Our interview today is with M.L. Lacy, author of Chrysalis: Tribulations.
FQ: Vampire Lesson 101 was fun. But the vampires in your book, in Bree's clan, are good vampires. Did you struggle with how you wanted to portray them?
No, it was fun actually. I had my vision of each one, added the characteristics I thought they should have for the role they played and it took off from there. It's very easy to write for each of them. If a storyline should start to go against the grain of their personalities, I run into a road block until I can get them back on track. Their personalities portray them just as I want.
FQ: I LOVE the idea of a matriarchal society. How important is this aspect of the story to both you, and to the story of Bree?
I think the mother role in a family is the most important element. She is the one that holds things together. She needs to be strong in her discipline, yet not so strong as to break their spirit. She needs to be someone her family can rely on. So yes, I think it is important to have a strong, not domineering, female presence in a family.
In Bree's case, she is a strong presence in the clan and it happened very quickly. She took control of a situation when all was thought to be lost. She has a need to protect. This is her destiny when you break it down. She is there to guide, she is there to teach, she is there to nurture. She is a very loving and forgiving individual. But, she's not so commanding that she doesn't listen to other's suggestions (of course she may not do it their way....but hey, she's learning). She will become stronger as the story progresses, but not overbearing.
FQ: Another really neat element to the story was the ability of some to "talk" with their minds. Bree is at first unnerved by this ability until she gets used to it, and sees the benefits. Was it fun to write these sections and did you imagine all sorts of possibilities for this mind talking?
Being able to talk with their minds was fun, especially in the first book. Bree was unaware of the Magical realm, so it was important to hear the other's thoughts to drive the story. I had one very good session going but it started to get out of control so I had to tame it down. Sometimes we say things in our minds that we wouldn't dare say out loud. So I just went with that. Unfortunately for all the cast members, they don't know Bree can hear their thoughts. She never told anyone about that because growing up she thought they would think she was crazy and lock her up -- so she kept it her secret. Anyway, she would hear their thoughts and they let a lot of information out that maybe they should have told her in person. It's very entertaining.
FQ: Esmeralda is a great character - the kind you love to hate. Was she fun to write and which character(s) did you enjoy bringing to life the most? The good or the bad?
Oh gosh! I love them all because without each one there wouldn't be a story...well, yes there would, but each cast member is now very important to the plot. I simply love Esmeralda. I can just let the nasty side go and she runs with it. Thomas is great. I think I enjoyed developing Stanley in the second book. I love the way Bill and Bree's relationship continues to grow. He is very important in her life. Her bond to Steven is very natural. He is her ultimate, but she is slowly adapting to the ways of the Magical realm. I want my reader's to enjoy each one -- even the bad. So I have taken my time with each member of my cast and I think it was time well spent.
FQ: I suspect women reading Tribulations will see a neighbor or co-worker in the character of Madalyn. She seems to want to start a cat fight with poor Bree. How important was her character, and the other women of the clan, to the advancement of the story? Would Bree be half the women she grew into if she didn't have to learn to deal with all the intertwining relationships?
Madalyn is very important. Gina is Bree's rock, Sandy is the sister she never had -- so is Becky. Pam is Bree's equal as far as clan leadership. All the women are important in one way or another. Bree is strong because of the way she grew up. She relied on herself. The intertwining relationships add the depth of the family relationships and do to some extent strengthens her.
FQ: Without giving the ending away, I suspect Bree has some unfinished business. Will we be seeing her again? If so, can you give our readers a little teaser of what we might expect?
Yes, the story continues. Book 3 is on track for release in Jan 2011. Book 4 the following year. I'm looking at 7 or 8 books in this series. Book 1 -- The Awakening, takes place over seven days in Las Vegas where she learns the truth about who she is and what she is to become. She is reunited with Steven and begins to learn the ways of the Magical realm - a real eye opener for her. Book 2 - Tribulations takes place over November and December. Book 3 (name pending) is all of January. It's action packed, full of surprises and from what my bata reader has said --- she couldn't put it down. AND that's what I want.