Newly divorced Das MacDermott longs for a fresh start. As he packs up and prepares to move out of the city, he spots a young woman being held at gunpoint by three men. Despite being outnumbered and unarmed, Das does his best to intervene. Once liberated, the victim seems oddly ungrateful, but on an apparent whim decides to join Das in his new life in rural Ontario. Aislinn, as she is called, returns the favour; with her encouragement and support, his start-up photography business takes off, and more importantly, Das is saved from loneliness and self-doubt.
Das, however, is never quite able to fully dismiss the contrary aspects of Aislinn’s nature, and is strictly forbidden from asking about Aislinn’s past. All seems too good to be true, and indeed it is. Aislinn’s unusual talents and odd Behaviour, unbeknownst to Das, come from her demigod status. Aislinn is half-Sidhe, daughter of Fionvarra, Ireland’s fairy king, and a human woman. Sidhe wars have so disrupted the mortal world that Aislinn has joined with other immortals in an effort to permanently separate it from Tir N’a Nog, the fairy realm.
Born in ancient Ireland, Aislinn spends millennia as the plaything of the cruel and narcissistic gods. The pain of being neither human nor Sidhe is offset by her relationship to the Fir Bolg, another race of fair folk who take pity on her lonely state; and the refuge she takes in being Das’s lover and protector. As Das comes to accept the possibility that Aislinn belongs to a supernatural world, he discovers that the two worlds are set to collide in a way that may mean the destruction of all humanity.
~ Bewitching BT
If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
What would you say inspired you to write it?
Irish folklore about fairy women marrying mortal men.
What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
Reflection of the Gods has two protagonists: Aislinn and Das. Both were inspired by Irish folklore, as was the antagonist, Iarlugh.
Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
Writer’s block, no. Writer’s laziness, yes. Writer’s procrastination, constantly. Joining a class that imposes deadlines helps immensely. Nothing makes me work harder than a deadline.
Your all time favorite book?
The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
What made you pick that one above all others?
It’s a familiar story – the Arthurian legend – told from a unique perspective – the women. It’s also told from a pagan worldview. If it wasn’t the first novel to do that, it’s certainly the best known. And the writing is fabulous. Marion Zimmer Bradley was a world class storyteller.
What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
Well, I’m a lot busier than I was before. I also have a whole new, supportive community of other writers.
Was there ever a time, during your work for the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
I felt like quitting many times. I did quit more than once. Two things kept me going: 1) I found a supportive group of writer who were also struggling with writing a novel, and 2) I decided that writing the book was something I had to do for myself; getting published and selling it would be nice, but finishing it was important.
What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside from writing?
My Mom and I run our own business. We administer a distance education program in holistic nutrition. I also have four girls: two teens, a tween, and a toddler, so when I’m not at work I’m usually driving someone somewhere. Writing generally happens after the toddler is asleep.
How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
I try not to take it personally. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. If the review is well thought-out, and not just a rant, I consider what the reviewer has said, because maybe s/he has a point, and it could help me improve my writing in the future. This is especially true if several reviewers have similar criticisms. I advise other writers to remember two things about bad reviews: 1) each review represents the opinion of ONE person, and 2) Dan Brown and E.L. James get all kinds of bad reviews, but readers love them.
Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
At this time, I am not planning a sequel for Reflection of the Gods. But never say never. I could be inspired.
What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside from this title/series?
I am currently working on my second novel, tentatively titled The Divine Measure in which a young deaf woman discovers that someone, or something, is abducting deaf people from around the world, and that she is the next target.
What made you decide to go the self-pub way?
The reality that it’s getting harder and harder for unknown authors to be picked up by a traditional publishing house. Plus, I read an informal survey that indicated about 26% of new authors are writing sci-fi/fantasy, but only about 6% of books published each year are in that genre.
What would you say was the toughest part?
Marketing. It’s more work than writing the book, and it’s not a skill I’ve had to develop in my working life.
Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
I absolutely did. Those aren’t skills that I possess.
How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
In the case of editing, I asked a friend who works in publishing. In the case of cover design and formatting, I looked around and found the best cover I could find, and contacted that designer. It turned out she also did formatting.
How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
About six years.
Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
The print version is available on my own website, www.alcherapress.com. E-book versions are available at the Kindle store and the Kobo store. I chose Kindle and Kobo because they are the largest distributors of e-books in Canada. I am currently looking into Smashwords and may be there soon.
If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I would coordinate things better. I launched the book at the beginning of May, then later did a trailer and started promotion. If I could do it over, I would organize the trailer and the promotional endeavors to coincide with the launch of the book.
If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
The ability to earn a living from writing alone.
If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
I don’t think I could choose just one.
Name your favorite fruit.
Coffee or tea?
Neither. Sparkling water. But I do drink herbal teas on occasion.
How about fav time of 24 hours?
From 9PM until I go to bed. Three out of four kids are asleep, and the house is finally quiet.
Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
I was a Girl Guide, which is the Canadian equivalent of a Girl Scout.
Favorite food for breakfast?
Coconut milk-fruit smoothie.
Latest book you’ve bought and read?
The K-Handshape, by Maureen Jennings
Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
I used to collect incense burners and chopsticks, but when my grandmother died, she left over a thousand sets of salt and pepper shakers, and there were fights over who wasn’t going to take them. So, I quit collecting.
Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Drama or comedy?
It depends on my mood. I like both.
Have a fav quote or personal motto?
“Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it,” – Mark Twain
Cats or dogs?
Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight.
About the Author & Links:
Lisa Llamrei was born in Toronto. She studied languages at York University. At various times, she has been an actor, professional belly dancer and holistic nutritionist. She presently lives in Durham region with her four daughters, and she works at a school of holistic nutrition. Reflection of the Gods is her first novel.