Author Interview: Gillian Bronte Adams

SP: Hi Gillian! We’re so excited to have you back on the Spinning Pen! Tell us about your latest book, Of Fire and Ash, coming out on December 7th with Enclave Publishing. Readers are likening your book to The Scorpio Races—and we couldn’t be more excited about it! How did this idea come to you?

GBA: I love The Scorpio Races, so I’m thrilled that readers are making that connection! Of Fire and Ash is the first book in The Fireborn Epic which is set in a world filled with magical horses. Some can breathe fire, others can quake the earth with their hooves, and still others can vanish into shadow and move without a sound. The main female character, Ceridwen, is a firerider, which means she rides one of the firebreathing horses. Exiled by her father after a tragic accident claims the life of her brother, Ceridwen serves her nation as an Outrider, patrolling the wilds of the kingdom to protect her people from threats. But when she stumbles across news of a widescale invasion from the empire across the sea, she has to carry the tidings home to her father in defiance of her exile, which sets the whole story in motion!

I have a vivid memory of the first moment this story sparked in my mind. It was probably nine years ago, and I was sitting in the back room of the camp office where I was the Head Wrangler, after a long day of teaching children to ride, and before I knew it, I was scribbling down ideas for seven different magical breeds of horses! It wasn’t long before I had a whole list of details about these fantastic creatures but it was months more before I found the right story to inhabit their world, and once I did, I couldn’t keep myself from thinking and dreaming about it.

SP: What a gorgeous preorder campaign! Did you come up with this?? Any advice to other authors struggling with preorder campaigns (and enviously drooling over yours)?

GBA: Oh, thank you! I knew fairly early on what I wanted to do for the preorder campaign, if I could find the right artist. Since the magical horses are one of the elements that truly make this story unique, I couldn’t wait to capture them on the page, and I managed to get in touch with my dream artist, and she got excited about the project and took it on!

As far as advice goes? Have fun with it! It’s super easy to overthink it (for me at least), but as the author you have the best feel for the heart of your book, which is what your ideal readers are going to connect with, and if you can tap into that with your preorder campaign, that’s wonderful. Preorder campaigns generally aren’t meant to convince someone who is not already interested in your book to buy it, but they can encourage people to go ahead and press “preorder” on a book they’re interested in buying, so thinking about it as that kind of an incentive was helpful for me.

SP: What’s been your favorite part of launching this book? Any marketing/book launch tips for other writers?

Early reader reactions have been completely blowing me away! Readers are connecting with the story and feeling all the feelings and sensing the epic heart of the book, so it’s hitting the way I hoped it would, which is just amazing. Any time you send out ARCs, it’s a slightly terrifying moment, so I never would have said that it was my favorite part of the process before, but getting such a strong positive reaction has been so encouraging!

Tips for authors? Understand that you cannot possibly do it all, and that’s okay! Authors are often launching one book while writing the next on deadline, and with only so many hours in every day, marketing and launching a book can quickly feel overwhelming, particularly if you feel like you have to do and be everywhere. So narrow down your social media list to the sites you enjoy/feel are particularly helpful for connecting with your audience, identify your strengths and play to them (which is why I haven’t jumped into making reels yet – the amount of time it would take me to make one right now, means it wouldn’t be helpful for me), decide how much time you can spend on marketing, and if you can, don’t be afraid to hire out or team up with friends to work on it together. This is something I’m still learning and growing in!

SP: What’s been your favorite part of your publishing journey up to this point?

GBA: Oh, that’s a hard question! I think every time you get to actually hold a book you’ve created in your hands, it’s just pure magic! My finished copies of Of Fire and Ash haven’t arrived yet, and I honestly can’t wait. That feeling is topped only by getting to see readers pick it up and watch their eyes light and their expression change as they read the first page and experience the story for the first time, which is why I absolutely love doing author events! I would be so happy to be out on the road connecting with readers all the time.

SP: Ok, we’re almost done and it’s time for the lightening round! Early bird or night owl?

Night owl

SP: Most obscure hobby? Soup making.

SP: Word you can never spell? This may be a trick question. Oh gosh … I don’t know. There’s a character name from Of Fire and Ash I always mistype but that’s because it is a tough one. I’m always typing Glyndwr as Glydnwr. It’s hard to spot it too!

SP: Alright, time’s up! We’re so sad to see you go! Womp. Womp. BUT…there’s way more where this came from. Where can we go to read more from you?

You can visit me on my website, where I will soon have a whole section dedicated to the world that we see in Of Fire and Ash. You’ll also be able to find out more about my other YA fantasy novels there. Or come chat about books and horses and wild adventures with me on Instagram!

Of Fire and Ash blurb

She rides a fireborn, a steed of fire and ash, trained for destruction.

Ceridwen tal Desmond dreams of ruling like her father over the nation of Soldonia, where warriors ride to battle on magical steeds—soaring on storm winds, vanishing in shadow, quaking the earth, and summoning the sea. After a tragic accident claims her twin brother, she is exiled and sworn to atonement by spending her life—or death—for her people.

But when invaders spill onto Soldonia’s shores and traitors seize upon the chaos to murder her father, Ceridwen claims the crown to keep the nation from splintering. Combatting overwhelming odds and looming civil war, she begins to wonder if the greatest threat to the kingdom may, in fact, be her.

With fire before her and ash in her wake, how can she hope to unite instead of destroy?

Flames rage and oceans rise in this explosive first installment of The Fireborn Epic as the exiled heir, a novice priest, and a reluctant rebel wage war against a hidden power that threatens to shake the world.

Amazon Pre-Order Link:

Book Depository:

Barnes and Noble:

Goodreads Link:

The rest of my books:

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