Guest Post: Maintaining Creativity While Meeting Market Expectations with Fiona Tarr

I have enjoyed The Priestess Chronicles from the start with Call of the Druids (my review). Book Three has just come out, and I’ll post my review tomorrow. Meanwhile, Australian author Fiona Tarr has graciously offered a glimpse into her creative process with this series and planning for the next. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

For the curious who have yet to become fans, the beginning of this series is on sale for $0.99 right now. Or maybe you want to introduce someone you know to The Priestess Chronicles?

Please welcome Fiona Tarr:

Writing is like any other creative pursuit where you seek to make an income in return for your efforts–you run the risk of going stale. I’m not talking from a reader’s perspective, although that is possible, of course. I’m talking from a personal creativity standpoint.

Readers like to read books that meet their expectations as far as genre traits (or tropes as we authors call them). Each genre has certain plot and character traits that every reader expects. A romance has themes like ‘friends to lovers’ or ‘enemies to lovers’ (my personal favourite). Fantasy readers expect to read about ‘the reluctant hero’, ‘the evil dictator’ or ‘the magical mentor’ to name a few. So how does an author keep the creative spark burning, while not upsetting their readers?

Well, I can’t speak for all authors, only share a little of my own experience on how I’ve managed. I’ve written two complete series now, and I’m working on my ongoing third series. My first was theologically driven, with strong, but broad, religious themes. The second switched over to a mythological viewpoint, but still pursued humanity’s plight with political and religious turmoil.

My third and current series was born from watching the TV series Shadow Hunters. It has been written more like a television series, cut down into episodes and seasons. This is a new style for me with lots of dialogue and although thematically it has similar historical elements to my other work, there are some creative differences that have allowed me to expand my imagination.

The series is about Ariela, who is a Priestess from an ancient Israelite order. She can use magic (or ‘gifts’ if you prefer) to fight evil, but as a Princess of ancient Israel and niece to King David, she isn’t going to get the chance if an arranged marriage goes ahead.

The first book moves quickly into the future as I have played with time travel, angelic magic, and historical time periods, all from a young adult perspective; quite different from my other two series.

The third book in this series, Shiloh Rising, has just been released and I’m going to keep releasing new books in The Priestess Chronicles as I work my way through times in history. Ariela is sent to when and where magic has been threatened or great evil has risen. That said, I rarely write one series at a time, so I’m going to do what every truly creative person must… I’m going to try my hand at a totally new genre.

I’ve had a plot rolling around in my head for a few months now. It doesn’t fit historical fantasy, religious fantasy, or any other fantasy genre. I’ve come up with a crime/thriller plot set in Australia, and I’m really looking forward to exploring it. Half the fun of writing is the research, and so far, I’ve uncovered some great material.

While I continue to ponder this new genre, I’d love to hear what readers think of The Priestess Chronicles. As an incentive to try, I have put book 1–Call of the Druids on sale for November.

To learn more about Fiona Tarr and how she mixes her interests in history, faith, and philosophy, please visit her website:

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