Interview with the USA Today bestselling, multi-award winning author, Helen Garraway

Interview with the USA Today bestselling, multi-award winning author, Helen Garraway

Hi Helen! Tell us about you and your writing background. When did you start? 

I have always been a voracious reader, a love I inherited from my mum, but I never thought I would be an author. I started writing in 2016. I had an idea noodling, but had never done anything with it, until, unfortunately, my mum passed away. I think it was cathartic to write. I suddenly had time on my hands. I wasn't looking after my mum, my daughter had flown the nest, and I was on my own. I filled it with writing, and out came the Sentinal series.

How many books have you published. I counted eleven with the latest release, Harmony, is that right? 

Yes, eleven, it doesn't seem real! Six books and two novellas in the epic fantasy Sentinal series. Two published in the Romantasy SoulMist series and now a standalone dystopian, Harmony.

Is writing a full time job for you? 

No, I actually have a very demanding day job, and I am finding it more difficult to write in the evenings, as I am shattered by the time I finish for the day. I am going to have to slow down, and maybe only publish two books a year instead of four, otherwise I am going to burn myself out. But I love writing so much, I just can't stop. I wish I had started earlier! 

Soul Breather has just won first place for paranormal fantasy in the BookFest Spring 2024 awards and Sentinals Justice first place in the Epic Fantasy category - a double win. How does that feel?  

Absolutely amazing. I have a Cheshire cat grin all the time. Two golds! And the idea that two of my books will be up in lights on the nasdaq board in Times Square is unreal!

How does it compare to hitting the USA Today Bestseller List?

I think the USA Today Bestseller list is probably a once in a lifetime for an Indie author, though having your books up in Times Square has to be pretty close! I am still overjoyed at achieving that accolade.

You're a proud indie author - why did you make that decision?

I did investigate doing traditional publishing, but the more I found about it, the more I realised self-publishing was for me. I wrote the Sentinals series for me and my mum. I didn't want someone else to tell me to change things or rewrite to someone else's template. Added to that, traditional publishing can take years, or they could choose never to publish, and I didn't want to wait that long. 

You're an ambassador for wonderful Alliance of Independent Authors. Why did you decide to do that? 

Learning to self-publish is a really steep learning curve, and there is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming. I wanted to give back to new authors as a thank you to all those who helped me. A way of paying it forward. Alli offers independent advice and guidance for indie authors, opening doors so we all have the same opportunities.

You'll be exhibiting at the Bracknell Book Fair in July - what do you enjoy about in-person events? 

It is so wonderful to meet enthusiastic readers and just talk books! It's even more exciting when someone has read my books and wants to talk to me about them! I finally got to meet my alpha reader IRL, and we spent two hours over 'kafinee' just talking about plot and the characters. I can tell you the time just flew by.

What advice would you give to new writers or someone who's always dreamed of writing a book? 

Write! You are writing for yourself first. If you decide to publish your book, then that is the next step, but enjoy the actual joy of writing first. I am addicted to words. I just love the act of writing and the more I write, the more I want to write. If you decide to publish, then take the time to make your book the best it can be. Invest in an editor and cover designer. You want your book to be professionally presented and for it to have the best chance possible.

You've just published, Harmony, a standalone. What's next? 

I was very excited to release Harmony on April, 1st, 2024. Next is the third book in the PNR/Romantasy SoulMist series, OblivionGate. I am just waiting for it to come back from the editor. OblivionGate is on preorder and releases July 1st, 2024. Then I need to finish editing the prequel to the Sentinal series. I am writing a new epic fantasy series which will be at least four books if not more, and the fourth book in the SoulMist series. Plenty to keep me busy. Oh, I almost forgot, the audio book of Sentinals Across Time is in final production, so it should be out in the next month!

Last but not least, how's Alfie the cat? 

Alfie is much better, thank you. He has respiratory issues, but his medication has him stabilised, and hopefully the warmer weather will help.

Helen, this has been great. Where can we find out more about you and your books? 

You can sign up to my newsletter via and download two free novellas in the world of the Sentinals. You can follow me on social via the links on I am most active on Instagram and would love to see you there.



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