Enchantée is “an intoxicating blend of opulence, magic, intrigue and romance,” as described by New York Times bestselling author Alwyn Hamilton.
Rising to #33 in Teen and Young Adult Historical Fantasy eBooks and #34 in Teen and Young Adult European Historical Fiction, Gita Trelease’s first novel Enchantée has gained immediate and immense success since the book’s publication in February.
In addition to climbing up the ranks, Enchantée has received a multitude of reviews commending its success.
The novel combines fantasy with the rich history of the French Revolution into a tale about an orphan girl who uses dark magic to keep her family safe.
Despite her success as a new novelist, Ms. Trelease did not study creative writing in school. However, other experiences such as conducting research as a Ph.D. student and teaching classes on fairy tales at Princeton has helped her with writing this historical fantasy.
This knowledge, combined with her love for reading and writing, have set the stage for her current career as an author.
Ms. Trelease commented, “I’ve been writing and reading for a long time, and both of these things—along with intense perseverance—have contributed to my success as a writer. After a career as an academic, I had to teach myself by reading novels, taking them apart, and studying books on the craft of writing.”
With this experience and passion, Ms. Trelease cannot believe how being an author has completely changed her life.
Currently, Ms. Trelease’s full-time job is writing, an occupation that has opened up many more opportunities for her. These oppurtunities include attending festivals such as the recent Teen Book Con in Houston, and many others as well.
However, despite undergoing such great changes, Ms. Trelease admitted that certain aspects of her life have remained the same.
“Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I thought that becoming a published author would not just change my life but change me. That if I achieved this thing, problems I had would disappear. But of course it didn’t work that way. I’m still me, fighting the same inner struggles I was when I started,” she said.
Realizing this helps me focus less on the product, and more on the process, because we can never guarantee the outcome of our work or its reception,” reflected Ms. Trelease.
Ms. Trelease is currently working on the sequel to Enchantée and has already completed a rough draft.
In writing this novel, Ms. Trelease must consider what her fans want as well as her own goals for the series.
In addition to bettering herself as a writer, Ms. Trelease keeps herself engaged with the novel by exploring character development as violence rises during the French Revolution and tackling the question of what it truly means to be a hero.
She also keeps in mind her editor’s suggestions for what her readers are hoping for, namely more romance.
Yet, like any writer, she faces certain challenges.
The deadline for the first draft, January, cut her off on time, but Ms. Trelease used this experience to turn her mistakes into a way to learn more about herself and her writing process.
“Only afterwards did I realize that writing a super-detailed outline made me feel like I’d already figured out the story, which meant that I no longer wanted to write it and also, that I liked to have the freedom to write scenes out of order and revise intensively for coherency afterwards, which takes more time,” said Ms. Trelease.
This deadline also gave her writer’s block, an issue that she predicts will reoccur, though she has learned to combat and overcome this problem through copious years of practice.
Ms. Trelease added, “I learned that for me at least, writer’s block is about fear. To combat that feeling, one of the best strategies I know is to break down what you need to do into very small pieces and then reward yourself with something fun.”
She continued, “Eventually you start to feel successful again and writing becomes easier. I suspect, however, that beating the fear will be a lifelong struggle for me.”
Writing the sequel will ultimately be an opportunity to explore her writing style and methods.
“A big part of writing the sequel has been coming to understand myself and my process as a writer,” remarked Ms. Trelease.
“As a writer, you really have to be willing to trust yourself, throw things out, and start over.”