H.P. Waitt - Author, Band of Shadows: The Scarlet Onyx Saga
H.P. Waitt is the author behind the brand new novel Band of Shadows: The Scarlet Onyx Saga. Originally from the wide-open plains of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, H.P. earned her BA from the University of Southern California, where she studied both history and psychology in an unflagging effort to understand what makes people tick.
H.P.’s passions lie in supporting families in the foster care system and raising awareness about mental illness. She’s become an advocate for those living with mental health issues and her philanthropic causes, along with her passion for writing, and both inspired Band of Shadows. Her novel tells the story of how 17-year-old foster child Scarlet, who’s often missed a sense of belonging because of her own mental health struggle, discovers she’s actually a Faye destined to help banish the dark Fayes left on Earth, known as the Band of Shadows.
H.P. always loves reading and writing, and with Band of Shadows she really wanted to create a world for readers to live in. H.P. has created a compelling story that proves you can always be the hero in your own story.
When H.P. isn’t reading, reading, or reading, she’s wearing out her passport pages in search of inspiration and the perfect cup of coffee. I’m so excited to connect with H.P. and to dive into her debut novel. I have a feeling Band of Shadows is the first of many exciting novels from H.P. to come, and I can’t wait for you all to follow along and learn more!
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
Hi! I’m H.P. Waitt and I’m an an author. Band of Shadows: The Scarlet Onyx Saga is my first novel!
How did you get started?
I’ve always loved reading and writing but for some reason, there was a long period of time where I didn’t think writing novels could be a viable career option for me. But that all changed when I was struck with the idea for Band of Shadows, and I’m so glad it did! Writing a book was new to me. I had no idea how to start or what structure to follow, so I just started trying everything - it was very much a trial and error approach, and while it was stressful at times, my passion for the story always fueled me to finish the book.
What inspired the work that you're doing?
My childhood love of reading was a huge inspiration for me. I grew up as a voracious reader and I really looked up to the authors of my favorite novels. I still do, actually. I think I wanted to give readers the same feeling I felt when I read a good book.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
What a difficult question! I feel like I am passionate about so many things, but writing, traveling, and philanthropy definitely top the list! I do honestly feel like I am living my passion and purpose. I get to read and write nearly every day, I travel extensively and am lucky enough to get to see so many of the beautiful wonders of the world, and I get to give back to my community and to those in need.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
This answer is quite similar to my answer above. Reading and writing bring me joy, as does philanthropic work and traveling makes me feel alive! My fiancé and my dog also bring me great joy!
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
I try and live intentionally but I do have a problem getting stuck inside my own head. I really rely on my fiancé and my family to keep me grounded and to pull me out of my head a little and to keep me grounded in reality. I think it’s an issue many writers face, especially when writing fantasy fiction. It really forces you to create new worlds out of nothing which in turn can lead to a writer spending a little too much time in the fantasy world in their minds!
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
My younger self would freak out if she knew she was one day going to be an author! In middle school, I used to stay late at an elective after school program for creative writing and I loved submitting my short stories for contests. Young me would be overjoyed to learn that passion grew into a career and those short stories turned into novels.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
“And miles to go before I sleep.” It’s an excerpt from a Robert Frost poem and it reminds me that I have so much more I want to do and accomplish in my lifetime and to never give up.
What is your biggest dream?
My biggest dream is for people to love my books. I think as a writer, or as a ‘creative' in general, we have an inherent fear of people actually seeing our work. That fear certainly lives inside me, but slowly, it is being overwhelmed by the dream of seeing people, especially young people, reading and enjoying my book, getting into discussions or even arguments over certain parts of it. It’s such a surreal idea, but that’s what dreams are - surreal.
To learn more about H.P. and her book, visit her website https://band-of-shadows.squarespace.com/ and you can find her book on Amazon here and you can connect with her on Instagram @hailess and Facebook @bandofshadows
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