Release Day: WINTER OMENS by Trisha Leigh

Tuesday means release day, and today that means the second book in Trisha Leigh's Last Year series, Winter Omens, has hit the shelves!

Picking up where Whispers in Autumn left off, Althea has even more at stake this season as the Others get closer and closer to tracking her down:

Althea and Lucas barely escaped the Others’ clutches in the autumn, and were separated in the process. Alone and on the run from the cruel alien race determined to exterminate her, Althea struggles to adapt and survive in a world she never imagined.

When a boy named Pax appears out of nowhere, he quickly recognizes Althea for what she is – a human/Other hybrid just like him. Althea begs him to help her find Lucas, but Pax refuses, intent on following his own mysterious agenda.

The Others’ presence continues to devour the planet’s resources, and if history is an indication, they won’t leave until Earth is destroyed beyond repair. Althea and Pax sense the only way to save themselves – and maybe their home – is to understand the powers simmering inside them.

Together they push the limits of their capabilities in the quiet Wilds, but are soon confronted with a terrifying fact: no place is safe from the relentless pursuit of the Others.

We sat down with author Trisha Leigh to get a little inside scoop on her and her series:

RBtL: Congratulations on the release of WINTER OMENS, Trisha! What inspired you to write this YA sci-fi series?

TL: The original idea came from a tweet – someone’s daughter had woken up terrified she didn’t exist. I wrote it down and tossed it on my desk, and Althea showed up soon after. She’s kind of a hard nut to crack, but once she told me why she was so terrified she didn’t exist, the rest of the story kind of fell into place.

RBtL: Even though you didn’t go the traditional publishing route, you seem to have hit all your bases self-publishing. What made you decide to self-publish? What was your process in doing so?

TL: Honestly, three years ago when I wrote this book, the possibility of self-publishing wasn’t even on my radar. I had an agent for about a year and we worked on the book but never went on submission to editors. After she and I parted ways, I queried the ms again but found agents much more gun shy about taking on what would be pitched as a dystopian YA because of the overcrowded market. For a while I stuck it in a drawer, but as I watched more and more people find success with strong manuscripts in self-publishing, I thought I owed it to the story to put it out there and see what happens. I’m really happy that I did.

I will say that one of the best decisions I made was hiring a professional cover designer, developmental editor, copy editor, and formatters to make the book as professional as possible. Some authors who self-publish overlook the importance of each of those steps, and their readers are the ones who suffer for it.

RBtL: The Last Year series is full of strong and interesting characters—Althea, Pax, Lucas, Greer, Griffin, the whole crew. Who is your favorite to write and why?

TL: Oh, gosh, that’s a hard question. It changes, honestly, from book to book. In Whispers in Autumn, definitely Althea. I really love exploring the strange balance of ferocity and vulnerability. I loved writing Pax in Winter Omens, and Griffin was a welcome bit of humor. In Betrayals in Spring [the next book in the series] Greer helped get me through some tough scenes, but Lucas has become the easiest for me to connect with – so yeah, I guess all of them at one time or another.

RBtL: It must be tough juggling writing, marketing, and all of the other aspects of self-publishing...and your family, both human and canine. :-p Tell us a little about your writing routine—how do you find the time and energy?

TL: It is tough, and I don’t think many writers would tell you differently. I’m single, which helps, but I do take the time to spend time with my family when an opportunity comes up – it’s never even a question in my mind. I write whenever I have a minute, during breaks and lunches at the day job, after work, etc. My sleeping patterns leave much to be desired, however, and I’m afraid I’m going to remain single until I can find a magical way to erase the bags beneath my eyes!

Seriously, it’s a lot of coffee and chocolate and making the time to do it. We can all find something else to do, but if you set deadlines for yourself and want to meet them, it’s almost always possible.

RBtL: With two books left in the series after Winter Omens, what can readers look forward to? Can we have a little sneak peek?

TL: Hmm. I’m someone who hates spoilers, BUT I think it’s fair to say that in Betrayals in Spring, Althea’s romantic life will become, shall we say, untangled a bit. We’ll finally meet the real Deshi, and our cast of characters grows quite a bit (and not all of the new members are human or Other).

Available in print and eBook, don't miss this exciting installment in this engaging new YA science fiction series!