Lenore Borja joins the Spotlight this week to chat about her YA fantasy, The Last Huntress
Author Name: Lenore Borja
Book Title: The Last Huntress, Mirror Realm Series Book I
Book Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: November 1, 2022
Welcome, Lenore! How would you describe The Last Huntress?
The Last Huntress is a YA fantasy with strong female characters, Greek gods, supernatural mirrors, and an electrifying romance.
What sparked the idea for this book?
When living in San Francisco, my husband and I discovered a hidden closet behind a mirror in our apartment. We’d lived there for over a year and had looked in that mirror countless times, never knowing something was behind it. It helped inspire me to create my own world behind the mirror.
How long did it take for you to write the book? Did you do any research?
That’s a difficult question because do you ever really finish writing a book? If my publisher allowed it, I guarantee I’d still have changes to make! But it took about ten months for me to finish my first draft. It came in at 160,000 words, so it took another year of revisions before it resembled what it is now. I created the demi-goddess Philautia and the myth behind the Realm, but Greek gods and goddesses also appear in the story, which required some research.
What drew you to writing YA fantasy?
A few years ago, I read Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol. I devoured it and immediately downloaded the rest of her Premonition series. There are angels, reapers, gancanagh (male fairies in Irish mythology), and plenty of romance. I loved the escapism aspect, and it helped inspire me to write a YA fantasy of my own.
What’s your favorite part about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?
My favorite part of writing is discovery. I love when my characters surprise me. The hardest part is getting that first draft out. I sometimes edit as I write, which can be a futile exercise. Chances are it will change anyway, so I’m learning to get it on the page and edit later!
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read The Last Huntress?
I’d probably steal the blurb that Molly E. Lee, author of the Ember of Night series, so graciously wrote for me: “The Last Huntress is a fun fantasy with a cool sisterhood vibe and a swoony romance!” She nailed it, and my cup runneth over!
What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
Love can come in any form. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow it takes hold. The result is the same. It’s love.
What about the writing/editing/publishing process has been the most surprising to you so far?
It’s a long and complicated process. There is so much that goes into getting a book ready for publication. When you finish writing the darn thing, you think you’re done, but honestly, that is only the beginning!
Any words of wisdom you give your pre-published writer self (or to a new writer)?
Watch your word count, show up every day, and don’t give up!
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
Traveling, running, my cat (because I’m obsessed with him), and medieval festivals. I love a good Ren Faire. Huzzah!
Are you working on a new project? We’d love to hear more.
I’m working on book two of the Mirror Realm series. There will be four books in the series, each focusing on a different huntress while continuing Alice’s story arc (the main character in book one). I’m also working on a standalone paranormal romance that is funny, dark, and may or may not involve creatures of the fanged variety.
Where can readers find you?
You can sign up for my newsletter at www.lenoreborja.com or follow me on any of the following:
- Instagram: @LenoreBorja_Author
- Twitter: @LenoreBorja
- Tiktok: @lenoreborja
Thank you, Lenore! The Last Huntress, Mirror Realm Series Book I is OUT NOW.
Alice Daniels has a problem. Her reflection keeps misbehaving when she looks in the mirror—and the longer she ignores it, the harder it tries to get her attention. On her eighteenth birthday, she learns why: she is a huntress, someone gifted with the power to enter mirrors and the magical world that exists beyond. But with this power comes immense responsibility, for in the Mirror Realm lurks an evil that has infected the human race for centuries: demons. It is up to her and her three huntress sisters—with the help of one handsome and overbearing protector—to hunt and banish this evil one demon at a time, thereby keeping the chaos in check. But when an ancient god pays Alice a visit that turns deadly, it is clear the Mirror Realm is more than it seems, and she soon finds herself in a race against time to save the life—and soul—of the one man the gods are determined to never let her have.
The Last Huntress is a story of redemption and sacrifice, the bonds of true sisterhood, and the impossible, sometimes frightening, things we’ll do for love.