New interview with young adult author L. S. O’Dea

YA author L. S. O’Dea joins me today to chat about her
new dark fantasy,
Lake of Sins: Hangman’s
Army.

During her virtual book
tour, L. S. will be awarding a Kindle Paperwhite to a lucky randomly drawn
winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use
the form below.
To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit
her other tour stops
and enter there, too.
Bio:
L. S. O’Dea grew up the
youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of
love (or at least that’s what she tells herself). Being five years younger than
her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers
and sisters.
Before she started kindergarten,
her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue. She
was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother. She stood tall and
recited the letters of her name: L-E-M-O-N H-E-A-D.
Perhaps, she has her
siblings to thank for the demons that whisper in her mind and help to create
these dark and demented stories
Welcome back to Reviews and Interviews, L. S. Please
tell us about your newest release.
Lake of Sins: Hangman’s Army is the third book in the series that people are
calling too disturbing to put down.
Hangman
starts about five years from where Secrets
in Blood
ended. The world has changed drastically in that time. The lower
classes are no longer willing to accept their subjugation and have started rebelling,
but they have no leader and no cohesion between the groups. There’s no way
they’ll win a war against the better trained and better funded Protective
Services. They need a leader. Someone everyone will follow. They need Hugh.
That shouldn’t be a
problem, except that Hugh is in prison sentenced to execution. Trinity and her
friends must free him and convince him that the best revenge is leading their
army.
This book is as action
packed as the others, but not quite as gory (the next one is though). This is
where the beginning of the love triangle takes shape. So, unlike the other
books there is a bit of romance coming Trinity’s way.
If you like actions packed
fantasy that’s different – no werewolves or shifters here – then you’ll love
this series. Many have compared it to the Hunger Games, Divergent and Maze
Runner.
The first two books are
free (book one is free on Amazon and other e-book retailers). Book two is free
if you join my newsletter. So, check it out.
What inspired you to write this book?
This book is a
continuation of the series, so it was more a necessity than an inspiration. The
series itself wasn’t so much inspired as something that’d been kicking around
in my head for years. I can’t say exactly what prompted these thoughts that
became this series because that’d be giving away the “secret” in book one. So,
instead let me just say that I observe a lot. I watch how we, as humans, treat
this world. How we treat each other, the less fortunate, the sick, the elderly,
the children, those of other cultures, the environment as well as the other
non-human animals we share our world with. Sometimes, I’m pleasantly surprised
by humanity but often I’m disappointed in us as a group. We could do so much
better with our world. In there somewhere is my inspiration for this series.
Excerpt from Lake
of Sins: Hangman’s Army:
Hugh
“What
do you suggest we do?” From this position, the next tree was quite a distance
away. The River-Men waited in the water below. He didn’t want to go back but he
didn’t think they had a choice.
She
went farther out on the branch toward the other tree. “Do you think you can
jump?” She turned toward him, her golden eyes searching his face. “Don’t lie. If
you miss, you die.”
“I’ll
never make that jump.” There was no room for manly bravado in this situation.
She
stared at him for another moment and then leapt. The River-Men dipped below the
surface and then back up as she landed safely on the other tree. His heart
thudded in his chest. She wasn’t leaving him. She wouldn’t do that. He had
faith in her. He trusted her, but his stomach knotted. He’d trusted before and
had been betrayed.
She
tied the end of the rope around the trunk of the tree. “Do you think you can
cross on the rope? If you don’t, I’ll come back, but then we’ll have to
backtrack and that means sleeping in the swamp tonight.”
His
arms and back ached and his hands were a bloody mess, but he could do this. He
had to do this. “Throw me the rope.”
“Are
you sure?”
“Yeah.”
He wasn’t sure at all but they didn’t have time to go back. He caught the rope
and tied it to the trunk of the tree, making sure it was tight-really, really
tight. Then he grabbed the taut rope and wrapped his ankles over the top of it.
Hand over hand, he moved away from the safety of the tree. He glanced down. The
River-Men were swimming faster, excited and anticipating a meal.
What’s the next writing project?
First, I’m going to finish
the Lake of Sins series. There’ll be at least six books. I have it all written
in rough draft but the last book is very summarized so it may become book six
and seven.
When I’m done with the
next two books in the series, I’m going to spend some time writing the spin-off
series Conguise Chronicles. Currently, there’s one book in this series, but I
have a lot more rattling around in my head. I want to tell the story of the
creatures who are mutated into monsters. Tell their stories of who they were
before they were experimented on and how they became the River-Man, Cold
Creeper, Brush-Man, etc.

What is your biggest challenge when writing a new
book? (or the biggest challenge with this book)

I have a love/hate
relationship with every aspect of writing. Getting it all down – the first
draft – is exhausting. I used to only be able to create, let the story spill
from me, for about a half hour. I’m now up to about an hour and a half, but it
is mentally exhausting. It’s also exciting and my mind hums and sparks when I’m
in this process. It’s like a drug that I can’t get enough of although it beats
me up.
Next, comes the revision.
This is when I fill in the gaps, the summaries that I left when writing the
first draft. This can be harder than creating because these summarized sections
are the parts that didn’t want to come. Perhaps, they don’t belong in the story
or perhaps I’m not listening to my characters well enough and these parts
aren’t right. Either way, I have to work through them and it’s like working
through a knot. I get my joy in this part when I open my mind and the
characters take me down a path I didn’t expect. It’s great to be surprised in
where the story leads.
Then I edit. Over and over
and over again. I edit unit I have nothing to change. Every sentence is how I
want it. This part is tedious. No matter how much I love my stories (and I love
them a lot), by the end, I’m sick of my own work. Twenty or more edits (front
to back) is not uncommon. As much as I get tired of reading the story, I still
love the way it flows and pulls me in. Sometimes, I can’t believe I actually
wrote the words. It doesn’t seem like me because it no longer is. It’s now,
something better than me.
If your novels require research – please talk about
the process. Do you do the research first and then write, while you’re writing,
after the novel is complete and you need to fill in the gaps?
My novels don’t require a
lot of research, but there has been some. I research as I work through the
second phase of my writing process.
What’s your writing space like? Do you have a
particular spot to write where the muse is more active? Please tell us about
it.
Just like I can sleep
anywhere, I can write anywhere. I usually write at my desk at home and it’s a
mess. I’m very organized on my computer, but in the real world – not so much. There
are little pieces of paper with notes jotted down about the story all around my
house. When a phrase or idea comes to me, I write it down. Usually, I remember
to add it to the story, but sometimes those papers get lost.
What authors do you enjoy reading within or outside
of your genre?
I used to be a voracious
reader, but lately I’m too busy editing my own work to read much. Currently, I
still have a “day” job, so that doesn’t leave much time for writing and almost
none for reading.
Stephen King, Amanda
Quinn, Mario Puzo, Carl Hiaassen, Walter Farley are a few of the authors that I
used to read a lot. Now, I’m more prone to pick up a book – not caring about
the author.
Anything additional you want to share with the
readers today?
Like I said earlier, you
can get the first two books in the Lake of Sins series for free.
Lake of Sins: Escape is free on Amazon
and Draft2Digital (ibook,
B&N, kobo, etc.).
Lake of Sins: Secrets in Blood is free if you join my readers’ group (newsletter).
So, download your
free copy today and dive into the world of the Lake of Sins.
Links:
Thank you for coming back to Reviews and Interviews!

Enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite

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