Ashley McLeo says her debut novel, Prophecy of Three, has been a huge labor of love: “It all started at my uninspiring day job where I would spend hours bored to death and listening to audiobooks or podcasts. One day, I listened to A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (amazing series you must read if you are into witches and fantasy!) and thought “that’s exactly the type of book I’d want to write”. So I tried.
Luckily this was during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month – annually in November). so even a newbie, who had no writing experience could get fired up and believe in herself easily.
Four years later I’m proud to say Prophecy of Three while still a fantasy novel with badass witches is far different and better than what I thought it would be. With the help of my writing community and editor I was able to take a world that existed only in my head and give it life, something I find incredible. I did what I set out to do but I also made something I hadn’t expected in the process. I made a life I could be inspired by out of nothing.
With the help of my writing community and editor I was able to take a world that existed only in my head and give it life, something I find incredible.
Excerpt from Prophecy of Three (also available with the “look inside” feature on Amazon):
The knots in Hypatia’s back wound tighter as memories of black smoke and lost knowledge flooded her mind.
The library was burning. Thousands of treasures flying toward the heavens reincarnated as ash and ember. Original works of Sophocles, Homer, and Euripides gone, and yet, Hypatia cared for only one. The one passed down through the centuries from woman to woman, witch to witch. She’d read it hundreds of times, recited every word and enunciated every syllable with care, should a disaster such as this ever occur. The one entrusted to her for safekeeping. The true secret of secrets and future of man.
She hardly felt the hot stones beneath her feet as she sprinted toward the volume secreted away in the quietest wing of the royal library. She was halfway there when the smoke began to lay siege to her body. Her muscles, strong from hours of dueling with her sisters for sport, strained beneath her will. Her skin screamed in protest with each brush against a flaming scroll or hot stone. A mere fifty paces away, Hypatia closed her burning eyes and began to navigate the long hallway and staircase blind. Her breath came like a reluctant lover, teasing her lungs before wrenching itself from her body. Years seemed to pass as she pulled herself up the steep stairs, and then suddenly, the floor flattened beneath her palms. She’d made it.
I must be quick, Hypatia thought, opening her eyes. Her heart dropped from its cage. The tower was not aflame, as she had feared. The fire was dying, having eaten its fill and moved on. Only layers of ash and gray ghosts remained in the inferno’s wake. But how, when paces below the tower a fire devoured its prey with greed and glee?
The answer hit her: This place, the library’s most isolated, least loved wing, had been the fire’s birthing room. Her left eye twitched.