Posts Tagged ‘female fantasy writers’

One of my favourite people in the world is Glenda Larke. Not only is she a wonderful, knowledgeable and interesting person, she is an exceptional author. I’m so pleased her next book is out (or coming out) that I thought it would be a good idea to interview her.

Your new novel is coming out, Lascar’s Dagger. Can you tell us a bit about it?

It’s the first book in a trilogy, The Forsaken Lands.

It is set in a fictional world, evocative of our 17th to 19th centuries when the expansion of the Dutch and British East India Companies led to colonial wars and aggressive expansion. The wealth of Asia fed the prosperity of Europe at the expense of Asian freedom.

In my fictional world, a lascar arrives from the East with a magical dagger — and nothing is quite the same again…Image

Glenda, tell us a bit about yourself (where you live, how long you’ve been writing, previous publications etc)

I’ve spend most of my adult life abroad: Malaysia including Borneo, Austria, Tunisia–but now I’ve returned to Australia to live, not too far from where I was born. I started to write fiction when I was a kid, but my first published work was all photo-journalism articles (travel and nature). My first novel was accepted for publication when I was 52.

Since then I’ve had three trilogies and a standalone published. The standalone, Havenstar, was the first published, and — weirdly — has garnered the most passionately enthusiastic reviews and the least negative ones, yet has sold the least copies.

Glenda, what do you find so attractive about the fantasy genre? In what ways do you find it fulfilling?

It enables a writer to explore all facets of humanity with greater ease than any other genre. For example, within the pages of The Lascar’s Dagger, a reader will find cultural misunderstandings and irrational prejudice; the tragedy of arranged marriage; the greyer areas of murder and piracy; misuse of inherited power; religious compassion and spirituality alongside evil, sanctimonious self-righteousness; sacrifice, bravery and honour; battles and … Well, you get the picture. In a fantasy, anything can happen. The secret is to make it believable.

Have you had any feedback from readers about your fantasy worlds and if so what have they said?

Each of my trilogies is very different from the next. The Isles of Glory is more of a kick-ass swords-and-scorcery. With intelligent, aquatic aliens.

The Mirage Makers is really a story about an individual stolen from her culture and family, rather as children of Australia’s stolen generation were, and how she exacts her revenge — and the cost involved. All with mirages.

The third trilogy, called either the Watergivers or the Stormlord trilogy,  is about the preciousness of water and understanding what it takes to live in a desert nation and survive. With magic. And pedes and ziggers…

Some readers have loved them all; others have favourites. As I said above, everybody raved about Havenstar. Probably the least popular of all was the second book of The Mirage Makers. Some people found that very difficult to read because it reminded them of their worst memories of highschool!!

What are you working on at the moment?

Book Two of The Forsaken Lands. Publication is scheduled for January.

What is your writing process? (planner, panster, write every day, write sporadically, writers block etc).

Not much of a planner. Or rather, I plan like mad, then never follow it because I think of better ways to tell the story. I write anytime, anywhere – literally. In the past that has involved sitting on  the floor of crowded Asian airports, or the deck of a fishing boat chugging up the Kinabatangan River, or in a study so untidy I can’t find anything…

I do find that as I grow older, my ability to write for long hours has diminished. Writer’s block? I write anyway, knowing it’s mostly rubbish, throw it out and try again. Until I get it right.

What do you prefer — drafting the story or revising and reworking?

Reworking & revising, because that’s the fun part. That’s when you decide that maybe, just maybe, this particular story is not crap after all.

What part of writing do you find hardest?

Almost everything?

It’s self-torture. Nothing comes easy. You pick yourself up off the floor and try again. And again. The weird thing is that I never thought of myself as a masochist — yet I must be, because I would do it all over again. Every bit. And still believe I enjoyed myself.

What do you plan to work on next?

Book 3.

You write under different names. Does maintaining these identities (blog, twitter and facebook) it take a lot of time? Do you have any tips for those of us who write under more than one name?

Well, I do double up a lot. My webmaster set up a system whereby I can send blog posts on writing/publishing straight to my website. My tweets go straight to Facebook.

Changing my name was at the request of my publisher at the time. They thought Noramly was too difficult for readers to remember. If I were to do it again, I’d start with the name Larke.

There are only two reasons to use different names: 1) because books flopped and a change of identity seems a wise strategy, or 2) because you write several different kinds of books. For example, Melody Silver for romance, Morgan Sheild for fantasy and Mike Storre for military sci-fi.
You can find Glenda on the web


Twitter: @glendalarke

Website: www.glendalarke.com

Facebook: The Glenda Larke Page


Read Full Post »