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Local Author Spotlight: Ellie Raine’s Successful Story in Self-Publishing



Ellie Raine is a Peachtree Corners resident with nine book titles to her name, most notably the NecroSeam Chronicles, which consist of a series of five epic fantasy novels and two prequels. Her writing has earned her recognition as a two-time winner of the Readers’ Favorite in the International Book Awards and first place in the fantasy division for Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards in 2019, as well as a couple other awards.

Author Ellie Raine. Raine’s books and merchandise.

The NecroSeam Chronicles even have their own website, necroseam.com, which is themed around their fantastical namesake. There, Raine regularly engages with her active fanbase on her blog, posts her own artwork (and fanart, coming soon), sells merchandise, promotes her upcoming events and provides notes and a glossary on the world she’s built. There’s even a personality quiz you can take to find out what knight you are! (I’m a BladeSworn.)

But who is Ellie Raine? How did her writing expand beyond her series to build a fantastic universe?

A visionary from the beginning

Raine explained that her love of magic goes back to her childhood.

“I was a huge fantasy nerd, like the rest of my family,” she said. “I grew up on Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series, books with dragons, Harry Potter, King Author, Final Fantasy, Zelda, tons of anime, the Hobbit, Lord of the Rings — you name it. If it didn’t have knights in shining armor, magic sorcerers and fire-breathing dragons, I wasn’t interested.”

Book covers 1-4 of Raine’s books.

The joy she found from video games, storytelling and fantasy led her down the path of video game art and design, so she enrolled at the Art Institute of Atlanta to gain an education in that field. While she was enrolled, she took a creative writing course and started telling the story of the game she was developing. She found that she liked the writing format better than video game development, so she switched fields.

“It was so much more fulfilling. It was like something just clicked, and I’ve been writing ever since,” Raine said.

Today, that video game turned creative writing assignment has turned into the NecroSeam Chronicles.

The NecroSeam Chronicles

It took Raine over 10 years to write the epic, gothic, high fantasy series for which she is best known. In addition to Terry Pratchett, Raine said she draws inspiration from Rachel Aaron and Brandon Sanderson (notable for his creation of the Cosmere fictional universe) as well as from her own life.

Three more Ellie Raine titles.

“Being present in the moment is probably the most effective tool for sparking creativity, especially for fantasy. I have a lot of fun asking, ‘what if things worked this way instead?’, and those are the questions that usually prompt a new story,” Raine said.

The Necroseam Chronicles have been described as “[i]f Tim Burton had written Lord of the Rings” by Vincent E.M. Thorn, author of the Dreamscape Voyager Trilogy.

A sampling of Raine’s merchandise.

“They are an epic fantasy series about twin necromancer brothers who were born with split abilities to control the dead,” is how Raine described the NecroSeam Chronicles in a TikTok video.


I never uploaded this from last year since I didn’t have a TikTok back then 😅 hi everyone! This is me! colbertSmallBizBump booktok fantasybooktok

♬ original sound – Ellie Raine 📚 author

“One resurrects corpses, the other puts souls inside them, so together, they kind of make one necromancer. But one of the brothers gets his soul ripped out of his body and trapped inside his brother, so they go on a journey to figure out what happened to the other brother’s body, and on the way, as they’re crossing over all these other kingdoms, they run into demons, they run into dragons. So, it’s a lot of fun. It’s magic-adventure.”

The series contains so much lore and worldbuilding that it spills out of its own pages. Raine has created an oracle deck based on the series (similar to a tarot deck, it’s a loose collection of cards that assist in self-reflection) that she often performs readings with during interviews and at conventions. There are maps (because all the best fantasy novels have maps), songs sung in the audio versions of the books using the language that Raine created and explanations of how her fantasy world operates — its laws, symbols and belief systems.

The process of creating this series was a “passion project” in itself for Raine. Though the first two books were traditionally published, the author decided to self-publish her third book onwards.

