Author: Julia Ember
Publication Date: August 22, 2017
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press
Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.
Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.
When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.
If I Knew Then What I know Now – About Writing
In some ways, I think I had healthier writing habits when I was an aspiring author. I put aside time daily to write, and I was regimented in my approach. But once you get published, there are so many promotional things that start to erode away your time. For me at least, working full-time in addition to keeping up a publishing schedule, has meant that my actual writing time has decreased. With that in mind here is the main thing I wish I had known then:
Before I published a book, I was in a huge rush to publish. Writing seemed a little bit like a race. I needed to write quickly so I could edit. I needed to edit quickly so I could go on submission. I had a diligent schedule because I knew that was the way I’d finish swiftly, and be closer to my goal of publication. Publishing is often a game of hurrying up so you can wait, and I was definitely beholden to that idea as an aspiring author. Whenever I logged in twitter, it seemed like all my writing friends were getting book deals, or landing agents. I wanted to be one of them. Especially after I started attending conferences, the pressure just seemed to build. There is a certain, acute type of imposter syndrome that comes with being an unpublished writer at conferences. I went to my first writer’s conference in October 2015, the year before I got published, and I had to battle feelings of not belonging. I think part of my rush was trying to overcome that feeling, and to believe I had a place in the writing community.
Now that I have multiple books out, I find myself longing to slow down. I have long, epic stories that I want to tell; new worlds I want to build. Instead of rushing to get those published, I want them to exist as my own private creative space for a while. I wish when I was an aspiring author that someone would have told me to cherish the writing part of the process. This is a lesson I really didn’t learn until after I had three books under contract, when a little voice in my head started screaming for more writing time. I’ve also learned that there is a place for writers in the community, no matter what level you are at. Some authors may snub unpublished writers, but those same authors are also likely to snub published writers who are less successful – it took me a while to realise, that those authors are simply assholes. There are a lot of great people in the community, from unpublished writers to NYT bestsellers. The people who treat everyone with respect are the people worth your time!
At the moment, it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll be able to dwell in my own worlds for a while. I have two contracted sequels to deliver this fall, one for The Tiger’s Watch and the other for The Seafarer’s Kiss. But I have a new, fresh WIP that I am in love with, that I have promised myself time to savour. Your manuscript is only really yours until its under contract, and with my future books, I plan to really make the most of that time.
Originally from Chicago, Julia Ember now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She spends her days working in the book trade and her nights writing teen fantasy novels. Her hobbies include riding horses, starting far too many craft projects, PokemonGo and looking after her city-based menagerie of pets with names from Harry Potter. Luna Lovegood and Sirius Black the cats currently run her life.
Julia is a polyamorous, bisexual writer. She regularly takes part in events for queer teens, including those organised by the Scottish Booktrust and LGBT Youth Scotland. A world traveler since childhood, she has now visited more than sixty countries. Her travels inspire the fantasy worlds she creates, though she populates them with magic and monsters.
Julia began her writing career at the age of nine, when her short story about two princesses and their horses won a contest in Touch magazine. In 2016, she published her first novel, Unicorn Tracks, which also focused on two girls and their equines, albeit those with horns. Her second novel, The Seafarer’s Kiss will be released by Interlude Press in May 2017. The book was heavily influenced by Julia’s postgraduate work in Medieval Literature at The University of St. Andrews. It is now responsible for her total obsession with beluga whales.
In August 2017, her third novel and the start of her first series, Tiger's Watch, will come out with Harmony Ink Press. In writing Tiger's Watch, Julia has taken her love of cats to a new level.
(2) winners will receive a signed paperback of The Tiger's Watch by Julia Embers (INT)