The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Gabby Skledon! Her debut, Found: Merlin’s Heir released on November 18th 2022.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Gabby (obviously) and I’m celebrating the release of my debut novel (and my 30th Birthday!). I love anything fantasy, reading allll the books, exploring the outdoors and hanging out with my friends and family. I still work full time at a university, and my job is to deliver employability skills and training to students.
Congrats on your new release! How has the new release been going for you?
Thank you! Found only came out on Friday, but I managed to get quite a few pre-orders of e-books and signed copies. My family, friends and colleagues are really supportive and are always telling people about my book, which is amazing. I’ve also made some great friends on BookTok which has definitely helped me gain lots of visibility. I’ve been excited for the release for months and gave myself lots of time to make sure I could get everything ready, really it couldn’t have been better.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember (I used to copy out books that were already written when I was about 5 so I could pretend I was an author). As I started to get older I moved over into writing like, novels of dialogue, kind of like a play I guess? And when I was about 13 I had a go at my first novel. From then I’ve just written all the time! Between 13-16 I hand wrote everything and still have stacks of ancient notebooks full of those old stories. I decided to get serious about trying to publish something in 2019 and that’s when I came up with the idea for Found.
Describe a typical writing day.
Because I work, I usually have to divide my time between that and writing so I don’t have a ‘typical’ day. But when I sit down to write I normally make sure I have lots of coffee on hand. I write in my bedroom and usually have music or TV on. I do lots of daydreaming when I’m plotting so I like to have background noise on. I usually try to write in chronological order, but will skip to more fun bits if I get stuck. I’m a Puzzler in terms of plotting (a new term I found out about recently which means I like a basic outline but also like to problem solve along the way), but I do use a plot grid for main points and to help me stay motivated.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
Found is inspired by a lot of Arthurian legend and Merlin stories. I’ve always found it really interesting, ever since me and my sisters saw the film Merlin (1998, Sam Neil). It was such a great story with so many themes and characters. I just wanted to see what I could do with the legends myself and bring some of the more obscure stories back onto the public’s radar.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
I honestly just hope they enjoy it. It’s supposed to be a lighthearted easy read (with lots of twists and turns) to introduce you to the beginning of an epic fantasy adventure. I hope that people can connect to the diverse cast of characters and maybe see themselves represented in the world of British Myth and Legend that has previously (wrongly) excluded them.
What is the significance of the title?
Hahaha honestly, I’m not great at thinking up cool titles. All the books in the series (5 in total) will have 1-word titles all relating to the theme of the book. As this book is the start of Merle and the gang’s journey and all about self-discovery, Found seemed like an appropriate way to go!
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Positive. Helpful. Thoughtful.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
I loved editing it a lot more than I should have! But I really enjoyed that process. I liked getting to know my characters better and figuring out the plot. I also learnt a lot of important lessons about writing craft that I’m going to be able to use throughout my career.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
I’m currently working on book 2 of the Merlin’s Heir series which I’m hoping to release in Spring/Summer of 2023!
What advice would you give to other authors?
That Indie Publishing is a lot more doable than you think, and that you are a lot more capable, adaptable, and resilient than you think! A lot of people get put off from indie publishing because it is a lot of work (especially for one person!) but it is absolutely doable! You also don’t need to break the bank. Practice your craft! Learn how to edit and format and design. There are so many resources and a whole community of indie’s out there to help you! If you’re thinking about writing a book, give it a go. You’ll truly be amazed at what you can accomplish with a YouTube tutorial and a positive mindset!
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I’d like them to know that Found is dedicated to my dad who sadly passed away in 2021 after a short battle with Stage 4 Liver and Bone cancer. He was a wonderful man and a great dad. We miss him every day, but I hope he’d be proud of my work and above all, enjoy the story!
Thank you Gabby Skeldon for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Found today!
Mysterious Shadows. Arthurian legend. Dangerous magic.
Ten years after her father’s disappearance, Merle Wilde has lost hope she’ll ever find answers. Her Mum is convinced he was taken by the Shadows she sees, and that they’re coming back for Merle. In a last ditch attempt to save herself, Merle makes a blood wish. Will she find the answers she seeks?
The Knights Templar faces extinction. For hundreds of years the knights have protected the true heirs to Camelot from evil, but faery Queen Morgwese is determined to claim the throne for herself . As her power threatens to overwhelm them, the knights must start the search for Merlin’s Heir, the only sorcerer who can banish her for good.
When the mysterious Ren enters Merle’s life, claiming she’s the lost heir of the great wizard Merlin, and that the Shadows are not what they seem, Merle is catapulted into a world of magic, adventure, and legend. Tasked with protecting the Pendragon’s and with time running out, Merle must convince the Knights of the Round Table that she can claim Merlin’s magic and defeat Morgwese, before the fae bring ruin to them all.
Gabby is a YA Fantasy author based in Yorkshire. Gabby has grown up reading adventure stories and heading out into the woods, daydreaming about one day creating her own magical worlds and sharing this passion with others. When she’s not writing, Gabby works at the University of Huddersfield as a Global professional Award Trainer, delivering employability and skills training to young people. She spends most of her free time reading, cooking, going to the gym and spending time with her loved ones.
Etsy (signed copies): https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AuthorGabSkeldon