Please join us in welcoming author Lisa Shearin here today to Dark Faerie Tales. The sixth book in Lisa’s Raine Benares fantasy series, All Spell Breaks Loose, recently hit shelves in May. You can read an excerpt from the book here.
Thanks to Penguin/Ace Books, one lucky commenter will have a chance to win a copy of Lisa’s latest book.
Contrary to popular belief, most authors do have day jobs just like everyone else. I’m happily ensconced at an advertising agency as an editor and quality control manager. In my previous corporate life, I’ve been a magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description.
I’m the author of the national bestselling fantasy adventure series featuring Raine Benares, a finder of things lost and people missing. But what Raine finds best is trouble and lots of it. The series began with Magic Lost Trouble Found, and continued with Armed & Magical, The Trouble With Demons,Bewitched & Betrayed, Con & Conjure and All Spell Breaks Loose, which will hit bookstore shelves in 2012.
I’m a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and I live in North Carolina with my always patient and ever-encouraging husband, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds and a Jack Russell terrier who rules us all.
Want to read more from Lisa Shearin?
DFT: Could you start things off by telling us a little about the Raine Benares series?
Lisa: Raine Benares is a seeker, which is basically a detective who uses magic to find missing people and stolen objects. At the beginning of the series (MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND) she inadvertently gets herself psychically bonded to the Saghred—a stone that gives the one bonded to it unlimited power, with a side order of insanity. Not crazy like an eccentric aunt, but take-over-the-world-and-kill-millions kind of crazy.
The entire series (all six books) takes place in an approximate three-month timeframe. That’s a lot of action in very little time, but thanks to the Saghred (and the evil megalomaniacs who want the stone for their own), Raine is in a lot of trouble with very little ways out of it.
Thanks to friends and allies (both old and new), and ill-timed romantic entanglements (it ain’t easy to fight for your life and have a relationship at the same time), Raine manages to stay one step ahead of the power-hungry elves and goblin aristocrats who want the stone and its power for their own. Unfortunately Raine can’t just give it to them. Once bonded to the Saghred, you’re bonded for life. Only death can break that bond. Yours. Understandably, Raine has a problem with that last part.
ALL SPELL BREAKS LOOSE is the finale of the Saghred storyline. In it, Raine and a small band of good friends, not-so-good friends, and one outright enemy (don’t ask), travel to the goblin capital of Regor in order to destroy the Saghred and kill the goblin archmage who has found a way to use the stone’s power to enslave the world. While there, Raine & Company must also renegade goblin prince on the throne. Piece of cake. Not.
DFT: Can the books function as a stand-alone or do we need to read the series from the beginning?
Lisa: The six books in the Raine Benares series are actually one really big book divided into six smaller ones. Each one essentially picks up where the previous book ended. Those of you who haven’t read the series yet, don’t let that scare you off—they’re quick reads. The reading order is:
- Magic Lost, Trouble Found
- Armed & Magical
- The Trouble With Demons
- Bewitched & Betrayed
- Con & Conjure
- All Spell Breaks Loose
DFT: Can you tell us a little about the main character in All Spell Breaks Loose?
Lisa: Raine Benares is a seeker, which is basically a detective who uses magic to find missing people and stolen objects. She’s is the kind of friend you’d want to have—unwaveringly devoted to her friends, sassy, tough yet vulnerable, and as long as you’re anywhere near her you’ll never have a dull moment.
DFT: If you could describe your main character with only 3 words, what would they be?
Lisa: Loyal, unpretentious, and irreverent.
DFT: Tell us something about your research process and the choices you make when creating the story.
Lisa: For the Raine Benares series, research is just reading, reading, and more reading of books I enjoy. I didn’t need to do any research in the traditional sense.
DFT: Do you have a long-term plan or goal for this story universe? What happens after book 6, All Spell Breaks Loose?
Lisa: I made Raine’s world large enough, and tried to make my cast of supporting characters interesting enough so that I could come back in the future. I’d love to do several spin-off series featuring various supporting characters who readers have said are their favorites.
DFT: Who is your favorite character in this book, and why?
Lisa: I would have to say Raine. She’s just been so much fun to write over the years.
DFT: Do you have a favorite scene or line from All Spell Breaks Loose?
Lisa: The book is full of great one-liners and laugh-out-loud scenes. There’s no way I can pick a favorite. For those who have read the entire series, each scene in All Spell Breaks Loose will have something to love, and I hope they think the ending is as satisfying as it felt to me when I wrote it.
DFT: What is your favorite part of writing this series?
Lisa: Getting to the end. ; ) Seriously, it was writing the last chapter of All Spell Breaks Loose. It was such a great wrapping up of the entire series—ending ongoing plotlines while opening others for future books. As I typed the last few words of All Spell, I had a big, goofy, happy grin on my face. I never expected the series to go to six books. I was thinking three books, four max. The more I wrote, the more the subplots centering on the supporting cast developed and grew. I had to keep writing because I wanted to know what happened.
DFT: What other projects are you working on that you would like to tell us about?
Lisa: I’m putting the final polish on a proposal package for the first three books in a completely new series: an urban fantasy/supernatural thriller/comedy. I do like to mix genres. I can’t give any details yet, except to say that I’m having a blast writing it.
DFT: What books/genres do you read when you have the chance? Any must read authors or series?
Lisa: I am an absolute, complete, and utter Jim Butcher fangirl. I love me some Harry Dresden. I can’t recommend that series highly enough. Brilliant work. At the moment, I’m really into supernatural/action thrillers. I enjoy Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, David Golemon, James Rollins, F. Paul Wilson, and Jeremy Robinson.
DFT: What is your definition of a “bad writing day”? How do you deal with bad writing days?
Lisa: When I get stuck. If I’ve made a bad plot choice earlier in a book, my writing brain won’t let me move forward until I figure out where I screwed up and go back and fix it. When you’re on a deadline, the clock is always ticking. So when I do get stuck, which happens more often in the middle of books, I immediately stop, get out my notebook and pen, and write out the problem. Talking to myself on the page and writing through the problem and various solutions has never failed to get me out of the plot ditch I’ve fallen into.
DFT: Do you have a particular writing process or any writing rituals?
Lisa: I start each chapter writing longhand in a journal with one of my vintage fountain pens. And my official “writing chair” is a huge a 120-year-old mahogany rocking chair. My thoughts flow better from brain to pen to paper (while sitting in that chair). I think writing longhand gives me a more direct path to my inner storyteller. Once I’ve written a first draft, then I key it in to my computer and start expanding from there.
DFT: If you weren’t writing, what would you want to be doing for a living?
Lisa: Hmm, that’s a difficult question, because writing is all I’m even remotely good at, plus it’s the only thing I’ve ever really wanted to do. If I weren’t writing, my bank account would be in trouble.
This giveaway is provided by Penguin/Ace Books
One winner will receive a copy of All Spell Breaks Loose by Lisa Shearin
Available on March 29, 2012 from Penguin/Ace Books
About the Book:
My name is Raine Benares—and it sucks to be me. The Saghred, a soul-stealing stone that has given me unlimited power, has been stolen by a goblin prince, and with it went my magic. The Saghred is in the goblin capital of Regor, in the hands of Sarad Nukpana, who’s on the verge of becoming the most powerful mage ever…just as soon as I’m dead.
Because Sarad can’t use the stone while I’m alive. Incentive enough to plan a little trip to Regor with a small band of good friends, not-so-good friends, and outright enemies. All we need to do is destroy the Saghred, kill Sarad, and put a renegade prince on the throne. Did I mention I’ll be doing this without magic?
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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