Creative Spotlight on Author April Grace
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Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
Hi, I'm April Grace, and I'm a YA fantasy author based in the UK. I write fantasy books that are much inspired by fairytales and mythology. I've been writing since I was around fifteen years old, when I was obsessed with the popular writing site, Wattpad. When I'm not writing, I'm usually spending time with my family, and my partner and his two cheeky boys, playing Animal Crossing on my switch or binge-watching Once Upon A Time.
Can you tell us about your most recent release? Album? Song? Art piece? Etc.?
My debut novel, Steel Princess, is a fantasy story with futuristic elements. It's narrated from two POVs: Silver, a gynoid raised by a human traveling community, in a world where humans are hunted by the cruel gynoid queen, and Eden, a tinker who is practically a prisoner in the palace, building and repairing the royal bots until his fingers bleed. The story ventures off in two directions: when Silver's mother is accused of treason against the Elysian crown for stealing their princess, she's forced to work with her community's elders to plot to take the queen down and take her throne, while Eden travels out of Elysia to find his parents, only to end up kidnapped by pirates from Elysia's magical enemy kingdom of Panyria.
What inspires you?
Everything, but the books I love to read, films and series I watch, and a lot of YouTube vlogs.
What is your creative work routine like? Do you balance it with another job?
I find it hard to get time to write and tend to use my evenings and weekends. I work as a Teaching Assistant, but I also have a freelance editing business, so I often have to put my writing on the backseat. But that just makes it more special when I do get to do it.
Do you plan out your creations? What is your process before you create?
I'm what some would call a plantser: I'm not a planner or a pantser, but I plan a bit and then write a bit, then plan some more and write some more, and so on. Planning too much takes the fun away from writing a new story for me, but I also need to have enough detail so that I don't get confused in the world-building or go off on a tangent.
Do you have a self-care routine or want to have one? What do you do or wish that you did to take care of your mental health?
Not really, but I always have snacks with me while I work! I should relax more, and play on my Switch, but during those times, I always feel like I should be reading or writing. Can't win!
What is your favorite creation thus far?
I can't decide. I'm so very proud of my debut novel, but I've recently been working on my next-to-be-published book, a dark retelling of Snow White called The Girl Behind The Glass, and I've really been enjoying this story. I suppose I will always feel this way, about all of my book babies!
Do you have a character that is your favorite over others you've written into creation?
I absolutely loved writing Adelia from Steel Princess, so much so that she will be a narrator for book 2 in this series. But I also love my characters from The Girl Behind The Glass, perhaps because they're new and fresh in my mind.
Are there any recurring themes in your work?
Tragedy, found family, family secrets, parent deaths, strong friendships, betrayals.
What does success look like to you considering your creative passion?
I'd love the books to be made into a film or series! That or having fan art of my characters. Those would feel pretty big to me.
What is something your fans/readers/followers don’t know about you or something unique about yourself?
Unfortunately, a few days ago I lost my nanna. One of the things I love to share is that she's the cousin of a starring actress from one of my all-time favourite fantasy movies: Willow.
What advice would you share with new or aspiring authors/singers/artists/etc?
Keep going, keep pushing your art!
Where do you get your ideas for world-building?
Many of my ideas come to me randomly, but mostly from the books I read or the series I watch.
What genre do you prefer to read?
Fantasy, always. But I'll read the occasional YA contemporary or thriller by certain authors.
What hobbies do you have?
Playing on my Switch, singing, and visiting cool museums and new locations.
Where can our viewers/readers/listeners find you and your work?