Swift Six Author Interview- TM Lakomy- Fantasy

 

Name: T. M. Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy)

What attracts you to the genre in which you write? I was always attracted to the darker aspects of fantasy, the fabric of our dreams and nightmares, where our wildest imaginations often have free rein. I find that this genre allows the story to be raw and cutting to the bone, with a realistic touch, lending fantasy a feel of authenticity. It makes it easier to believe as it reflects the darker aspects of human nature and existence.

What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures? That the amount of rejection has nothing to do with the quality of your work but rather a reflection on whether someone thinks they can sell and market it, it is nothing personal but rather a business transaction. So basically, keep pushing and don’t be discouraged, write for yourself, pour your heart into it and someone will see the merit eventually. It takes time but perseverance pays off.

If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you chose? Tolkien, I would love to hear him describe his own works, and hear his opinion on current events and literature. I am sure he had such a wealth of wisdom exceeding what he bequeathed to his books and I would have loved to have seen his writing through his own eyes.

Who has been the greatest influence on your own work? William Blake. His poetry touched me very deeply, especially the religious/spiritual streak in it. I am deeply spiritual and most of my writings have some sort of message, questioning and seeking answers to divine enigmas. Poetry has always been my weakest spot, the outpouring of the soul in its most poignant form.

 Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print? No, I think people will always treasure a beautiful library and collect their favourite and previous books, but as we have hectic lives and schedules, it is easier to transport all your books in one small device and read them at leisure. It is a question of convenience. We like that which simplifies our lives.

Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?

  • The Silmarillion: that book deeply influenced me, it helped me through some dark times in my teenage years. It was pure escapism into a wondrous world that allowed me to develop and discover my own literary talents.
  • Any book by Mircea Eliade: I was fascinated with shamanism while studying archaeology. I was mostly enamoured with the occult and the spiritual and Eliade’s books are an amazing source of knowledge.
  • “A collection of works” by Guy de Maupassant; I grew up in a francophone environment, exposed to French literature, and his writings deeply marked me, the morality behind his stories are quite striking and often bitter. I learned a lot and became enriched by his style.

 

Author bio and book synopsis

Please introduce yourself (250 words or so): I am T. M Lakomy (Tamara Lakomy).  I was born in London, but grew up as a tribal girl in a North African repressive regime. I spent my childhood between the slums of Mellasine and the affluent neighbourhoods in Tunis.

I studied archaeology and became enamoured with the shamanistic practices of indigenous people.

I am an author and poet who seeks to challenge our notions of reality, and see life with a different perspective.

I work in East Africa with indigenous tribes studying the origins of mankind and the salient golden thread in the tapestry of humanity’s beliefs.

Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short) My novel is called “The Shadow Crucible: The Blind God”, it’s Dark Fantasy.

Synopsis: in a world where angels, demons, and gods fight over the possession of mortal souls, two conflicted pawns are ensnared in a cruel game. The enigmatic seer Estella finds herself thrown together with Count Mikhail, a dogmatic Templar dedicated to subjugating her kind. But when a corrupted cardinal and puppet king begin a systematic genocide of her people, the two become unlikely allies.

Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All organized religions are shops orchestrated to consume mankind. Every deity, religion, and spiritual guide has been corrupted, and each claims to have the monopoly on truth and salvation.

In a perilous game where the truth is distorted and meddling ancient deities converge to partake of the unseen battle, Estella unwittingly finds herself hunted by Lucifer. Traversing the edge of hell’s precipice, Estella and Mikhail are reduced to mere instruments. Their only means to overcome is through courting the Threefold Death, the ancient ritual of apotheosis—of man becoming God.

 

Links

Social media  Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RedFernManor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Shadow_Crucible?lang=en

 the-shadow-crucible-002

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author Interview Number Ninety-Two – Dean Robertson

