This Writer Wednesday, the spotlight shines on fantasy author Ceara Nobles!
Interviewing Ceara felt like having a conversation with a long-lost friend. Like me, she’s a soundtrack lovin’, goal-setting, kleptomaniac dog-chasin' Mama who is still standing despite many obstacles trying to topple her.
At the time of publishing Ceara’s interview, the [insert expletive] Instagram algorithm had caused me to miss so many posts from my fellow indie writers, so when I popped over to her account, I was both sad and delighted. Delighted to find so many great books, gorgeous photos, exciting and relatable updates, and interesting conversations just waiting to happen. Sad because I had missed out on so much! Be sure you aren’t missing out, too! Follow Ceara on Instagram @cearanoblesbooks.
A quick note:
During this interview, you might note that many of the questions include the word “we” as if “we” asked them. Well, we did. This detail is meant to include you, my dear reader, and I do hope you enjoy each interview published to this blog!
Additionally, please note that each interview answer is the author's own words and the interviews in The Intuitive Storyteller blog are intended for informational and educational purposes only.
Ceara Nobles is a Utah-based author of romantic suspense and fantasy novels. She graduated from the University of Utah in 2016 with a B.A. in Computer Animation, then realized she hated it. Now she spends her days juggling her side hustle as a line editor and her true love of authorship. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her chasing her toddler, road tripping with her hubby, or hiding in bed with a chai and a good book.
About Sparks and Shadow
The streets of Seattle are tough—but the land of Faery? Even tougher.
Seventeen-year-old Everly has spent her life pretending she can’t see the Fae that disguise themselves as humans. Left homeless after her mother dies of an overdose, her best friend Mary Beth is the only family she has left. But when Everly attempts to rescue her rival from a Fae-infested warehouse, she’s dragged through a portal to the land of Faery. She is desperate to get back home—without her, Mary Beth might succumb to her addiction and Everly will lose her best friend the same way she lost her mom. Soon she meets Shadow, a handsome wolf-shifting Fae, and learns the portal won’t reopen for another six weeks. Shadow and his ragtag group of revolutionists offer to get her home if she joins their rebellion against the evil queen of Faery. Can Everly survive long enough to get back to the human world and rescue her best friend from her own demons? Sparks and Shadow is the first book in a modern YA fantasy series featuring a kick-butt heroine, a portal to an astonishing world, and slow-burn romance. If you like Fae mythology, compelling characters, and action-packed adventure, you’ll love this new series by Ceara Nobles.
Ceara’s book Sparks and Shadow is available now!
And now, the interview:
Ceara, when did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote my first "novel" at 12 years old, but I gave up the dream for a while to pursue a more "realistic" career. About halfway through college, I realized I hated my degree and decided to pursue my true love of writing. The rest is history!
Tell us about the person(s) or event(s) that inspired you to write your latest work.
The Rising Elements series was largely inspired by Ireland. I visited there a few years ago and fell in love with the moss-covered forests and fae mythology. I also have a deep love for the Pacific Northwest, the Seattle area specifically. When I merged the two together, Everly’s story was born!
What is your favorite genre to write and why do these types of stories appeal to you?
Fantasy is by far my favorite genre. Sparks and Shadow is a portal fantasy, and I love the idea of marrying the real world and a fantasy world. It makes my job really fun, and I get to combine the best of both worlds. I love imagining the possibilities of a fantastical world, creating new magic systems and societies and species. It is so fun!
Do you have a furry familiar? Tell us about them!
We have a one-year-old Aussiedoodle. His name is Merlin because he looks like a wise old man, and he’s a kleptomaniac. I spend a ridiculous amount of time collecting shoes, toys, cups, and all sorts of knick-knacks from his horde in the backyard.
Tell us about your writing schedule and/or a ritual that is necessary for establishing and sustaining your writing mood and endurance.
I have a 2-year-old, so writing whenever I want just isn’t going to happen. She’s in preschool two days a week (soon to be three, and I can’t wait!), so I head to a local coffee shop on those days and work there for the day. Something about the change in location really gets me into the headspace to work! A good, iced chai always helps too. [winks]
Why do you write? How does the act of storytelling affect you?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with story. I love all things story-related: books, movies, video games, even gossip! When I was a teenager, I wrote books and also created little mini-series using The Sims and posted them on YouTube. I have so many stories bouncing around in my head, and I’ll go crazy if I don’t let them out!
Think about yourself back when you first started writing. If you could travel back in time, what would you say to that version of you (about the writing process, publishing, the world, etc.) that might help prepare them for today?
It sounds cliché, but my best advice is this: you CAN do hard things. Writing stories and sharing them with the world is terrifying and difficult, but it is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done. As for the publishing process? It’s not as hard as it sounds. Just learn as much as you can and keep failing until you make it.
Just learn as much as you can and keep failing until you make it.
What are your recommendations for fueling your writing energy and promoting inspiration?
Consume, consume, consume! I love to experience story in all sorts of mediums—video games, books, podcasts, movies—and they all inspire me in different ways. Each new story I consume inspires and influences my writing.
How intuitive are you and does your intuition affect your writing?
I’m a pretty intuitive person. As a natural introvert, I spend a lot of time introspecting and learning about myself. I think that intuition definitely affects my writing. Sometimes it can lead to self-doubt as I overthink everything I do, but overcoming that has made me so much stronger as a creator!
Tell us about your long-term writing and publishing goals.
Oh gosh, setting goals is one of my favorite activities! I have so many goals that I’m working toward. Right now, my current goals are to sell 1,000 books with Sparks and Shadow. Long-term, I’m aiming to reach six figures a year and make writing my full-time job!
For what or whom are you most grateful right now and why?
I am eternally grateful for my husband. We have dubbed him my “creative director,” and he’s actually the inspiration behind my publishing company’s name: Riverside Press. When the idea for Sparks and Shadow first came to fruition, I was on a solo camping trip with my hubby. We spent an entire afternoon sitting in folding chairs by the river, plotting and brainstorming the first version of my story. He’s always there to support me, whether by brainstorming ideas with me or taking our toddler for the day so I can catch up on my deadlines. I wouldn’t be able to do this without him!
Besides writing, what activities bring you joy?
I love traveling! Between my hubby and I, we have family in three states, and we spend a lot of time traveling between them. I also love visiting new places, so we usually take at least a few trips per year. Besides that, I love long hot baths with a good book and thrifting!
Which book are you reading right now?
Oathbound by Victoria McCombs
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas
Fill in the blank: Magic is...
Magic is full of endless possibilities.
Stay connected with Ceara! Here’s where you can find her:
Next up, I’m continuing my Tarot Stories series with the next card in the deck: The Tower... only it's not as scary as you might think.
In her more than thirty years as a storyteller and visual designer, Amanda “Mandy” Hughes has written and designed over a dozen works of upmarket, literary, and women’s fiction under pen names A. Lee Hughes and Mandy Lee.
Mandy is the founder of Haint Blue Creative, a space for readers and storytellers to explore, learn, and create. Although she earned a Bachelor and Master of Science in Psychology, she has yet to figure out her family, much less herself.
When she’s not writing, Mandy loves going to the movies, theater, traveling, nature walks, birdwatching, margarita-making, and binge-watching The Office. She is a tarot enthusiast who uses the cards to promote wellness and enhance creativity. She lives in Georgia with her husband and four boys, two of whom are furrier than the others (but not by much). Visit her website at haintbluecreative.com and follow her on Instagram @haintbluecreative or on Facebook at @haintbluebooks.