Authors and Publishers

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Author Interview: Raine Thomas

The world of publishing has always brought enjoyment and escape to their fans. Like in every entertainment business, there are those who make it big and those that don’t. But that has not stopped authors like Raine Thomas from achieving their dreams.

(I will admit here that for fun I like to browse books on the Amazon Kindle store and see which book, when I had the money, I would purchase; read more about that here).

While browsing around on the Amazon, I came upon Mrs. Thomas’s e-book, Becoming. The cover art was amazing, there was a rating of 4.9/5 stars, and the e-book was just $0.99! So, I read the reviews- the best and the worst- and had to admit that it sounded very appealing. However, low on cash, I decided to stalk…err I mean follow Mrs. Thomas on twitter while I waited for some cash to flow in. She was funny and responded to her fans with great enthusiasm. From what I had read on the previews and what fans said, I was dying to read her books. But as I waited, I wanted to have an interview with her. I actually never thought she would participate. Popular as she was, and working on a new book for a new series, I really didn’t expect for her to get back to me the very next day.!

So now without further adieu, because I am sure you want to get to interview if you haven’t skipped this part yet, I present Mrs. Raine Thomas:
 Raine Thomas is the author of  the exciting and original series of YA fantasy/romance novels      about the Estilorian plane, including the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy and the upcoming Firstborn trilogy. She is a proud member of Romance Writers of America and is a contributing blogger to The Writer's Voice. When she isn’t planning weddings, writing or glued to social networking sites, she can usually be found on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches with her husband and daughter or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by the world around me! There will be times when I’m walking my dog, for example, and I’ll see the sunlight hit the surrounding trees or water in just a certain way. Or I might witness a tender interaction between two people that sticks in my mind. Images such as these evoke scenes that I can only hope I later convey in my writing.

Are any of your characters similar to you or anyone you know?
While I take care not to fictionalize people that I know, I strive to write characters with which my readers can associate. Thus, in keeping my characters as realistic as possible, they certainly exhibit traits of both me and people in my life.

As of this year, 2011, how many books have you sold?
My books have been available since July 24th, 2011. Since publication just over four months ago, I’ve sold between 6,000 and 7,000 books. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank every person who has supported me through book purchases, reviews, recommendations to others, etc. You mean the world to me!

Do you have any "training" as a writer, such as, do you have a degree in writing etc?
Yes, I do. My undergraduate degree from Georgia State University is a bachelor of arts in English with a focus in Creative Writing. My master’s degree from Central Michigan University is in humanities. Both programs required extensive writing and research, which helped me lay the groundwork for my career as an author. Since then, I’ve participated in continuing education workshops offered by reputable organizations such as Romance Writers of America (RWA), of which I’m a member.

What made you decide to self-publish? Did you try to go the traditional route at all or did you know from the get-go you wanted to be an indie?
I did try to go the traditional route, largely because that’s all I knew when I first started on the road to publication. After months of honing my query letter, reading article after article and book after book about how to approach literary agents and publishers, and receiving nothing but rejections, I began exploring the world of indie publishing. Stories of successful indie authors such as Amanda Hocking, John Locke and Joe Konrath made me realize that this was a viable possibility. I’m thrilled with my decision!

Do you have any other jobs at the moment or are you just focusing on your writing?
My full-time job is that of a wedding planner, and I do that between 40-60 hours a week. I’m also a wife and mother. In short, my writing time is limited! I typically write late in the evening after everyone else is in bed. Sleep? What’s that??

How wide does your fan base go, meaning do people just know you in the U.S. or all over the world? And how does this make you feel?
I’ve got fans from around the world…from here in the U.S. to Canada, from Australia to the UK, from Greece to South Africa. It’s awesome!! I LOVE communicating with my fans. They really make my day.

Do you enjoy writing in first or third person?
My books are all in the third-person. This isn’t as common in YA books, I’ve noticed. But I knew going into my Estilorian series that I was going to focus on different characters, so first-person wasn’t an option. I figure this way, I’ll (hopefully) keep my writing from growing stale, as there will always be fresh characters to focus on and new plots to develop!

What are your goals at the moment?
At the moment, my goals are to get through the busy wedding season here in Orlando, which starts in October and runs through December. Then I want to focus on writing (both the nonfiction wedding planning and business-related books that I write and my fiction books). I plan to have my second trilogy released before the anniversary of the release of the Daughters of Saraqael.

What was the best and worst comment from any of your writing? How has it helped you grow as a writer?
The most amazing feedback I’ve received actually came very recently. A young lady wrote me to say that she thought my books were the best she’d ever read, and that if she becomes an author, her inspiration will be me. Talk about a career-cementing moment!
As for the most negative feedback I’ve received, I would have to say the person who said they wouldn’t recommend Becoming to other readers because they didn’t enjoy it. That was difficult to hear! Still, I know that every book isn’t going to appeal to every reader. It helps me to focus on the majority of the feedback I receive, which is (very fortunately!) quite positive.

