Katie: Merry Christmas! Thank you for this interview, how are you?
Louise Herman: Hi Kate, I'm good, thank you. I'm trying to work as hard as possible on the third book in my YA Urban Fantasy series, 'Split Blood' so I can take a few days break shortly to spend some quality time with my family for Christmas.
K.: It’s nice to hear. Can you tell us more about yourself?
L.: I’m a teacher of Computing and a keen fantasy movie fan from the leafy suburbs of North London.
I absolutely adore any film from Guillermo del Toro (especially Pan’s Labyrinth, Devil’s Backbone and Cronos) and am a big 80s fantasy film fan (with my favourite’s including Labyrinth, Big Trouble in Little China and Blade Runner).
I also have a big passion for Anime and am slightly obsessed by the genius director, Hayao Miyazaki for his work on Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Howl’s Moving Castle.
From an early age, I had always had a passion for writing stories which would take the reader to different fantasy worlds and realms. With a little confidence and the ease of publishing novels on the internet, I have now self-published five fantasy stories to date:
The Orcus Games Trilogy
The Orcus Games: Blood Moon (Book 1)
The Orcus Games: Mistress V (Book 2)
The Orcus Games: New Awakening (Book 3)
The Split Blood Series
Split Blood: Rise of the Wolf (Book 2)
K.: My first question will be, when did you first start writing?
L.: I have always had a vivid imagination and have written short fantasy stories, for my own pleasure, in my teenage years. However, it was not until my English teacher told me she enjoyed one of my stories that I started to take it more seriously.
I researched competitions and writing challenges but unfortunately, without the aid of the internet, it was a little harder, than it is now, to gain the information I needed, so my college and university work took presidency and I put my writing passion to one side until I had more time (and resources) to concentrate on it fully.
K.: Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?
L.: The first story I can remember reading, that had an impact on me, was 'Alice in Wonderland'. I loved the fantasy aspects of the story and also the escapism that most six-year-olds could relate to.
Wacky characters, a strange world, food, and drinks that alter your appearance and size was a storyline that I could read over and over again as a child and never get bored of.
K.: Why did you write this book and what are your expectations on its behalf?
L.: I wrote my first YA Fantasy novella, 'The Orcus Games: Blood Moon' because I wanted to write a story that switched between two different worlds and could be read from three different points of view.
I did not have any expectations of the book apart from hoping that the readers would be interested enough in the magical storyline to continue onto the second novella in the trilogy, 'The Orcus Games: Mistress V'.
K.: What are you working on next?
L.: I am currently working on the third book in the 'Split Blood' series, which will be published on Amazon and Smashwords by April 2016.
It concentrates on Raven (Faith's Wiccan sister) and her fight to get her family back.
Raven's character also changes due to the trials and tribulations she encounters on her journey and we also meet new magical beings and say goodbye to some favourites.
With lots more magic, lust and revenge, 'Split Blood 3' promises to continue the emotional rollercoaster ride further into the 'Split Blood' world.
In the previous two books, Raven has been a minor character, who has always been there for her older sister, Faith.
Happy to find out her new magically heritage, Raven tried to show her reluctant sister the benefits of their new life as she grew in power but Faith was not interested in the magic classes and her history as Raven was.
Unfortunately, Faith felt suffocated from the endless rules and her curiosity led to her run away, leaving the Coven to deal with the consequences of Faith's illegal decision.
This emotional departure left a scar on Raven, who struggles to cope with life without her sister and things get much worse when her parents are taken to the Underworld for questioning about their part in their daughter's detrimental rule breaking.
Alone, distraught and unable to deal with some members of her Coven turning against her, Raven becomes obsessed with finding her family, by any means necessary - with disastrous results...
K.: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
L.: The greatest joy of writing for myself is the freedom to create unique magical characters and worlds, along with communicating with readers, fans, and bloggers who have a passion for this genre too.
K.: What motivated you to become an indie author?
L.: I have always been a very 'hands on' person and when I finished the first book, I decided to try and publish it myself before approaching a literary agent because I wanted to experience the full process.
However, although I love being an indie author, there are times when it would be nice to have an agent to deal with the marketing and promotion, so I can focus on my writing and communicating with the readers, fans, and bloggers.
K.: When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
L.: I love listening to music (I love Bjork, Daft Punk, Royal Blood), watching films (I like to watch Anime, Manga, Horrors and Fantasy films) and running when I am not writing.
I try to take regular breaks from writing so I can refresh my thoughts and look for new ideas.
K.: Can you describe your desk?
L.: I currently have a rectangular wooden corner desk with my laptop, mini filing system for my school work and lots of notes for potential stories and characters.
I would like to say it's tidy, but I call it an organised mess.
K.: Now that it’s Christmas time, are you still working or having a holiday from writing?
L.: I have decided to work up until Christmas Eve and then I will take a few days off but will still be responding to emails and queries.
K.: Thank you for the interview. Good luck with the book.
L.: Thank you for the opportunity and Happy Holidays everyone!
Louise Herman is a North London Fantasy author obsessed with pear drops sweets and 80s Fantasy films.
In between reading James Herbert novels and drinking too much coffee, she writes Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance novels.
Louise Herman has currently written five YA Fantasy books to date (December 2015); The Orcus Games Prequel Trilogy and The Split Blood series, which take the reader on a journey of magic, mystery, obsession and forbidden love with seductively dark consequences.
For more information, please go to www.louisehermanauthor.com