HAPPY RELEASE DAY!

My debut novel SEELIE PRINCESS is now available as ebook on Amazon. Grab a copy today for $0.99 by clicking on the image below.

Kayla never lost hope that her father is still alive. When Seelie Princess Fay sweeps her off to the land of faeries, Kayla strikes a bargain: find her father, or never return home. As her chances are threatened by a rivalry between two courts, Kayla’s heart is drawn toward the enigmatic Fay—and closer to the trickery of the Seelie Court.

SEELIE PRINCESS: Cover Reveal!

I’m beyond excited to finally reveal the cover of my debut novel SEELIE PRINCESS. And I’m also thrilled to announce that the ebook will launch on September 19, 2019. Just one more month!

THE BLURB

“Your father is alive.”

Kayla never lost hope that her father survived that fateful night. But she knows she won’t find him in Chicago—or anywhere else in her world. After years of searching for the faeries he told her about, she encounters the Seelie Princess Fay, who saves her life and sweeps her off to Tír na nÓg. Kayla finally has a chance to bring her father back home, but it comes with a price.

She must find him,
or she can never leave the land of faeries.

Cast among strangers, Kayla must resist the magnetic pull that draws her toward the princess of her dreams and closer to the trickery of the Seelie Court. Soon she uncovers answers to questions she never even dared to ask, and a rivalry between two courts threatens her chances of returning home with her father…

…AND THE COVER!

ON WRITING MY FIRST NOVEL AND THE LESSONS I LEARNED

Before we dive into the process of writing my first novel, I have to tell you a little bit about my beginnings as a writer. I don’t remember when exactly I began writing as a child, it must have been in my early teens. Back then it was mostly fanfiction and all of it was still in German (because my English was abysmal). So technically I already wrote several novels back then, but as I’ll outline below, writing a novel is about so much more than just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).

The beginning

In the summer of 2014, after many years of dreaming about writing a book, an idea came to me and I latched onto it. For months I plotted, researched, fantasized, and planned. I let the story play out in my head over and over. And it wasn’t until March the following year that I’d worked up enough courage to actually write the damn thing. Progress was slow in the beginning, because I was so focused on writing the perfect book. Once I had realized there was no such thing, I really got going. I wrote most of the first draft over the following summer.

I wrote something—now what?

And then I abandoned my project. Perhaps it was because I didn’t really know which step would come next. I’d finished stories before, but as a teenager I’d been happy just making up stuff. Now, as a somewhat grown-up, I wanted to take writing to the next level. So I was back to researching: how do I self-edit? How can feedback help me improve my story? What even makes a great story?

For most of 2016 and 2017 I taught myself the craft of writing. Though writing a good story is ultimately a question of talent, I believe, there are still a few techniques and “rules” that can help along the way. So I ploughed through several writing books and websites and even took a class on creative writing during my semester abroad. I gathered feedback from my wonderful writers group. I equipped myself with all kinds of tools so I could face the next step of my novel: the dreaded editing.

Taking chances

I spent the better half of 2018 ferociously editing my novel. In August, I handed it in to PitchWars and sent it off to agents. I was devastated when I didn’t get picked in PitchWars and the rejections apppeared in my inbox. In retrospect, I think I needed those rejections to realize that 1) my book wasn’t ready after all and 2) I’m drawn more toward self-publishing.

What followed were another few months of figuring out how to do the self-pub thing and if it was really worth trying. In the end, I chose the indie path and began revising my manuscript, looking for a cover designer, and researching editors.

Determination and perseverance

At the end of this 5-year journey, I’ve learned many valuable lessons, but I think the most important one is that writing is worth it. It’s worth all the time, energy, and heart I can put into it. It’s worth all the determination and perseverance, the heartache and the fear of failing. I wanted to give up at least a million times. A voice in my head kept telling me that I’ll fail, that I sucked as a writer. And there were certainly times when that voice was so loud I was too paralyzed to write a single word. But I always found my way back to writing, and now I’m on the home stretch to my first published novel.


Click here to learn about my debut novel Seelie Princess (coming September 2019).

THE KING’S DAUGHTERS: New Look!

Spring is in the air and it’s time for a new look! More than three years ago I published my first short story on Amazon and while I’ve been mostly quiet since then, the year of 2019 will finally see the release of my debut novel. (To learn more about SEELIE PRINCESS, click here.) In honor of the upcoming release, I gave THE KING’S DAUGHTERS a new look, inside and out.

