The Haanta Series is a fantasy series that begins with the alliance of two nations, Frewyn and the Haanta. Their alliance begins when Commander Boudicca MacDaede and the Den Asaan Rautu fall in love and must find a way to remain together despite the regulations set in place by their respective nations: Rautu as a warrior of his people and is not permitted to have a mate, but when he meets the commander and fights by her side for nearly a year, he decides to take her as a mate and keep his relationship a secret from his leaders. When they are forced to go to war against a common enemy, the two nations unite, allowing Boudicca and Rautu to stay together.From there, the series branches out to Rautu finding his lost brothers, King Alasdair of Frewyn finding a queen, Boudicca discovering things she never knew about her family, etc.
Thousands of readers visit your site to read daily short stories featuring all their favorite characters from the Haanta Series novels. Where did the whole idea for the Haanta series come about, and why did you decide to first publish them online rather than enter the world of publishers and agents?
When I lost my job due to the recession, my editor said to me: "You know, you haven't written a novel in a while." At this point, I hadn't written anything in six months. It was Christmas vacation and I figured I couldn't look for another job until after New Year's, so I starting writing short stories about a farmer-turned-commander and a giant. I started posting them online just to see what people thought of them. People seemed to like them so I wrote a few of them every day. When I had written about 700 stories, I decided that these two needed a novel. I wrote the first four books and a few of the stand-alones before sending them out to publishers.I put them out for free online chapter by chapter and many people seemed to enjoy them so I began to query agents.
How does it feel when you hear back from fans of your novels? How much they have gotten gripped in your novels and how they have fallen in love with your characters?
Everyone enjoys positive feedback, and I'm very fortunate to have many readers who enjoy the story as much as I enjoy writing it. A few people have written to me asking about certain characters and if they will appear in future books. It's nice to see that people become so engrossed with what they are reading.
The cover of The Commander and the Den Assaan Rautu series is amazing. It is so detailed and beautiful. Who designs the art work for you novels and how much say do you have in it?
You have also published Tales from Frewyn: Short Stories from the Haanta Series Vol. 1, which features daily short stories. The cover of this is also beautiful. Why did you chose for this cover to be not to be in colour? (In my opinion it makes it even more beautiful)
Personally, I prefer black and white. The artwork is so detailed and has such an art-nouveaux quality that I often feel colour will detract from it. I wanted the covers for all the books to be black and white but I was asked to at least have the first cover in colour.
The commander and the Den Assaan Rautu series is mainly fantasy mixed with romance. Is there any other genre you would like to tackle? i.e. chicklit, horror, dystopian, paranormal etc.
I was told by many agents and publishers to write paranormal because that's a hot genre right now, but I refused. High fantasy and epic fantasy have always been my genres of choice. I used to write chic-lit and urban fantasy, but I was never happy with how those books turned out.
When will the next book in the series be available? How many books is the series going to span?
Commander and Den Asaan Vol 1 is available now and Vol 2 will be available at the end of August. Khantara, the stand-alone book about Rautu's father, will be available at the end of July. The series so far is 21 books. We'll see how far it goes!
Thanks to Michelle for the interview :) You can purchase Michelle's books via Amazon, Smashwords & BarnesandNoble
You can check out Michelle's Official site: http://thehaanta.blogspot.com/ and the Official Art site: http://artoftwisk.blogspot.com/
Follow Michelle on twitter: @MrsDenAsaan & facebook
Michelle has kindly offered an Ebook of The Commander and the Den Asaan Rautu!
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