Interview with Lydia Sherrer (& Giveaway!)
Today I’m hosting Lydia Sherrer as part of a blog tour organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 28 April till 14 May, you can view the tour schedule here.
Lydia Sherrer’s Lily Singer Adventure Series contains 4 books at this moment with more planned. The latest two books, released On 28 April 2017, were Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Allies and Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Legends.
What is the biggest way that the existence of magic changes the society in your urban fantasy world?
On the one hand, not at all, and on the other, in every way imaginable. You see, in Lily’s world, magic isn’t so much supernatural as it is natural. Magic is energy and its existance is a part of all life on earth, so it is really quite normal and unnoticed to mundanes as its workings are explained in terms of science. In terms of society, magic affects it almost not at all, which is a major plot point of the whole series.
Wizards are dying out. While of course they have always sought to remain unnoticed and aloof of mundane society, now they are so few they could barely affect it all even if they wanted to. Which, as you have learned, some wizards are not happy about and want to change. Ask me again after Book 12 comes out and I’ll give you a more interesting answer ;). Until then, anything I say would be a spoiler!
Lydia, you’ve mentioned that you live in Louisville. How has living in that particular city impacted your worldbuilding for the Lily Singer Adventure Series? Does the city you live in seep into your novels at all?
Absolutely! While the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus series is set in Atlanta, and I HAVE been there and explored the city somewhat, most of my experience with city life I get from living in Louisville and so as I imagine scenes in my head, playing like a movie so I can write descriptively about what’s happening, I’m largely imagining Louisville.
Of course, I have to go back and give it a southern bent and make sure it matches up with Atlanta, haha! There are some big differences between the two cities, and they each have their own feel, but city life is city life. There are also parts of Louisville that are very similar to parts of Atlanta, like the Bardstown road area around the Highlands reminds me of Decatur in many ways.
Information organization and access is very important to a city, real or imagined. I love that Lily Singer is tasked with managing the library archives, and it makes me wonder: what advantages does Lily’s library give to her community?
Well the Agnes Scott College library is primarily focused on resources for the college students that go there, but they definitely house some important collections that are enjoyed by the community. One example is their collection of original works by Robert Frost, who during the last twenty years of his life would visit Agnes Scott every spring on his way to Florida. He gave many talks there and endowed some of his work to their archives.
Also, Agnes Scott is known for providing quality education to women from all walks of life, and they provide a lot of financial assistance and opportunity to women who might not otherwise have been able to attend college. So in that way, the library serves as the focal point of education and information for generation after generation of empowered women who go out to change the world, one community at a time.
Early in the series, Lily helps to rescue a town lost to time. Without spoilers, can you explain how being lost impacted the town?
Physically, they wouldn’t have suffered any lasting impact beyond some disorientation and fatigue in the days that followed their return to “real” time, since they were only “lost” for a few weeks. Mentally, who knows? None of them knew what was going on at the time except for the few characters interacting with Lily and Sebastian as the focal point of the whole mishap.
As the series progresses, it won’t be so much the townspeople themselves affected as the series of events set in motion by the whole episode and how those events influence the fates of all living things, mundane and wizard alike.
In what ways would you say Lily’s home is vulnerable to attack? What kinds of threats does she need to be on the look out that impact the people around her?
It is normal for wizards to include many general wards on their domiciles, things such as deterrents against fire, break-ins, etc. Of course they have to be careful, because if every house on the street is hit by storm damage and their house is spotless people might get suspicious.
As far as threat from magical attack, until Books 3 & 4 Lily never imagined she would ever have need of protection against magical attack. She never dreamed of being involved in any sort of adventure that would require such precautions. Now, unlike other stories about say superheroes fighting aliens or high fantasy characters fighting vast armies of orcs, wizards tend to be solitary and circumspect. There isn’t much she would face at this point which would affect her neighbors.
In the future, however, she will face threats both from her own mundane community as well as from various supernatural forces, threats which may force her to reconsider whether she should even stay in Atlanta. After all, at what point is it your duty to accept exile when your simple existence, through no fault of your own, causes threat to those around you?
