Interview with Manga Maniac Cafe

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Original can be found here: http://www.mangamaniaccafe.com/?p=8838

Please welcome Lee Roland to the virtual offices today! Lee is here to answer some questions about her new book, Vicious Moon, and after, you can enter to win all 3 books of the Earth Witches Series!

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Lee Roland] I live in Florida and have the good fortune of being a full time writer. I write every day, though not as much as I feel I could, since I like to spend time reading, too. I’m pretty much an introvert, even if my friends describe me as a bit of a drama queen. I began writing in the sixth grade, but only became serious about getting published ten years ago.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Vicious Moon?

[Lee Roland] Vicious Moon is the third book in the Earth Witches Series. It follows Viper Moon (2011), Vengeance Moon (2012). The story involves a witch named Nyx, who ran away and joined the army to escape the ridged rules of her family and coven. She’s made a life for herself and eventually ends up in San Francisco working as a private investigator. Nyx is called home by her grandmother and then sent to find her sister Marisol. Marisol has gone to the city of Duivel, Missouri to study with another witch and is missing. Nyx does find her sister, but she also meets her match in Etienne, a man who has walked in the shadowy world of mercenary soldiers and criminal enterprises.

The Earth Witches series is Urban Fantasy with mild humor and a strong love story. The earth witches are keepers of the world’s magic. They are men and women, all servants of their patroness, the Earth Mother, they battle men and monsters to protect the world.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Lee Roland] I have been blessed with an active imagination. I have always loved the unusual. Characters come from need to make particular things happen in a story. I usually make them bigger than life, sometimes outrageous, then back them down meet the story’s needs. My inspiration also comes from the first books I read.

I have been strongly influenced by the stories of C.L. Moore. C.L. Moore wrote in the 1930’s and they were published in Weird Tales, a SF/Fantasy magazine popular at the time. They were then collected into a volume titled Northwest of Earth. There was a degree of prejudice against women in the genre at that time, so she had to use only her initials to be published. I have copies on my bookshelf, one an original edition. Northwest Smith could have been an inspiration for Han Solo, and Jirel of Joiry is the original queen of kick ass warriors. Jirel is the inspiration for every kick heroine I’ve ever written.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Nyx?

[Lee Roland] Stubborn, courageous, sarcastic.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Etienne had a theme song, what would it be?

[Lee Roland] I don’t think about Etienne in terms of music, but if I had to pick one I’d say a piece of classical might fit. The Planets, Op. 32, Mars, The Bringer Of War by Gustave Holst.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Nyx is never without.

[Lee Roland] With human beings and human nature, never and always are concepts riddled with exceptions. For Nyx, her magic is her best and worst weapon. It is in her genetic makeup. It never leaves her but often fails her when she needs it most.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Etienne’s bathroom?

[Lee Roland] Etienne is a man who has spent most of his time in foreign lands as mercenary soldier and sometimes successful thief. He’s far more concerned with the condition of his gun than other more personal things. He would never let himself stand out in a crowd. Quite accustomed to exotic and horrific odors of his world, he would never use any type of cologne or perfumed after shave. You wouldn’t find special moisturizing soaps or, unless someone else put them there, soft fluffy towels.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Nyx’s greatest regret?

[Lee Roland] At the time of the story, Vicious Moon, Nyx regrets that she hadn’t kept in contact with her grandmother and sister. She was too busy running away from a staid and constricting life. The need for freedom constantly conflicted with the need for family.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Lee Roland] Books I read when I was growing up. A love of myths, legends, epic poetry, set me apart from my peers, but I persevered.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Lee Roland] Silence, my computer, my books. I’m most creative in the morning. After one o’clock, my attention wanders. I always envied writers who could sit down a computer at any time of the day and actually produce great scenes.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Lee Roland] Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. It’s a bit brutal but caught me at the first chapter.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Lee Roland] That’s difficult to answer because I can’t really remember the name, though I do remember the book. I checked it out of the school library at age twelve. Up until that point, my only reading had been in class as part of the curriculum. I read because I had to. The book was actually funny, laugh out loud funny, and I think that was the first time I realized that I could make the real world go away and live in fantasy for a while.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Lee Roland] I like family gatherings and meeting with my critique partners and other friends. I try to get out and away from the computer on a regular basis. When I start pushing on deadlines it’s important to take breaks.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Lee Roland] I can be reached at lee@leeroland.com

I would love to hear from anyone with comments or questions.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!