The week of author interviews continues. Today meet C. C. Aune, the author of The Ill-Kept Oath.
What is something you are most proud of in The Ill-Kept Oath?
As a writer, integrity and quality has always been my North Star. I began The Ill-Kept Oath in late 2002, and each step of the way I made sure it was progressing at the highest possible level. I revised constantly, relying on reader feedback and trusted writer friends to keep nudging me forward. A professional editor helped me craft the final version. By the time I connected with Amy and Dara from Wise Ink, Oath was as clean a copy as I could produce. Wise Ink and I collaborated to add the final polish, and by the time the delivery truck pulled up to my house, Oath had transformed into a professionally-made novel, both inside and out. No one could hold it and flip through it and not admire its appearance. Wherever Oath takes me next, I’m proud to say this first book has brought my greatest dream alive.
Tell us more about your book available and why readers are excited about its release.
At its core, The Ill-Kept Oath is about two proper young ladies who believe their lot in life is to marry well, possibly without love. Neither main character is too thrilled at the prospect, but then a family mystery, magical relics, and a series of inexplicable misfortunes upend their predictable world, bringing opportunities they never expected to have. My objective for Oath was to create a novel that reads like an Austen classic with some hints of genre romance, but is in fact a period female empowerment tale. I want to challenge those readers who might feel uneasy about tackling Austenesque prose, while offering Janeites an homage steeped in fantasy. I believe today’s readers are excited by genre hybrids—a little old, a little new, as the saying goes. Just as the magic in Oath changes Josephine and Prudence’s lives, I hope to upend readers’ expectations.
What is something you would like to share about having a strong writing community/partnership?
Having a strong support team is vital for today’s writers. It’s practically impossible to write and publish in a vacuum. I learned that the hard way, facing dozens of traditional agent rejections, not because my concept was poor, but because I didn’t understand the industry. Once I began engaging with online writers, I could share my work, get feedback, and study the thousands of details involved in modern publishing. After a while, though, I lost interest in large writing groups, which tend to break down from their own weight. I formed my own little enclave of about 15 writers, some of whom have grown to be very dear friends. We discuss everything from personal problems to industry issues to where to place a comma. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my team, and I can’t express enough how grateful I am for their support.
Do you have any exciting events coming up to share?
My parents have promised to throw a party here locally sometime in the next month, which will be weird and awkward and amazing all at once. I’m leaning on my writing partner and fellow Wise Inker AM Justice to arrange a dual author event in New York, maybe in December. Meanwhile, The Ill-Kept Oath will be featured in NetGalley’s fantasy section for the week of October 2, and it will appear on shelves at PJ Boox in Fort Meyers, Florida for the months of January and February 2017.