Twitter is a wonderful place. Okay, okay, it can get a little crazy at times. But it's through Twitter that I met Alexis Lantgen. She's a science fiction and fantasy writer of short stories - so she's kind of following the same path as me. I've picked up her books and will add to that ever-towering review pile, but she also agreed to stop by the blog for a chat. To tell us about her books - and to tell us what makes her tick. So here she is - over to you, Alexis!
Hi there, and welcome to Altered Instinct! Tell us a little about your most recent book – what is it called, and what is it about?
My most recent book is called Saints and Curses. It’s a collection of fantasy short stories. Honestly, the stories are all pretty different from each other. Some are light and (hopefully) funny, others are dark, sort of Edgar Allan Poe-like. Some are set in modern times, others in the recent past, and few in the distant past (I love Byzantium, and I wish more fantasy was set there). I hope all of them are enjoyable, though!
What inspired the stories?
What inspired the stories?
I’ve probably written the stories over the course of maybe seven years, so they’ve been inspired by lots of different events and things in my life. Probably the one that’s the most based on my actual experiences is Switched, which I wrote shortly after my daughter was born. Obviously, nothing terrible or supernatural happened, but I am one of those people who starts seeing shadow people and getting really paranoid when I’m sleep deprived and on morphine.
Gosh, as a parent too I can empathise with the sleep-deprived! What are your favourite genres to read – and what is it about those genres that draws you in?
I really like science fiction and fantasy, I think because in speculative fiction the worlds are so much more fun, imaginative, and colorful. I honestly find reading most contemporary/literary fiction sort of dreary or banal (with some exceptions, of course).
I like that you use speculative fiction as an umbrella term for genres like sci-fi and fantasy - I do the same. Some try to steal it away for more literary sci-fi! What were some of your favourite books to read as a child? Which were the first books you remember falling in love with?
I loved tons of books as a child! Some that stand out - Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the Anne of Green Gables series by Lucy Montgomery, lots of stories by Mark Twain, and Orchard of the Crescent Moon by Jenny Nimmo. I also loved C.S. Lewis, though I find those books less enduring as I grow older.
It can be odd going back to childhood books - I've found when looking to read books I loved as a child with my own kids that sometimes there's things in there that just soared over your head as a kid and now can be quite offensive! What’s next for you as a writer? What’s cooking in your literary kitchen?
There are lots of things cooking! I was working on a YA/Middle Grade Fantasy novel. That was coming along well, but then I had some unfortunate things pop up in my life. I was rather depressed and angry when I just knew I had to write a different story, one that expressed how I was feeling at the time. Even just jotting down notes for it made me feel immensely better--it felt like taking control of a situation where I felt helpless. It’s been wonderfully freeing, and I’m hoping the story that comes out of it will be good. I don’t know if it’s a novel, novella, or short story yet--I’m just going to write until I’m done.
Marketing is always a challenge for writers – to share the love, what have you found the most useful tip for spreading the word about books?
I joined a fabulous review group on Goodreads! It’s an exchange of reviews with other authors, but it’s carefully regulated so that you never review each other’s books (which encourages honesty and follows Amazon’s byzantine rules). I’ve found it to be a wonderful way to get free, honest reviews.
Where can readers follow you to find out more about your work?
I’d recommend they start with my website, https://www.lunarianpress.com/! You can subscribe to my newsletter on the “Contracts” page or any of the blog posts under “News and Events.”
You can also find me on:
And twitter: https://twitter.com/LunarianPress
A traditional question here at Altered Instinct – what are you reading at present, and what is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Alexis, it was a pleasure chatting with you - and I'll look forward to tucking into your books too!