29 October, 2016

#GuestPost :: Wattpad - The Place to Be for Aspiring Authors by Farah Oomerbhoy

About the Author:

Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.
Contact Farah:

Wattpad—The Place to Be for Aspiring Authors by Farah Oomerbhoy

Have you ever heard of Wattpad? It’s the world’s largest site for free books and stories. 

If you are an aspiring author and yearn to share your stories with the world, Wattpad is the place to do it—you can publish full pieces or even works-in-progress directly to your readers, for free! And with over 16 million unique visitors per month, Wattpad is a fast-growing community of writers and readers, all of whom get together to share their love of storytelling.

When I first discovered Wattpad in 2014, I was an author with only a first draft. I had tried sending my (very rough) manuscript, a YA fantasy, out to publishers in India, but didn’t gather any interest. 
So I decided to give Wattpad a try so I could go directly to my readers. It sounded almost too good to be true—a place where I could upload my work and have people actually read it and give helpful feedback. I went ahead and started uploading my book, one chapter at a time. I created my own cover and uploaded that too. Within hours, my story was ready to go. 

The response was immediate and highly unexpected. People from all over the world were reading The Last of the Firedrakes and enjoying it. They would leave comments and suggestions and all of them were eagerly waiting for me to release the next chapter. I was elated, all I ever wanted was for people to read what I had written and enjoy the story. 

From then on I was uploading chapters twice a week, and soon gained a huge fan following. My reads and votes skyrocketed into the thousands within a month and my book started appearing on Wattpad’s highly coveted What’s Hot list.

Over the next few months, The Last of the Firedrakes, catapulted to the top of the fantasy list, reaching #1. I was contacted by a Wattpad official and offered a place on the Featured List, which is a set of handpicked stories specially curated by their staff and promoted on their site. I also entered my book in the 2015 Watty Awards and, to my surprise, my book won an award, becoming a Collector’s Dream on Wattpad. And I got a lovely sticker on my book to go with it!

During these whirlwind few months, I met some wonderful fellow authors, who have all become fast friends. Together we formed the WPC2014, now called the Wattpadres, a writing group who have been extremely supportive of my work and been with me throughout my publishing journey. 
The Last of the Firedrakes is currently a constant on Wattpad’s Fantasy, What’s Hot list and has nearly reached 2 million reads, earning The Avalonia Chronicles a legion of faithful fans and me a great network of beta readers and fans.

Wattpad gave me the confidence I needed to pick myself up after the initial rejections from publishers and try again. That’s when I contacted Wise Ink Creative Publishing. They loved the book and were very keen to publish it. And just like that, I went from being an aspiring author, to a published one.
Now, one year after the release of The Last of the Firedrakes, the book is an international bestseller, having received five prestigious awards in the United States. Book two of the series is due for release early next year and book three will be out soon after. 

Wattpad is still the place I go when I want to interact with my fellow readers and authors, and find new authors to love. There are forums where you can find almost anything related to books and publishing and get direct feedback on your work. Publishers, book marketers, cover designers, authors and readers all hang out here and are ever on the look out for the next great book. 
Many publishers frequently hold contests on Wattpad, and winning one of these can score you a dream publishing deal if your work is good enough. You just need to be in the right place at the right time and the rest will follow. 

If you have a story you want to write, or even a first draft that needs feedback, check out this wonderful and ever-growing community that will support and help you throughout your writing career. 

According to me, for a new author, Wattpad is exactly the right place to be.

About the Book:

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.

Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever. 

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon I Flipkart

Silver Medal winner in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Award
Semifinalist Winner in the 2016 Kindle Book Award 

Silver award winner in IBPA’s 2016 Benjamin Franklin Awards
Finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards
Winner in Wattpad’s 2015 Watty Awards
Awesome Indies Approved

“…the narrative components echo the classics; the Academy of Magic at Evolon could be Hogwarts, while the Shadow Guards are reminiscent of Tolkien’s Ring Wraiths or Rowling’s Dementors…a beautifully drawn fantasy world.” Kirkus Reviews

“THE LAST OF THE FIREDRAKES is a magic-filled romp that carries you back to the fantasy stories of childhood…Lovers of classic fantasy will likewise gobble down Oomerbhoy’s scrumptious story.” – Dr Vic James, author of the SLAVEDAYS trilogy

The world building is beautiful…That really made the book more complex for me…it is the journey of discovery for Aurora and the reader that makes this an interesting story.” Janelle Fila for Readers’ Favorite

The Last of the Firedrakes has all the elements of popular fantasy – an orphaned princess, Magical powers, an alternate sphere with seven kingdoms, a young girl with a destiny to fulfil. They are all elements of the Narnia Chronicles, The Faraway tree, The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings and a bit of Enid Blyton fun.” – Mitali Parekh for Mid-Day newspaper

The Last of the Firedrakes is a fantasy novel that will entrance young adult and adult readers alike… Political intrigue, danger, and deep characterization make for an interconnected epic, enthusiastically recommended for high fantasy connoisseurs.”
– Midwest Book Review

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