Here’s the blurb:
In this first part of a series of magical tales about the Fair Folk, the Faerie King of Tír na nÓg is caught in a battle between his two warring daughters, Titania and Ophira. As one strives to bring down her father, the other is plotting her revenge against her scheming sister. The king now has a fateful decision to make because he can’t save them both.

Click to buy it on Amazon US, UK, or DE.

Cover by Angela Fristoe

To receive updates on the upcoming release of SEELIE PRINCESS, sign up for my newsletter here.

SEELIE PRINCESS – What’s it about?

I’ve briefly talked about this before here – but I want to tell you a bit more today. SEELIE PRINCESS is my first full-length novel, which I finished revising back in August. As of now, it has not been published, but I’m querying and excited to share this story with you. So today I want to rave about my book baby. 

UDPATE MAY 2019: After doing some research, I decided to brave the life of an indie writer. My book will be self-published in a few months.

A quick recap of what to expect:

  • YA Fantasy with LGBTQ rep
  • faeries! lot’s of them
  • f/f romance
  • strong female characters
  • a magical realm 
  • elements of Celtic mythology
  • names that are pretty on the eye but you won’t be able to pronounce them (sorry, not sorry)

Meet the MC – Kayla Whittemore

Everyone knows that faeries only exist in stories, but Kayla is certain that they are real and the reason why her father vanished when she was little. Even almost 10 years after his ‘death’, she holds on to the hope of finding him. When she finally receives word from the faeries, she doesn’t hesitate to strike a bargain with their queen. But finding her father is not as easy as she’s hoped and Kayla has to face treacherous faeries, hidden family heirlooms, and her first heartbreak. How far is she willing to go? 

Kayla was born in 1998 in a small down in Illinois. After her father disappeared, they moved to the bustling city of Chicago. When Kayla isn’t researching how to find faeries, she spends her time cuddled up with a good book or drinking way too much coffee with her best friend Abby. 

What inspired it? 

1 – Celtic Fairy Faith

In the summer of 2014, I was obsessed with Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles. And even though I was a huge fan of all the badass Shadowhunters in the books, what fascinated me even more was her portrayal of the faeries as beautiful, cunning, and complicated creatures. So I began to research how she’d come about that idea and I soon learned she’d taken a lot of her inspiration from the Celtic Fairy Faith (as did her wonderful writer-friend Holly Black).

The Celtic mythology is filled to the brim with magical creatures and fantastic folktales. I could write for hours about this topic! But I don’t want to digress, so I’ll give you a little overview of characters that found their way into my story: 

  • faeries: also known as Daoine Sidhe, inhabitants of the magical Tír na nÓg, divided into the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court
  • pookas: the underdogs of the faerie realm, shapeshifters and forest creatures
  • pixies: smallest inhabitants of Tír na nÓg, also the friendliest of the Fair Folk
  • merrows: merfolk living on a small island off the mainland, telepaths and constantly suspicious of the faeries
  • faerie cats: an ancient type of faeries who can perform magic and shares both a cat’s furry ears and its heightened senses 

2 – Diverse Storytelling

When I began this journey of writing SEELIE PRINCESS, I had decided on two aspects early on: there would be faeries (plenty of them!) and my main character would be a girl falling in love with another girl. Throughout my writing process, many ideas appeared, shifted, manifested, or disappeared again, but these two facts persisted until the very end. 

There has been an abundance of great stories where girls were whisked away to far lands by incredibly handsome boys (I’m looking at you, Jace Herondale!). I believe it’s time for girls to get whisked away by gorgeous girls, too. Or boys being seduced by other boys. Or just generally people falling in love. All mixed with a fair amount of faerie dust! 

So who’s the Seelie Princess? 

I can’t tell you just yet… but keep your eyes open for little excerpts and sneak peeks! If you’re interested in reading more about faeries and Tír na nÓg, please check out my short story set in the same world: The King’s Daughters. Feel free to talk to me on twitter @sarah_tanzmann or leave a comment below! 

I’M D-O-N-E!!!

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day for me because…

I FINISHED MY NOVEL!

excited

Okay. Breathe. Let that sink in.

It feels kind of odd, because I’ve been here before. About three years ago I finished writing the first draft of my novel, then I put it aside. First, I celebrated. I’d done it! I had seriously sat down at my desk and wrote AN ENTIRE NOVEL, something I always wanted to do. But then… I wasn’t done, because, honestly, my first draft SUCKED.

And that’s when I learned that writing a book is about so much more than just getting the words onto paper. It’s about planning, about revising, about editing, about screaming at the screen because that. scene. just. won’t. work. AAAAARGH!

