Lydia is LIVE over on the 2016 Brain to Books Cyber Convention
I’d like to introduce the amazing Lydia Sherrer, who took some time out from the mayhem of her first book launch to answer a few questions about herself, and her work.
Introducing Lydia Sherrer
Lydia Sherrer is an indie author debuting with her first novel series, Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus – the Lily Singer Adventures in April 2016. Growing up in rural Kentucky, she was thoroughly corrupted by a deep love for its particular brand of rolling countryside, despite all the mosquitoes and hay-fever. She was instilled with a craving for literature early on, and her parents had to wrestle books away from her at the dinner table. Though she graduated with a dual B.A. in Chinese and Arabic, having traveled the world she came home and decided to stay there. She currently resides in Louisville, KY with her loving and supportive husband, and their very vocal cat.
With an enormous passion for life, creating things, and discovering the world, Lydia crams her days with all sorts of adventure when she’s not working on her next book. She not only loves to play her ocarina (think Zelda), but also enjoys traditional archery, cosplay, larping, and art. She believes dark chocolate and tea are legitimate sources of nutrition, and one day hopes to visit every country in the world.
Among the many things that make up who Lydia Sherrer is, her faith in Jesus Christ is the most important. As a sinner saved by grace, her beliefs give her the inspiration and strength to love all those around her and work for positive change.
Lydia is not just out to write good books, but to make the world a better place, one story at a time. Her goal is to write with a purpose and inspire others to reach for their dreams, because she’s reaching for hers and loving the adventure. Her greatest hope is that she leaves this world a better place than she found it.
Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.
I’m a fantasy author hailing from the wonderful, verdant, mosquito-ridden, yet enchantingly beautiful northern Kentucky countryside. Kentucky is the home of thoroughbred horses, bourbon, and Kentucky Friend Chicken. Of the three, chicken is really the only one I care about. For more detail, take a peek at my full author bio which I slaved over for a full five minutes while contemplating the advantages of humour and self-deprecation in autobiographies.
I love many things, and dislike many more, but hate nothing, unless it be the wilful and uncaring infliction of pain on others. I believe in God, hope, change, dreams, and the power of the written word. My goal is to leave this world a better place than it was when I found it.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?
Snarky humor, magic, life and death adventure—Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus – the Lily Singer Adventures has it all and more as modern-day wizard Lily Singer tries to keep her troublemaking witch friend out of trouble and prevent magical mayhem. Accompanied by her talking cat, she must avert disaster while searching for clues to unravel her hidden past. Will the truth reveal her future, or doom it?
Full of life lessons about forgiveness, trust, friendship, and the responsible use of power, my books’ snarky humor will keep you laughing while my original magic system and world building will keep fantasy lovers enthralled. Inspired by ancient Sumerian lore, language, and cuneiform script, I’ve created my own unique reality that you can dive into: bizarre enough to keep you on your toes while real enough to make you wonder if it just might be true.
Who is your intended readership?
Funny you should ask that. I am an adult (mid-twenties) and wrote the book for other people my age, though keeping a younger readership in mind (and just because I prefer clean storytelling), there is minimal language and no sex. The ideas and situations, though, are happening to an adult and it deals with adult situations and problems. So I imagined my target audience to be people my age. But then I commissioned the covers, and they turned out to look distinctly YA, even though the characters on them are clearly adults. I tried to write in such a way that it would appeal to a wide audience, but I suppose in my effort to keep the books YA friendly, that has equated to them being labeled YA books, since there is no “adult” content in them to label them as adult. Perhaps I’m just still too young at heart, or perhaps I remember too strongly the many happy hours spent reading as a teenager. I don’t think I would ever purposefully write a story that could not be enjoyed by younger people, the age when one actually has TIME to read, and the imagination runs wild. So, apparently, my books are YA…but not really. Why don’t you read them and decide for yourself?
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
At age 18, when I had a 30k partial manuscript of my first book (that I had never up to this point even considered a book) and realized there was no way I was going to let all that time and effort go to waste. I was going to become a writer, dagnabbit, and put all those dreamy hours to good use.
Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?
I love the way C.S. Lewis uses metaphor and story to point to larger truths that encompass us as humans. My favorite book of his is the Horse And His Boy. Then, of course, there is the legend among writers, J.R.R. Tolkien, who dedicated his life to creating a whole universe whose quality and detail surpasses anything that was written before or has been written since. His achievements inspire me to treat the calling of “writer” with dedication and reverence.
What advice would you give beginning writers?
Put your butt in the chair and write something. Once you’ve written it, get beta feedback. Never assume it’s good enough, everything can always use another edit. While writing, take time to be a part of the writer community. Help other people and they will help you. Listen to others and treat constructive criticism as the most precious thing in the world, even if it hurts, you can always learn something from it. While it’s good to constantly seek to educate yourself about the publishing/writing world, don’t worry too much about anything else until you have that completed, self-edited and beta read manuscript in hand. Before that, it’s all just wistful thinking anyway.
Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?
I was revising a chapter in my latest book, getting ready to send it to my editor. I’d had my husband read it over and insert any comments/suggestions. When I re-read it, I found that he had inserted “and then she pooped” after a random piece of dialog from my main character. I burst out laughing, and he started laughing too. When I was finally in control of myself, I thoroughly thrashed him with a pillow for his insolence, asking what would have happened if I hadn’t caught it? He assured me that my editor would have caught it, and tried to persuade me to leave it there, describing how my editor might react when she read it. We promptly collapsed into giggles again. Hey, you have to take your humor where you can get it in this profession. No, I didn’t leave it in. My editor is like a mom to me, can you imagine the scolding I would have gotten?
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?
I love shooting my recurve bow, mostly at bales of hay, though fleeing, screaming humans make much more amusing targets. Now, don’t call the police. I promise I only shoot at humans with padded arrows when I’m LARPing (live action role play). I’d hate to get blood on my nice, hand-made wooden arrows. They’d be permanently stained!
I also love to play the ocarina, as in Zelda Ocarina of Time ocarina. It is great fun playing well-known video game and movie themes at conventions. People turn and stare, and I can play the theme songs for some of the cosplayers, who get excited and start acting things out. My favorite is to find all the Darth Vader and Storm Trooper cosplayers and follow them around playing the Imperial March. You can hear some of my ocarina music on my YouTube channel.
What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus is a fun, light-hearted, and humorous series. I started writing it after I’d spent eight years working on a very dark, urban fantasy novel about vampires, unconditional love, redemption, and many sticky moral quandaries that make my life as a writer interesting. My premise was: if the only person in the whole world you’d ever cared about or loved disappeared, what would you do? Or, more specifically, what WOULDN’T you do to save them? I was about 3/4 through the first book and felt burnt out, so I switched tracks, wrote a shorter, fun series to start publishing, and now am eager to eventually go back and finish my first book. Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus books 3 and 4 should come out in spring 2017, if all goes well, so you might see this other work after that, maybe spring 2018.
The Lily Singer Adventures:
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings – Book 1
Saving the world is such a bother when it makes you late for tea.
By day, book-loving wizard Lily Singer manages library archives. By night? She sleeps, of course. In between, she studies magic and tries to keep her witch friend Sebastian out of trouble. Much to her displeasure, he finds it anyway and drags her along with him.
From unmaking ancient curses to rescuing a town lost in time, Lily and Sebastian fight to avert magical mayhem. Meanwhile, Lily’s mysterious past begins to unfold—a past hidden from her by those she trusts most. Will she be able to discover the truth despite them?
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Revelations – Book 2
The truth shall make you free…sort of.
Modern-day wizard Lily Singer prefers to stay tucked away in her library, studying magic and drinking tea. But with a troublesome witch friend and a past riddled with dangerous secrets, her chances of peace and quiet are slim.
Armed with only wits and magic, she must manage her argumentative cat, thwart a plot to steal a powerful artifact, and decide who, amid all this, she can trust. The past, both ancient and modern, is catching up with her. Will discovering its secrets reveal her future, or doom it? Perhaps some truths are better left unknown…