“It was a wildly different experience, but to be honest, there’s something freeing about learning what exactly goes into publishing. The logistics can be dizzying, but eye-opening for why traditional publishers make the decisions they do,” she said.

With self-publishing, Raine said she’s become educated on market trends, book advertising and marketing. She’s also built close relationships with her cover artists and audiobook narrators, and the latter have their own profiles on the NecroSeam Chronicles’s website

More Ellie Raine

Though the NecroSeam Chronicles are complete, Raine said she does have plans in the works for projects that exist in the same universe: one is a standalone NecroSeam novel with different characters in a different part of the same universe, another is an epic fantasy novel that plays with shadow-magic. An audiobook of “Pearl of Emerald,” the third NecroSeam book, is scheduled to be released this fall or winter.

Raine’s children’s book.

For younger readers or those who don’t have a taste for violence, Raine has also created a children’s illustration book that she originally wrote and illustrated for her then-two-year-old daughter. It’s called “Ballad of the Ice Fairy,” and it’s “[a]n enchanting children’s illustration book with beautiful colors and a lovely story of courage, magic and healing,” according to its description.

“Honestly, writing the series and the noir novella was insanely easier than the children’s illustration book, mostly because I’m much slower at creating visual art than I am at writing. It was a huge part of why I switched over in college,” Raine explained. “It took years to finish the children’s book, instead of my (previously) usual six-month turnaround for novels. But I’m still insanely proud to have finished it, and I definitely plan to do another one when I have another concept to obsess over.”

In addition to finding new genres and new subjects to try her hand at, Raine’s had to adjust to a new routine as a mother in her 30s and post COVID-19. While she used to pull all-nighters writing, fueled by caffeine and hyper-fixations, she said that nowadays her daughter keeps her awake all day, especially with the reduced childcare availability caused by the pandemic.

“The progress is drastically slower than the old days, but one of the most important mantras to keep in mind for any writer is ‘Any pace is better than no pace,’” Raine said.

For aspiring writers, she also loves to share this piece of advice: “You can’t edit what doesn’t exist, and you can’t take care of your story if you don’t take care of yourself first.”

Keep up with the author

Raine is currently hosting a NecroSeam fanart competition through July 30. All entries will be featured in the website’s upcoming fanart gallery as well as across Raine’s social media channels; winners will be awarded special additional prizes. Find more information on her blog on the NecroSeam website.

You can also catch her live in the upcoming months, including the Savannah Mega Comic Con on July 30-31, the Key City Steampunk Festival on Aug. 12-14, the Multiverse Fandom Convention on Oct. 14-16, Anime Weekend Atlanta on Oct. 27-16 and CONjuration on Nov. 4-6.

In the meantime, follow Ellie Raine on TikTok and Instagram, like her Facebook page, subscribe to her YouTube and bookmark both her personal website, ellieraine.com, and the NecroSeam website, necroseam.com. You can purchase her books directly from her online store or listen to them on Audible.

Ivy Clarke is a nationally award-winning writer, editor, artist and aspiring literary activist currently studying English literature, creative writing and art at Mercer University. In addition to her work with Peachtree Corners Press, she writes and edits for The Mercer Cluster, The Dulcimer, Macon Magazine and Mercer University Press. She has also published poetry in Atlanta Review, Glass Mountain and The Allegheny Review.

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Arts & Literature

Wesleyan School Senior Selected for 2023 AP Art and Design Exhibit



Wesleyan School senior Elizabeth Tian is one of 50 students whose artwork was selected for inclusion in the 2023 AP Art and Design Exhibit. This is an online exhibit that shows exemplary AP art portfolios selected from over 74,000 entries.

This year’s exhibit features student artwork showcasing a diverse range of student ideas, styles of artmaking, materials used and conceptual as well as physical processes involved with making works of art.

“Inclusion in this exhibit is highly selective and proves Elizabeth’s brilliance in concept and technique,” said Meagan Brooker, assistant director of fine arts and art teacher.

The exhibit will feature Tian’s portfolio alongside a profile.

