By way of introduction, here is Charlie Holmberg’s bio:
Charlie N. Holmberg is the author of the Numina Series and the Wall Street Journal bestselling Paper Magician Series, which has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company.
She is also the author of five stand-alone novels, including Followed by Frost, a 2016 RITA award finalist for Best Young Adult Romance, and The Fifth Doll, winner of the 2018 Whitney for Speculative Fiction.
Born in Salt Lake City, Charlie was raised a Trekkie alongside three sisters who also have boy names. She is a proud BYU alumna, plays the ukulele, and owns too many pairs of glasses. She currently lives with her family in Utah.
Hello, Charlie, welcome to Angel Kiss Publications. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.
Is writing your full-time profession?
It is! I consider that one of the greatest blessings of my life. That I not only have an opportunity to write stories that others will read, but that enough people read them to allow me to support my family. It really is a dream come true.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing when I was 13, though I didn’t take it super seriously until I was 18. I was nineteen when I finished my first novel. 26 when I debuted.
Have you won any literary awards?
If the Whitneys count, then yes. I did come in as a finalist for the ALA awards and the RITAs.
How many published books have you written?
Spellbreaker is my 13th published novel. After I fulfill my current contract, I’ll have 17 published novels (and a smattering of short fiction).
Which genres do you write?
I write fantasy first and foremost, and then I dive into historicals on occasion and romance always. 😉
What are you working on now?
I’m working on the sequel to Star Mother, a book I just sold to 47North. The idea behind that story is that stars, the batteries of the universe, can only be born by the Sun god and a mortal woman, and the mortal woman always perishes. Until one day, she doesn’t.
What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
I’ve had so many amazing things happen in my career, but the one that makes me the most excited was selling my debut series to the Walt Disney Company.
What are your favorite books?
Romantic fantasy is my favorite genre overall. That said, my favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson and Amy Harmon. The latter’s The Bird and the Sword is one of my favorite novels of all time. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin is another favorite.
Who has influenced your writing the most?
Brandon Sanderson and Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli. I was able to take creative writing courses from the first; he’s a fantastic teacher and one of my favorite authors.
I’m always inspired by the creativity of the second, and feel that watching Studio Ghibli movies can get me out of any creative rut.
Do you have a website/Facebook page etc.?
Yes, I do.
Where can we find your books?
You can find them on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com, your local library, and on my website at charlienholmberg.com/shop.
Thank you, Charlie, for spending time with us and sharing your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!
Charlie’s Featured Book
The orphaned Elsie Camden learned as a girl that there were two kinds of wizards in the world: those who pay for the power to cast spells and those, like her, born with the ability to break them. But as an unlicensed magic user, her gift is a crime. Commissioned by an underground group known as the Cowls, Elsie uses her spellbreaking to push back against the aristocrats and help the common man. She always did love the tale of Robin Hood.
Elite magic user Bacchus Kelsey is one elusive spell away from his mastership when he catches Elsie breaking an enchantment. To protect her secret, Elsie strikes a bargain. She’ll help Bacchus fix unruly spells around his estate if he doesn’t turn her in. Working together, Elsie’s trust in—and fondness for—the handsome stranger grows. So does her trepidation about the rise in the murders of wizards and the theft of the spellbooks their bodies leave behind. For a rogue spellbreaker like Elsie, there’s so much to learn about her powers, her family, the intriguing Bacchus, and the untold dangers shadowing every step of a journey she’s destined to complete. But will she uncover the mystery before it’s too late to save everything she loves?
She’d stashed the paint behind the woodpile of a bakery.
A few stars gleamed overhead as Elsie approached the duke’s estate. It seemed so much larger and more ominous in the dark. It had a heavy stone wall that faced the road, but the back of it opened up onto woodland. Land only the duke and his guests could hunt on, though that was a gripe for another evening.
Elsie did not much like ambling through the woods in the dark, yet her choices were limited. She could only pray no one mistook her for a poacher.
She stepped quietly, holding her skirts in her hands. Modern fashion did not take into account a woman’s need to be stealthy amidst brambles. There was decent moonlight, but the trees and clouds played peekaboo with it, forcing Elsie to move very slowly or risk falling. Wouldn’t that be something, stranded in the Duke of Kent’s wood with a twisted ankle?
Would her tale of secret love wriggle her out of that predicament?
Fortunately, the excursion through the wood proved uneventful. The trees thinned, the ground evened, and a manicured lawn sprawled ahead. She stepped onto the hunting path leading from the back of the estate with a sigh of relief.
She made it only a few steps before her foot was sucked into the path. Not mud—it hadn’t rained the last few days. No roots or holes, either. The glimmer of a rune revealed the truth, its feeble gleam highlighting the earth that popped up around her shoe, grabbing it in an iron-like grasp. It was not unlike the one she’d disenchanted on the doorknob, but it was more complex, with several tight, interlocking loops.
More spells to keep your servants in their place? she wondered, making a half-hearted attempt to tug her leg free. Crouching, watching her surroundings, Elsie touched the spell. She didn’t recognize this one—a physical spell, but not one she’d disenchanted previously. She tugged at the knot one way, then another, before finding a loose end and unraveling the rune bit by bit. The spell flashed—she almost thought it pouted—before vanishing, and the earth holding her in place crumbled back to dust.
Elsie shook off her shoe and proceeded carefully. Runes weren’t bold things; she couldn’t merely glance down the path ahead of her to see where any copycats lay. They would reveal themselves only as she got closer. Sometimes close enough to touch, for more masterful spells. Stepping just off the path, Elsie tiptoed carefully, catching sight of another foot trap several yards ahead. She searched the shadows, waiting for movement. Listening for sound. She smelled the stables but didn’t hear horses. Seemed all was well and proper. Good.
The servants’ door loomed ahead. Elsie might have missed it had she not made the Madeira delivery two days ago; the shadows hid it well. Heart pounding in her ears, she snuck closer, closer, and pressed her back against the cool wall of the mansion. She wasn’t terribly far from the woods. Perhaps she could run back to safety without being caught. She’d been quite a climber in her youth. If anything gave chase, she could ball her skirts between her knees and hide up a tree.
Her palms sweated, and her mouth grew dry. Get it done and get out. The Cowls will know you did it this time.
The door seemed so far away. Elsie sidestepped, cursing the moonlight when it peeked between its misty curtains. She reached for the doorknob, the spell of heat licking at her fingers. It was activated; Elsie snatched her hand away as the metal singed her fingertips. How many servants in this household had blister scars from this damnable thing?
She attacked it with her nails. The unwinding came easier this time. She knew the pattern, knew which thread to loop through. It took only seconds—
A hand seized her upper arm. Elsie barely had enough sense to bite down on a scream as someone yanked her away from the door.
“So you’re the conrad breaking my spells!” a gruff baritone snapped, the speaker making no effort to be quiet.