This week’s author-of-the-week from my paranormal group over on Goodreads is Holly Dae. Holly’s got the first book of her Oblivion Cycle out already, and she’s working on an unrelated work, Going Lucid. She was nice enough to stop by and answer some questions; I’m betting we’re going to see a review copy from her in the near future as well.
1. So, what got you in to writing?
I can’t really pinpoint what made me start writing. Writing was just something I did as a child and got enjoyment out of. It wasn’t until my mother one day told me that actual people write books and movies and TV shows that I got very serious about perfecting the craft.
2. Talk to me about The Oblivion Cycle. Is this a preplanned trilogy, or are you going for more of an open-ended series?
It is preplanned as in I have a general sense of where it’s going to end, and I know it will definitely be more than three books. It may be open-ended in the sense that future novels and series may take place in or be part of the world that remains after the series is over, but the story in The White Rose will have a definite ending.
3. Your characters seem to draw a little on Hindu mythology; was that an influence on your writing, or am I totally misreading that?
I’m an English major, and in class we sometimes discuss whether the ideas and meanings in some of the classical works authors were intended by the author or were they unintentional. We’ll never know because they’re dead, but in this case, I can definitely say that similarity may have been one of those unintentional things. I will say that as I write though, I do try to appeal to a universal audience so I think that readers would find similarities, some intentional and some not intentional, to certain specific myths just because certain myths, particularly certain character traits, are so universal.
4. I also notice a remarkable similarity in structure to The Black Company by Glen Cook, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blac…) in which The White Rose once sealed away a tyrannical lord and now seeks to protect that seal, and now the White Rose has reincarnated to a young girl. You also have a powerful Lady who seeks to thwart the White Rose. Obviously, there are some pretty significant differences as well; you don’t seem to be going nearly as grimdark as Cook, but was he a significant influence on your work? Or are you drawing directly from the anti-Nazi resistance group?
I’ve actually never read that book. I’ve never even heard of it to be honest. As for drawing from anti-Nazi resistance, it might be one of the influences. I think rising up in rebellion to resist tyranny is a universal theme in real life (American Slavery with the abolitionist movement for example) as well as fiction (Hunger Games and Harry Potter come to mind instantly). I think I drew from many histories and experiences, real and not real, to help shape the struggle in The White Rose. But I will definitely have to look into The Black Company.
5. Shifting topics, it looks like your current project is a book separate and apart from The Oblivion Cycle; why the shift away from an ongoing series?
I’ve found as a reader and an author, there is the tendency for the author to lose their way or start to meander in a series, particularly when the series is longer than three or four books. The books start losing focus or having a point and I’ll find myself saying the author should have stopped at a particular book, before the series got off rail. So in order to avoid that, after writing a book in a series, I take a step back and try to assess where the series is going and if my plans for the next book will take it in the direction I intend for the series to go or if I need to rethink some ideas. But while doing that, I can’t stop myself from writing. So while I’m assessing the series to get ready to write Revenge of the Illusionist, I decided to work on another project that’s been in the back of my head for a year or so. Once I’m done with that, I’ll be positive the direction I want to take my first series in Revenge of the Illusionist.
6. Other than the two novels, is there anywhere that readers can find a sample of some of your work? Perhaps an anthology, or other sample chapters?
I periodically put excerpts from my works on my blog, thesealofoblivion.wordpress.com. They are usually scenes that are part of a larger work to give people a sense of my style and voice. I may even sometimes post short stories, but nine times out of ten, my short stories become part of a large work. Going Lucid started out as a short story.
7. So, I’ve grilled you on where I see some possible influences, but I figure I should simply ask you: who is your favorite author, and why?
I adore J.K Rowling, and it’s not because I loved Harry Potter so much. I really like J.K. Rowling as an author because a lot of other people like her. What I mean when I say that is that her appeal was so universal. I’ve met people I probably never would have talked to in my life because we both read Harry Potter. In a sense, J.K. Rowling’s books transcended things that separate people like religion, politics, class etc. and connected people who otherwise might not have connected. Her books did what a good book should do and I aspire to emulate that.
8. Who do you imagine is the best audience for your work?
The best audience for my works are young girls and age is probably from about 11-13+. I say that because I always try to write the book I would have enjoyed reading when I was a teenager which is why most of my main characters are usually young teen girls trying to find their way in the world while dealing with fantasy elements.
9. Will you be submitting any of your novels to The Friday Indie Review?
Yes. Definitely for the first book in The White Rose and as part of the pre-launch for Going Lucid once it’s polished.