Greetings, and welcome to Friday Rambles! Today, we’re lucky to have a guest interview with the fabulous L.M. Sherwin, author of Night Bells, Silent Shades, and The Dark Ship. Thanks for joining us today!
Thank you so much, Kendra, for having me “over” to your blog today!
Q. How did the idea for Night Bells come to you?
A. The idea for Night Bells actually came to me in my last year of college. Being an avid anime fan, I had been enjoying Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler) and really loved the idea of a young boy who lived in an opulent environment and held some sort of formal title. If you’re unfamiliar with Black Butler, it is a fun, though dark, anime about a boy named Ciel Phantomhive and his butler (who happens to be a demon) named Sebastian. Highly interesting story.
Anyway! I digress…After watching the anime, I realized I’d never really written a story about a young boy before and felt challenged to do so. I sat down at my computer one night in my dorm room and just started plinking away at the keys. Soon, Soryn and his manservant Jori were born. So was an ice planet that would house my new characters. As time passed, others joined them and the world was given more detail and purpose. Almost all my stories begin this way—I’m intrigued by the tale of one character and then the rest of the people, setting, and plot all begin to fall into place later.
Q. The novel has great reviews—I’ve been enjoying my read of it!—how does it feel to hear from readers that they love your work?
A. It feels incredible. When I started seriously pursuing my career as an author, I truly hoped that people would enjoy my stories. There are many reasons I love writing, but one of the biggest reasons I love it is because I genuinely love my stories. When I started receiving feedback from folks who enjoyed Night Bells, I was elated and filled with so much joy. Just knowing that I was able to provide someone with a great reading experience does my little author heart such good and gives it all those warm, fuzzy feelings. It gives me hope and motivation to keep up my writing and to put out more stories for my readers to enjoy. Before you’re published, writing can be a very solitary, sometimes lonely experience. When your book is published and available to the whole world, you become extremely vulnerable for a time. If people enjoy your book and review it and/or tell you about their thoughts…the story becomes a shared experience between readers and other readers and between the readers and the author. It’s a truly magnificent thing.
Q. If you didn’t have writing as an outlet, what would you do instead? (P.S. I’d bake cookies all day. Heh, writing’s healthier).
A. Hmmm. I have lots of hobbies, so I suppose I’d just stick with those but to an amplified sense. I do two separate types of martial arts (Hapkido and Taekwondo) and love my practice. I also love illustration, knitting, gaming, cooking, learning languages, and hiking. I suppose I’d just spend much more time doing those things if I couldn’t write. 🙂
Q: When do you best love to write? Is there a time of day you feel most creative?
A: Even though I don’t usually write at this time (due to familial obligations and other to-dos) my favorite time to write is at night. My mind is winding down from the day and the muse starts waking up. Lately, I’ve been making a point to write more at night, even if I can’t manage it every day. Usually, I end up writing in the morning or afternoon because of things I have going on at night (like martial arts, cooking, husband-time, etc.) Sometimes, though, I manage to scrape away some time for myself at night to sit in my office or at my netbook and get in a 2,000 word block of writing time. It’s great because my mind remains active when I finish and I get to go to sleep with thoughts of my characters and scenes tumbling around in my head.
Q: What’s your next project?
A. I have several projects “in progress” at the moment. The most immediate project, I suppose, is to publish my novella, The Dark Ship to Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and in print. I’m currently serializing it on Wattpad and would love to make it available to a wider audience once I’ve gotten it all polished up and shiny. After that’s done, I’m planning on publishing the first tale in my new series: Tales from Kirovna. After that’s done, I’m going to devote all my attention to the third (and final tale for the moment) Niflheim novel. I’ve got a lot on my publishing plate this year! There may even be a fourth project…but I’ll keep that to myself. 😉
Q: What’s the first book you ever remember reading (or having read to you)?
A: My parents read to me a whole lot, but I probably most strikingly remember my mother reading to me from the Precious Moments Bible Stories for children. Now, don’t think my brains are addled or anything, but I most often requested the story of “Cain and Abel”. Yeah, I know… (shamefully looks away). Other than that, I always loved having fairy tales read to me from two anthologies with elaborate, oil-painted illustrations. I still have them in my house and can’t wait to share them with my children one day!
Now for the silly questions…there had to be some, right?
Q: Which do you prefer: monsters or mayhem? Feel free to share examples.
A: Oh, I’d have to say monsters, hands-down. I was always particularly enchanted with the monsters in movies like Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and The Muppets. In stories, my favorite monsters include Mogget from Sabriel by Garth Nix (I think he definitely qualifies…), Calcifer from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, and The Folk from The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley. Monster design has always been of interest to me in all forms of media. One of my favorite past-times is checking out concept sketches from movies, video games, and books for their monsters, characters, and settings.
Q. In a cage match, who would win: Chuck Norris or a team of three Ninjas?
A: You have to ask? 😉
Q: I’ll take that to mean you answered correctly: Chuck Norris. Heh. Okay, if you were stranded on a desert island, what three books would you wish you had?
A: Without a doubt, they would be: the Bible, The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. I know that it’s sort of cheating to have The Lord of the Rings listed as one book, but there are plenty of omnibus editions available, so I feel justified. These books have provided some of the most formative reading experience of my life and they are books I come back to over and over again without fail. They helped to shape my understanding of truth, the world, imagination, and life. If I had to be trapped on a desert island for the rest of my life, I would definitely pine after these precious tomes.
Great answers! Thanks so much for taking time to chat with us!