Can you share with us a little of the work that is yet to come? Self-published or otherwise?
I’d be happy to! Here is the prologue from book one of the upcoming Firstborn trilogy, featuring a new generation (and class) of Estilorians. As I mentioned, I’m currently writing book two. I hope you enjoy it!

“The pain was unimaginable.
She dragged herself along the ground with her one working arm, at turns scrabbling at tree roots or shrubs and at others digging her hand as deep into the earth as she could manage before hauling her broken body as far as possible. In the past hour, she had moved approximately fifteen feet.
She knew she was going to die. The horrors that had been visited upon her were so atrocious that she couldn’t even think of them now. It was as though a black haze coated her memory.
But her attackers had left her in sight of a platform that could get her to Central. They had no way of knowing it because, being Mercesti, they were unable to see the heavily enchanted travel system. The platform glimmered to her like a taunting beacon, however, bouncing lightly on the waves. If she’d had the required energy left, she would have extended her wings and flown to it.
Animal-like sounds left her throat as she struggled for the strength to move. If she could somehow get to the platform, perhaps someone at Central could help her. And if she was very fortunate, kyria Amber or archigos Gabriel might even be in attendance. They could heal her.
Once more, she stretched her right arm in front of her. The ground onto which she was emerging from the forest was sandy and open. If any of her attackers remained nearby, they would see her. While that thought terrified her, she couldn’t fight the instinct to survive. She knew she had to try. So she pressed her hand into the blazing hot sand until she had enough of a grip to pull herself. Then she strained her already aching bicep and heaved herself forward as much as she could.
She didn’t even move a foot.
Although she thought her attackers had wrought all of the tears from her, she realized now that wasn’t the case. They tracked down her bruised and broken face, joining with her sweat and plopping into the sand beneath her head. Heat radiated from the unforgiving surface beneath her, burning her already punished skin.
A sound to her right had her stiffening in fear. She made a whimpering sound as distinct footfalls grew nearer.
Her enemies must have returned to finish what they started. The tears continued unchecked as she carefully removed her hand from the sand in hopes she could do at least a little damage to the next male who hurt her. She would fight until she couldn’t.
But the being approaching her stopped on her left side. She tried to move her head toward her left and couldn’t. Another pained sound escaped her.
The presence knelt. He said, “Ah, Luvania. What have you gotten yourself into?”
She couldn’t turn her head and her vision was blurred by tears and exhaustion, but recognition was immediate. Although she hadn’t heard that voice in over fifty years, she could identify it. He still managed to sound both impatient with the world and infinitely bored by it. And at the moment, there was a gentleness beneath his tone she would never have expected.
“I am afraid your injuries are beyond my ability to repair,” he said. “I have seen others emerge from the water where you appear to be trying to reach. I can get you to the platform with your assistance.”
She couldn’t find the energy to speak, so made another sound in her throat and moved her head in a form of a nod.
“This will hurt.”
He lifted her. Pain screamed through her body. She squeezed her eyes shut against it. When she again opened her eyes, she realized they were in the water. She must have passed out.
“Thought I might have lost you there,” he said. “Are you ready for placement on the platform?”
Why would he not get on it with her? The thought floated through her head and then faded as insignificant. They had only a couple feet more to go. Extending her right arm toward the platform, she indicated she was ready. He obligingly moved forward. When her hand came into contact with the platform, more tears welled in her eyes. He settled her on it and stepped away.
“Good fortune to you, Luvania,” he said.
She once again thought to ask why he wasn’t accompanying her, but by then she was lifting into the sky.
The trip took an eternity. She lost consciousness more than once. Each time, she saw her rescuer’s face in her mind, though she hadn’t actually glimpsed him during their encounter. Thoughts of him from the past as well as what he had just done for her kept her focused, overriding the brutality she had endured.
She wanted to thank him. Wanted to praise him for giving her hope merely moments after she had given up and decided she was going to die. She wanted to help him as he had helped her. Surely he needed her help if he was living on the mainland and had removed himself from existence for over five decades.
Her delirium grew. Thinking became difficult. But at long last, through vision that was slowly fading to gray, she saw the outline of Central approaching.
She had made it.
The platform eased its way into Central’s loading bay. The darkness of the underground cavern had her blinking to try and focus. It did her no good.
Her brain registered the sounds around her, but couldn’t interpret them. The pain had leeched from her body. She understood then that it had all been for nothing. Her efforts. His efforts. For nothing.
“Holy light!” she heard.
There were other sounds. Other exclamations. People touching her. But she no longer felt anything. She registered only one lingering image.
“Luvania, can you hear me?”
Something flickered in her mind at the echoing voice. Caoilinn.
“Luvania, can you tell us who did this to you?” the Lekwuesti commander asked, her words filled with urgency.
She wanted to tell them. They needed to know. Others would be at risk as she had been. There were dangers beyond any Estilorian’s knowledge lurking on the mainland.
So she struggled to work her strained vocal chords as darkness clouded her mind. There was something important she had to tell them. Wasn’t there?
Then she remembered. The image she had carried with her on the ride to Central. Someone she needed to help.
And with her last breath, she told them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
My advice to anyone who wants to write for a living is to write something every day. It can be a character sketch or the outline of a scene…anything that relates to your writing goal. Some aspiring writers get discouraged because they think they’ll never complete a book, or finish their short story or article, etc. But if you write a little every day, that will add up to a lot over time. So don’t give up!

