Subconsciously, Helen Garraway draws on her degree in politics and international relations to create the governmental inner workings of her fictional worlds. “(Her novels) are quite complex and developed. I love the worldbuilding aspect. I think my degree helped instill in me a sense of time management, working to deadlines, managing workloads and juggling projects. Writing a ten-thousand-word dissertation proved I could do the research and write a lot of words!”
But no matter how much she may wish it so, Garraway must retreat from her novels and into her day job as a product manager for a video conferencing company. However, she submerges herself in the world of the Sentinal Series at night and on weekends. “If I wrote full time then I would be able to edit the Sentinal series quicker!”
With two books under her belt, there are still things to learn, says Garraway. Something she’d ask an experienced author is how they found their readers. “There are millions if not billions of readers out there, and yet we are only able to touch a few. How do they get that broader reach, that fan base, because it is recommendations and word of mouth that really drive your book sales.”
With arguably one of the hardest challenges an author faces when starting their novel, Garraway says she knew not her character’s names, but what she wanted them to stand for. “I wanted something to do with protectors or guardians, but sentinels reminded me of AI or science fiction, whereas I am writing epic fantasy in a feudal setting. So I changed the ‘e’ for an ‘a’ and I have my own Sentinals… Originally,” confesses Garraway, “the goddess was Leylandii, and then the feedback was that she sounded like a tin of paint or a conifer tree.:
Garraway has plans for five more books and two that are half-finished. You can find her on the links below!