Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Interview with author Lisa Llamrei


Book blurb:
Title: Reflection of the Gods
Author: Lisa Llamrei
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt.
Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.
Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.

Book Excerpt:
After some time, I drifted off to sleep. It felt like no more than a few moments. Maybe it was longer. I awoke to a wailing screech. I sat up, wondering where I was. I clamped my hands over my ears. The door opened and a triangle of light flooded in from the hallway.
            Uncle Patrick charged in, pointing a finger. “Stop that racket right now.”
            Aunt Mary stood right behind him, pulling on an arm. She wore an old robe and had curlers in her hair. “It’s not the boy, Patrick.” She pushed her way past him and flicked on the light in my room. She sat down beside me and eased my hands away from my ears. “That won’t help, but this might.” She took the crucifix down from the wall above my bed and thrust it into my hands. “Pray. Pray like you’ve never prayed before.”
            I stared at the crucifix in my hands and winced at the noise.
            “Grania did teach you how to pray, didn’t she?”
            I shook my head.
            “Pray with me then. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.”
            I started mouthing the words. Again and again the wailing rose in a crescendo and stopped, like waves crashing on a rocky shore. As it rose, I covered my ears with my hands, but Aunt Mary continued, raising her own voice, “—mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. Hail Mary, full of grace—”
Waves of carrion smell wafted in time to the sound. My whole body shook, and I cried some more. Aunt Mary put her arms around me and held me close while she continued praying, “—and blessed be the fruit of thy womb—”
            Uncle Patrick came into the room wearing his coat over his robe. “I’m going outside to find out what’s making that noise.” He left and came back, sniffing the air. “Must be a dead raccoon out there.”
            As soon as the front door opened, wind rushed through the house, as if whatever it was had been waiting for its chance to enter. The wailing was now ear-splitting and the smell of rotting meat hung in droplets in the air. I could taste it on my tongue. Aunt Mary stopped praying and we both covered our ears. All the lights in the house buzzed and went out. Silence.
            Aunt Mary’s breath was quick and shallow; the air, empty. She reached out for me again and held me, stroking my blond head.
            Uncle Patrick returned. “I couldn’t find anything outside, but at least it stopped. What happened to the lights? The streetlights are still on outside.”
            “If you don’t mind, I’ll stay in here until Mohandas falls asleep again,” said Aunt Mary.
            Uncle Patrick hesitated. “Well, sure, the little lad’s had quite a fright. You stay with him. I’m going back to bed. If the lights are still off in the morning, I’ll call the hydro.”
            After Uncle Patrick left, Aunt Mary lay me down and tucked me in. “Try to get some sleep, little Das. Everything will work out in the end. You will be loved here.”
Interview with Lisa Llamrei
1)      Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in and around Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In my wild and crazy youth, I spent a few years as a professional belly dancer, and was even offered an opportunity to tour Egypt and the United Arab Emirates; unfortunately for so many reasons other than my dance career, the first Gulf War broke out at that time. I also did a great deal of acting and other stage work, but never achieved professional status. I am now a single mom to four girls aged 2, 12, 14, and 16. We live north of Toronto.

2)      Which project are you currently promoting?
Reflection of the Gods.

3)      Can you tell us what the book is about?
Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt.
Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.
Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.

4)      How did you come up with the title for this book?
By polling several of my writer friends. The original title was Lifetimes, which was too bland. So, I turned to my supportive writing community and we tossed around a few ideas.

5)      What inspired you to write this book?
Fairy folklore, mostly Irish. I was particularly taken with stories about immortal women marrying mortal men and started to wonder how that would play out in the modern world.

6)      What made you decide to become a writer?
I didn’t decide to be a writer. I just couldn’t help it. Ever since I was young, I invented stories. As a teenager, I started writing them down.

7)      What genre do you generally write?
Urban Fantasy.

8)      What character out of your most recent work do you admire the most and why?
Nora. She’s in my current work-in-progress. I admire her because she’s smart, strong, and focuses on her strengths instead of her weaknesses.

9)      What other projects are you currently working on?
I have a near-complete first draft of a second novel. It’s about a deaf woman who is drawn into the crop circle phenomenon. I’ve also just started prep work for a third novel, which will be partially set in ancient Egypt, and will likely have elements of horror.

10)  When you begin a new MS, does it start with an idea, concept, or both?
It depends on what you consider the starting point of a manuscript. By the time I write the first word, I have a general idea of what story I want to tell. Prior to that, however, I am inspired by a concept, and generally spend months, or years, researching the concept before coming up with a story idea.

11)  What is your least favorite part about getting published?
Promotion. It requires a completely different skill set than writing, and I’m still struggling with figuring it all out.

12)  Was the road to publication a long one for you?
Much shorter than for most. I spent a couple of years pitching Reflection of the Gods to agents. After getting some interest, but no offers, and after learning some discouraging facts about the current state of the publishing industry, I decided to go the self-publishing route.

13)  Do you use a pen name? If so, why?
I do. Lisa is my real first name, but Llamrei is a nom-de-plume. I use it partly for privacy, and partly because my actual surname is very common (as is my first name), and so I cannot get the domain name. A pseudonym allows me a better web presence.

14)  Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully as a full-time writer, with a combination of novel-writing and freelancing.

15)  What is the best advice you can give to a new author?
Just write. 90% of literary genius is simply getting your butt into the chair and doing it. Make up a schedule that you can reasonably fit into your life. It doesn’t matter if it’s three hours a week or thirty, as long as you are working consistently. Stick to the schedule. Treat it like a job, and get your family on board so they understand that your writing time is important.

16)  Where can the readers find more information about you?
On my website: www.lisallamrei.com

Author Bio: 

Lisa Llamrei was born and raised in the Toronto area. She studied languages at York University. At various times, she has been an actor, professional belly dancer, holistic nutritionist, and entrepreneur. She currently lives north of Toronto with her family. Reflection of the Gods is her first novel.

Links:
Book Trailer:

The print book can be purchased here:

The e-book can be purchased for Kindle here:

Or for Kobo here: