Friday, 20 January 2017

Author Interview: L.C. Ireland

Today's post is going to the first of its kind we've done. This is our interview with author L.C. Ireland, which we hope you enjoy! You can find our review of her novel Fatal Heir  here.


About L.C. Ireland:

Leslie Colleen (L.C.) Ireland is an author, playwright and educator. She works as an Arts Specialist at two elementary schools (for school children aged 4-14) in Utah, and balances this job with her writing pursuits. Ireland publishes plays for drama productions, and her debut novel is Fatal Heir. Her next novel, Follow the Music, is expected to be released March 1, 2017 - which is this year!

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  Note: This interview contains references to Ireland's debut novel Fatal Heir. 
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Interview:
Q: So firstly, as a debut author, what are your writing ambitions?

All my life, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write before I even knew how to read. I have always loved storytelling. I want to write books that make people smile and laugh and cry. I want to transport readers to new worlds. I want to explore those "what if...?" questions that make such great stories. Books and stories are magic. I want a hand in creating some of that magic. I want to inspire people, for just an afternoon or a lifetime. I think the coolest thing in the world would be to meet a total stranger who has read one of my books and been changed by it. That would just be the neatest thing. 

Q: Regarding Fatal Heir, everyone loves a good hero. Could you tell us a bit about your protagonist Don/Izzy? Was there any real life inspiration behind him? 
Don/Izzy has been developing in my mind for a long time. He was the star of Fatal Heir long before it was anything close to what it is now. The story has experienced drastic changes throughout the writing process, but Izzy remained mostly in tact. He isn't based on anyone in particular, but he is made up of a lot of traits that I admired as a kid and still admire today. He is funny and brave, but sensitive. He's curious, but also dumb as a rock sometimes. He tends to be the last one to figure anything out, which makes for an amusing narrative since the story unfolds from his perspective.

 I think what makes Don a hero in this story is his character. Izzy is the moral compass of the group. His leadership skills grow from his deep love and respect for life, even in a world filled with chaos and death. He has a surprisingly clear grasp of right and wrong, which he learns not only from his own experiences, but through the eyes of others. When I developed Izzy, I deliberately created this dichotomy between who he is and what he can do. He's this blond, curly-haired total teddy bear of a kid, yet he has all of these terrifying powers of death and darkness. He's inherited this kingdom full of zombies, but all he really wants to do is go back to the farm and watch his younger siblings grow up. Seeing his world through Izzy's eyes, readers can't help but smile and cheer him on. 


Q: This one is a fun question: If you were on a deserted island, what three people would you want with you, and why? However, they must fulfil this criteria:

Person A: One fictional character from your book Fatal Heir
Person B: One fictional character from any other book
Person C: One famous person who is not a family member or friend

If I were stuck on a deserted island, I would want to be stuck with the following people; A: Rath from Fatal Heir, B: Brian Robeson from Gary Paulson's Hatchet series, and C: Bear Grylls from the television show Man vs Wild. Clearly I'm focusing on survival here. I would choose Rath because of his knowledge of medications and potions, as well as his healing abilities. I would choose Brian because he is incredibly resourceful and was a major inspiration to me as a child. Plus, 13-year-olds are hilarious. I would choose Bear Grylls because if things ever got really desperate, he would know all these insane ways to survive. He probably also has the best stories to tell around the campfire. I could learn a lot from him that would help my writing. Even if I was stranded on a deserted island, I would still find a way to keep writing. These three would inspire me and keep me alive to keep writing.

Q: After reading your novel, we noticed that your writing in Fatal Heir is simple and accessible to a range of readers. Do you think your children's plays and work as an educator at an elementary school influenced Fatal Heir?

Oh, absolutely. This is especially true when I chose to publish under my own name and not use a pen name for my novels. When I first wrote Fatal Heir I had some idea that my students or their parents would read it, so I kept it clean. I didn't expect so many of my students to read it and love it! My students look up to me, especially when they learn that I'm an author. Many of them read my books (some of the other teachers even have copies in their class libraries). 

I have to be especially sensitive to what they might be reading. I am deliberate about writing "clean" stories. My books have no sex scenes, no gore, and no profanity. If a character swears, I write "they swore" instead of saying the exact words, or depending on the story I just make up new swear words. The trick is to not sacrifice the story. Fortunately, Fatal Heir is written from the perspective of a fairly naive and innocent protagonist, so it was easy to tell his story and be true to his experience without the 'adult' content. The plus side of being conscientious about younger readers is that the simple writing hooks readers who otherwise wouldn't care for the genre. Lots of people tell me they hate "zombie books" but loved Fatal Heir. Even readers who don't like fantasy can still relate to the book. It's like a breath of fresh are for those who aren't interested in 'adult' content, but doesn't simplify the story too much to turn away those who are. It's a balancing act. 

Q: Everyone asks this, but what advice do you have for aspiring writers?
People say that when you give advice, you're really talking to yourself in the past. So I'll give the advice I wish I could give my younger self: take notes. I had so many ideas when I was a kid, but I never wrote them down! I had this vague idea that when I finally "wrote a book someday" all of the ideas would just come to me. I wish I had kept a journal or a folder or even a word document on a thumb drive with ideas for characters, settings, plots, and jokes. As a kid I lived in this magical world of imagination. I wish I had taken notes of the experience. Because now I don't feel like I can truly tap all of that energy and observation I once had when my only care in the world was to imagine things. So, to aspiring writers, don't wait. Even if you don't think you're good enough to write a book - write notes. Keep an idea journal or write outlines of story ideas. Some day you'll thank yourself. 



Q: What's next? Do you have any future projects?


Yes! Fatal Heir will have a sequel that is currently in the works. My next novel, Follow the Music, is unrelated to the world of Fatal Heir. It is currently in the revising and editing phase and will hopefully be available by March of 2017. I also publish three or four children's plays a year. 

Q: And finally, where can readers find more about you and purchase your book Fatal Heir?

Fatal Heir is available on most e-readers, including the Nook and Kindle. It's only 99 cents! It can be ordered in print on Amazon. Signed editions can be ordered (U.S. only) from my website: www.ghostlight.ink. 




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Thanks so much to L.C. Ireland for agreeing to do an interview with us! What would you have you answered for these questions?

Note: All images used on this page do not belong to us. All credit goes to the respective owners.








16 comments:

  1. Great interview! The protag sounds so lovable. And a kingdom full of zombies definitely sounds like a unique story. I don't usually read books this young, but between your review and now this interview, you have me interested, and I'm going to put it on my TBR.

    Bear Grylls, definitely a good choice lol. And I would also want a healer if I were stuck on an island!

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    1. :):):):)):) Thanks Kristen! Izzy is quite loveable, but he is quite frustrating sometimes. The zombies were very strange (but in a good way), and they're not really called zombies, which is interesting. Glad to have helped you put a book in your TBR shelf!

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  2. Awesome interview and great questions guys :) Don/Izzy sounds like a darling! I enjoyed all the answers and I would want Bear Grylls with me too! And maybe someone magical cause magic helps with every problem! :P Great interview and post!

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    1. Probably everyone wants Bear Grylls for survival reasons, but it can get really wacky with him. Yes, magic would be a great help, and we'd probably choose someone who could magic us off the island. Thanks Uma!

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  3. She seems like such a great person and not to mention author! I particularly like what she said about taking notes -- it's such an important thing to keep doing!

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    1. She's a really nice person and she made the interview so fun to do. We definitely agree that taking notes is important to writing. Thanks Verushka!

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  4. Bear Grylls lol who wouldn't want him if they are stuck on a deserted island XD I think I am not the only one who has binge-watched his show a lot of times! This was such a fun interview to read, and the questions were amazing as well! The author seems like such a cool person :)
    Prabhleen @ Booksarelife987

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    1. Thanks Prabhleen! Truth to be told, we have never binged-watched his show but so many of our friends have nagged us to. We think we really should now. This was definitely a fun interview to do as L.C was really nice throughout the entire interview.

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  5. Cool interview! I love seeing an author's process and also I loved her advice about taking notes - this is true of so many things, not just about writing! I liked your review of Fatal Heir and now after seeing this interview I want to check it out even more!

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    1. Thanks Di! We're happy to see that you want to check out Fatal Heir by L.C Ireland. The note taking advice really resonated with a lot of people, including us!

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  6. I've not heard of this author! This is a great interview. I love that she always wanted to be a writer - dreams do come true! It sounds like she is a busy, busy writer. =)

    Great post, ladies!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Yes, L.C sounds very busy, juggling her writing with her teaching. Definitely, dreams can true if we work for it - that's what we believe. Thanks Alyssa!

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  7. This sounds like a really interesting book! I really love that the author chose to keep her book clean so that her students would be able to read and enjoy it. I will have to look for this one! <3

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    1. Thanks for passing by Candid Cover. It's great how L.C thought about her audience, that's really special to us. :):):):)

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  8. So nice to meet you L.C! I have no idea how you can balance a teaching career and writing, but way to go!

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    1. We agree with you Crystal, it takes a lot of effort to balance a writing and teaching career! Thanks for coming around again! :)

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