Today I am welcoming E. L. Li into the Indie Spotlight.
I knew ever since I was 7 that I loved writing. I wrote comics, screenplays, short stories, etc. I wrote series of screenplays designed for a video game back in high school, all taking place in the same fictional universe. In 2020, I decided to rewrite those massive projects in the form of fantasy novels. The ideas, characters, and main plot lines I came up with have existed for more than a decade. I grew very attached to my work over the years and have had ups and downs during my journey as a writer, whether it was dealing with imposter syndrome or the fear of having people see my work. Today, I am proud to have my debut novel set for release on February 8th, 2022.
Writing is a life-long passion of mine and I’m always thinking about my work, whether it’s ways to improve or ideas that I’ve come up with. My day-to-day life is spent working with media and entertainment, as I work full-time as an animation engineer in the video game industry. Outside of writing and my job, I love to bake, explore new places, travel, analyze media, play video games, watch shows and movies, and read of course.
Welcome to the Indie Spotlight E. L.
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
I knew pretty early on that I wanted to self-publish. I prefer freedom and having full creative control over my vision. Since my debut novel’s storyline already existed in the form of a screenplay, I rewrote it in the form of a manuscript in two months. It took nearly a year to edit, revise, and market everything. After completing the first draft, I revised, sought out feedback from beta readers, then revised again. I then went through some rounds of editing with a development editor and eventually a line and copy editor. Once that was done, I formatted my manuscript and set up the publishing through Amazon KDP and Barnes & Noble.
What made you decide to write in your specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
I mostly read fantasy books. I also consume other forms of media within the fantasy and sci-fi genres – video games, movies, shows, etc. I love how many possibilities you can have with creating your own fantasy worlds and rules. I’ve also written contemporary romance short stories that may or may not eventually be expanded and published. There are plans to possibly write a steampunk fantasy series at some point as well.
Do you only read the genre that you write?
Although my main focus is on the genre I write, I will read most other genres. I spend most of the time within the genre I write because that’s how I get better as a writer.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Is there a type of music you listen to for inspiration?
I’m currently reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore. The most recent TV series I watched was Arcane. In terms of music, I listen to a variety depending on the mood I’m in and the scene I try to write. Often times I listen to epic video game music when writing fight scenes, movie soundtracks for travelling scenes, and more angsty, sad piano music when trying to write an emotional scene.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Write the type of book YOU would want to read. Don’t write for anyone else or for the sake of catering to a market. Passion goes a long way and readers can tell if you are not passionate enough about your work. And don’t sacrifice your hard work for your ego.
What are you working on right now and what can we look forward to seeing from you next?
Currently I am working on the sequel to my debut novel! Everything is outlined so far!
Thank you very much for taking part in Indie Spotlight – good luck with your books!
Realm of Hope
Darkness is rising…
Gripping and action-filled, Realm of Hope is an epic science-fantasy tale with magic, supernatural powers, and a large and diverse cast, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson & The Olympians, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
For the first time in several millennia, nations set aside their differences. Only an interplanetary level threat could simmer down any tensions between leaders. Peace has never been eternal. Throughout the Mortal Realm, powerful bloodlines, clans, and royal families stepped up to save their worlds from the brink of destruction. Past heroes had plenty of living descendants with exclusive powers.
Annually, mortals aged five to six take an examination to determine if they’d possess inherent capabilities, such as heat immunity or the ability to travel at the speed of light, which would grant them the privilege of becoming trained Agents. Lumière Inc. placed those with potential into teams, training them for more than a decade.
Agents were symbols of hope. Decades passed, however, and cynicism rose. Morale needed a boost. Dream Teams formed. With bloodshed and shattered dreams recorded throughout history, they can only hope their fates won’t face inevitable doom. In the pursuit of tracking down the root cause of the rising everlasting darkness, our heroes must not lose sight of themselves.
Realm of Hope is the first book in the thrilling science-fantasy trilogy and sets up the Celestial Legacies Universe. E.L.Li’s debut novel depicts modern themes of dealing with loss, harsh realities, self-doubt, acceptance, rising up to pressure, and expecting the unexpected. Expect brutality, danger, and revelations in the fight for a cause that may be lost.