Meet the Author: Helen Scheuerer

Posted June 22, 2021 by Lillian in Features, Interviews / 0 Comments

Happy Tuesday y’all! Today I’m so excited to have Helen Scheuerer here for an interview. Helen is the YA fantasy author of the bestselling trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles, and the prequel collection, Dawn of Mist. Her work has been highly praised for its strong, flawed female characters and its action-packed plots.

Born in Australia, Helen’s love of writing and books led her to pursue a Bachelor of Creative Writing, majoring at the University of Wollongong and a Masters of Publishing at the University of Sydney. Now a full-time author, Helen lives amidst the mountains in New Zealand and is constantly dreaming up new stories. Her next series, Curse of the Cyren Queen hits shelves in July 2021 with the first epic installment, A Lair of Bones.


Let’s start off with an easy one. Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do when you’re not writing?

Of course! I’m an Australian author living in Queenstown, New Zealand, which has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. I write young adult fantasy books, full of dark worlds with unlikely heroines. I have a completed series out called, The Oremere Chronicles, which is often compared to Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass books and the epic girlpower film, Wonderwoman. I’ve also got a brand new series starter on the way, A Lair of Bones.

When I’m not writing, I love exploring everything New Zealand has to offer – stunning walks and beautiful wineries to name a few!

What inspired you to become a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I can even remember writing my first story at age 7. I suppose I’ve been writing ever since. I think I always dreamed of seeing my words in print.

As for novels, I completed a few terrible manuscripts in my early teens, always preferring novel-length works rather than the shorter forms (which sometimes I actually find harder!). My first published book, Heart of Mist, came out in 2017 and I haven’t looked back.

That’s incredible, writing since 7! Talk us through your writing process.

I’m going into my fourth year of writing full-time, so there’s definitely a need to have things streamlined at this point and I like to think that I’ve refined my writing process over the years. When I first started out, I wasn’t particularly mindful of plotting and outlining, whereas now, that’s something I do intensely before I start work on a manuscript.

I use a beat sheet to determine the particular ‘bigger moments’ in the book, before drilling down into a chapter by chapter, and then scene by scene outline. By learning to take my time during these initial stages, it’s meant my writing goes a lot quicker and it certainly helps minimise larger structural issues when it comes to editing!

Then it’s onto beta reader rounds, copyediting and proofreading – all the fun stuff!

Do you base anything off real life experiences or is it all purely fiction?

While I don’t base characters off people I know, or use events in my real life to write my books, there are definitely some elements from personal experience that tend to weave themselves throughout. In particular, in my new book, A Lair of Bones, the main character Roh struggles with spiraling thoughts and a form of undiagnosed anxiety, which is something I deal with on a regular basis.

There’s also a character who deals with chronic pain in his hands, which is similar to what I experience, as I suffer from carpal tunnel and nerve damage. These details are never a deliberate thing, they just seem to find their way into various characters and their narratives.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last two years to get ahead in my Curse of the Cyren Queen series, so I’m actually working on Book 3 in that, despite the fact that Book 1, A Lair of Bones isn’t yet released.

My plan is to have a quicker release schedule than my last series, so it’s all about pushing forward with the later books and ensuring they’re ready in time! Though, I will say that I already have a concept for the series that comes after Curse of the Cyren Queen – I’m all about the planning these days!

What is the hardest criticism you’ve had to deal with since becoming a published author? Best compliment?

That’s a great question… This isn’t really a direct criticism of me and my work, but it was directed at me and it has stayed with me ever since… Essentially, I pitched myself as a guest on a podcast (on which I had been featured before) and the response was something like, ‘we’ll only have you on if you tell us how much money you earn’. They wanted to go into minute detail about my income as an indie author, rather than provide me with the same opportunity and platform to discuss my work, which is what they do for traditionally published authors. It left a bitter taste in my mouth and after I very politely replied pointing out the differing treatment, I never received a response. This was after three years of writing full-time, of 4 Amazon bestselling titles… I thought that we had moved on from these prejudices and stigmas against indie authors, but apparently I was wrong!

As for the best compliment… I’m lucky to have received many kind words over the years from readers and reviewers alike. One I’ll never forget is someone calling me ‘the queen of fantasy’ – I’m pretty sure that’s every author’s dream 🙂

Any advice you’d like to share with aspiring writers?

This may seem a bit tongue-in-cheek, but be wary of who you take advice from. There’s so much of it out there, a lot of it given by people who perhaps don’t have the right experience… So before you take action based on someone else’s advice, look into them.

Now for a few fun questions….

Favorite color?

Grey and green 🙂

Favorite movie?

Oh that’s hard… I do always return to Lord of the Rings.

Favorite TV show?

I watched Shadow and Bone earlier this year and fell head over heels with the whole cast!

Favorite place to write?

My office.

Literary crush? Who do you fangirl over?

Jamie Fraser. Today and every day 😉

If you had to choose just one book, what would it be and why?

I suppose it really depends on the context, but right now I’m in a massive Outlander phase, so probably one of those!


Don’t Miss A Lair of Bones, Out 7/14/21

Meet the Author: Helen ScheuererA Lair of Bones by Helen Scheuerer
Series: Curse of the Cyren Queen #1
Published by Alchemy Books on 2021-07-14
Length: 474 pages

A deadly contest. A vaulting ambition. How far will one cyren go to win?

Mighty cyrens have ruled the ancient lair of Saddoriel for centuries. A cavernous fortress, a subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and levels, powered by magic and music…

From the moment she was born, Roh, the daughter of an infamous criminal, has been despised by her own kind. Restricted to the Lower Sector and forced to work as a common bone cleaner, she has always believed she belongs above: where lies adventure… and power.

Opportunity arises in the form of the Queen’s Tournament, a treacherous set of trials that could see the victor crowned ruler of the entire lair. Up against the most cunning, dangerous cyrens in all the realms, does Roh stand a chance?

A Lair of Bones is the first gripping book in the dark fantasy quartet, Curse of the Cyren Queen.

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