Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Interview with debut dark fantasy author T.M. Lakomy

Dark fantasy author T.M. Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy) joins me today and we’re chatting about her new novel, The Shadow Crucible: The Blind God.

Welcome, T.M., please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am T. M. Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy). I was born in London, but grew up as a tribal girl in a North African repressive regime. I spent my childhood between the slums of Mellasine and the affluent neighbourhoods in Tunis.

I studied archaeology and became enamoured with the shamanistic practices of indigenous people. I am an author and poet who seeks to challenge our notions of reality, and see life with a different perspective. I work in East Africa with indigenous tribes studying the origins of mankind and the salient golden thread in the tapestry of humanity's beliefs.

Please tell us about your debut novel.
In a world where angels, demons, and gods fight over the possession of mortal souls, two conflicted pawns are ensnared in a cruel game. The enigmatic seer Estella finds herself thrown together with Count Mikhail, a dogmatic Templar dedicated to subjugating her kind. But when a corrupted cardinal and puppet king begin a systematic genocide of her people, the two become unlikely allies.

Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All organized religions are shops orchestrated to consume mankind. Every deity, religion, and spiritual guide has been corrupted, and each claims to have the monopoly on truth and salvation.

What inspired you to write this book?
The characters have been germinating in my mind for years, I was always enamoured with ancient religions, specifically how they mirrored each other. The insatiable desire of humanity for a messiah has influenced civilisation to a much larger extent than we believe. The desire to believe we are god’s children and precious souls is the core of our religious identity, and I wanted to challenge the blind dogma. My archaeological studies and my own exploration into the esoteric led me down a path of challenging the cornerstones of our core beliefs and the roots of our schisms.

Excerpt from The Shadow Crucible: The Blind God:
“Behold these immortal stars that forever bear testimony to the stories of earth, no matter how they may be distorted. While we mock them for the tiny light they give out, one has only to depart earth and draw near them to realize we are nothing but dust in their proximity.”

The king smiled, his eyes hooded. “We watch and observe, and have relinquished the stewardship of earth to mankind, for our time is over. But the pathways of the Twilit, which we built, are forever open. And so the tenuous thread that holds our worlds apart remains, precariously thin and fragile. We watch but do not hinder. You have killed all the beauty of the earth. Its immortal spirit lies in a mire of its own blood, for you have drained her of magic. By erecting the stark steel of blind dogma you established Samael as your beacon. That is why your churches are fallible to rot and ruin.”

The elven king drank deeply from his goblet and held it to the moon. “To the everlasting miracles!” he cried out softly, and his countenance darkened briefly like a passing storm. “You worship the god of lies, whether in churches or as heretics hidden in secret covens. And you war against each other, proclaiming the other damned. But you are all lost, for the many houses of human religion are held by the string of the same master puppeteer.” His face held bleak judgment. “But there are the righteous among us,” Mikhail responded meekly, “who strive to bring the holy laws of mercy to earth and establish justice. We do what we can with whatever knowledge we have.”

The elven king lowered his eyes to the ground, and when he lifted them imperiously they were as yellow as amber. “We are demons to you, and your people are responsible for our death in this sphere. We forgive you not, for you have robbed us of our rulership on earth, though in that you have all paid a price.” Mikhail stayed silent, diverting his gaze towards the merry folk. “Demons they became,” he finally spoke, “and the Horned God made into the devil that we revile.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Sol Invictus, a Fantasy Horror, which blends numerous experiences of mine growing up in North Africa, in a culture that still practices occult forms of black magic, enduring many social blights. I have used my own stories as fuel for my inspiration, taking unsavoury topics and dressing them with a veneer of fantasy, but the themes are quite real and contemporary, highlighting issues and fears that plague us today.

The power struggle between the Cult of the Sun King, seeking Apotheosis; man becoming God, aided by his faithful followers the Silver Brigade, to find his soul a vessel and the Shrine; the indigenous tribal magicians whose hoarded relics hold djinns powerful enough to thin the veil between life and death, holding the key to the forbidden necromantic Arts.

The impediment to the Sun King’s plan is the enigmatic Narya, a crime lord who forsook her guild education and the Shrine’s protection, shrouding her identity in mystery, and Maxilan the deadliest lieutenant called also the “White Devil”. Maxilan discovers his draw to Narya to be the fulfilment of his destiny; also his demise, resulting in him facing the reality of his purpose, the eugenics program that created him.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my publication date approached.

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 co-founded blueprints.org, and although it takes most of my time, it creates this need and desire within me to write. My business side and my writing life are two facets of the same coin.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I take inspiration from my dreams and lucid visions. I tend to incorporate a lot of the personification of my subconscious world, sometimes allowing it full rein to see where it will lead me. There is much psychoanalysis going on in my writing, numerous layers to a scene and to a character.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Many things, I wanted to be a botanist, an astronomer, then a university lecturer.

I have always chosen fields that are close to nature whether it is our environment or the study of humans.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I include many hidden messages in my writing, and if my book stands the test of time, then perhaps they will be uncovered.

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Thanks for being here today, T.M.

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