Welcome to Ms. Dean Robertson

Where are you from and where do you live now? I grew up on 200 acres of North Georgia woods; now I live in a 1928 co-op in an urban neighbourhood in Norfolk, Virginia.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. The easiest answer is that my first book, Looking for Lydia; Looking for God is a memoir.  It is also a sometimes unconventional discussion of some familiar Bible stories; the history of an assisted living facility that was built and chartered in 1921 in a southern city by a carpetbagger from Pennsylvania; the stories of the women who live in the Home today and who participated in a Bible study for two years; and the narrative of my obsessive search for the Lydia of the title.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why?  I think probably two, and for the same reasons: Dorothea Brooke in George Eliot’s Middlemarch, and Drusilla in Faulkner’s The Unvanquished—because they are intelligent, passionate, naïve, and slightly mad.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I edit myself and ask others to edit my work with me in the same way I went over all student essays and taught students to work with their own essays over 30+ years of teaching—by reading out loud, line-by-line, over and over and over.  Any language is at least half music and, while I may not know right away what’s wrong or how to fix it, I will hear the sour note which forces me to pause and reconsider.  I had a quite amazing experience with my cousin editing this book, which I’m happy to relate in detail.  I am currently editing a friend’s children’s book and we spend a couple of hours a day on the phone, both looking at the manuscript, reading aloud, discussing, and rewriting.  It’s the first time she’s ever done this, and she simply says, “It works!”

On the other hand, my senior editor at Koehler Books, while he didn’t find much that needed changing, was brilliant and came up with some absolutely genius ideas for restructuring that I never would have thought of.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? No question self-published authors are viewed differently.  Several places where I’ve submitted my book for review have indicated, up front, that they don’t review self-published authors.  Their stated reason is a lack of professional editing.  I suspect that it is also a vestige of the good-old-boys network of the nearly defunct big houses.  Sloppy editing seems all too common.  The noise of the Manhattan publishers is the last roar of a dying lion.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes, I do, but usually only on the recommendation of someone I trust.  Let’s face it, even professionally edited books these days too often have inexcusable errors.  And I find carelessly overlooked typos annoying, uncorrected errors in grammar and usage nearly unbearable.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? I read reviews selectively by reviewers or in publications I know and respect.  I don’t always agree, but I always learn from those reviews—The New Yorker and The NY Times Book Review are my personal favorites.

What are your reviews on authors reviewing other authors? Who better?  I suppose professional competitiveness exists; I just don’t have it and I choose to assume the best of my fellow authors on that score.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? The full use of the creative imagination; movies and video games try their best to do that job for us.   A serious look at the world through the eyes of both characters and narrator.

A break from the noise of the world we live in.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Continue; continue; continue

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? Ishiguro’s Buried Giant, and I’m re-reading it immediately.  I don’t know if that means I enjoyed it or that I’m intrigued and puzzled by it.  Elaine Pagels’ Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, & Politics in the Book of Revelation—the best work of theology I have read in  years.

Do you have any pets? One cat, Isaac.  I have always had cats, had 5 llamas for 10 years, and spent a few years keeping bees.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I just bought a pair of hot pink leggings—at age 69+.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

http://www.koehlerbooks.com/books-2/books/looking-for-lydia-looking-for-god/

http://pdrobertson.com

http://pdrobertson.com/blog/

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1633931005?creativeASIN=1633931005&linkCode=w00&linkId=YPEU26LANJMRWEGK&ref_=as_sl_pc_tf_til&tag=ameagatheteap-20

Review – Theogony – Hesiod

Theogony – Hesiod.

3.5 stars.

3.5 stars.
(4 for value – ancient text and useful insight)
(3 for readability)
(3.5 for interest)
(3 for technicalities – formatting)

I’m not totally sure how to rate this – as an ancient work (8th Century BCE) it’s importance is supreme. It’s a great insight into the pantheon of the Ancient Greeks and their religion but it must be said it is NOT an easy read. This is partly as it is so old – these deities are alien to most of us, with unfamiliar names, roles and lives, if that is the right word, which are also rather fantastic. Mostly it reads as a list – so and so begat so and so. There’s a lot of that – sex is everywhere, as is violence, intrigue, deception, family squabbles and much more. From the modern view all the incest, patricide, misogyny and so forth is hard to deal with – although pretty standard for ancient religious text. The stories of Prometheus, of Earth and Sky and Earth’s revenge, plus the birth of Athena are the most outstanding accounts. In many ways it reads like a modern soap opera.

I’d say it is a great book for background information to the gods and supernatural beings of the period, but as a straight through read, or an adventure such as the Odyssey it is not nearly as exciting. The misogyny of the text is obvious – although to some extent reflects the ideas of the time.

The formatting on this version was a bit suspect – with large gaps, words running into one another and repeated phrases, which MAY have been intentional but maybe not. After a while it became fairly hard to read because of this.  Some more notes to this particular version would be very useful.

Overall – I’d say a useful reference for study if one wants background into the deities of the Odyssey or Iliad, but not an especially interesting one – at least in this particular translation.