In the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, some of us have too much time, others are run of our feet. We all have a part to play. With so many of our normal entertainments no longer accessible – it’s a great time to read, read, read. Over the next couple weeks or months, I plan to interview a number of fantasy or science fiction authors to help you discover some fabulous new reads.
From dragons and elves to space ships and blasters, our second interview is with YA science fiction author, Lynne Stringer.
Interview with Lynne Stringer
Share three things that people may not already know about you.
I didn’t finish high school. This is the one that surprises people the most. School and I didn’t gel. I learn better on the job, so to speak.
I don’t like sport or games. I never have. I just don’t find them interesting.
I like big, unusual words like sesquipedalian and slubberdegullion. A sesquipedalian is someone who uses long words. A slubberdegullion is a slovenly person.
Those two words are beauties. I might just be a sesquipedalian too, lol, though pronouncing either of them might be a challenge ;). What favourite books, movies TV shows have inspired or influenced your writing. In what ways?
I grew up watching Star Wars and Doctor Who, and both inspired my love of science fiction. I love superhero movies. E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial is my favourite movie ever. More recently, the Twilight saga inspired me to take up the pen after many years away from writing fiction. I enjoy stories that take me away from everyday experiences.
Doctor Who and Star Wars were childhood staples, along with Star Trek for me as well. Which (perhaps little-known) authors were your best reads in the last couple of years?
Juliet Marillier is one. She writes fantastic fantasy books. Veronica Rossi is another. I love her Under the Never Sky trilogy. Another one is Jeanette O’Hagan! If you haven’t read her books yet, they’re great. 🙂
Ooh, I like your choices. I will definitely check Mariller and Rossi out. You have a YA romantic space opera series, the Verindon Trilogy, published by Wombat Books/Rhiza Press. What do you love about writing in this genre? Are there any challenges?
I love the young adult genre because the characters in that age group are going through a lot emotionally which I find interesting to write about. I also love science fiction and anything that pushes the boundaries of the normal. It’s more interesting for me than reading a contemporary work of fiction.
There is something fresh and immediate about young adult stories. Both YA and speculative fiction explore exciting new frontiers. The first novel of the Verindon trilogy has an interesting premise. How did you come up with the idea of the trilogy?
I got the idea when my husband and I went on a holiday to the Sunshine Coast here in Queensland, Australia, where I live. For some strange reason, he loves laughing over cheesy pickup lines, and he was telling me some new favourites he’d heard. I was trying desperately to think of one, but the only one I could think of was a guy saying to a girl, ‘You are the only reason I was put on this planet’. Not exactly a brilliant one!
While I was thinking about it, I imagined a guy saying this to a girl, and she said, ‘Yeah, right!’ Then, to my surprise, he turned to her and said, ‘No, you are the only reason I was put on this planet.’ And I realised he meant it literally. I started to think, ‘Why is that? Why would he be here only for her?’ I spent all the time on our holiday starting to develop the story that became The Heir.
Brilliant. You have also written a New Adult Contemporary drama, Once Confronted. How did writing this book differ from writing the Verindon Trilogy? Would you consider writing other genres or for other age groups?
I had to do a lot more research for Once Confronted as I had to make sure it conformed to reality, particularly in the areas of social work and working with at-risk children, as I had no experience with this. The Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder element wasn’t a stretch for me, as I’ve suffered from it myself as the result of an armed robbery, so I could write about that from my own experience. But the other elements required a lot of work. I’m not much of a person for research. I find it hard.
There are constraints writing about the real world. I think your research paid off. You mention that Madison in Once Confronted had a similar and confronting life experience. Are any of your characters like you? In what way and how are they different from you?
Sarah Fenhardt from my trilogy is probably the most like me. She has similar insecurities and strengths and looks like me as well. All my characters, particularly my female protagonists, share something of me, though. Vashta, the protagonist in my latest book, The Verindon Alliance, tends to react without thinking at times. I definitely have this tendency.
What have been the joys and challenges in being a writer? Could you imagine not being a writer? If so, what would you do?
I love putting worlds I have created out there for people to enjoy. It’s especially wonderful to hear from them when they love them as much as I do. That’s the greatest thing about it. The hardest thing is trying to get word out about my books, as well as dealing with bad reviews, which are always hard.
I’m a professional editor, which means I get to help people improve their books, so I would devote my professional time solely to that if I didn’t write.
It is hard to get our books seen by a wider audience, but so worth it when fans get in touch. Patience and persistence are great qualities in writers. And helping others improve their writing is a worthy goal.
The exciting news is your upcoming release, the Verindon Alliance from Rhiza Press. Tell us more about it and when it will be launched.
The Verindon Alliance will be released on Friday 1st May 2020. I am holding a book launch on Facebook Live on Saturday 2nd May 2020. The video will be on my Facebook author page after that date if you can’t tune in to watch it on the day, so make sure you check it out.
The Verindon Alliance is set several hundred years before my trilogy, back when the planet Verindon didn’t have much more technology than we do on Earth. In the story, the two humanoid species on the planet, the Verindal and the Vendel, are at war and have been for centuries, but Princess Vashta of the Vendel realises that there is a new threat that comes from somewhere else. When members of her race won’t listen, she allies with Brandonin, the heir to the Verindal throne. Together they have to fight against their own races and against time to defeat this new enemy.
Sounds exciting. I love your cover and I’m really looking forward to reading a new book set in the Verindon world. Thanks Lynne for talking about your fabulous books today.
And There’s More
And just before I go – a quick reminder that the Under the Mountain boxed set will be at low, low price of 99c USD for just one more day. And as a special treat, I’ve reduced the next book in the series, Shadow Crystals to 99c USD. Grab the both while you can. 🙂
See you soon with another author interview.