Author Interviews

5 Fantasy Authors to Check Out This Year

By: Hidden Gems on January 17, 2023

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on January 17, 2023


Each month we have the opportunity to interview the writers that bring awe-inspiring stories to your eReaders. From debut authors, to seasoned pros we’ve enjoyed getting to know these folks and learning about their inspiration and lives outside of writing. Today we’re pleased to bring you a round-up of five recent interviews with fantasy authors dedicated to bringing you stories full of wonder and imagination.

Self-published and traditionally published authors face a lot of competition to be seen with well over 1 million books published every year, according to Bowker. Through the Hidden Gems ARC program, we’ve introduced readers to books in over 15 genres from authors of all walks of life, from just starting out to well seasoned pros. It’s been an honor connecting readers and writers through stories and feedback.

The Hidden Gems ARC program is 100% free for readers. Each morning we send out offers for books from any of the genres you’ve chosen to hear about and you only sign up for the ones that interest you.  Selected readers will be sent those eBooks to read and review on Amazon.  So if you want to read from an unlimited number of titles in a variety of genres, for FREE, just sign up here.

We love catching up with the talented authors who share their words and stories with the world, and today we’re doing a round-up of five recent interviews with fantasy authors dedicated to bringing you stories full of wonder and imagination. We’re sure this list may include your next favorite author!

JP McLean is a Hidden Gems fan favorite, and it’s no surprise why. According to her official author bio, McLean is a bestselling author of urban fantasy and supernatural thrillers. She is a Global Book Award winner, a CIBA finalist, and has received honours from the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and the Victoria Writers’ Society. Reviewers call her books addictive, smart and fun.

When asked, “how do you come up with character names?” McLean said, Good question! I’ve been known to resort to the phone book and online sites. I try to keep the names varied, not only in the number of syllables, but in the first letter they start with, and I mix in names from different ethnic groups to better reflect Canadian society.

In Blood Mark, Jane’s name evolved from Jane Doe, but I had a lot of trouble coming up with the antagonist’s name. I ended up asking readers for their suggestions based on my rather unflattering description of him. Other names come to me right away, like Emelynn in my first book, Secret Sky. Emelynn was a name I’ve loved since I first heard it years ago in Vancouver. And one of the antagonists in the Gift Legacy series is named Carson Manse, which I fashioned after the murderer, Charles Manson.”

Check out our interview with JP McLean and let us know which of her books you’ll dive into first!

Love YA Fantasy or have a young adult reader you want to introduce to the genre? You won’t want to miss what Sean Fletcher has to offer. He’s an Amazon-bestselling and award-winning author with many bingeworthy series that you can find on Amazon and in KU!

When asked, “where do you find inspiration or what inspires you to write your stories?” Fletcher said, “This is one of those questions that I love but absolutely hate answering, because the truth is I don’t know! For me, stories have always been about taking difficult subject matter or complex themes and translating that into palatable fantasy settings with relatable characters that readers can interact with the world through. When I think of some of my favorite books and movies, it wasn’t just the story, world, and characters that made me love it; those that made me really think about something a different way, those that left an impact on me long after I’d left the theatre or closed the back cover were what really resonated me. I suppose those kinds of works are my inspiration and I strive with every new book to improve just a little bit more to try to make that a reality for my own work.

As far as where I get my ideas, the truth is mostly everywhere. Other books, my travels, awkward situations I’ve witnessed or been in, dangerous situations I’ve witnessed or been in, movies, things I see on the news or read about or just imagine while I’m daydreaming. Lately, more of my ideas for plots, themes, or scenes have been more conceptual, meaning the plot centers more around a central, unique idea that I try to play around with. These I get mostly from a lot of introspection about my own life and the lives of others (and let’s face it, we all had quite a bit of time for introspection this last year and a half; at least I did), and I try to translate more complex ideas and emotions into the attitudes and actions of my younger characters. Sometimes these ideas are a miss and sometimes they hit, but I love trying them out and they help fuel me to keep bettering my writing.”

Learn more about Fletcher’s books and where you can go to learn more, in our interview.

Love a complex fantasy filled with mystery? Look no further than Ben J Henry’s Order of Chaos trilogy. According to the book description, The Order of Chaos is a fantasy trilogy for young adults and adults young at heart. Readers who enjoy complex, unfolding mysteries like His Dark Materials are invited to follow Alicia to a realm where thoughts and insecurities are laid bare.

In our interview, Ben J Henry said, “I’ve been lucid dreaming for twenty years now, and it still blows my mind. In a lucid dream, you’re aware that you’re dreaming and can sometimes even manipulate the environment. You’ll be standing in a room that looks as real as waking life, and can conjure anything that you can think of. It’s like virtual reality, but drawing from every experience you’ve ever had, and limited only by your imagination. In my trilogy, we take the concept one step further: what if, through lucid dreaming, you could escape your mind and interact with other lucid dreamers?

If you’re an avid fantasy reader, internationally bestselling author of fantasy and romance A.L. Hawke may be a household name. Witches, goddesses, nymphs, ghosts, and genius geneticists built into stories involving friendship and love, culture versus ferality, sanity and mortality are what you can expect in these fascinating adventures.

When asked, “what feeling do you hope readers are left with when they finish one of your novels?” A.L. Hawke said, “I think justice is an underlying theme in all my books: if my characters find love and reciprocate it, they’re saved; If they’re nasty and cold, they achieve the darkness they deserve. Love is an essential ingredient, and romantic love is arguably its strongest manifestation. That’s why romance is pervasive in all my works. For I think we all need relationships—or the love found from friendship or family—to find happiness.”

Learn more about A.L. Hawke’s writing process and publication journey in our interview linked here.

Multi-genre author, Roy M. Griffis writes comic fantasy in addition to historical fiction, alternative history and action-adventure screenplays. According to his official author bio, regardless of the subject or the setting, Griffis writes gripping, emotionally immersive work that transports the reader to another time and place.

In our interview with Roy M. Griffis he explained, “For any of my books, I want readers to have had a good time reading a compelling yarn.  I want them to have laughed and gasped, perhaps shed a tear or two, and had their hearts pounding.  I want them to have gone on an emotional ride with me;  intense without being explicit, compelling without being excessively coarse, graphic without being gross.  Of course, for the comic fantasy, I want them to have laughed a lot.”

Don’t miss out on all of the awesome books these talented authors have to offer to fantasy lovers, and newbies alike!

Readers in the Hidden Gems ARC program enjoy books from authors like those mentioned above, and many more in over 15 genres. If you want to read more, for FREE, just sign up for the Hidden Gems ARC program. Each morning we send out offers for books from any of the genres you’ve chosen to hear about and selected readers will be sent those eBooks to read and review on Amazon.

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