What are your current projects and what are some future projects we can expect?
My most recent release is an Estilorian short story called The Prophecy (available for free on Smashwords  and $0.99 on Amazon until they price match it at free). I’ve also begun working on book two of the Firstborn trilogy. My plan is to release the Firstborn trilogy all at once like I did the Daughters of Saraqael trilogy…but I might stagger the books if my fans get antsy!

Random questions:

If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?
Oh…Drew Barrymore! We’re about the same age and I was compared to her a number of years ago. I found it a wonderful compliment.

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
I think my superpower would have to be the ability to stop time…as I have so little of it in the day to do the things I love!

If you were a type of food, what type of food would you be?
Definitely milk chocolate…sweet and comforting. :)

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Living the Dream!

Check out her books:

Every three years, Amber Hopkins explodes. Okay, not a blown-to-smithereens explosion, but whatever it is always hurts like hell and leaves her life a shambles. She's already worked her way through five foster placements, and she's doing whatever she can to avoid getting blasted into a sixth.
As her eighteenth birthday approaches and she feels the strange and powerful energy building, disaster looms. When the inevitable explosion occurs, her life gets its biggest shakeup yet.
She'll not only learn how her fellow foster and best friend, Gabriel, really feels about her, but she'll discover that she isn't really without family.
To top it all off, she'll finally find out why she's having the power surges: she isn't entirely human.
Amber must Become, transitioning to another plane of existence and risking the loss of the most important relationship she's ever had. Her choice will impact the future of an entire race of beings, and will pit her against an enemy that will prey upon her doubt to try and take her very life.
Kind of makes the explosions now seem like a cakewalk.
                                                                     -Amazon Book Description
Buy this book: Amazon
                        Barnes & Noble-Nook E-Book

For avid student Olivia Murdoch, life on the Estilorian plane is filled with wondrous adventure. Every lesson about her new existence is both exciting and challenging. Along with her sisters, she embraces this non-human half of herself.
Helping with her lessons is her Gloresti, James. Teacher, scholar and distractingly attractive, James takes on his roles of Olivia's guide and protector with equal dedication. As he learns the human emotions that Estilorians no longer experience, he starts to see Olivia as much more than just an assigned pairing.
The physically weakest of her sisters, Olivia trains hard to learn things that no typical human classroom can impart. When they travel to "Central," the Estilorian base, she comes to understand why she must become strong enough to defend herself. She and her sisters are targets.
Not all Estilorians welcome them. In fact, more than one would see them dead.

                                                             -Amzon Book Description

Buy this book: Amazon
                       Barnes and Noble- Nook E-Book

Centuries before she was born, Skye Tomaganuk was a subject of the most important prophecy in Estilorian history. As one of three half-human daughters born of the Corgloresti, Saraqael, she is part of the fulfillment of Knorbis’ Great Foretelling. What she doesn’t know is just what the Foretelling entails for her and her sisters.
 As Skye and her sisters continue their training and visit each of the Estilorian class homelands, they soon learn how much impact their human emotions have on their father’s kind. Skye is particularly interested in the effect of emotions on her Gloresti, Caleb. Although she wants their relationship to progress beyond just that ...
                                                    -Amazon Book Description
Buy this book: Amazon
                        Barnes and Noble- Nook E-Book
Saraqael hadn’t intended to fall in love with Kate. It shouldn’t have even been possible. His kind didn’t experience emotion, and they certainly weren’t supposed to become attached to humans.
When he discovers that Kate’s dying and there’s nothing he or her human doctors can do for her, Saraqael realizes how deep his feelings for her run. And he understands just how far he’s willing to go to save her.
He vows to search until he finds a way to save her life. With the help of his best friend, Quincy, he embarks on a quest spanning the Estilorian plane…a quest that will forever change the future of his kind.
                                                     -Amzon Book Description
Buy this book: Amazon
Where you can find Raine Thomas:
Twitter: @Raine_Thomas
Facebook: Raine Thomas
Website: Raine Thomas
Hope you all enjoyed the interview as much as I did! I would like to thank Mrs. RaineThomas for dropping by the blog. I had a lot of fun reading her responses and I want to wish her good luck and happy writing in her new adventures in writing a new series!


  1. It was a pleasure to participate in your interview, Jessie! Thanks again for asking me. I look forward to connecting with your followers!

  2. Love Raine! She is such an amazing and inspirational author. I too was inspired to continued writing after having read her 'Becoming' novel. She is magnificently unique and I can only hope I become half the author she is! Keep up the good work Raine!

  3. Thanks so much, Amanda. :) Write on, my friend!