So I revised and revised. I gave my manuscript to my dear writer friends, who in return gave me tons of feedback (thanks, btw. I could not have done it without you!!!). And I revised some more. I cried, I laughed, I worried. And it all got me to where I am today.

My story is far from perfect, but it’s the best I could do. Now it’s time to send it out into the world and hope for the best!

Wish me luck 😉

PitchWars 2018 #BoostMyBio

Hello everyone! Exciting news! As my WIP is rapidly approaching its final stages, I’m gearing up to send it out into the world. One of my fellow writer friends stumbled upon PitchWars, a mentoring program that could potentially help me improve my novel and get it ready for agents. So now it’s time to #BoostMyBio and introduce myself to them (and everyone else).

About MeFullSizeRender

My name is Sarah Tanzmann and I’m from Austria (not to be confused with Australia). I’m a student of English and American Studies at the University of Vienna and I try to surround myself with as much English as possible.

A few fun facts 

  • I’m a real Potterhead. My bookshelves are filled with way too many Harry Potter books, some even in languages that I don’t speak (because why not?)
  • German is my first language, but I haven’t read a German book in more than 5 years!!! Sorry, English is just way better.
  • I lived in the USA for a total of 18 months (Chicago, Florida, Pennsylvania) and it will forever be a home away from home.
  • I’ve kept every movie ticket I bought in the last ten years. Is that weird?

Some books I love

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda AND Leah on the Off-Beat
  • The Hate U Give
  • A Closed and Common Orbit
  • The Mortal Instruments Series

Favorite book genres

  • fantasy! (mostly in writing)
  • sci-fi (I’ve already got an idea)
  • contemporary YA

But now on to the most important part…

 

My debut novel: SEELIE PRINCESS

This YA fantasy novel is the first full length novel I’ve ever written (in English, thank God no one will ever see the ones I wrote in German). It’s the first part in a series of two called THE CROWN OF TÍR NA NÓG. It is also set in the same realm as my two short stories (click here for more info).

What’s it about?

Kayla lives in the bustling city of Chicago. She and her family moved there when her father went missing, or, as Kayla’s mother believes, died in a car accident. But Kayla’s mother thinks that faeries only exist in stories. One day, encouraged by a mysterious message she receives hidden in an acorn, Kayla embarks on a journey into the lands of the faeries to find her lost father.

What to expect

  • faeries! lot’s of them
  • f/f romance
  • strong female characters
  • a magical realm (where words such as gay and lesbian just don’t exist, because everyone is open-minded)
  • elements of Celtic mythology
  • names that are pretty on the eye but you won’t be able to pronounce them (sorry, not sorry)

Why this story is worth your time

It’s been about four years since Kayla entered my heart. Ever since then, she’s been by my side as I struggled through heart-break and depression. She gives me strength when I have none left. She’s more than a character on paper (or screen), she’s my friend.

So for four years I’ve poured my heart and soul into this novel. When I first had the idea, I had this vision of a young girl, embarking on this big journey of finding her father and falling in love for the first time. I knew from the very beginning that this novel would tackle the issues of loss and queer love. And I always knew what I did not want: a coming-out story. While Kayla has to overcome many obstacles, this isn’t one of them.

So, to summarize, SEELIE PRINCESS is a story about love, loss, and friendship, all sprinkled with a good amount of faerie dust.

Why pick me as your mentee?

I am determined and diligent. I don’t give up easily. The best example for this is my novel. It took a year to plan it, another to write it, and two more to edit it. I never rushed this, but instead took the time to show it to some beta readers and share it with fellow writers. I have spent countless hours (days, months!) with the feedback that I’ve been given. But it’s all worth it, if it helps me achieve my dream of having this book published (so I can hold it in my hands and sniff it, hihi…).

No matter how much time I’ve spent on this novel, there’s only so much I can do. I’m not a native speaker (sadly) and I’m not an experienced writer. So now I’m looking for a guiding hand who’ll help me along this crooked path to become a published author.

 


You can find me on twitter @sarah_tanzmann 

 

The King’s Daughters – OUT NOW!

I am so excited to announce that the first installment of Tales of the Seelie Court is out on Amazon. Read a preview here or buy it here.

In this first part of a series of magical tales about the Fair Folk, the Faerie King of Tír na nÓg is caught in a battle between his two warring daughters, Titania and Ophira. As one strives to bring down her father, the other is plotting her revenge against her scheming sister. The king now has a fateful decision to make because he can’t save them both.

Sarah1