Today, we have Lisa Shearin over as our guest author, here for a chat about the latest and ultimate book in her Raine Benares series, All Spell Breaks Loose. Lisa was one of the very first authors we interviewed on The Book Smugglers – and now, four years later, we are honored to have her over to discuss the end of Raine’s adventures.
Give a warm round of applause for Lisa, everyone!
The Book Smugglers: Welcome back to our humble adobe! We interviewed you back in 2008 – in fact, yours was one of our very first author interviews! Back then we talked about the beginning of the Raine Benares series. Now, four years later, you are 6 books deep and wrapping up Raine’s adventures! How does it feel to be a more established author, completing your first series?
Lisa: It feels amazing! Back in 2007 when I started the series with MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND, I never imagined that the Saghred storyline would stretch to six books. I thought it would be three books, four max. But the sub-plots with the various supporting characters—and the characters themselves—kept growing and expanding in complexity, so it ended up being their stories as well that I was telling in addition to Raine’s. As to feeling like an established author, the more books I write, the more I discover that I need to learn. That’s one of the wonderful things about writing—you never stop learning and growing in the craft.
The Book Smugglers: Now that Raine’s story is finishing up, you can spill – who is your favorite character in Raine’s world, and why? (Personally, we’re fans of Sarad Nukpana. And Tam.)
Lisa: I love Sarad Nukpana. His scenes with Raine all but wrote themselves. What can I say, it’s fun being bad. ; ) I also have a soft spot for Piaras and Talon, and Vegard, and Mychael, and Tam, and . . .
The Book Smugglers: Did you have an overall plan or outline for the series, and did the books go according to your initial vision? Did anything change or take you by surprise as you wrote deeper into Raine’s story?
Lisa: Nope, I didn’t have an overall plan for the series. I knew that the Saghred would eventually be destroyed, but I didn’t have any clue about how I’d get there. With each book, I planned less and less, until with CON & CONJURE and ALL SPELL BREAKS LOOSE, I was writing completely by the seat of my pants. It’s called “pantster” by writers. And after writing six books, I now know enough about how my mind works to trust that the story will come. With the new urban fantasy series that I’m starting, the only thing I have for a plot is teaser-type copy that you’d find on the dust jackets or back covers. It’s really fun to have complete freedom with the plot. I know how they begin and end, but the rest is up in the air. When I first started writing, that’d make me panic; now, I think it’s fun.
The Book Smugglers: In your author’s note regarding All Spell Breaks Loose and the conclusion of Raine’s story, you mention that you want to return to Raine’s world in the future. If you did write a spinoff series, whom would the series follow? And would this hypothetical new book be relayed in the first person, as with Raine’s charming narrative?
Lisa: There’s a possibility of a book (or maybe even a series) with quite a few of the supporting characters. I’d actually like to do all of them eventually. Of course, there’s Tam now that he’s back in the seething politics at the goblin court. And it’d be fun to follow Phaelan on a couple of his adventures. And then there’s the new young cadets coming into the Guardians, now that girls can train to become Guardians, and there will also be goblins coming from Regor. The possibilities are endless with any of those spinoffs.
The Book Smugglers: While it’s so sad to say farewell to Raine Benares, we are excited to hear from you about new characters and worlds! Do you have any upcoming projects on the horizon that you can share?
Lisa: I’m working on a proposal package for a new urban fantasy/thriller/comedy series. I can’t wait until I can share details with everyone, but I have to sell it first. Then I’d like to dive into a spin-off from the Raine books.
The Book Smugglers: Your favorite five fantasy novels of all time are:
1. Dead Beat by Jim Butcher (and the entire Dresden Files series)
2. The Belgariad series by David Eddings
3. Magician by Raymond Feist
4. The Shannara series by Terry Brooks
5. The Cal Leandros series by Rob Thurman
The Book Smugglers: We Book Smugglers are faced with constant threats and criticisms from our significant others concerning the sheer volume of books we purchase and read – hence, we have resorted to ‘smuggling books’ home to escape scrutinizing eyes. Have you ever had to smuggle books?
Lisa: I’ve considered it, but I just wouldn’t feel right smuggling in books under my hubby’s nose. I kinda feel guilty about how many books I buy. He doesn’t mind me going into a book-buying frenzy—one, they’re mostly tax deductable; and two, they make me happy, and Derek wants me to be happy.
Lisa Shearin currently works as the editor at an advertising agency. She has been a magazine editor and writer of corporate marketing materials of every description. Lisa enjoys singing, reading, writing novels, and fencing (foil and epee, as well as rapier & dagger dueling). She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two cats, two spoiled-rotten retired racing greyhounds, and a Jack Russell terrier who rules them all.
We have ONE copy of All Spell Breaks Loose up for grabs! The contest is open to addresses in the US only and will run until Sunday June 17 at 12:01am (EST). To enter, use the form below. Good luck!