Across the Pond : Interview with Sarah-Jane Lehoux

masquerade book coverAs a fan of the Sevy books I am eagerly awaiting the third of the series which comes out 26th February 2013. I persuaded the author, Sarah-Jane Lehoux, to answer a few of my questions about Sevy, the books and what the future might hold.

1. While Sevy is a definitely flawed lead character she is also a strong female who doesn’t need or want to rely on others to survive. I get the feeling strong female characters are something you feel passionate about yes?

Yes, I’m definitely pro-strength in female characters. There’s been too many years of too much media that portrays women as little more than arm candy, and I’m glad that so many authors are trying to change that stereotype. But it’s not that I want every single female character to be kick-ass fighters; rather, I want them to be realistic people. Women in real life are varied in the strengths and weaknesses they possess, so I think it’s only fair that this is reflected in the characters we create. Same thing goes for male characters. It’s about subverting traditional gender roles and allowing people to be who they are, instead of what society expects them to be.

2. After three books do you think Sevy’s story is told?

Nope. Sevy’s story is far from over. I have two more books in the series in the works that feature Sevy as a main character. And you never know—I love the universe, so maybe I’ll write more books in the future where Sevy will make cameos. She’s a complex chick who’s done a lot of personal growth, but who still needs more time to sort her shit out.

3. I love the way the three books have such different settings which, I feel, affect the language and tone of each. What drove you to write them this way?

Everything I write is inspired by my dreams. Cliché, I know, but it’s true. I have a sleep disorder that causes extremely vivid, bizarre dreams that stick with me long after I’ve woken up. I use the imagery and themes from these dreams as the basis for my stories. For example, I dreamed of a cold, wintery landscape with a hut with a lot of furs and fires, which became the basis of Sevy’s home village of Willing’s Cove, which is a mix of Nordic and Inuit cultures. Shades of War was inspired by a crazy dream I had about a screaming monkey, a woman’s bloody shoe, and a blue and red snake slithering through a jungle. As for Masquerade, all I can remember is water, sand and leering faces. Generally, I’ll take bits and pieces from multiple dreams to create one story.

When I first realized that Sevy’s story could not be contained to one single novel, I wanted to make the series as diverse and innovative as possible. Rather than relying on a traditional European medieval environment, I thought it would be so much more interesting if I mixed up the world and the cultures as much as I could.

4. So these books are crying out for a movie script. Who would you cast as Sevy in the movie?

Ooooh, this is something I often day-dream about. I have Sevy narrowed down to Rhona Mitra or Noomi Rapace. Both of these actors are amazing, so I think they could pull off Sevy’s tumultuous temper without turning it into a farce. I also want someone with a strong face that isn’t exactly pretty but is interesting, and small breasts are a must! If they ever make a movie and they cast some buxom beauty as Sevy, I think I might cry.

5. What would be your ideal day as a writer?

Waking up to a lovely homemade breakfast, which I can eat at leisure while I pursue fan mail Smile with tongue out Then, ideally, to be able to write, uninterrupted, for hours at a time. It’d be nice if I could put aside the worries and stress of life long enough each day to get a novel done in half the time it usually takes me.

6. Now that the book’s out and once the promotion work is done (and you’ve maybe found time to relax) what plans are you plotting for the future?

I’ll be taking a nice break from all things writerly for at least two weeks after the bulk of promotion for Masquerade is done. Then I have to decide which of three WIPs to work on first. I have a horror, a comedic fantasy, and a YA paranormal that I’ve already started. I think I’ll go with the YA paranormal, since I’m already around 30K, but we’ll just have to wait and see what catches my attention first.

Watch the video trailer then go and order from Mundania Press (available as dead-tree and e-formats)

Novella Review : My Sanctuary

Sarah-Jane Lehoux is the author of one of my favourite series of fantasy books so when I heard she had a YA novella being released I was excited to say the least.

My Sanctuary, however, is not fantasy; it’s a heart-rending depiction of life for unwanted children living in a fictional 1960s orphanage, St Jerome’s. Dot, the young orphan girl who narrates the story, is believable in her matter-of-fact resigned acceptance of the situation coupled with yearning dreams of a better life in her future.

This novella is very different from Sarah-Jane’s fantasy novels, even so her writing ability shines through yet again in creating believable characters and settings that evoke grief, despair, hope and anger. While the subject matter could be termed ‘uncomfortable’ it is also thought-provoking and honest in its depiction. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, I hope you do too.

sarah-jane lehouxMy Sanctuary will be released by Vagabondage Press in May 2012.

The Author

Sarah-Jane resides in Southern Ontario with her husband, and her ever growing horde of Machiavellian cats. For more information, please visit www.sarah-janelehoux.com.

 

 

Thief : a book review

*Disclaimer. I know the author online but I bought my own copy of this book and she did not request a review

I was warned that the main character, Sevy, was a bitch – and she is – but she is that way for a reason, several in fact and though you may abhor her lack of morals and her mercurial temper you come to care for her in a strange, if slightly warped, way. Jarro is the swooningly handsome thief with a heart, oh dear that makes him sound terribly clichéd yet he has that pinch of spice that makes him much more. Then there’s Revik, a dark elf with fire-red eyes and the terror of the bogey-man trailing him through the dank, crime-ridden streets of Eloria.

Ms Lehoux’s style of writing is akin to a celtic knot; well designed lines of prose curving into a beautifully wrought tale taking you within itself and twining around the corners of your mind. I enjoyed the way her story unfolded through the eyes and minds of her characters as one by one you were told the tale through the differing perspectives of woman, man and dark elf. This literary device gave you glimpses of their backgrounds and insights into their personal lives, thoughts and feelings. You saw Eloria in its depravity and yet discovered there were slivers of hope and love lurking beneath the dross. You learned about the homelands and lore of the dark elves, shunned by humans as being below even the lowest guttersnipe in the city.

I don’t want to give away too much (well anything really) but suffice it to say that you are going to be horrified, surprised, saddened and left wanting more when the tale reaches its last page. Yet fear not, there are more delectable tales just peeking over the horizon.

Order the book (as pdf or dead tree version) at Mundania Press or through Amazon, Waterstones and other good outlets.

Check out Sarah-Jane Lehoux’s own website for more information.

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