A.E. Bennett (she/her) lives in Washington, D.C. She is originally from North Carolina.
CONNECT WITH A.E.
Welcome to SPFM, A.E.! Since we already have your bio, describe yourself in three words.
Creative, loyal, witchy
Summarize your book, Gathering of the Four, using one gif.
If you could recommend three self-published books, which would you choose and why?
- The Oracle Stone by Talli L. Morgan – absolutely marvelous worldbuilding!
- Crown of Aster by Emmaline Strange – super sexy m/m romance with a fantastic HEA!
- A Touch of Death (The Outlands Pentalogy #1) by Rebecca Crunden – great character development!
What is your favorite part, and your least favorite part of self-publishing?
I love having the freedom to do what I want and take my story where it wants to go. I’m terrible at marketing, however (though I’m trying to get better!) and wish I could outsource that part. 😛
When did you start writing?
I’ve been writing in some form or another for as long as I can remember. My parents tell me I used to write stories about my stuffed animals when I was in early elementary school. I’ve been working on my current series – the Serrulata Saga – since middle school, if you can believe it. It’s been a lifelong project!
What’s your writing ritual/routine like?
When I was doing shift work years ago (and when my brain was younger, ahem) I was more of a ‘write whenever you can’ person. Now my schedule is much more routine and currently I set aside hours on Friday nights to get as much done as I possibly can in one sitting. I’m in the first draft stage of my current WIP so I’m mostly getting a chapter a weekend done, which I think is good!
If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick and what would it be about?
Well, I’ve already done that! I have a prequel romance novella set to come out later this year. A reader told me two side characters from Gathering of the Four would make good fodder for a romance story – and I’d never written romance before – so I decided to give it a try and, well, now I have another book on the way!
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
Wine. Wine. Pizza. Wine.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
For me, when I got really serious about making Gathering of the Four something that other people might read (versus ideas in my head and notes in a notebook), I thought my first manuscript was the be-all, end-all. An editor friend looked it over and made fantastic, constructive suggestions… but I was heartbroken! I’d worked so hard only to be told I needed to change so much! Turns out, the editor friend was correct – my first manuscript was an absolute dumpster fire and it took me another year and a half to get it where it needed to be.
So, if you’re just starting out, be prepared to have to make lots and lots of changes to your initial draft. And get into a place mentally where you can be ok with critiques of your work. Self-publishing is a marathon, not a sprint. (I still learn new things about the industry every day!) Also, no one is perfect. ☺
Tell us what lies ahead for you.
When I first started working on the Serrulata Saga, I thought it was going to be a trilogy. Now that Gathering of the Four is out in the world and my first romance novella is coming, I know there’s way more that I have to share about this world. I’m working on Book Two right now and really would like to have my first draft done by the end of this year. I also have an idea for another romance novella focusing on two other side characters. And then there’s Book Three…
So, lots more to come!
About Gathering of the Four (The Serrulata Saga #1)
“In the Realm, every citizen knows their place.”
In the distant future, the United States is long gone…the Realm stands in its place…and one peasant woman will become the catalyst for a revolution.