“Elizabeth is a tremendous student that works so hard and puts much thought into design. I am thankful for Ms. Brooker’s dedication, guidance, encouragement and critical thinking that allows her to equip her students to grow in their artistic ability,” shares Joe Koch, high school principal.

To learn more about the school, visit www.wesleyanschool.org.

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Arts & Literature

High Museum of Art Presents Exhibition of 19th-Century Black Potter from the American South



Coming this spring, from Feb. 16 – May 12, 2024, the High Museum of Art will be the only Southeast venue for “Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina.” 

The exhibition features nearly 60 ceramic objects created by enslaved African Americans in Edgefield, South Carolina, in the decades before the Civil War. 

These 19th-century vessels demonstrate the lived experiences, artistic agency and material knowledge of those who created them.

The works include monumental storage jars by the literate potter and poet Dave (later recorded as David Drake, ca. 1800-1870) as well as examples of utilitarian wares and face vessels by unrecorded makers. 

“Hear Me Now” will also include work by contemporary Black artists who have responded to or whose practice connects with the Edgefield story, including Theaster Gates, Simone Leigh and Woody De Othello

The exhibition is organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


“We are honored to present this exhibition, which recognizes the innovation of Edgefield potters—a practice all the more remarkable given that their work was created under the most inhumane conditions of enslavement,” said Rand Suffolk, director of the High.

“It’s an important story, one that not only dovetails with the High’s longstanding recognition and display of Edgefield pottery but one that should also resonate with our regional audiences.” 

In the early 1800s, white settlers established potteries in the Old Edgefield district, a rural area on the western edge of South Carolina, to take advantage of its natural clays. 

Hundreds of enslaved adults and children were forced to work in the potteries, bearing responsibility for the craft, from mining and preparing clay to throwing vast quantities of wares and decorating and glazing the vessels. 

By the 1840s, they were producing tens of thousands of vessels each year. The stoneware they made supported the region’s expanding population and was intrinsically linked to the lucrative plantation economy. 

The history of slavery is widely understood in terms of agriculture, but these wares tell the story of what historians call “industrial slavery,” where the knowledge, experience and skill of enslaved people were essential to the success of the enterprise.

White enslavers and factory owners often marked the wares with their names, therefore claiming the expertise of the enslaved as their own. Only some of the enslaved makers have been identified so far, and more than 100 of their names are highlighted in the exhibition. 

One identified maker included in the exhibition is Edgefield’s best-known artist, Dave, later recorded as David Drake, who boldly signed, dated and incised verses on many of his jars.

“Hear Me Now” features many of Dave’s monumental masterpieces, along with a video featuring Dave’s newly discovered descendants Pauline Baker, Priscilla Carolina, Daisy Whitner and John Williams, in which they reflect on his work and their family connections.

Among the other exhibition highlights are 19 face vessels or jugs, which served as powerful spiritual objects and were likely made by the Edgefield potters for their own use.

Their emergence in the region roughly coincides with the 1858 arrival in Georgia of the slave ship The Wanderer, which illegally transported more than 400 captive Africans to the United States.

More than 100 of those individuals were sent to Edgefield, where they were put to work in the potteries. Growing evidence suggests that their arrival brought African-inspired art traditions, religion and culture to the area. 

The face vessels resemble nkisi, ritual objects that were important in West-Central African religious practices to facilitate communication between the living and the dead.

“Hear Me Now” examines the continuing legacy of Edgefield with works that respond to and amplify Edgefield’s story.

“Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina” will be presented in the Special Exhibition Galleries on the Second Level of the High’s Stent Family Wing.

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Arts & Literature

Beatrix Potter Exhibition Coming to the High Museum This Fall



This October, the High Museum of Art will present “Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature.” The interactive exhibition encourages visitors of all ages to explore the places and animals that inspired Potter’s popular stories, such as “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” 

More than 125 personal objects will be displayed, including sketches, watercolors, rarely seen letters, coded diaries, commercial merchandise, paintings and experimental books. The exhibition will also examine Potter’s life as a businessperson, natural scientist, farmer and conservationist. 

