Fire in Frost – Discover the Debut Novel from Wisconsin Author Alicia Rades


Putting up with rejection has always been a big part of being a writer.

Stephen King got so many rejection letters from publishers before he found success that he nailed them to the wall with a railroad spike. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies was rejected 20 different times.

Even Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was rejected again and again. She only got her book printed because the daughter of the CEO at a small London publisher begged her father to let her read the second chapter. The Harry Potter brand is now valued at $15 billion.

Sometimes the people in charge of deciding what’s worthy are pretty clueless.

That’s why up-and-coming author Alicia Rades of Marion might be wise for choosing a different path. Her young adult novel Fire in Frost, about a girl with paranormal abilities, is now available for pre-orders.

And this Wisconsin author has decided she doesn’t need a publisher at all…

author alicia radesFire in Frost is Rades’ first full-length novel – but it’s far from her first foray into writing. On her author’s website, she talks about being intrigued by her grandmother’s old typewriter, saying she would “plunk away at the keys.”

From there, she started creating poetry and song lyrics. By the age of 17 she was getting paid as a freelance writer, and at 19 she authored a 30,000 word novella called Where the Darkness Ends.

Rades is still just 21 years old – but she’s not letting her age, or anything else, stop her from pursuing her passion.

She wrote Fire in Frost as part of National Novel Writing Month – aka NaNoWriMo – which is a movement encouraging aspiring authors to write a 50,000 word novel during November. But Alicia told us it didn’t even take her that long…at least not the first time around.

“I was so excited about it that I finished the first draft in 10 days!”

Rades says getting her story out of her head and on to the page was the easy part. The challenge was going back, taking a look with a critical eye, and realizing her book still needed plenty of work.

“It wasn’t the first draft that was the scary part,” she explains. “It took a lot of encouragement from others and determination from me to go back and rewrite the story to make it worth something. At first, I thought that I would never publish the story because it just wasn’t good. Then I did a lot of rewriting, so much that the characters changed and a lot of things were added while a lot was taken out. That was the scary part, but I couldn’t be more proud of myself for accomplishing it.”

The Inspiration Behind Fire in Frost

Fire in Frost centers around a teenage girl named Crystal Frost who discovers she has metaphysical gifts when the ghost of a dead classmate comes to her for help.

But figuring out how to live with those secret abilities isn’t easy. In true teenage fashion – Crystal is concerned about being viewed as a freak while dealing with the responsibility of doing the right thing.

Rades says she definitely had a specific reader in mind.

“It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. A middle aged man? You might want to skip this one. A 15-year old girl? If you’re like I was at your age, you’ll love it!”

Authors Singleton and Rades

Authors Singleton and Rades

One such book that Alicia Rades loved as a kid was Don’t Die Dragonfly. It’s the first book in the Seer series from author Linda Joy Singleton.

“That series has been my favorite ever since, and when I decided to write a book, I wanted to do something in the same genre,” Rades says.

“The story and characters are a lot different, and even the psychic abilities are different, but it was the love of the young adult paranormal genre that sparked my idea to write about a young girl learning to cope with her abilities.

The cool thing about the inspiration behind this is that I flew out West to meet Linda Joy Singleton last year. She didn’t know it at the time, but I dedicated my book to her.”

Alicia adds that, seeing Singleton “as a real person” gave her the confidence to feel like she could achieve the same accomplishments as one of her favorite authors.

A World Where Anything Can Happen

FireinFrost bookWhen Rades talks about Fire in Frost, she explains that she enjoys the freedom of coming up with other-worldly characters and happenings.

“The thing I love about the paranormal genre is that you don’t have to get anything right,” she says.In real life, there is so much mystery surrounding the paranormal that you can use any explanation you want and create a whole world out of the unknown.”

Alicia Rades may not have supernatural powers like Crystal Frost, but anyone who has tried to write a book knows you almost need them to see the project through to the end.

It takes a lot of courage to come up with an idea, turn it into art and put it into the world. What makes Rades’ case even more unique is that she didn’t wait around to get picked by a publisher.

She did it herself. She’s creating her own world by forging her own opportunities.

Rades says there are both benefits and challenges to self-publishing.

“While it does take a lot of work to self-publish a good book, it does have its advantages. For one, you get a lot higher royalties. If you’re using a platform like Amazon’s CreateSpace or Kindle Publishing, you can make up to 70% of the royalties whereas a traditional publisher might give you 15%.”

One of the biggest motivations to using online tools to publish, promote and distribute your own book is that the author keeps ownership and has the final say on everything. Not so with traditional publishing Rades says.

“Once you sign that contract, the book isn’t yours anymore even though it has your name on it. With self-publishing, you retain complete rights of your content. I chose to independently publish because of the control I have over my book.”

But Rades also points out, when you choose to self-publish, you need to be aware that you’ll be much more than just the author.

“I think a lot of aspiring writers don’t take this route because all they want to do is write,” Rades says. “Independent publishing is a lot more than that. You also have to be a marketer and everything that goes along with that. ​More than that, you have to be a business person.”

For Fire in Frost, Rades worked with a designer to create the book’s cover. She also hired an editor and a blog tour advisor. Other than that – it’s been a DIY endeavor.

“Sure, you can publish a book without any initial costs if you independently publish, but if you want to see your book become successful, you have to put in a lot more time and money (and learn a ton of new skills) than you would think.”

So will it all pay off for this young author? Time will tell.

Rades says that while she’d love to make writing fiction her full-time gig at some point, for now she’s content including it as just another part of her freelance writing business.

You can find her non-fiction articles on sites like Lifehack, Problogger and Social Media Today just to name a few. She’s also written an e-book with advice for beginning bloggers.

“If my fiction writing paid the bills, I would like to write fiction forever, but who knows? I’m always changing my mind. I feel more accomplished by having a finished novel than I do by having a blogging portfolio, but honestly I’d like to continue doing both.”

In the meantime, while most of us live in a world that’s defined for us by bosses and managers, politicians and parents, professors and publishers – Alica Rades is creating her own world – both on the page and in real life.

She’s not waiting around for someone else to tell her that her writing is good enough. All she needs to care about is what her readers think.

More Details on Alicia Rades and Fire in Frost

You can place a pre-order for the book right now on Amazon.The Kindle version is just $2.99 and there will be a print version for $11.99. Fire in Frost officially becomes available on March 13th, 2015.

While you’re waiting, you can check out Alicia Rades’ other works when you visit or when you view her author’s profile on

There will be a launch party at the Marion Public Library on March 13th from 4 to 7pm. Plus, look for book signings at Beans & Books in Shawano on March 14th and the Portage County Library in Stevens Point on March 19th at 5:30pm.

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  1. Way to go, Alicia!! I admire you. Kasey, great promotional piece for Alicia.

  2. Thank you so much for featuring me! I couldn’t be happier about this book’s release.

  3. Alicia, did you see Kasey promoting your book on Local 5 Live Thursday morning? If not, here it is! Your route WILL inspire more writers to go for it.

  4. I’m sorry, here’s the link:

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