Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in The Iron Crown Book Book Blitz presented by Storytellers On Tour! This event featuring L.L. MacRae’s Epic Fantasy novel, The Iron Crown, kicked off yesterday and will run through tomorrow, and I have something special for you all today. L.L. stopped by to share her experience on her road to one million words written – you read that right – ONE MILLION WORDS! An impressive feat that absolutely deserves celebration. Be sure to keep an eye out throughout the next couple days for more featuring the first book in MacRae’s Dragon Spirits series. And if you missed yesterday, you can check out what went on on the Storytellers On Tour Twitter and Instagram pages!
Keep scrolling to learn more about the book and author, read an incredible guest post, and enter to win yourself a signed copy of The Iron Crown!
PAPERBACK FROM THE AUTHOR
Fenn’s first and only memory is finding himself in the middle of a forest, face to face with a dragon spirit mocking him, all knowledge gone apart from his own name.
Lost and confused, his only hope for answers is Calidra—a woman living on the edge of the world with her partner. Forced to return home when her father dies, Calidra has put off facing her estranged mother for seven years, and she begrudgingly helps Fenn, forging papers for him so he can avoid the Queen’s Inquisitors.
But her mother is the least of her worries when they discover an ancient enemy is rising again. It should be impossible with the Iron Crown in power—and Fenn is terrified he might unwittingly be playing a part in the war’s resurgence.
Surrounded by vengeful spirits and powerful magic, Fenn’s desperate attempt to find his way home might well alter the fate of Tassar, and every power in it.
A new high fantasy series bursts into life with the DRAGON SPIRITS who reign supreme in the magic-drenched world of Tassar.
My Road to One Million Words
by L.L. MacRae
Ever since I was young, I always wanted to write.
I wasn’t a storyteller as such. Speaking was never my forte.
It was all in my head. I was a daydreamer, and still am.
But writing? Where I could ponder events and characters, plan out twists and backstories, and get my thoughts down on paper? In my own time?
That was something I loved, and something I always wanted to do.
Whenever asked what I wanted to be when I was older, “author,” was always my default response.
The Iron Crown published in spring 2021. It marked my thirteenth overall book, ninth novel, and my millionth word published.
That’s right. One million. I’m staggered.
It was never a conscious goal I was heading towards, it just…sort of happened.
And as I only recently realised that I’d achieved it, it’s given me the perfect opportunity to look back at my journey thus far.
So, how did I get there?
Career-wise, I became a Copywriter after a stint in Marketing Communications. In every job I had (and most were office-based), I was able to push more and more towards writing, until writing was literally all I got paid to do.
My childhood dream of writing for a living had come true!
I was fortunate enough to work as both an in-house Copywriter, and later joined a marketing agency. It allowed me to write a variety of copy across a range of industries and strengthen my skills. Skills that I could bring into my fiction – something I still did during evenings and weekends.
However, as much as I enjoyed it, very few companies ever wanted dragons in their marketing copy. It was always technology, insurance, medical terminology. You know. Proper grown up business stuff.
Interesting, of course, but not the same as magic, sky pirates, and adventure!
Plenty of people say they’d love to write a book, if only they had the time. For many years, I was the same.
Mostly, I just needed a bit of a push.
Because I was born with the itch to write, jotting down stories and concepts was something I’d done all throughout my childhood and teenage years, and even into adulthood, on whatever I could find when inspiration struck. Scraps of paper. Notebooks. My phone. Ideas constantly swirled around my mind (probably all the daydreaming), and I really wanted to get a complete idea written and finished.
I’d heard of National Novel Writing Month (where all of November is dedicated to writing 50,000 words of a novel), and started taking part in 2013. It has a great community to keep you on track and motivated, and it was just what I needed.
NaNo was the catalyst to turn my, “I want to publish a book,” dream into a reality.
In fact, the draft I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2014 eventually became Moroda – my debut novel, published in March 2017.
Despite it being a literal dream come true, I had a panic attack when Moroda went live on Amazon.
Even now, with each new release, it doesn’t get easier. And if you had told me back in 2017 that I’d eventually go on to publish one million words, I never would have believed you.
Today, I have a full-time author career and over a dozen books released – with more on the way.
A New Chapter
Moroda was the first novel in my World of Linaria series.
There are now four books out in that series (plus a novella), with two more novels to come before the series is complete. I also wrote and published a four novel (and one novella) urban fantasy series about demon-hunting in London. It was a sort of palette cleanser – more YA, more fun, and definitely blew out some cobwebs.
And yet, I wanted to start a new epic fantasy. Linaria was my debut. It was fun. It has fans. But it was a little rough around the edges.
So, I started by writing a novella in a new series and released that at the end of 2020 – The Citrine Key.
It meant that, prior to The Iron Crown, I’d published a little over 900k words across three series. And writing The Iron Crown itself pushed my counter over the one million word milestone.
And what a milestone it is.
The journey has given me experience and confidence in bounds. I can far more easily stand by my work today and be proud of it – something I’ve always struggled with. (Imposter syndrome is strong with authors!)
It means there are almost one million words published between Moroda and The Iron Crown. Readers who have been with me since the start of my journey have commented on how much I’ve improved as a writer between those two books, and I wholeheartedly agree.
If I’m honest, that improvement is part of the reason why I’m currently re-writing Moroda and Palom (the first two Linaria novels) to re-release them as second editions later this year. It’ll bring them up to the quality I’m currently writing at, and as I am republishing all of my backlist under my new author name anyway, it was the perfect opportunity to do a re-write.
I hope I’ll look back in another million words and see how far I’ve come since The Iron Crown to whichever book I’m writing then!
Lauren is a fantasy author of character-driven stories and epic adventure. Her books usually contain dragons, rarely feature romance, and are typically fun and hopeful. She lives in a tiny village in the UK, has a degree in Psychology, and was a professional copywriter before going full-time as an author (it’s just more fun to write about dragons than corporate copy!) She has previously published under the name L.L. McNeil.
Enter to win a signed copy of The Iron Crown by L.L. MacRae!
International! • Ends 7/18