Today I have Louise Lindell , author of Sanctity Shattered!
1) Why and when did you begin writing?
I dabbled with poetry and short stories as early as elementary school. My aunt Amy is an amazing writer and has taught English and literature for as long as I can remember. She really influenced what I read and always encouraged me to express myself creatively. I always enjoyed creative writing projects in high school and made my first attempt at a full length novel when I was 14. It didn't get very far. I took as many creative writing classes as I could in college, but upon graduating moved away from writing for a time as I pursued other careers.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I had a friend who asked me to write a short story for her entertainment. I had the main characters and the setting floating around in my imagination for years. A few hours worth of writing reminded me of how much I enjoyed creating stories on paper, and how much I had missed it. I told my sister about the story during a phone conversation. Claire asked if she could read it, and called me back a few hours later. She told me that I had some intriguing original characters and an interesting premise. Claire doesn't normally read fantasy, but she said she enjoyed my story and wanted more of it. I expanded the story for her, and she encouraged me to continue, sometimes teasing me with "You had better have another chapter for me."
3) How did you come up with the title?
Titles can be hard sometimes. I bounced several rough options off of my sis and some friends, and with feedback, Sanctity Shattered came to me during a lively critical debate filled with giggles from some less than stellar suggestions. We dismissed Sanctity Shattered at first, but kept coming back to it. Galen's sanctity is his sheltered homeland, and that sanctity is shattered from the moment he discovers Aria has breached the barriers and has entered Seiren. It is for Galen and the reader to decide if that traumatic change is for ill or for good.
4) What books or people influenced your writing? Was it positive influence, or negative?
People who have influenced my writing would include my aunts, my sister, my mother and many of my English teachers and creative writing professors. My brother is an avid reader and has recommended countless works of all genres since high school. All of the unique and amazing souls who sculpted my education and continued to inspire me after my schooling are tremendously positive influences. Of course, I grew up reading the works of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, and I read L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz and as many of the sequels as I could get my hands on. I have too many favorite authors and cherished books to list them all as influences. There will always be comparisons to other works when creating a fantasy world, but I put my books away and cleared my head when I began to write about Aikara. I think that my love of books has been a positive influence on my writing for certain.
5) How do you go about researching for your books?
I love classical literature and mythology. I pulled out my college anthologies and dictionaries in order to name many of my characters. The internet is also a great tool for researching names, cultures, myths and lore. One of my favorite elements of writing fantasy is that I can make it my own and set the laws of nature within my world, but I do research elements of ancient and classical civilizations to help me keep my creations consistent, and I hope believable to my readers.
6) Did you base any of your characters on real people?
My characters are unique creations, though there are elements within them that are influenced and inspired by people in my life. It surprises even me how many of them take on life and develop in ways I cannot anticipate. I feel like Galen's mother has taken on many of the strengths and graces of my own mother, who passed away after a lengthy battle with breast cancer about 5 years ago. I knew that I was fond of Calanthia and wished for her to be a lovely and endearing character, but I wasn't aware that I was thinking of Mom when I expanded the character. When I read it now, I see that when Galen thinks about Calanthia, it is with the same love and loss that I feel over my mother.
7) Do you have any other books planned in the future?
Yes! Sanctity Shattered is only a sliver of the story. It is the introduction to the real adventure yet to come. I actually split my original work and published less than half as the first book. I am currently refining and polishing the second installment, which will be ready to publish very shortly. It will take several more books for me to complete the series.
8) Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?
This question is like asking me to pick a favorite child or sibling. I will say that I conceived the story while thinking about Aria, but when I sat down to write it, I told it from Galen's perspective. I am fond of most of my characters, though I naturally love to hate the evil, selfish, villainous souls who make up Gal'Rath's forces, and the ignorant, close-minded and self serving figures who surface even within the Seiren and Valleian courts.
9) What advice can you give to young writers who want to publish their books?
Read any and everything you can get your hands on, write freely, and remember that no idea or fragment of a story is bad. If it goes nowhere creatively, save it away somewhere, for there may be something of value to use later. Let your story flow from you, and find a friend or editor who can be honest with you about what works and what doesn't. Don't be discouraged by criticism, but take it as a challenge to improve.
Just for fun:
1) What are your ten most favorite things?
My family, my friends, my pets, cooking, baking, writing, reading, music, anime and video games, though not necessarily in that order.
2) What do you do when you’re not writing?
I indulge in one of the other nine of my ten favorite things.
3) Do you have any pets?
I have three house cats, and an odd little herd/pack made up of my two dogs and two miniature horses who think they rule the world that is my backyard.
4) What are your favorite (and least favorite) foods?
It has become a joke among some close friends that I obviously love "fruit, and wine, and bread, and cheese" seeing as how they are the primary meals of my characters.
5) Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
My favorite place to write is at a family member's condo on Tybee Island, Georgia. I sit on the deck or in the living room and look out at the ocean. The sound of the surf seems to clear my head and helps me to write and revise most prolifically. My second favorite place to write is where I can see trees. I love forests and gardens, and obviously I find that setting to be very conducive to writing about Galen's connection to nature. I live in a mini-pecan orchard at home, and my sister's home north of Atlanta is set within the most amazing little forest with a view of a ravine on a golf course. Those settings have been my sanctuary for writing about Seiren, and for writing about the palace grounds back in Val'Ran for book two.
6) Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?
I am lost without a Diet Coke at home or a cup of coffee at my sister's house.
7) If you could go anywhere in the whole world, either for a vacation or to live there, where would you go?
There are too many places I want to visit, and many more that I have visited that I think would be amazing places to live. I would love to visit British Columbia and Alaska again. Having studied Japanese language and culture in high school and college, it is also a dream of mine to travel there. There are so many places in Europe that I want to visit as well. Egypt is the one place I would love to go to but don't know if I will ever get to. I have lived on the east coast here in America for most of my life, and if I could move anywhere right now based on the scenery, it would probably be the Oregon Coast, though I have become very attached to the north Georgia hills as well.
8) What was your favorite and least favorite subject in school?
My favorites were English and History, and I can't say that I really had a least favorite, though I preferred the former to everything else.
9) What book are you reading right now?
A good friend sent me a bunch of books for Christmas. I recently finished Glen Cook's The Black Company, and am now reading Prince Ombra by Roderick MacLeish.
10) Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I am allergic to shellfish. (Is that random enough?)
Sure is, Louise! Thanks for stopping by the blog today. Check out Sanctity Shattered today!