L. E. Brooks is an indie author, RN, musician, bad feminist, worse LGTBQ+ fringe member, and reader of all genres. She has been writing songs, poetry, short stories, and fan fiction for more than two decades, and recently finished her first full-length original novel, Avelina, due to be released May 4th, 2024. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, two kids, and a ferocious pack of hell hounds.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
I’ve never been that great with people. I was always that weird kid that sat alone at recess reading my book or scribbling away at something that nobody would ever read. As I grew up, I got a lot better at speaking out loud—it’s sort of necessary to hold a job—but writing was always my main outlet for self-expression. When I was in the seventh grade, I won a poetry writing contest in my school district and was published in an anthology. It was just a small regional thing and I’m sure I have the only copy left in existence, but it was a big deal for me. It was the first time someone told me I was good at something. Since then, I’ve leaned on writing for personal communication, school, and later, for my career. Writing is my safe space and my happy place.
What inspired you to start writing this book?
I’ve mostly written poetry—I took several poetry classes when I was in college—and short stories, but I’m a big fan of the fantasy genre, and I had been kicking around an idea for several years. I’m a registered nurse, and I’ve always wished that healing people were easier. That wish turned into a story that I just couldn’t stop writing.
Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
My manuscript was originally titled “The Cult of Anick,” but this title became the series name when I realized that this was, in fact, a series. My mom actually suggested the title Avelina. I needed something that appealed to the correct demographic, and it’s simple and to the point, just like me.
Describe your dream book cover.
I have a book cover and I really like it, but if I had this to do over again, I would probably go with something closer to the cover of Fourth Wing. I love the geometrical design infused with symbolism. That cover really gets me.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I’ve been a registered nurse for more than a decade and I took care of COVID patients during the height of the pandemic. The first chapter of Avelina, where Lina is in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, came directly from personal experience. I’ve since moved on to an area of nursing that requires a ton of writing, and it really suits me, but I’ll be forever shaped by those years on the front lines.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
My perfect reader is one with an open mind. Lina, the primary protagonist in Avelina, is a bisexual female with a serious dark side. She doesn’t always make good choices and has a hard time resisting temptation. I hope that people come away with a little more self-acceptance and learn that even the most flawed of human beings can learn, grow and become a hero.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.