Author of the Month Tellwell Books

Chelee Cromwell: Pioneering Sci-Fi Romance With Heart and Vision

From Nova Scotia to the World Stage, Explore the Inspirations and Dreams Behind NEWBIA, the Debut Novel That’s Captivated Readers Worldwide.

Life is meant to be explored and enjoyed while loving each other, showing and giving respect, acceptance, and understanding while embracing the many gifts and talents placed upon each of us. – Chelee Cromwell

Chelee Cromwell, an author from Nova Scotia, has made waves with her unique blend of science fiction and romance. Chelee is recognized as the first Black woman in Nova Scotia to publish a combination science fiction, fantasy, and romance series. Born and raised in Lake Loon and Weymouth Falls, her roots deeply influence her storytelling.

Her debut novel, NEWBIA, gained international attention, resonating with readers from countries across the globe, including Norway, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Bahamas. Chelee’s inspiration for NEWBIA stemmed from a dream that came to her night after night, and it followed a coherent storyline.

Through television appearances on channels like Eastlink Magazine, In Focus, and CTV Morning Live, as well as features on CBC MainStreet Radio and in newspapers across Nova Scotia, Chelee’s work has received widespread recognition. She has also effectively engaged with her audience through social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, fostering a community around her series.

As she looks forward to the release of NEWBIA 3, Chelee Cromwell continues to share her imaginative worlds with readers. Join us as we explore Chelee’s journey as an author and the creative process behind the NEWBIA series.

NEWBIA originated from a dream. Can you elaborate on whether a similar creative process occurred for NEWBIA2 and 3, or did you build upon the foundation of the first book?

NEWBIA is based on a dream that I had for two months straight, always starting where I had left off the night before. Having a lack of confidence in myself and what I had created, I sat on NEWBIA for ten years, thinking it was just a dream and nothing more! However, I shared my dream of publishing my book called NEWBIA with others over those ten years, which always led to the encouragement of publishing such an unwritten idea.

Hesitating for a decade, I went in search of a Canadian publishing company and came upon Tellwell. With their advice, help, and guiding hands, NEWBIA was brought to life! Through the soft cream-colored page, to the beautifully detailed cover, my visions came to fruition.

Together we worked sided by side, creating NEWBIA, which was published on November 15, 2019. After anxiously waiting for a few months, I received my author’s copy of NEWBIA. I finished it within two days, finally reading what I had dreamt all those years ago and remembering things I didn’t know I had forgotten.

Leaving the experience of it, a one-of-a-kind thing that can not be explained in words, that evening I went to sleep, falling back into the dream where NEWBIA had ended ten years prior, dreaming the exact duration time as book 1. Two months straight!

Following this unusual pattern, my brain enjoyed talking while I was asleep. I woke each morning to write book 2, just as I had written book 1. Immediately after completion, I contacted Tellwell again, taking the same steps as I did with the first book in this series, publishing NEWBIA 2: The Chronicles Continue on July 15, 2021.

Again, I excitedly waited a few months for my author’s copy. Once it came, I read it within two days, which led me to fall back into where book 2 had ended. Only this time, my dream brought me to a place that I still have a difficult time explaining. There is nothing within this reality that would resemble or give reference to what this place actually is or represents.

This took more time to write because I had to make sense of what I did not understand in order to share the beginning of the end to NEWBIA.

The ending of NEWBIA I had dreamt sometime in the fall of 2009, without realizing it was in fact the ending. At the time I thought nothing of it, because the surroundings and the unfamiliarity of a world I couldn’t comprehend were pushed aside. I thought it was just one of my many adventurous dreams, leaving me oblivious until I dreamt of Pacidia.

Are you a lucid dreamer? Were you able to interact with and shape the dream, or were you watching it unfold like a movie that came from your subconscious?

Yes, I am a lucid dreamer! I have been my entire life. I taught myself how to control my dreams through prayer, meditation, and mental techniques before sleep. If I do not use my techniques to control my dreams, my mind will always lead me to NEWBIA and its many untold chronicles.

However, I am not the main character, Nyria Crowell. It is as if she is frozen in time, waiting for me to enter her body so she can journey through this dream world that I find myself drawn to most nights. I am able to feel her emotions and I can hear her thoughts as if they were my own, but I know that I am dreaming and it is not my reality. Although, there have been times when I woke up and it took me a few seconds to make sure that I was in fact awake and not still sleeping.

If I had to choose whether it feels like I am watching a movie or if I am a part of it, I would choose the latter.

Your journey involves taking a leap of faith and pursuing your dreams. What guidance would you offer to fellow authors or artists who struggle with embracing their aspirations, whether in a literal or metaphorical sense?

I believe that we are our only obstacle in life! We, as individuals, hold the pen to how our lives will be written. If we do not set goals or take risks, we will be left at the end of life with nothing but regrets and what-ifs.

Life is meant to be explored and enjoyed while loving each other, showing and giving respect, acceptance, and understanding while embracing the many gifts and talents placed upon each of us. Manifesting positivity so the universe boomerangs back that same energy! You get what you give.

Confidence, courage, and faith are the main ingredients to achieving the things you believe are impossible to accomplish, when in reality they are all within arm’s reach. You just have to take the first step. The rest will follow you to victory!

As the first woman of colour to write a successful sci-fi romance novel in the Atlantic provinces, how do you perceive your role in representing an underrepresented demographic and a genre that isn’t widely associated with the East Coast of Canada?

In theory, every generation is left with the responsibility to pave the way for those coming up behind them in some way or another. I am living proof that no matter the struggle or the journey anyone finds themselves in, you can overcome the worst of the worst!

I was 23 years old when I was first diagnosed with endometrial cancer, and for years I silently battled through multiple surgeries while undergoing medical treatments, fighting to overcome the trial and tribulation placed in front of me. November 22, 2010 was my last surgery.

I would like to believe that I represent strength, bravery, and a whole lot of Scotian love! Not only am I a proud Canadian (born and raised), but I am a woman who was blessed to be born Black with a gift of imagination who was given a second chance to leave her mark!

I humbly appreciate and accept the titles placed upon me being the first Black woman from Nova Scotia to publish a book series in my genre. The first just means that we are the ones that create the paths for those who are even greater to continue on!

Have any Black female authors influenced or inspired your path as an author?

To be honest, I do not read much. But, I love to write! The first book I bought was IT by Steven King, and the first and only book I think I ever read was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

What insights do you hope diverse audiences will gain from observing your evolution as a writer?

I hope the audience enjoys my series as much as I enjoyed writing it! I also hope that I am able to open the minds that are tightly closed off to the unknown. Think outside the box and let your mind be free to explore the endless possibilities of what we think is “out of this world.”

Admittedly, I am a new author and I respect and understand that there is still a lot to learn and lots to share. All beneficial criticism is welcome.

As you work on NEWBIA 3, what can your fans anticipate from the upcoming installment?

NEWBIA 3 explains main character Nyria’s role and reasoning for what is written, and the evolutional truths of life hidden among distractions, While new characters emerge, giving the reader a taste of what is to come!

Be sure to pick up copies of Newbia book series on Amazon!

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