Good morning! Happy April! I am very happy to introduce a newly published author to you. Please meet Jennifer deBie, learn a little about how she started writing and see how she came to write Heretic.
How did I get started writing?
I honestly don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I come from a family of readers, and the power of a book, the absolute magic that comes with travelling to far off worlds and seeing distant skies without ever leaving your armchair was something I understood from a very young age. So if being an author, being a novelist in particular, is the closest I’m ever going to get to being a sorceress, empress, or goddess, I might as well become one. There is power in the written word, ancient magic that speaks to a legacy that spans generations, continents, and the whole of human history back to the stories our ancestors told on cave walls.
How could I not hunger to be a part of that?
As for this book, Heretic is my lockdown baby. I was born and raised in Texas, but I live in Ireland and in 2020, when the coronavirus hit Ireland, we got locked down hard. The only stores open were grocers and pharmacies, university students were sent home, everyone converted to work from home, and physical travel was restricted to a 5km radius around your house. It was bleak, and lonely being locked up tight so far away from my family.
I needed to get out of my own head and the four, badly painted walls of my flat, so I wrote a novel full of adventure and steam and blood and action. I made two characters with the kind of personalities that lend themselves to fun conversations and tossed them into the kind of situations that test a person’s mettle to the extreme, and then 80k words later I started sending my accidental novel to a few trusted beta readers, and six months after that started sending my manuscript out to publishers.
And now here we are, Heretic, the first entry in a dark/urban fantasy series titled The Hellmage Chronicles, released on March 30, 2022.
The blurb goes something like this:
The Hellmages, outcasts who feed on the deaths of friends, enemies, and each other, are shaking the earth, killing powerful mages, causing the kind of destruction the Mages’ Council was created to stop.
Siraj, a Lightkeeper who wields sunlight as a weapon and carries purification in his hands, is the only one who can meet with a Hellmage, find out who is upsetting the balance, and walk away unscathed, but there’s a problem.
The Hellmage he meets doesn’t know the earthshaker and magekiller either, but now she’s curious and if there’s anything worse than a curious Hellmage, it’s one who doesn’t fear being burned to death by a Lightkeeper’s touch.
You can read the first chapter here.