Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Author Interview - Lauren Scharhag on One Thousand Worlds

Where Flap the Tatters of the King was featured recently
on One Thousand Worlds. Click here to see that post.
Lauren Scharhag is today's interviewed author on One Thousand Worlds. Lauren is the author of Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince and (with Coyote Kishpaugh) The Order of the Four Sons series.  Her work has appeared most recently in The SNReview, The Daily Novel, Infectus, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry.  Her reviews appear on Horror-Net and Urban Fantasy Land, as well as her own review site, Blue House Review. She is the recipient of the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for poetry and a fellowship from Rockhurst University for fiction. She lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband and three cats.

Tell us about your latest book.
My very latest book is Where Flap the Tatters of the King.  It’s the third book in the Order of the Four Sons series, which I co-author with Coyote Kishpaugh.  If the series were children, it would be our favorite child.  We really feel it’s our best work.  The O4S series is about a group of paranormal investigators who get sucked through a series of interdimensional gates and have to find their way back home again.  We balance action and drama with humor—if you like Buffy, Harry Dresden, or Sookie Stackhouse, this is the series for you.  We refer to Book I as the dungeon crawl, Book II as the weird west, and Book III as the fairy tale.

In Book III, our heroes find themselves in a kingdom called Corbenic.  At first glance, Corbenic is an idyllic place—it’s beautiful and magical, filled with creatures like fairies and mermaids.  The men practice alchemy and geomancy.  But the further our heroes venture into this world, the darker it gets.

How many books have you written?
By myself—six. Including the ones I’ve co-authored with Coyote—nine.

What are you working on at the moment?
Coyote and I are working on the fourth and final installment of the O4S series, of course.  On my own, I’m working on a new literary novel called Black Antler Farm, as well as a submission for the Dark Crystal prequel contest.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Writing is what keeps me sane.  If I’m away from my keyboard too long, I start to feel a little unspooled.  Otherwise, I have found that hanging out with other writers can be very cathartic—only other authors understand what we go through.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
It’s had an immense impact on my writing.  When I was very little, my grandmother taught me nursery rhymes and fairy tales.  My father taught me to read early and bought me diaries, so I’ve been reading and writing pretty much my whole life.  Also, I had an unusual childhood in that my mother came from a poor, Mexican family, and my father was from a wealthy, German family.  I think growing up in two worlds, in every possible sense, has really shaped my perspective on life, and the very diverse influences instilled in me a lifelong love of language and stories.  

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That’s a tough one for me to answer—I was a nerd, so I actually enjoyed a lot of my classes and learned the things I think you’re supposed to learn in school.  I was also fortunate to attend very good schools, so I had really excellent teachers who fed my love of literature.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?
No question, the characters from the O4S verse.  It’s a pretty big cast—we’re talking over 25 major characters across the four books.  I’d love to meet them all, the heroes and the villains alike, (though I would be very scared to meet some of our villains in person).

Do you have a favourite character among the ones you've invented?
Totally.  Christophe Ecarteur, who first shows up at the end of Book II in the O4S series.  He’s a Corbenese noble, best friend and advisor to the prince, and a classic rogue character.  He’s flamboyant, clever, witty, and very popular with the ladies . . . and the men, for that matter.  He’s also brave, loyal, romantic, and, very simply, a good person.  He’s the guy you want on your side.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
A sushi chef.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
My characters take over my head.  I like to let them chatter away.

What song best describes your work ethic?
“We Only Come Out at Night,” by Smashing Pumpkins.

Connect with Lauren Scharhag:

Twitter: @laurenscharhag

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