Hey there again friends! You may be wondering why I'm posting here on the blog when I recently sent out a group email saying that I'm taking a break from posting... well, around that time, a blogging friend of mine, Annabelle @ Pen & Ink reached out to me and asked if I'd be interested in being a part of her book tour! Of course I accepted, and so, here we are! Annabelle Batie's new book, Identity, was released on March 1st! Her book looks so exciting, so make sure to go check out her book on Amazon, and visit her awesome blog! But before you go, stick around to the end of this post, because Annabelle agreed to let me interview her! I has a lot of fun putting together all these questions, and I hope you enjoy hearing her answers... without further ado, author Annabelle Batie!
// Author Bio //
Annabelle Batie is a teenage author and book-enthusiast. She loves mermaids and all kinds of fantasy, and thoroughly enjoys reading and/or writing a good book. She is very passionate about her Christian faith, and she wants to share that passion with others. You will typically find her at her desk writing, playing the piano, or hanging out with her friends. She lives in Traverse City, Michigan, where she homeschools with her three younger siblings and parents. You can visit her on her website, annabelle.batie.com.
// Interview Questions //
1) How does it feel to have a book published so young? What were the actual expectations from those around you when you started seriously writing?
Honestly, it feels really great to get this book published. It's been a really long process, and I'm so glad I finally accomplished my goal of publishing!
Yeah, when I started writing seriously, most people didn't really expect much. My family was always supportive, but they mostly thought of my love for writing as a hobby. Most of my friends thought it was super cool that I was so passionate about writing, but again, I don't think most people really took me seriously. To some extent, publishing Identity has been my way of proving to people that I am capable of writing and publishing a book, and other kids can too! One of my biggest hopes with publishing this book is that other people are inspired to follow their own hopes and dreams and not give up, no matter what the world tells them.
2) Which character in your book would you say you relate to the most?
That's a good question! I definitely relate with Maria (the main character) the most. Her personality is the most similar to mine, and she struggles with some things that I struggle with or used to struggle with. She's not very self-confident (at least at the beginning of the story), and I can definitely be the same way sometimes too. So I definitely relate to her a lot.
3) Where did you get the inspiration for your story?
Well, to be honest, my first spark of inspiration came from a different story I read online (I don't remember the title anymore, and I think whoever wrote it deleted it). It was a Christian story about a girl who discovered she was half mermaid, and that's what got my mind working. The thing was, the author never finished that story, and it stopped right on a huge cliffhanger. I realized that I had the power to finish that story for myself and maybe even rewrite it in my own style, doing it better! I started writing, originally following a very similar plot to that story. But over time, more ideas and inspiration piled up, and the plot and characters began changing. Today, Identity has taken on an entirely new form and has turned into its own unique story.
Another huge source of inspiration for me was Andrew Peterson's Wingfeather Saga. Before I read the mermaid story online, I discovered the Wingfeather Saga books, and that's where my inspiration to write a story came from. I tried a few different stories, but none of them felt right until I started writing Identity.
4) Who (or what) has been your greatest influence in the success of your writing?
As I just mentioned, Andrew Peterson was a huge influence on my passion for writing in the beginning. Also, everyone in the Young Writer's Workshop helped me a lot. I am no longer a part of YWW, but the time I did spend there really helped me grow as a writer, and also make good connections with other young writers like me.
Also, my good friend Madelyn has been a huge source of help and encouragement. My awesome editor/friend Kayti has also been amazing! And Mr. Gary Bower (author of Gulliver Wimple and the Gems of Dara Mhor) has been a great source of help and advice. Yeah, I've had a lot of great people who have influenced me.
I guess I couldn't pick just one influence lol...
5) How old were you when you began seriously writing?
I'd say I was probably eleven years old, almost twelve. I always enjoyed writing from a young age, but I never considered it as a career until I got a bit older and realized that it was possible for young people to do great things!
6) Which book character (from any time period) would you compare yourself most to?
Wow, that's a hard question! I think I would mostly compare myself to Janner from the Wingfeather Saga, as I think we have very similar personalities. I'm the oldest of four kids, and I can relate to Janner's need to protect them. I also don't think of myself as a "reckless" person (like Janner's brother, Kalmar), I think I'm a bit more cautious. (Although, it depends on the situation. Socially speaking, I'm an extreme extrovert.)
7) How do you personally overcome common writing problems like writer’s block and staying motivated?
