Happy Halloween! Today I’m going as a steampunk demon hunter. Yeah, don’t ask. It turned out pretty well, however.
Meanwhile, it’s Interview Thursday today on my blog, and today I’m interviewing Laurie Y. Elrod, fantasy writer. Born in South Carolina near the Blue Ridge mountains, she’s always had an interest in fantasy. Learn more about Laurie at Goodreads here:
1. So you have in your bio that growing up, you enjoyed fantasy but never expected to write one. So how did writing a book come about?
Well, I always kicked around writing a book one day, and had a few ideas pop into my head, but none stood out enough to put on paper. So, it wasn’t until I had a very distinct dream involving a magician and two teens that I decided to jump in and write one. In the dream, the magician is mortally wounded and I become him, feeling him slowly die to his last breath. When I awoke I was disappointed that that the dream stopped there, wishing I knew more about the people and the world in which they lived. A tiny voice told me to write it down. And, no, I don’t really hear voices, but I did want to write the dream down which I intended to do in sort of an outline fashion like, this is what happened first, then this next and so forth, but when I sat down at my computer, the first thing I wrote was a line of dialogue. I stopped there and then, staring at that first sentence wondering why I had written it down that way. Then I thought, why not, let’s see where this takes me. And that is how book one of The So’ladiun Series came about, and how I found out I had a passion for creating my own adventures that I could share with others.
2. What about the fantasy genre appeals to you?
In the realm of fantasy the sky is not the limit. There are so many possibilities for authors to explore inside this genre, and I enjoy immersing myself in worlds that are so different and unique–where magic is possible and outlandish creatures exist. Just for a little while, a reader can be whisked away from the realities of our own world and be a part of something fun and exciting that can be found nowhere else. And I love being able to create my own worlds, from the layout of the land to the physics of what is real for my character’s environments.
3. Tell me about your book.
Blackridge, Book One of the So’ladiun is about a young teenage girl who grows up in a small village, leading a simple and fairly sheltered life. But after her instructor of magic is killed by a host of strange man-like beasts, her world turns upside down, and she faces a fate she never saw coming–a fate that could destroy her country and, possibly, the human race.
Despite the doubts and fears–and lack of faith in her own abilities–she must choose to believe in herself and have the courage to follow her destiny or else her country will fall. With the support of her younger brother, her late mentor’s widow, and a small group of seasoned warriors, she embarks on a journey that is not only dangerous and physically exhausting, but spiritually fatiguing, as well.
4. What makes the world of your book unique?
Anderan and surrounding countries could be any place on Earth before the industrial age and the invention of electricity. What makes the world unique is the characters and their abilities, and the fact that two gods, who have been given care of the world by their father The Creator, are actively at war with each other. Unable to fight directly with one another or else destroy the world that they both love, they are forced to use other means to hurt the other.
This is where the So’ladiun come in. They are a rare and small group of warriors possessing unique magical powers and who are hand-picked by the God of Light, Solisius, long before they are born. The So’ladiun are Solisius’ Defenders of Light, charged to maintain the balance between good and evil, and peace and destruction against the evil his brother Obsudius lets loose in the world.Their counterparts, the N’gethwyn, serve Obsudius, doing all that they can to please their god’s bloodthirsty desire to conquer the world.
5. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
Good question. The best answer to this for me is, I don’t have any one favorite author, I have many. Just to name a few: J. R. R. Tolkein because he introduced me to the amazing adventures found within the pages of books which created a passion for reading that will last a lifetime. Diana Gabaldon because she paints a vivid picture with her writing that can easily play out as a movie reel within one’s own mind. Stephen King because, well, he is an imagination genius. And, last (but certainly not the last in my list), J. K. Rowling because she hit the nail on the head with Harry Potter, an amazing and fun read that never gets old no matter how many times you pick her books up.
6. What are you working on next?
Right now, I am in the editing process of book two in the So’ladiun Series. I am also working on the artwork for the book cover, and I am kicking around a few ideas for short stories. I kind of have a desire to write a ghost story. Don’t know why. Maybe it’s because Halloween is coming soon. Who knows?
7. Is Lexogan a small publisher, or do you indie publish? Why made you decide, either way?
I am an indie publisher and Lexogan Publishing is my personal imprint. I decided to publish on my own after thinking long and hard about the pros and cons between publishing traditionally and indie publishing. I also read many, many stories of other indie authors who shared their journeys through this process, their successes and failures, and the advice they offered. Based on all the information I gathered about both routes, and after long agonizing debates washing back and forth between the two, I finally came to the conclusion that, personally, I would rather publish myself than go through all the hassle that traditional publishing puts a writer through. Right or wrong, this is the path that I am following for now, and only God knows where I will end up.
8. What advice do you have for other writers?
I suppose as a new writer the best advice I can offer is, never stop learning, don’t be afraid to ask questions, and keep on pushing ahead. Do not give up, especially if you are new to the writing scene. It is a hard, uphill climb for everyone, but remember how much you love your characters, and there is no doubt someone out there will love them too. Everyone–EVERYONE–has at least one fan.