It’s a delight to welcome my colleague and friend, Shereen Vedam.
What 3 words best describe you as an author, Shereen?
Whimsical. Engaging. Optimistic.
What one event in your childhood had the greatest effect on your life, on your writing?
I was born in Sri Lanka, lived for a bit in India, but when I was eleven, my family moved to Ottawa, Canada. As a result, I forget I was anything but a Canadian, eh!
Recently, last July in fact, I returned to Sri Lanka for an eye-opening, month-long, visit.
I spent two weeks touring the island with a bunch of crazy British tourists, and two weeks with family I didn’t remember, but with whom I was very glad to become re-acquainted. I returned home with my world view expanded, and even my writing was impacted. I can see that change in the ending of my current work in process, which seems to have become infused with multi-cultural elements.
You can read about my impressions of Sri Lanka (and check out some photos) from that unforgettable trip here: http://shereentwo.livejournal.com/25607.html
What do you like most about where you live now?
Over the years, I moved myself cross country until I reached the southern tip of Vancouver Island, on the west coast of Canada. Life moves a little slower here. Since my fiction-infused mind always seems to be on the move, I like this leisurely pace of my physical life. It balances me.
What’s your favorite season?
Spring! Love flowers and budding leaves. Every year, this season gives birth to something fresh and new.
Have you had any unusual or noteworthy occupations?
I was a veterinary assistant once in Vancouver, BC. I love animals, but was terrible at tending to them without getting bitten. After my third trip to the emergency ward, I moved to Vancouver Island and registered at the university to study fiction writing.
What’s the craziest thing you have done?
I’m afraid of heights, and in youthful foolishness, I decided the best way to overcome that persistent fear might be to go skydiving. I did it, twice; both times I detested the jumping, absolutely loved floating in air, and disliked hitting the ground. I’m glad I did it because I really enjoyed being so high above ground, but it didn’t cure my fear of heights. I learned instead that sometimes over-analysis can lead me down the wrong path!
What do you enjoy most/least about being a published author?
I thrive on hearing from my readers. It’s the cream-cheese icing on this carrot cake. As for the worst part, it has to be the lag time until the next release. If we keep to our cooking analogy, writing/ editing/ publishing is like making a great stew…tastes best if you allow the ingredients to slow cook, but the waiting can be frustrating.
To what do you attribute your success as a writer?
Keeping the faith. Many writers give up on themselves when the road becomes bumpy.
Tell us about your latest release.
The Rue Alliance is a Regency fantasy romance series, with each book inspired by a different fairy tale. These age old fables were given a unique twist, by stirring in a heady mix of adventure, history and magic, with the intoxicating promise of romantic entanglements.
Do you enjoy writing series?
I do. I love creating worlds in which characters don’t just disappear when a story ends, but live on to interact with new comers. That’s how a fictional family comes to life.
Premise from Book 1 – A Devilish Slumber
Powerful. In pain. And under suspicion . . .
Mired in grief, Lady Roselyn Ravenstock avoids the cloying attention of friends, servants and society’s well-wishers. Until the day she bumps into a woman who reminds her of her gentle mother. Coming out of her deep-seated sorrow, Rose tentatively befriends this kind lady . . . then news comes of her new friend’s brutal murder. And Rose is implicated in the killing.
Enraged and no longer willing to pliantly accept fate’s thrashings, Rose resurrects an ancient, magical, family talent to re-shape her features. To prove her innocence, disguised as a young lad, this society’s darling grabs hold of destiny’s reins and goes hunting through London’s shabby lanes and treacherous dockyards for a killer.
In this unique twist of the beloved Sleeping Beauty tale, can Rose lay claim to her happily-ever-after? Possibly. But convincing the Regent’s Intelligence Officer, her very own deceitful prince charming, that she is blameless, will require more than just a kiss.
Excerpt from A Devilish Slumber
Since his return to London, Phillip had avoided visiting Rose until he knew the lay of the land. Being sent away with his tail between his legs for a second time did not appeal. He had wanted to first find out her state of mind so he could appropriately tailor his approach.
His contrary mother had refused to answer any of his questions about a woman she considered unworthy of her son’s attention. So he had visited his clubs to find out who Rose had been involved with during his three-year absence.
He had learned that Rose rarely socialized after he left London, appearing to grow despondent. It was no wonder. She had adored her sister and would have been grieving her death. After her grandmother died, Rose had apparently shunned all callers. That news was troubling, but to Phillip’s mind, it was far better to hear the love of his life was a recluse than happily married with a brood of three.
After what seemed an age with no response to his knock, he debated the wisdom of scaling the back garden wall to gain entrance through a rear door, when the front door opened and a young maid peered out. “Yes, sir?”
Phillip offered his card. “I am here to see Lady Roselyn Ravenstock.”
The maid hesitated. At least Rose had a maid, so that rumor that she had dismissed all her servants could not be true. “Is there a problem?”
“No, sir. I will inquire if the mistress is at home.” She invited him inside.
While he waited, she hurried toward the drawing room. The heavy curtains pulled across the front windows, in combination with unlit candles, shrouded the wide entryway in darkness. He pushed aside a nearby curtain and dust motes floated in the air. A trickle of light pierced the grimy windows to reveal bare walls and cobwebs draping the chandelier.
A shiver of unease traveled up his spine. In the past, the moment he had stepped through Rose’s door, a cat or dog was sure to come sniffing at his boots. Today, there was not a whisper of paws or clip of nails. The place smelled stale and musty. He tapped the face of an ormolu timepiece on a side table. It was silent and still, as if time had stopped in this home.