Fantasy worlds lead to real success for local author
Rhiannon Elton has written 10 books in the past 4 years, with the launch of her latest novel, The Case of the Mountain’s Monster, coinciding with a boxed set of her series.
The self-published Browns Plains author has a head full of stories and a drive to deliver them to her fans – and there are plenty more stories bubbling away.
A life-long mystery fan, Rhiannon has combined the worlds of fantasy, science and detective work in her series. It follows the adventures of Wolflock Felen, and started life as short stories in 2016.
‘I’d say it’s like Sherlock Holmes set in Middle Earth,’ she says.
‘Mystery and fantasy, problem solving – I have always loved that kind of thing.
‘In high school, I was bullied horrendously and was going through a really hard time. I wanted to find a space where I was safe and where people made choices based on compassion and empathy, not anything negative.’
Rhiannon created that world for herself, first via a short story series in 2016.
The one-time acupuncturist started turning her fictional world into novels when personal circumstances led her to a crossroads and prompted her to decide what she really wanted to do.
‘It was a time of a lot of upheaval when I merged my own acupuncture business with another and felt my heart wasn’t in it anymore,’ she says.
‘I had to think: what do I really want? When the question was that simple, the answer was really clear. I wanted to write.’
As she began to write and self-publish her novels, her fans made their feelings clear.
‘I have readers who are in high school, women my age, people in their 60s – and readers message me asking when the next book is coming out, which is amazing,’ she says.
‘It has been challenging and a huge learning curve, but I have never regretted deciding to put all my time into writing.
‘I’m also really grateful for the Regional Arts Development Fund grant I was able to get, as that allowed me to have that time to write and do nothing else.
‘To become a successful author, it is a fulltime job because you basically run a small business, from marketing to admin to everything else – so having that time set aside, fully funded, to write, was priceless.’
There’s a period of planning ahead for Rhiannon as she plans her next 10 books.
‘I want to be able to release the next series close together as I did with the first, so I will spend 6 months planning them out,’ she says.
‘I love to really immerse myself in a series, and I want my readers to be able to do that too – and not be waiting too long between books.’