work ‘out of hours’ so to speak. I am trying to get up early and write a couple of hours before work as my job is quite stressful at the moment and I am exhausted by the time I finally finish, but I have always been a night owl writer so the change is quite hard to make.

Q6: What is the best advice you have ever heard?

The best way to get through writer’s block is to just write. Even if it’s drivel, keep writing. Eventually the ideas will begin to flow and you can always edit or delete the drivel! You can’t edit a blank page.

Q7: What is your favourite genre to read?

I read almost everything, though my favourite is Fantasy, especially complex epic fantasy that you can get really invested in. But I’ve read everything from Georgette Heyer’s regency romances to Sharon Miller and Steve’s Lee’s Science fiction space opera Liaden series, Alistair Maclean or Clive Cussler thrillers, Mary Stewart’s cosy mysteries and everything in between. I could keep going! I am the ultimate book worm. I need to extend my house so I can have a library.

Q8: Do you have any writing quirks?

I’m not sure it is a quirk, but I tend to write the start and the end first, and then I write events as I think of them and then put them together like a jigsaw puzzle. A bit chaotic I suppose, but when all the pieces click together and it feels just right, that is the most amazing feeling when the story flows and everything is in the right place.

Q9: What are you working on now?

I am just finishing the edits to Sentinal Justice, and then it will be out for ARC readers in August. If anyone is interested in reading it, then you can join my ARC reader team here. Though I will say, you need to read the first two books to appreciate Sentinals Justice fully.

Next, I have signed up to the Realms of Darkness anthology, and I am writing a book in a NEW world. My first venture outside of the Sentinals series which is quite exciting. But don’t worry, I am also editing book 4 of the Sentinals Series currently slated for release in Spring 2022. And for my ardent fans, sign up to my newsletter to find out first about a Christmas surprise!!

Q10: What are you currently reading?

I am reading an epic fantasy novel by another Indie author, M.H Woodscourt called The Crow King. It is amazing and I am really enjoying it. I try and support indie authors as I know it is so difficult to get reviews of your books posted. There are some amazing indie authors out there and you can find my book reviews and indie author interviews (on my blog) on my website www.helengarraway.com. It is so nice for me to be giving an interview about my own books for a change! 

***

Books By Helen Garraway

Sentinals Awaken: Book One of the Sentinals Series

As a three thousand-year-old threat reemerges, only one man has the power to awaken the world’s greatest protectors and restore order to the realm. He just doesn’t know it yet.

When Jerrol Haven, a captain in the King’s Rangers, discovers treason at the highest level, he knows immediately that the knowledge puts his life at risk. And indeed, though he expected the ailing King to shield him, the ambitious Crown Prince sentences Jerrol to death. What hold does the Prince have over his weakened father, and who or what is he protecting? 

As Jerrol flees for his life, he is rescued by a vision of the enigmatic Lady Leylandii, a goddess who, according to legend, once saved the land of Remargaren from malevolent wild magic users known as the Ascendants by raising a veil to nullify their power and exiling them. Now, with signs that her veil is weakening and the Ascendants are creeping back into power, she has returned and is in dire need of Jerrol’s help. For though he doesn’t know it, Jerrol possesses a rare gift: By chance, he touches a revered Sentinal tree and awakens Birlerion, one of the Lady’s personal guard who have been sleeping in the strange, tall trees since they were last called to battle. 

Aided by Birlerion and an old friend, Jennery, Jerrol begins his journey to help Lady Leyandrii save Remargaren once more. But time is running out: As it was with the King, the old guard Lords are everywhere being usurped, attacked, and assassinated, while their heirs behave strangely and refuse to honour the Lady as Remargarens have done for millennia. Jerrol must unravel the mystery of the Ascendants’ return, stop the sinister force that is dividing good families through bloodshed and betrayal, and rescue the King—and his troubles are only just beginning.

Sentinals Awaken is the first book in the saga of Remargaren, a vibrant, ancient world of high fantasy suffused with magic and adventure.

***

Sentinals Rising: Book Two of the Sentinal series

Sentinals Rising is the second book in the saga of Remargaren, a vibrant, ancient world of high fantasy suffused with magic and adventure.

Jerrol Haven, having rescued the king from the clutches of the malevolent Ascendants, knows they haven’t stopped their scheming. While trying to learn more about the mysterious Sentinals he woke from a three-thousand-year sleep, he has to defend his king and country from further magical attacks.

Should he trust the Sentinals in such vital positions? Can he trust them to protect the king and Vespiri? As Jerrol learns more of their capabilities, he realises there are more secrets yet to be revealed. Maybe those questioning their sudden rise in power have a point.

Before he can delve further, a call for help comes from the neighbouring country of Terolia. The nomadic Families are disintegrating into chaotic infighting. The king sends Jerrol to investigate, instructing him to do whatever is needed to protect the Families from the Ascendants. 

***

Sentinals Justice: Book Three of the Sentinal Series

The third installment of the Sentinal series takes us to the frozen north, to the Grand Duchy of Elothia. Border tensions with Elothia force King Benedict to send a diplomatic envoy to sue for peace. Benedict has his hands full with Vespiri and Terolia, he can’t afford a war on his northern border as well. Commander Jerrol Haven is sent to broker peace. Having met Grand Duke Randolf the thirteenth before, Jerrol hopes their previously successful negotiations will assist in a speedy resolution and allow him time to discover how to rescue Birlerion from the Ascendants.

Meanwhile, the Chapterhouse has received a request for a scholar to assist in searching for signs of the Sentinals in Elothia. Taelia is assigned the task, because Scholar Torsion is also missing after the attack at the Watch Towers.

Amidst escalating tensions and conflicting needs, Jerrol journeys to Elothia, hoping to meet with Randolf before the Ascendants can influence him. Escorting Taelia is an unexpected bonus. Can Jerrol stop Elothia and Vespiri from going to war? Will they find more Sentinals? And can they find out where the Ascendants took Birlerion and Torsion before it is too late.

Sentinals Justice concludes the opening trilogy…though the adventure will continue!

*Coming September 7th*

Free Download: Sentinals Stirring

Introduction to the ancient world of Remargaren – see how Jerrol and Taelia first met.

Sign up to Helen’s Newsletter and download a Free Novella: Sentinals Stirring

***

Thank you, Helen, for participating in our indie author featured spotlight. We look forward to following you on your author journey and wish you every success going forward.

***

If you’d like to keep up to date with Helen, you can find details on her website and her social media links below.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: