L. j. Charles

Read more about L. j. Charles.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: April 15, 2011

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LIFETHREAD | YA Paranormal Romance | March 2011

Stuck in her senior year of high school until she earns her humanity, McKenna Fin is responsible for cutting the lifethread of demons, and protecting teens from being possessed. To celebrate her fiftieth year of apprenticeship to the Fate Atropos, McKenna is given a new responsibility, and possibly a quick way to earn her humanity-severing the lifethread of deserving humans. Her first assignment: Nathan Quinn.

When Nathan becomes a primary demon target and gets sucked into Tartania, McKenna's duty as a Fated priestess demands she follow. McKenna can rescue him, no problem, but then she'd have to cut his lifethread. And he's the one and only guy she's been attracted to since forever.

The demons consider Nathan one of their own and fight to keep him. The time limit on Nathan's life is about to run out, and McKenna has to make the decision: sever his lifethread, or battle demons, defy the Fates, and keep him for her own.

Please tell us your latest news!

I'm very excited to announce that LIFETHREAD will be available in print format from Amazon in April.

There will also be a short story, Lifethread: MISTAKE, available in April that explains how one of the Fated priestesses ended up being part human, part demon, and part Moirai priestess.

Describe your writing environment.

I work in several places...

Curled into a corner of the bed--this happens when I wake up early with my characters chattering away about what they want to happen next.

At one of several local restaurants--I leave the house when distractions keep me from writing. There's something about being anonymous in a booth at a restaurant that makes it easy for me to focus on the task at hand.

In my study--Because I have a stand-up desk and sitting all day has a negative effect on being able to fit into my jeans.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Just one? That's tough, but I'd have to say Jacqueline Winspear. She has the ability to weave history, romance, suspense, and beautiful language into a well-crafted story.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Two things really, and they've been said many times before. Put in the hours--butt in chair, writing. There's no other way to create a story for publication.

And secondly, never give up. Rejections are tough, but each one brings you closer to publication. Read them, put them aside, and when the pain eases read them with an open mind. Not all rejections will have pearls of wisdom, but many do. These bits of information can lead you right to a contract offer.

What main genre do you write in?

Teen / Young Adult

What's been the most challenging part of writing for you?

Getting my characters into impossible situations. It's tricky to find just the right thing to go wrong because it has to make sense, move the plot along, and grow the character arc. Usually it takes several sessions on the treadmill before I can create the perfect catastrophe. Getting my characters out of desperate situations is just plain fun, but getting them there--really hard.

Do you like to mix genres?

I love to mix genres. It's the best thing ever to bring different perspectives together and weave them into a new story. I'm having such fun with the Lifethread Trilogy because I'm mixing romance with mythology and paranormal creatures. Plus there's the adventure. I think mixing genres gives me a lot of freedom to make my characters multi-dimensional as they bump into, and react, to new and unexpected situations.

What book are you reading now? What are your thoughts on it?

I just finished SHIMMER by Alyson Noel. Both this book and RADIANCE, the first in her Riley Bloom series, are wonderful reads. She's captured the angst and joy of being "almost thirteen," the beginnings and endings associated with death, and woven them both ever so delicately with philosophical concepts.

Do you have any cool promo tricks you can share with other writers?

Because I write Young Adult fiction, it's important to me to interact with teen readers. One of the best things I've done, both to promote myself and to learn more about my audience, is join inkpop. This is a website where teens (and others) share their chapters with writers and readers for comments and suggestions.

Do you have any animals? Do they influence your writing?

My husband and I have two cats. A huge black, green-eyed sweetheart, Oliver Biscuit, that is the most loving animal I've ever met. He's one of the characters in the Lifethread Trilogy.

Because Oliver Biscuit is, um, stout, we got him a kitten to play with. Harley (named after the motorcycle because she only has two speeds: asleep and lightning fast), is a Siamese mix and has a thing for my computer keyboard. She loves to sleep with her head resting on the keys, or her paws, or her backside. She adds at least one interesting comment to my pages every day, and she's been known to erase entire paragraphs with a single stroke of her paw. Good thing she has best purr ever!

If you had to choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be? And why?

Abraham Lincoln. I think he was an amazing and fascinating man who could teach me so much. He remained honest and dignified during one of the most stressful times in American history.

Signing Off: Lucie j. Charles