Mariah Hayes, Author Spotlight

Lydia Galatianti, queen of Galatia, is running for her life—the love of her life, King Richard, slain at the hands of his own mother. Hiding her swollen belly from her escort, her mission is to protect her unborn child, even if that means putting her trust in Serene, a strange and creepy old teller who may have an agenda of her own. 
Seventeen years later, Nylina Galatianti, sole heir to the throne of Galatia, is beautiful, strong, and hardheaded, until an accident triggers a life-changing transformation within her. Learning the dark secrets about her bloodline, Nyla must come to terms with the future she now faces. 
Who can Nyla confide in—Kaden, her best friend, who wrestles with his own tragic past, or Samuel, the head of the guard who seems to keep Nyla rooted to her humanity? 
Her kingdom, Galatia, is on the brink of war with a threatening kingdom, Ridia, now allied with the vicious werewolf, Rothgar. Nyla must fight to control her dark urges when a group of refugees from Ridia offer their help. Are these mysterious newcomers who they seem, and can they be trusted? Can Nyla learn to control herself, or will she reveal Galatia’s greatest secret, harming those she loves in the process?

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Mariah Hayes whose book Bloodlines thrilled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love fantasy but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Mariah Hayes will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Mariah Hayes!

Mariah Hayes grew up in the tiny town of Augusta, Montana. From when she first started to form the silly sounds of baby bable, Mariah has loved to read everything from Dr. Suess to Harry Potter. That love of reading soon turned into a love of writing and Mariah took every creative writing class she could in highschool. Her first published work was a poem titled, “The Secrets of Time”, entered in a Montana literary art magazine showcasing K-12 students.

After graduating with a Music Education degree from the University of Montana in Missoula, Mariah decided to pursue her love of writing even further when she finished the manuscript that would become Bloodlines.

Mariah currently lives in the beautiful Sun Valley area of Idaho. When she’s not reading or writing, Mariah’s other interests include, fishing, hunting, spending time outdoors with her family, singing, playing computer games, and playing musical instruments, like guitar and piano.

Her novel Bloodlines, the first in a YA fantasy series, came out April 19, 2019 from Covenant Books.

Now, how wonderful does Mariah Hayes sound?! Mariah Hayes is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Mariah Hayes’s  answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself

My name is Mariah Hayes, I grew up in the very tiny town of Augusta, MT. Fun fact – I graduated with 8 people in my class (including myself). I grew up in the outdoors hunting, fishing, riding horses, etc. After graduating high school I went to the University of Montana in Missoula, MT in pursuit of a Music Education Degree with an emphasis in voice and piano. After doing student teaching I realized that I didn’t really love teaching and decided to take some time off school and just work. My boyfriend and I moved to Sun Valley, ID (where we now live).

Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?

Bloodlines is a fantasy novel set in a mideival time period. It starts out with Lydia, the queen of Galatia. She is running for her life when the love of her life, King Richard, is killed by his own mother. Fast forward to 17 years later and we follow the story of Nylina, or Nyla Galatianti. She is the sole heir to the throne of Galatia. She gets in this accident that triggers a life-changing transformation within her. Through this transformation she learns about her bloodline and her father’s family. During all of this her kingdom, Galatia, is at war with a rival kingdom, Ridia, who just allied with a vicious werewolf pack. So the book has some vampires, werewolves, magic, some romance, and some thrilling war and battle scenes that I had alot of fun writing.

Bloodlines is the first in a series. There will be 4 books total. I do have the rest of the books in the series planned out and am currently writing the second one.

As far as inspiration – I actually came up with the idea for Bloodlines in 2007 (I was about 14). I had a dream and when I woke up I thought “That would make a good book!” I always loved to read and write since I was little and took every creative writing class I could in school. I just sat down and wrote out an outline for Bloodlines, which ended up changing alot as I wrote over the years. I wrote on and off whenever I felt like it and finally finished the book right after college. I sent it to my sister who was the first person to read and edit Bloodlines and she helped me find my publisher, Covenant Books.

I love vampire and werewolf books and movies, such as Underworld, Van Helsing, and Dracula Untold. I also love the Lord of the Rings books and movies and the game Skyrim, which helped to inspire some of the world building in Bloodlines.

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

I would say just don’t give up. Not everyone is going to love your story, and that is ok. There are plenty of books that I love that other people don’t and plenty that I don’t enjoy that other people do. If writing is something that you love and you love your story then that is the most important thing. Keep at it!

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?

That is a tough question that I feel I have a couple answers to. I think that the thing that grabs people’s attention is the cover. Even though the saying is “don’t judge a book by its cover” let’s be honest, people do.

As far as the inside of a book, In my opinion, I would say story and character development. To get further into this you have to have an interesting main character and supporting characters.

What is your writing process like?

I outline my story and write details about my characters first. I feel this helps me when I am writing because I can go back and look at my outline if I am stuck, or if I need to tie something together to what happens in the future of the story. Anytime I think of an idea for the story I go in and add it to the outline first so that I don’t forget later.

I tend to skip around as I write. If I am having writers block on one part, I move on to another chapter and then tie everything together later.

Another thing that I always do when I write is listen to music. I created a “Writing” playlist on Spotify and I find that it really helps to set the mood like a soundtrack to the book. When I am writing a specific scene whether it is sad or intense I find a song in my playlist that matches that mood and it helps to put me in that mindset.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Since Bloodlines is a complete made up fantasy world I didn’t have to do too much research. However, I did want the story to be as realistic and within the time period set in the book as I could make it, so I did do some research for clothing, wording, etc. I also did some research on werewolf, vampire, and witch myths in history to get some inspiration. I tend to do research as I am writing instead of at the beginning. However, if I were writing a book where I would need to do some more research I would probably research before I start the book.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?

When I wrote the first book I only wrote when I felt like it and felt inspired because I didn’t really have any intention of publishing – I just wrote for fun and because I liked the story. Now, writing the second book and in when I write future books I am trying to write every day. I don’t have a set schedule and I probably need to. I think that if I did make a schedule for myself it would probably make things go quicker. However, if you’re not inspired and just can’t get into the mindset, you can’t force it. I just read, or watch a movie, or do something else and hope that I will get inspiration from a different activity.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

Yes! I have always loved to read! I loved reading the Harry Potter Books growing up, but my recent favorites have been A Court of Thornes and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and I really liked The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. My all time favorite (for the moment anyway) is the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco. Kerri Maniscalco’s writing is amazing. The word usage and imagry she uses, goes along with the time period and world so well and is so imaginative and really get’s the reader sucked into the story.

Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you? 

I am currently writing the second book to Bloodlines. I am hoping to finish atleast a draft by the end of the summer. There are going to be 4 books total in this series. I do have other unrelated books outside of this series planned as well so I am excited to get started on those!

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Mariah Hayes! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads

Author: Website – Instagram – Facebook – Barnes & Noble

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