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Rena Barron Books In Order

Publication Order of Kingdom of Souls Books

Kingdom of Souls (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Maya and the Rising Dark (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Rena Barron grew up in a tiny town in Alabama, where tales of adventure and magic sparked her imagination and made her want to write tales of her very own. She lives in Chicago, Illinois and works at an ad agency.

She first started thinking about writing poetry and short stories during middle school. After writing her first terrible poem while she was just in middle school, she graduated up to writing short stories and attempting to pen novels by the time she got to high school. None of her novels were finished during this time though. Her poetry during her younger years did get a little better as time went on.

In college, she finally got serious about wanting to see stories she had written in book form. She wanted her stories to be able to reach a bigger audience, broader than just her friends.

As a child, she learned about vodun, a religion that later found offshoots in voodoo. Vodun was the inspiration for her debut novel “Kingdom of Souls”. It was also inspired by the stories of tales of folk magic within her own community.

Voodoo was something that was a dark, mystical thing that everyone feared since she grew up in Alabama. She began understanding not just the origin of it, but also the richness and cultural significance of West Africa. She started to get frustrated with it being seen as black or dark magic. It made her want to write a book that was inspired by West African culture that actually celebrated both its complexities and its beauty.

During PitchWars, an online contest that offers authors the chance to showcase one of their unpublished projects, the novel was the most requested young adult manuscript in the entire history of the contest, with 43 literary agents wanting it. At the time, it made headlines when this happened. Originally, the story was called “The Last Witchdoctor”, before getting changed to “Kingdom of Souls”. She was later signed by New Leaf Literary & Media and is represented by Suzie Townsend. The story was bought at an auction by Stephanie Stein at HarperTeen.

On her way to becoming a published writer, she was sent twenty revise and resubmit letters as well as many more rejections. Rena received all of these while she was querying for ten years to get an agent.

This is what led to her success during the online contest, and to her getting a pair of three-book deals to two different publishers in just three months.

Rena has an affinity for nature, good cheese, and good wine, seeing herself as an aficionado for both wine and cheese. She lived in the Franche-Comte region in France, where she would hike to her heart’s content and would explore the ruins of ancient castles. When she is not busy with her writing, or talking about what she writes, she can be found brushing up on her French by taking classes or reading or running along Lake Michigan. She also enjoys hiking, just being active, and traveling around the world.

Rena Barron enjoys all things ghosts, science fiction, and superheroes. She is a self-proclaimed space nerd, too.

From an early age, she enjoyed reading stories of all kinds, from different genres. This taught her to never limit herself in the things that she would write.

She loves to write during the morning time. This is usually due to the fact that she works out tricky plot points and revisions the night before in her head while she should be sleeping. She feels she lives her stories out inside of her head.

Her debut novel, “Kingdom of Souls” was released in the year 2019. The story has been with Rena much longer than when she submitted it to the PitchWars contest that she entered. Her work is from the young adult fantasy genre.

She quickly sold another novel, called “Maya and the Rising Dark”. It is for middle school readers and is West African inspired. The book was bought by Emilia at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as part of a three-book preempt for world English rights.

“Kingdom of Souls” is the first novel, which was released in the year 2019. Magic has got a price, if only you are willing to pay it. Arrah, born into a family made up of powerful witch doctors, yearns for magic of her own. Each year, she fails to call forth the ancestral powers, while her ambitious mom watches with increasing disapproval. It causes her mother to want to conjure up a better daughter, one able to wake a great and horrible Demon King.

The only thing Arrah has yet to try, a deadly last resort: trading years of her life for scraps of magic. The kingdom’s kids start to go missing, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit.

She finds something a lot worse. The long-imprisoned demon king has been stirring. If he should happen to rise, the hunger he has for souls is going to bring the world right to its knees. Unless, of course, Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

With Arrah, Rena created a compelling and tenacious lead character. This author has a way with creating some sinister, amazing, and maddeningly complicated villains that stay with you after you have finished reading it. The book has unexpected twists and turns, revenge, epic battle scenes, scheming unreliable gods, and political intrigue. Rena’s prose is both haunting and poetic. It grabs the reader from the start with lush prose and a chilling concept, as well as a unique hook with some compelling stakes. This is an author to watch for many years to come.

“Maya and the Rising Dark” is the second novel, which was released in the year 2020. After her father vanishes, Maya, twelve years old, finds out that he is the keeper of the gateway between our world and The Dark. To locate her dad, she is going to need to unlock her powers and battle against a horde of creatures set on starting a war.

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