The exhibition is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum and is the latest in the High’s series celebrating children’s book art and authors. 

“The High is committed to serving family audiences and connecting them to the power of children’s book art, which can inspire creativity, engender empathy and teach important life lessons,” said Rand Suffolk, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director. “We are delighted to share the wonderful illustrations and stories from Potter’s famous tales with our youngest visitors and explore the author’s life story, which was marked by a love of learning and dedication to preserving nature for future generations.” 

Beatrix Potter (British, 1866–1943), Appley Dapply going to the cupboard, 1891, watercolor on paper, Victoria and Albert Museum, given by the Linder Collection, LC.29.A.1. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy of Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. and the Linder Collection.

Born in London, Helen Beatrix Potter was passionate about animals and the natural world from an early age. This passion sparked her career as a world famous author and illustrator. Her interest in nature also influenced other aspects of her life, leading to significant achievements in art and science.

“Drawn to Nature” connects elements of her creative practice, from building characters and observing nature to telling stories and conserving the environment. 

“Beatrix Potter’s singularly creative life offers insights for all ages. This exhibition, part of the High’s longstanding dedication to families and intergenerational learning, is designed to welcome everyone to ask what it means to see with imagination and care for our world, together,” said Andrew Westover, exhibition curator and the High’s Eleanor McDonald Storza director of education. 

The first section of the exhibition focuses on how Potter developed the characters that inspired her most famous stories, including “The Tale of Peter Rabbit,” “The Tale of Benjamin Bunny” and “The Tale of Jemima Puddle Duck.” 

Beatrix Potter (British, 1866–1943), Drawings of a bridge scene and hares at play, 1876, watercolor and pencil on paper in stitched book, Victoria and Albert Museum, Linder Bequest, BP.741. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy of Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.

She modeled her characters on animals familiar to her, and her stories were informed by careful observations of nature. “Drawn to Nature” will include many of her original character sketches and more insight into how she built richly imagined worlds. 

The exhibit also explores Potter’s scientific observations and will feature a cabinet of curiosities alongside her realistic nature drawings.

“Drawn to Nature” will reveal Potter’s abilities as a storyteller, illustrator and entrepreneur. From her mid-20s, Potter translated her close observation of animals and nature into detailed pictorial storytelling. 

She also sold holiday cards featuring her drawings and designs. These letters and illustrations became the basis for her stories, and in 1902, she signed a publishing deal.

Another section of the exhibition features sketches and finished artworks from her books, including “The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin” and “The Tale of Benjamin Bunny.” This section will feature a dedicated reading space to sit and enjoy Potter’s children’s books. 

In the exhibition’s final section, watercolors, personal items and drawings will demonstrate Potter’s love for England’s Lake District and her work to conserve its landscape and local farming culture. 

Beatrix Potter (British, 1866–1943), Drawing of a walled garden, Ees Wyke (previously named Lakefield), Sawrey, ca. 1900, watercolor and pen and ink on paper, Victoria and Albert Museum, Linder Bequest, BP.238. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, courtesy of Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd.

Following her permanent move there, she recognized how much locals and visitors treasured the region. When she saw modern development threatening what made it unique, she used her privilege and position to help protect the area. 

She built up flocks of Herdwick sheep, which were in danger of dying out, and ensured the landscape would be protected forever by England’s National Trust. Upon her death in 1943, she left the charity thousands of acres of her own land and 14 working farms. 

“Above and beyond the delight that Potter’s book characters and illustrations bring to our lives, her creativity as a businessperson, scientist and conservationist can inspire all audiences,” said Westover. “It’s a privilege to share her stories and invite everyone to rediscover a beloved author and her enduring legacy.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Alliance Theatre at The Woodruff Arts Center will present “Into the Burrow: A Peter Rabbit Tale,” a musical written by Mark Valdez and inspired by Potter’s stories. 

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