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Erin McIntyreToday’s guest is Erin McIntyre, author of the Red King Trilogy.

Erin’s first novel, The Phantom of Faerie Mountain won 1st place in YA Fiction for the 2016 Purple Dragonfly awards and Silver placement for YA Mystery in the 2016 Readers’ Favourite awards.

The Red King Trilogy comprises:

  • The Phantom of Faerie Mountain
  • The Secret of Berry Brae Circle
  • The Talisman of Darktree Hollow
How did you get into novel writing?

Though, as a child, I dreamed of one day writing a story of my own, my path to authorship didn’t present itself until well into adulthood.

In the late 2000s, I enrolled in a distance-learning writing class with the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL). The final assignment for the class allowed me to begin a novel. It was an arduous process for me, the inexperienced writer, and, during this time, my writing structure revolved around Microsoft Word.

Word? But now you use Scrivener?

By nature, I’m obsessively organized and crave structure in all things I do. Perhaps a quarter into my first draft, I recall feeling frustrated with the lack of ‘that something extra’ with Word and decided to search the internet.

Surely there’s something amazing for writers, I thought. Two magical words – writing software – led me to Scrivener and, on 17 July 2013, my writing process changed forever.

How did you find working in Scrivener, to start with?

Collections, projects, binders, folders, corkboards, outliner …

I admit I was a bit overwhelmed at first with the breadth of function and, four years in, I’ve yet to harness all of the power of Scrivener.

But that’s okay. I use what I need and my structure compulsion is all the happier for it.

What do you like especially about Scrivener?

There are two functions of Scrivener that I couldn’t dream of being without.

The first is quite simply having the ability to create separate ‘texts’ for each chapter and view them to the side as a table of contents. Simple, perfect, order.

The second is what I consider the best operation of the program: compilation.

Compiling – most folk find that tricky!

The compiling feature, in my opinion, saves the writer from endless headaches. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve heard fellow authors question how to change their file from a pdf to epub or a doc to mobi, etc.

I answer the same every time – buy Scrivener, the best program ever!

It amazes me that in a matter of minutes, with minimal clicks, I’m ready for Kindle, Smashwords, and print.

Scrivener has changed your writing life?

Erin McIntyreScrivener has changed my writing life. Scrivener is my writing hero!

I’m able to outline my novels efficiently, and I feel this gives me more motivation.

The first book in my YA fantasy-mystery trilogy, The Phantom of Faerie Mountain took approximately six years to come to fruition.

Life events and perhaps a small lack of self-confidence did play into that timeline, but I’m certain the magic of Scrivener played a part in the hastened completion of my second book.

With a year of planning and a year of writing, The Secret of Berry Brae Circle stepped on to the stage in March 2017.

With my remarkable software, I’m confident I’ll be able to follow suit with the final installment, The Talisman of Darktree Hollow.

How is your third book coming along?

This one is challenging me to learn and grow as a writer. In The Talisman of Darktree Hollow, I’ve stepped into another realm.

The complexities of world building are new to me, so I was a tad bit scared at first. But my trusty sidekick, Scrivener, has taken away much of the sweat and tears.

In this outlining stage, I’ve utilized the Research section to its fullest. I’ve created texts for every aspect of the book I could think of and also included a map I created and any website links I might reference.

And the best part? I discovered you can change the icons for each text – fun!

Oh how I love thee, Scrivener.

More about Erin McIntyre

Erin McIntyre is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

She lives in Nebraska where she works as a Pediatric Cancer research lab manager.

When not daydreaming of magic, mystery, and mischievous characters, Erin enjoys gardening and spending time with her two senior Italian greyhounds and her newly rescued greyhound, Cricket.

Erin is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRedKingTrilogy, Twitter at https://twitter.com/finlayforever and she also has a website: https://redkingtrilogy.com/.