Author Interview: Tahani Nelson

Tahani Nelson

  1. We’ll skip the “tell us about yourself” because coming up with something on the spot is, truly, the bane of an author’s existence. So, let’s start with something a little easier! Tell me what you’re working on at the moment.

Currently I’m finishing up the editing process for the final book in my fantasy series. Faoii Ascended is the highly anticipated conclusion to the Faoii Chronicles and I’m incredibly excited to share the ending of this tale with all of you. It releases on November 16, and I could not be more excited!

  1. In as much detail as you would like, tell me about your book(s) that are already out/on the way.

My debut series, The Faoii Chronicles, is an epic military fantasy that features strong heroines and matriarchal societies. It follows the evolution of the Faoii Order—the protectors of Imeriel. Wielding both magic and blade, these women have held back ancient evils and maintained sacred rites for millennia. But when a dark war uncovers secrets that even the Faoii cannot keep hidden, it starts a chain of events threatening the free will of an entire continent.

As old leaders fall and new ones rise to take their place, a warrior, a thief, and a launderer all strive to fix what’s been broken. But none can see how their actions affect the Eternal Tapestry—and all are unknowingly bound to the Threads that the others grasp.

In an intricate tale that spans centuries, The Faoii Chronicles is both empowering and immersive. Everyone has the power to forge their own destiny—and even the smallest actions can change the Weave in monumental ways.

  1. As far as the writing process goes—including such things as conception of idea all the way through to money in the bank—what is the least favourite bit? (Everyone has one!)

I think that most Indie Authors struggle with marketing. There are so many books out there—it’s nearly impossible to be seen in that literary sea. A lot of the time it feels futile to even try. I do enjoy the parts of marketing I actively seek out, though. I enjoy interviews and meeting new people. I do all of my events, signings, and readings in armor, and that’s a lot of fun. I think even the worst parts of any industry can be made enjoyable if you’re willing to take risks and try new things.

4. Conversely, what is the bit of the writing process that gets your writery brain grinning?

I love that moment when a new idea or story forms at the back of my head and starts scratching behind my eyeballs. I love exploring worlds and cultures no one has ever seen, bringing them to life with ink and prose. And, above all, I love seeing other people connect with those words that I created out of nothing. To have someone recognize me at an event or message me on social media just to say that they enjoyed my work? That’s absolutely divine, and it can keep me going for months afterward.

5. If you could steal any author’s ability to improve your own work, who would you steal from and why? (e.g. Tolkien’s language skills, Douglas Adams’ humour, etc.)

I marvel at Stephen King’s just… complete lack of Imposter Syndrome. He’s able to write without fear or doubt. Never worries that his writing isn’t good enough for those who will read it. And that amazes me.

King has said in multiple interviews that he never gets stuck or feels like he has to go back and erase what he’s already written because it might be a bad idea—only that it can be improved with editing at a later step. He seems so completely unfazed by critique or self-doubt. I would give almost anything for that. I fight Imposter Syndrome constantly, and it’s often crippling. To be able to just… write? That sounds like a dream.

6. Now for some fun! The main character of the book you’re working on (or have recently finished) has kidnapped you for ruining their life. How will you explain that what you’re doing is for the best?

Well, Ehryn. If you hadn’t faced everything I put you through recently then surely you wouldn’t have even had the strength or will to kidnap someone, would you? Look at you. When we met, you were willing to give everything of yourself just so others would accept you. You found purpose only in other people’s joy. You cared more for their happiness than your own. Now you’ve grown into a warrior, able to change the Weave in a million different ways—able to guide others and help them find themselves without the turmoil you had to endure. You’re a beacon of hope for all that will follow in darkness after you, and for once you’re willing to stand up for yourself—to face those that hurt or disregard you. Tell me, Ehryn: Are you not worthy?

7. You, your main character(s), and the protagonist of the last book you read are playing poker. What are the stakes? Who will win and why?

I just finished re-reading Fahrenheit 451. It’s kind of ironic that Ehryn, Guy, and I would be the three to find ourselves at that table, because we all kind of want the same thing: For stories not to be forgotten. To carry forward something that will outlive us.

As for stakes, I think we would play for stories. Winner gets to pick which ones to carry forward. Not that it would be much of a game. Guy Montag would win hands down, since he actually plays poker in his book. I don’t think either Ehryn or I have ever had the chance.

8. Let’s face it, writing is hard. What do you think are some traps to avoid in your particular area of expertise? (Whether that be your genre, your knowledge of plot, your character building, your world building, etc.)

There are a lot of traps in the writing industry, but I think Comparison is the worst.

Listen: Don’t spend your time and energy comparing yourself to other Indie Authors—Especially comparing yourself to the version you see on their social media. Comparison is the thief of joy. There will always be someone who writes more each night or who makes more in royalties or who has more awards. There will always be reasons to think you’re not good enough. And focusing on those things will sap the joy out of writing faster than anything else.

Instead, try to think back to the beginning. Those moments of joy and excitement and passion when you first called yourself an author. That person would be so proud of how far you’ve come. And rightfully so.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone other than the person you were a year ago. Or five. Or ten. Make that person proud. The rest will follow.

9. Anything else you’d like to add? Plots to take over the world, for example. Upcoming release dates, links and things, maybe even your favourite chocolate cake recipe.

Faoii Ascended, the last book in theseries, releases on November 16. I also have a supplemental anthology filled with stand-alone stories that further explore the universe coming out on October 20. The anthology (titled The First Faoli and Other Stories) is not necessary as part of the Faoii Chronicles, but I wanted to offer a gift to my readers as thanks for them standing by me through this entire journey. I could never have come this far without my Faoii Army.

Shields up!