Eileen Mueller is a multi-award-winning author of heart-pounding fantasy novels that will keep you turning the page. Dive into her worlds, full of magic, love, adventure and dragons! Eileen lives in New Zealand, in a cave, with four dragonets and a shape shifter, writing for young adults, children and everyone who loves adventure.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EileenMuellerauthor/
Riders of Fire Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RidersOfFire/
1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?
My latest series, Riders of Fire—an adrenaline-fueled young adult epic fantasy series featuring dragon riders—is now complete at 6 books: Ezaara, Dragon Hero, Dragon Rift, Dragon Strike, Dragon War and Sea Dragon. My readers love the thrill of riding on dragonback with the wind in their hair, dragon roars echoing across mountain ranges and the threat of attacking tharuks. Even though Riders of Fire is intended for young adults, readers of all ages enjoy the series, and I’ve had fan email from people aged 9-101. Many of these books have hit #1 in Amazon best-seller lists and Ezaara and Dragon Hero have received 2019 Storylines NZ Notable Book Awards and been quarter finalists in the 2019 Epic Fantasy Fanatics Readers’ Choice Awards. It has been amazing fun writing these books, and my fans are asking for more, so I’m following up with a prequel series Riders of Fire Dragon Masters, which reveals how mages and dragon riders accidentally let Commander Zens and his genetically-engineered tharuk monsters through the world gate into Dragons’ Realm.
Of course, there are more Riders of Fire spin-off series waiting in the wings.
I’m also currently participating in Enchanted Kingdoms, an international box set of 20 novels—young adult fairytale-retellings—to raise funds Puzzle Peace, a charity for kids with autism. My co-author A. J. Ponder and I are having fun turning Snow White and Rose Red into an urban fantasy with dragon shifters and mages. It’s great being part of the Enchanted Kingdoms community and giving back to kids.
2. What has been the best publishing or SF community experience of your career so far?
There are many. I loved being in my very first anthologies in the New Zealand SpecFic NZ community and getting to know other authors and fans—Baby Teeth (2013), Lost in the Museum (2014), The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales (2015), At the Edge (2016 ) and Te Korero Ahi Ka (2019).
I’m now an active member in two international communities of indie fantasy readers and authors. This has enabled me to meet thousands of active readers online and participate in community-building activities. There’s a beautiful spirit of collaboration among international fantasy authors. We’re an amazing team that spans the globe, supporting one another and sharing readers.
I also had the privilege of being on a panel at the 20booksto50k indie author conference in Las Vegas in 2019. 20booksto50k is a fantastic community of 40,000 independent authors who share their marketing and business knowledge with one another. At the conference, I was able to become firm friends with some of the world’s best book marketers and meet many top authors in my genre—an incredible support in an ever-changing market.
During ConZealand, the 78th Science Fiction and Fantasy World Convention, I’ll be passing on what I’ve learned during book marketing panels and my presentation, Killing it in Kindle, which will share data from top fantasy and sci-fi authors. I love sharing what I’ve learned with the community and helping others grow.
I’ve grown so much as an author by enjoying active participation in all of these communities, but my favorite pastime is hanging out with my readers and fellow authors in my own Riders of Fire Facebook group, a vibrant dragon-loving team.
3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?
I love Lee Murray’s Taine McKenna Adventures, supernatural military thrillers interwoven with Maori mythology, set in New Zealand—Into the Mist, Into the Sounds and Into the Ashes. I hope she’ll continue the series.
A.J. Ponder’s Sylvalla Chronicles—Quest, Prophecy and Omens—are a fun spoof of all things epic fantasy for teen readers, with enough double-layered humor that adults have a giggle too.
I enjoyed the fantastical historical YA novel, Jaws of the Wolf, by Charlotte Jardine.
I also write kids’ interactive fantasy in the You Say Which Way series and would recommend this series for those who have keen young fantasy readers at home. Published on Amazon by the Fairytale Factory, a small independent press, these books allow readers to make choices that influence the story outcomes. I’m looking forward to sinking my fangs into their 2020 new releases: Peter Friend’s Return to Dungeon of Doom; Kevin Berry’s Secret Project; Blair Polly’s Valley of Flying Dogs and Deb Potter’s Isle of Swimming Cats.
And of course, the fabulous SpecFicNZ anthology Te Korero Ahi Ka, edited by Grace Bridges, Aaron Compton and Lee Murray is wonderful showcase of a variety of New Zealand authors—with many stories set in New Zealand. I’d highly recommend it.