The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Belle Manuel! Her new release, Of Blades and Shadows (Soul Stealer Saga Book 1) released on June 5th 2021.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve been writing since middle school. I struggled really hard with depression and it was suggested to me that writing might help me. I wrote my first little story for classmates, and then they started paying me to print it out and put it in little notebooks. Then it was passed around the school and became a thing all throughout middle and high school. I don’t know how not to write, now.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I have to have my AirPods in. I literally cannot write without them in. When they die, I don’t know what to do and just sit there, waiting for them to charge back up so I can dive in.
How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
I’m always very invested in my books. Some of the deaths I’ve had to write really made me tear up while I was typing them. What I usually have to do is have a funny TV show ready and queued up for when I finish the harder scenes so that I can keep from getting too attached or consumed with the story.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
Officially, I’ve written three complete books: Books one and two of my Twisted Fates trilogy and one book in my Soul Stealer Saga. I would have to say Of Blades and Shadows has been my favorite thus far. I’m sure that will change once I have more under my belt, but right now Arayna’s story is my favorite to dive into.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo are by far the biggest influences on my writing. Maas I have been reading for years, and Bardugo I discovered shortly thereafter. I love Maas’ world building and Bardugo’s beautifully designed characters.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
Not that much, honestly. I wouldn’t mind readers reaching out, but I’m still early in my career. I’m sure that’ll come as more books are released and more people find my work. I used to get a lot of feedback on my old Wattpad stories, but I’ve since pulled those down as I’m putting more polished work out.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
Nothing right now. I’m in between books. I intend to re-read Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo soon.
What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Sarcastic, apathetic, creative
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
Oh, gosh, I’m so bad at these. I don’t know any modern actors anymore. Uh, I do love Kit Young for my character Zad in Of Blades and Shadows. I think his personality matches Zad’s well. Sujaya Dasgupta would be great for Arayna, too.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Keep honing your craft. Keep reading and perfecting and hustling. It’ll be worth it.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I put a lot of Easter eggs in there for readers. Like, a lot. So I’m anxious to see people find them as the series unfold. I also really put a lot of myself into my work. Arayna has my claustrophobia, Evolet has my stubbornness. Other characters have other attributes of mine, and I find that this helps me connect to my stories more easily.
Thank you Belle Manuel for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her newest release, Of Blades and Shadows today!
After sixteen years of living under the thumb of a brutal slaver, Arayna Gamon is given the chance to be a part of an elite group of assassins—Soul Stealers. Serving only the Dark Throne, Arayna must learn how to use her burgeoning magic to ferry souls to the Underworld.
Raised in the Deep South, Belle is a Sci-Fi and Fantasy author that revels in creating new worlds. She recently moved cross-country to be closer to the publishing world and is an editor for independently published writers. The Twisted Fates trilogy continues with A Reign So Wicked, released in April 2021.
June 2021, Of Blades and Shadows, the first book in the Soul Stealer Saga, was released! Follow social media to stay up to date on the latest news!