Looking for something new to read and short on money? You're in the right place, where I'll be featuring aspiring writers and their (free!) work!
This month we have Exequinne, author of The Fairy Legacy!
An age-old rivalry. A tyrant queen. A battle that started the war.
Xanthiene Vivenca's life drones on in a cycle of finding her next meal, ensuring the house won't collapse, and surviving until the next day. Then, a boy with snow-white hair ruins it all by crashing through her roof, along with a set of problems that ties her to the fate of the island.
With the Human Queen terrorizing the kingdom, friends to save after falling victim to a wicked system, and a power she could barely understand, let alone, control, Xanthy finds herself working with complete strangers to bring down a regime.
Secrets unfold. Certain truths are revealed. A war beneath the island's surface finally bares its fangs.
Can Xanthy save her friends and her neck before it's too late?
Meet Exequinne and read a preview of the book below!
Tell me a little bit about your writing journey. How long have you been writing, and how did you get started?
I have been writing poetry since I was 9 and genre fiction novels since I was 14 (I finished none, though, until I was way over 17). I started writing poetry when I was 9 when I thought of how fancy it was to be a writer. I think I didn't stop since then. I started writing genre fiction after that, penning down just my thoughts and imagination without much coherence. Then, I started reading novels and that is how I kind of really got into writing novels.
My writing journey, nevertheless, is filled of ups and downs, but mostly downs. There is your general frustrations of being undiscovered and feelings of smallness and invisibility. You work hard for it and it gets ignored. Things like that. Still, there are some ups like the friends and community I found when I started really getting serious about writing.
Why fantasy specifically? Is it something you write often, or is this your first venture into the genre?
I just love the concept of fantasy that allows you to build your own worlds from basically nothing. I love the versatility of fantasy and how it enables me to take real-world issues and topics and spin it around in a fantasy setting and it's a brand new story. Fantasy is definitely my comfort-genre as it is my first venture in genre fiction. There is just this...ecstasy in discovering new worlds in your own head and then chucking those ideas out into paper like you just gave birth to them. I love those rush of feelings so I don't think I'd ever stop writing fantasy.
What are your goals for your writing?
My main goal in writing is to write every idea I have even if it is genre fiction or poetry. I've got so much I want to talk about and writing is my avenue of getting into a dialogue with the world. The next sub-goal would be making money out of my hard work. Accolades, audience appreciation, and the chance to have a community built from my worlds are just bonuses.
What inspired The Fairy Legacy?
The first seed of The Fairy Legacy, and the whole Chronicles of Fantasilia series, in general, is about retelling of the unknown fairytales that are not Little Red Riding Hood or Cinderella. I had an idea of taking up fairy tales that are not popular in mainstream media and retelling them in such a way that they are connected to each other to make up one story. That idea gave birth to COF's first prototype which I called, Fairy Tale Conflicts. I know, original, right?
I did that when I was 14. I took three years to finish the first book of the series and when I did finish, I realized that most of the stuff I did do not work anymore. 14-year-old writing is just cringe. So, I put my foot down and scrapped everything away. Then, I watched an anime called No Game, No Life and I got inspired by the races in their world just coexisting with each other. That gave the seed that started the revamp and that is the start of my journey with The Fairy Legacy and the series it belongs to.
Who is your favorite character in it and why? Tell me a little about them.
My favorite character in that book is probably Reeca. (Yes, I do not like my MC. Get on with it.) Her build was generally well-done and well-established. She is from a troubled family and experienced persecution from an early age. Trauma shaped her resolve to do what she is doing at the start of the book. She crossed paths with Xanthy, the MC, and their dynamics swung from friendship to hate and back again. Up until the end of the series, it did not change though the both of them grew enough to acknowledge that there are things they've done wrong to each other. Reeca is strong-willed and a good swordswoman. She has butterfly wings!
What was the most challenging part of writing the book?
There are a lot of challenges in writing this book, and the series, in general. The first one would be finding the time to write all the books in between schooling and other stuff in life. Next would be the fact that I have to rewrite this book thrice just to get it quite right. The first first draft has a different ending as the first second draft and recently, I rewrote it completely to change some aspects that makes me cringe. All in all, it is really challenging to get the first book right considering that it could make or break the chances of readers making it to the succeeding books. Writing series is hard.
Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the readers?
I would like to say to my old readers who have stuck with me since the cringe-stage of The Fairy Legacy thank you. Thank you for your useful insights (and hurtful comments, too) that pushed me to make the book and the series better. To those who will pick up the book and the series for the first time: Wear your seatbelts because you are in for a ride.
To my past, present, and future readers: I hope that you will love the world I created, the characters I followed throughout their journey, and the story I was able to tell. From me from months past: Thank you.
Ears are used for hearing things. They are on both sides of my head and they’re definitely not pointed. Xanthy frowned at the mirror, the smooth surface mimicking her expression.
Xanthy leaned closer, squinted her eyes, and pinched the lobes of her ears. It’s...real. Oh, no. Her stomach sank as she tried again. And again. They stayed the same. Big, fat, and most dreadful of all, pointed.
Xanthy slapped her cheeks. Wake up, wake up. She’s not a fairy. She couldn’t be. Maybe she just ate a magic mushroom from one of Rake’s stash. However, that would be impossible because one, there were no magic mushrooms in this part of Cardina, and two, Rake didn’t even give her anything.
A sigh escaped her lips as she drew away from the mirror and stared at herself from that distance. She looked as normal as a human in the Disfavoreds would look.
Fairies were bloodthirsty beings who killed Humans for fun. Those beings have extraordinary talents that could send them all to the Land of Wonders if they as much lift a finger. There was simply no way that Xanthy was suddenly one of them.
She raked her fingers down her dry locks and combed them to hide her ears. She’d have to figure out how to carve them back to their original, Human shape later. For now, the rest of the day loomed upon her like a gray cloud that graced the skies during the storm season.
Xanthy turned away from the mirror and made for the washroom at the back of the house. Her foot snagged against a stool and she cursed as pain flared up her leg. Stupid chair. Xanthy glared at the dark, wooden stool which was one of the four furnitures in this house. What in Umazure was this chair doing in her way?
She stepped away from the stool and passed a pile of abandoned possessions of some noble on her way to wash her face. A cough itched at her throat as dust tickled her nose. Ugh. She’d have to figure out a way to clean through this mess without disturbing the colony of cleret living underneath. If there’s anything she hated most in her life, it’s the existence of those bare-tailed animals.
The kitchen, or what’s left of it, greeted her in all its rotten glory as she headed towards the wooden buckets piled at the end of the room. A door leading to the yard stood in front of her as she bent down and splashed collected rainwater to her face.
The water was lukewarm as it hit her skin. So, it’s going to be a sunny day today. Xanthy sighed as she retrieved a rag to wipe her dripping face with. Something yowled at her foot and she recoiled just in time to avoid a white fuzz slinking into her feet.
“Harriet!” Xanthy hissed and a cat with white fur hissed back at her. “Scat!”
The cat, or at least that’s what Xanthy thought the animal could be, flashed its beady blue eyes at her, as if saying, yeah, this is my house too, moron.
Xanthy sighed. There’s no use in arguing with a cat. Much less if that cat was Harriet.