Actually, my husband and creative partner, Timothy Casey, and I have already written for the stage. We started off with children’s musicals, and one was even produced at a local theatre, but we have since written a full-length musical and a play. The musical is called “#chat” and is about a group of music lovers who form intense online relationships at the turn of the millennium. We recorded a concept album for it where we played and sang everything ourselves. You can find a few songs from it on my website at lyrashanti.com. We plan on writing more musicals in the future as well!
2. What inspired you to write in sci fi, as opposed to any other genre?
I’m drawn to sci-fi and fantasy because I love being taken away to another realm. I don’t like reality much, I suppose. Life should have more magic and dreams, in my opinion!
3. I saw somewhere that you include diverse characters in your writing. Do you think this is important in sci fi?
I think it’s important in EVERY genre. The world we live in is diverse! To represent it otherwise would be silly. In sci-fi worlds, there would be even more diversity, considering we’re dealing with various alien races from different planets. There should be every kind of colour, gender, sexual preference, and anything else possible!
Hmm… for The Dragon Warrior of Kri, I picture its main character and hero, Meddhi, as a very handsome, broad-shouldered semi-Asian looking man. Not easy to find! Maybe if Bruce Lee could be reanimated and brought back to life?
Meddhi’s best friend, Prince Atlar, should be blond, beautiful and very masculine. Maybe Brad Pitt?
Princess Pira should look like a mix of European and Indian. I can’t imagine who could play her, but she’d be extremely beautiful!
5. Have you ever considered writing in a different genre?
Yes. In fact, I’ve done so already. I have a biblical fiction called “The Rainbow Serpent.” It’s basically a loose re-imagining of The Garden of Eden, told from the snake’s point of view. It’s quite different than any version you’ve heard before.
I’m also very close to finishing a romantic drama called “The Artist.” It is the story of a multi-talented artist named Apollo who searches for the balance between artistic genius and madness, all while looking for true love. It’s a bit erotic and totally different from my previous novels. The Artist will be released in 2018.
Also, I write free form poetry and prose. You can find my poetry collection, Sediments, as well as The Rainbow Serpent on Amazon.com.
Read more at Newsnibbles
In the brief time since I last spoke with Jane, she and E.M. Swift-Hook have released a second book in their Dai and Julia series. This one is called Dying to be Friends.
We added details of border forts on the eastern edge of the Roman Empire, including communal latrines. We also beefed up the understanding of how the Roman Army works. In our world the Vigiles (police) are part of the army. In Britannia we added some more idea of the differences in social structure for locals and Romans, and of the inequalities our protagonists face.
Did it mean you had to do more research to make the science or tech work in this book?
One of the areas of constant head scratching is Latin. An A level nearly fifty years ago isn’t much help, I’m finding. And geography and place names.
How does this one differ from Dying to be Roman?
This is a prequel, and contains two stories. One is Dai’s first case as a full-blown Vigiles. The other tells how Julia is abandoned in the border badlands.
Which speculative fiction influenced this world or series?
I don’t know if we can actually put our fingers on any fiction in particular as a direct influence. The Welsh side borrows from the Mabinogion. The Dai/Julia relationship may have been influenced by Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane or Lindsey Davis’ Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina. And so on. We are both voracious readers, so pinning us down to specifics…
How would you compare your world to other alternative Roman empires like the ones in Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg or the Felix the Fox stories by Assaph Mehr?
I think our world is pretty much our own. We tried to start with a clean sheet. Giving ourselves a jumping off point in actual history, we then allowed the needs of our story to shape us a world. It is a pretty brutal society, where the human rights thing really hasn’t kept pace with technology. I don’t honestly think I’d much like to live in the world we have created.
Read more at Feature Friday Futures
What inspired you to write The Dragon Lady and The Phoenix Lord?
I have been in love with fantasy and Sci-fi anything for as long as I can remember. I started out writing fantasy and did a series aimed at young adults. It didn’t complete me though, so I decided to write a sci-fi series. That didn’t feel complete either. Then I discovered the genre that is steampunk.
A marriage of the two genres, with some sass and gadgetry thrown in. I was absolutely hooked! I started devouring everything steampunk that I could. As I learned more about it, and fell in love with the genre, I knew I couldn’t look back. So I introduced my two loves, fantasy (there’s a snarky dragon in here, who I would love to have a real life version of) and sci-fi (I love who-zits and what-zits and gadgets galore!) and waited for them to spark.
That spark turned into a flame, and Wylie Petford, my smart mouthed heroine and her dashing Lord Adrian were born.
Can you tell us a little about the heroine Wylie and her handsome Lord Adrian?
Wylie is a strong-willed, hard-working woman, who has been under the employ of Lord Adrian McCollum as his stablehand. She is saving her wages to pay for her ailing father’s medicine. However, when he passes away and she is left to care only for herself, the loneliness gets to be too much.
Lord Adrian, who is engaged to Wylie’s best friend, is nothing but a gentleman… but it’s no secret that the two have feelings for each other. Amidst finding a magical device that turns Wylie into a dragon meant to balance either good or evil in the world, she now has to navigate feelings for her employer.
It proves to be difficult, as she tries to remain loyal to her best friend. Until she finds out that her best friend’s father is about to take away her home, and the home of those she holds dear.
What's the single biggest and best reason we need to read The Phoenix Lord?
Quincy, clockwork dragon and guide extraordinaire always has something to say. A little bit of snark and sass, and he makes Jiminy Cricket look like a pansy. There are also giant snakes, pirates, mythology, and water gods, what more could you ask for?
Can you give us two exciting lines from the book?
“I need everyone to die. I need the whole world to become so overwhelmed with hopelessness that they long for death. And when I deliver it, they will see it as a mercy. Then perhaps the Immortals will see my power and allow me back into the celestial towers once more.” –The Fallen One
It took Adrian two seconds to see the metallic glint was the business end of a derringer that Jameston now pointed at Adrian’s flaming phoenix body.
"That’s a cheap shot, don’t you think, Jameston?"
"Not hardly, Adrian." His finger pulled the hammer back, and Adrian heard a harsh click.
Is there anything we should know before we pick up The Phoenix Lord?
The Phoenix Lord is an adventure for those who love the pull of good against evil. Fans of romance will love the lengths that Lord Adrian McCollum goes for his new bride. There’s a little bit of something for everyone… just enjoy the steam powered ride. <3