One of the things that help me overcome writer's block is taking a break from writing, usually only for a couple of months. I took multiple breaks while I was writing Identity, especially during the editing stages (which felt like they took forever). Taking a break allowed me to focus on other things for a while, and I found that after a couple of months, I was actually excited to start writing again.
Talking to friends or family also helped renew my inspiration and passion for writing. Talking about my writing helped renew my vigor and make me want to keep doing it! Doing short story collaborations with other writer friends also was a huge help, as collaborating is always so much fun, and it reminds me why I started writing in the first place!
8) Did you ever imagine you would get to this point in your writing (and so early!)?
Actually, I did imagine it, many times. After I started writing Identity and I realized that it could turn into an actual novel, I began thinking I might like to publish it. Even when I was younger, I wrote stories just for fun and considered self-publishing them, but I never got around to it. So yes, I did see myself publishing a book, but at times, the goal of publishing definitely felt far-off.
9) What is your target audience for Identity, and what type of genre readers are you aiming for?
I think anyone between the ages of 9 and 18 will most enjoy reading Identity, but it's technically written for the young adult audience. I still feel like it's borderline between young adult and middle grade, and that's why I recommend such a large age range. I think most young people will enjoy reading it!
Identity also includes a pretty wide spectrum of genres, so again, I think most people will like it. However, anyone who likes fantasy, romance, and action/adventure is most likely to be drawn to this book.
10) How long has the WHOLE process of writing, publishing, designing, etc. of Identity taken?
I'd say it's taken about three years overall... writing the very first draft only took me a few months, but as I started coming up with new ideas, I rewrote the first draft at least three times to get it just the way I wanted it. So the final first draft took me about two years to complete. Then the editing process took me almost another year, and I'd say that was the hardest part of writing Identity. Publishing didn't take too long, but designing the cover did take some time, probably a few months to get it perfect. Overall, I've spent a lot of time on my book.
11) What would be your #1 piece of advice to young writers (like yourself), who are possibly looking into writing seriously or publishing their first book?
DON'T GIVE UP. No matter what people tell you, no matter how hard it is; if you set a goal to publish or write a book, stick to it. It might be hard, but if you persevere, it's totally worth it in the end.
Secondly, pray about it. You want to be sure that writing is your calling for this time in your life, and you shouldn't take the decision lightly. Writing isn't always easy, and it's super important that you ask God if it's really the right thing for you.
So pray about your writing, and don't give up on it, even when it's hard!
12) Can you give us any peeks into the future of your writing as an author - can we expect more from you?
Yes, you can definitely expect more from me! Firstly, I have a blog where I post weekly, you can check that out here.
And I definitely am planning on publishing more books! Identity is only the first in a series of four books, so I will be working toward publishing the other books as soon as I get them written!
// Identity Blurb //
Maria Brooks is just a plain orphan girl with a mysterious past. On the day of Maria’s sixteenth birthday, everything seems normal. From being required to do chores at the orphanage to being bullied by girls at school, nothing seems to be amiss. But when Maria goes swimming at the beach the next day, she discovers a secret about herself she didn’t even know: she’s a mermaid.
As Maria explores her newfound ability to change from mermaid to human, she finds herself in the midst of an underwater war that contains the secret to her past. In the midst of all this, she finds new friendship, but with friendship comes trust, and with trust comes risk. Will she be able to stand strong as the tidal waves of doubt crash against her?
// Tour Schedule //
Wednesday, March 1
Annabelle Batie - Tour Kickoff
Thursday, March 2
Rhys-Marie Whitnell - Spotlight
Kaytlin Phillips - Review
Friday, March 3
Vanessa Hall - Spotlight
Ava Coulter - Interview
Break for the weekend…
Monday, March 6
Joy Calle Martinez - Spotlight
Lorelei Angelino (Pinterest) - Spotlight
Aletheianna Mercy - Spotlight
Tuesday, March 7
Mayim - Interview
Kylie Beevers - Interview
Wednesday, March 8
Grace A. Johnson - Spotlight
Micah Collier - Interview
Thursday, March 9
Adele H. (Newsletter) - Review
Rosie Rydell - Interview
Friday, March 10
Annabelle Batie - Tour Wrap-Up
// Links //
Identity (Daughters of the Sea: Book 1) - Amazon
Well friends, I hope you enjoyed reading about Annabelle's new book, and getting to know her as an author a little more. Again, take some time to go check out her blog, and also consider buying the book for yourself; Identity is available in both Kindle and paperback.
Thank you Annabelle for taking the time to answer my questions, and good luck with your writing journey! I can't wait to read the book for myself! I'll see you all in a few weeks! Have a lovely day! <3