Moving forward in a series can be tough! Were there any details that you included in the first and second books that tripped you up while writing books 3 and 4?
It has certainly been tricky, to say the least! When I wrote Episode 1 (the first of two episodes in Book 1), I had absolutely no large plan for any series at all beyond that episode. It was meant as a solitary experiment in writing to get me out of a funk after 8 years of working on a different book. So I’ve definitely needed to be creative to get everything to fit together. It became easier after Books 1 & 2 because I began planning a much bigger picture and outlining the whole series to fit together.
As far as tripping up, I’ve been very careful to leave certain things very open ended and vague to enable me to drill down deeper later. It’s not so much this series, but the Sebastian spin-off series I’m planning to launch this fall that is tripping me up! There are many things about Sebastian which I have already established that I have to figure out how to explain in his origin story series!
Do you think that knowing Chinese and Arabic has had an impact on how you’ve written the Lily Singer Adventures? Either in terms of the prose or the worldbuilding?
Yes, very much so, more in terms of world building than prose. My love of languages inspired me to research ancient Sumerian culture and language, and to use it as the base of my magic system. My understanding of the way languages work and fit together has helped me develop Enkinim (words of power) and dimmu (runes of power). And, of course, as a author absolutely everything I learn and experience makes me a better writer. My time learning those languages and living in those cultures gave me a wealth of experience, not just about the languages but about people and culture that will inform my every word and understanding of the world for the rest of my life.
Thanks so much for answering all of my questions, Lydia. One last request — could you tell my readers a little about your books?
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?
Beginnings is the first installment of the Lily Singer Adventures urban fantasy series. Full of unexpected twists and snarky humor, this story has been known to cause: loud snorts of laughter, inexplicable craving for tea, and loss of work productivity. If you enjoy magic-filled adventures like Harry Potter and Sabrina the Teenage Witch then you’ll love Lydia Sherrer’s delightful new series.
You can find Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings on Goodreads
You can buy Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings on Amazon
Love, Lies and Hocus Pocus: Beginnings is part of Kindle Unlimited.
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Revelations (The Lily Singer Adventures #2)
Modern-day wizard Lily Singer prefers to stay in her library, studying magic and drinking tea. But when her cat starts talking back and she discovers a plot to steal a powerful artifact, Lily’s chances of peace and quiet are slim. Her past is riddled with dangerous secrets. Will discovering the truth reveal her future, or doom it?
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Allies (The Lily Singer Adventures #3)
What’s worse than fighting with allies? Fighting without them. To stop her father’s evil plans, wizard and archivist Lily Singer must reconcile old grudges, make questionable allies, and bend the law to fix a problem that’s not even her fault. Can she and her friends work together to save the day? Or will they let their differences divide them?
Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus: Legends (The Lily Singer Adventures #4)
Troublemaking witch friend and talking cat in tow, Lily Singer must pursue her father to England as he seeks to discover an ancient evil and steal its power for himself. But with a queen of the fae after the same thing, Sebastian’s past comes back to haunt him and the three friends have to think fast and act faster to defeat legends that are, unfortunately, no longer in the past.
All four books in The Lily Singer Adventures series are part of Kindle Unlimited.
About Lydia Sherrer:
Author of the Love, Lies, and Hocus Pocus magical adventure series, Lydia Sherrer is a fantasy author whose goal is to leave this world a better place than when she found it. With an urban fantasy series, multiple short stories and a novella under her belt, Lydia has been writing for over a decade and enjoys nothing more than a good book, a cup of tea, and a comfy chair in the sunshine. When not writing she loves to play her ocarina (think Zelda), and also enjoys traditional archery, cosplay, larping, and art.
Growing up in rural Kentucky, she was thoroughly corrupted by a deep love for its rolling countryside, despite 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 BA 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.
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Lily Singer Adventures. These are the prizes you can win:
– 1st place is signed paperback copies of The Lily Singer Adventures Books 1 & 2 and ebook copies of Books 3 & 4 (US only)
– 2nd place is ebook copies of The Lily Singer Adventures Books 1-4 (open world-wide)
– 3rd place is ebook copies of The Lily Singer Adventures Books 1-2 (open world-wide)
For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway