Friday, June 13, 2014

Interview with fantasy author Sherri Lackey

This seemed to be fantasy book week this week! I had no idea of that when I made the bookings. But today’s fantasy novelist is Sherri Lackey. She’s touring The Darkness Below with Goddess Fish Promotions.

Sherri will be awarding a $25.00 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, leave a comment below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and leave comments there, too.

Sherri Lackey lives in Montana where the cold northern climate inspires her to write foreboding tales. She writes the way she cooks, and that is by using dashes of speculative fiction, a pinch of steampunk here, and a touch of urban fantasy there. She lives with her husband, Paul, in a house on a hill that she prefers to think of as an island. She has a faithful dog named Raymond, who likes to sit by her side while she writes, and a vampire cat named Penny who likes to sit on her shoulder purring or trying to nip at her neck.

Welcome, Sherri. Please tell us about your current release.
This is the second book in The Narcissus Legacy series and it further explores the lives of the royal Vrykolakas family which I introduced in the first book The Vrykolakas Deviation. The Darkness Below continues the story with Kaie, the daughter of my two main characters in The Vrykolakas Deviation. She is a precocious child who can’t wait to grow up, even though she is still petrified of the dark, certain that a monster is waiting to devour her. Trying to prove that she is “grown up”, she gets swept away into another realm where all of her worst fears come to life. Trapped in a foreign and dark realm, the years slowly pass by, leaving her to wonder if she will ever find a way back home.

What inspired you to write this book?
These books are the culmination of my desire to write a different kind of vampire novel, one that is uniquely my own. I did borrow the name Vrykolakas from an ancient Greek legend about a type of bloodless vampire. The Greek legend itself was vague on details; that is where my imagination comes in to fill in the gaps. I have always liked vampire stories since I was a child, and I loved all the old black and white monster movies. Dracula was one of my favorites. The movie Underworld is one of my favorites. I think the imagery from that movie plays a large role in the mood and tone I like to set in my novel’s world.

When she perceived that she was far enough away from the soldiers, she relaxed. A warning in the back of her mind told her that she should know better than to relax in this hostile world. She heard a scraping, scrabbling noise behind her. Her senses were on high alert once again. She had no weapon.

She spun around to face her attacker. He was advancing on her clumsily, emerging out of the shadows. He held a small lantern in front of him which blinded her momentarily. He might as well be a lighthouse, for even the smallest light could let the soldiers see where she was at.

“Sedge, what are you doing out here? It’s dangerous. You need to go back to your dad.” In truth, she was worried more about her safety than his.

Sedge was Selt’s fourteen year old son who runs errands for Diita when she can find him, but she has to find him first. Beyond that, Kaie doesn’t know much about the boy other than he is good at hiding from Diita. He sometimes liked to sit and listen to his dad talk to her. He was a quiet boy, unlike his father – or so she thought at first.

“I want to go with you,” he said.

“You can’t come with me.”

“Why not?”

“Because I don’t want company. Now, go back to your dad. It’s dangerous out here for a boy.”

“It’s dangerous out here for a girl too, but you’re out here. I want to go with you.” He clenched his jaw in the manner she had seen him use when his dad told him to wash the dishes at House Reiliiven.

“You don’t even know where I’m going.”

“You’re leaving Pugni Plumbus, and I want to go with you.”

“How do you know what I’m doing?”

“You ran away before and told everyone that you have amnesia to cover it up. You don’t have amnesia. You’re running again and I’m going with you.”

Kaie ground her teeth. “You are not coming with me.”

“Yes, I am.” He smiled knowingly.

“No. You. Are. Not.”

“I’ll go back and tell them you’re running away again if you don’t let me come with you.”

She glared at him. “All right, but don’t start crying to me when something out there attacks and eats you for breakfast.”

“I won’t. Besides, I’ve got this.” He pulled out a table knife he had apparently stolen from the tableware of House Reiliiven.

“I feel safer already. Why didn’t I think of bringing an eating utensil with me?”

He shrugged and put the knife back in his pocket.

“If you’re coming with me, you’ll have to douse that light.”

“But then I can’t see where I’m going.” He gave her a puzzled look. “How do you see where you’re going?”

“I have better eyesight than you. If you must have the light, and I suppose you must, then conceal it with the fold of your shirt so that it only shines forward and down at your feet. The guards will see it otherwise if they haven’t already.”

“Oh, I hadn’t thought about that.” He did as she told him and she hoped it concealed enough of the light.

“Hurry up, we don’t have all night to stand around and chat.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
The Darkness Within is the third book in the series and will pick up the story with Connor, Kaie’s older brother, and his ancient banshee wife, Genovefa. Connor loves his wife dearly, but Genovefa – Well, let’s just say she has commitment issues, or really, many issues in general. If that were not bad enough, there is a new enemy that wishes to eradicate all of the Vrykolakes. They single out Connor in his moment of weakness and infect him with something called Strixanis. It turns him into a different kind of monster, one that threatens not only the Vrykolakes but everything that gets in its path.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first knew I wanted to become a writer when I read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novels when I was about seven or eight years old. I had a junior high speech and drama teacher and a high school English teacher who encouraged me in my writing endeavors. Then in college, I had a professor recommend that I try to get one of my research papers published. I didn’t do that but I think their encouragement and the encouragement of others throughout my life made it possible for me to have the courage to step out and publish my stories. When I published that first book, I started thinking of myself as a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I always thought I would love to write full-time. I tried it for a few months and I felt stifled and antsy. I think I write better when I have to work it into my busy schedule. I need the stimuli from my other jobs to spur my creativity on.

When I’m not writing, I’m either working at my local library or at the front desk of a local hotel. I like to keep learning new things and I’m currently taking a class online to further my education. I also enjoy spending time with my family when I can.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if it is unique, because I know several other writers who do it, but I like to listen to certain types of music while I write. When I’m not writing but simply thinking through plot lines, I listen to playlists I’ve made which helps me develop my story.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer, and in addition to that I wanted to write, direct, and produce movies. I’ve since given up the idea of directing and producing movies. I also considered a career in interior design. I didn’t pursue that either and have settled for designing my own interiors in my house. Later on I thought I might like working in a library. That dream did come true, and next to writing, working in a library is my favorite job.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I would like to say to readers that if they are looking for a vampire tale that is out of the ordinary, then give The Narcissus Legacy series a try. If you like fantasy genres crossing over the lines of other fantasy genres this might be the series for you as well. Not only do I deal with vampires of different varieties, I like to throw a few elves and other types of fairy creatures into the mix.


Thanks, Sherri!


Mary Preston said...

A great post. I always wanted to work in a library.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Sherri Lackey said...

Thanks for having me here today! I'd love to answer any questions your readers might have!

Rita Wray said...

Thank you for the excerpt, I enjoyed it.


MomJane said...

I enjoyed your comments. The excerpt was fascinating.

bn100 said...

Interesting info

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Jbst said...

From the excerpt, it's good to have a companion for her.
strive4bst(AT) yahoo(Dot) com