Today we're talking with Carrie F. Shepherd, author of Ashes to Ashes: The Scribing of Ishitar, Volume 2
FQ: Weíll begin with the fact that, I would assume, you already know: How much I love this series. What on earth made you come up with these characters? Are you a research maven who is very into religious history who likes to then expand on theories? Or, simply a person who is trying to put across the point that the war between good and evil still exists?
SHEPHERD: Thank you so much for talking with me today. I really appreciate your time and Iím very happy to hear that you enjoyed my new book.
Iíve always been fascinated with mythology and religion. As I allowed myself to research each of the different theologies I came to the conclusion that every religion shares the same basic principles. I would read stories from the bible that mirrored stories from the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. Then, in my mid twenties, I started studying the angels. Specifically, I found Azrael extremely appealing as a concept character. What must it be like to see, hear, feel and know every joy and every pain that every individual in all worlds and times is experiencing and to do so all at once and in a single moment?
FQ: What do you feel is your favorite genre - not only to read but to write? In addition, when it comes to series fiction, how do you feel about less intricate/interesting characters becoming so popular?
SHEPHERD: I love a good mystery. Anything that keeps the reader guessing and turning the page to find out what happens next. As for series fiction and its characters, every reader has their own genre and preference. I think for most people, reading is a means to escape into another world. Any author that can achieve that end goal for their reader deserves credit for their writing in my mind.
FQ: Do you base any of your characters on people that are real; family members, friends, etc. I ask because Iím sure many fans of Ishitar wonder if he is perhaps a character thatís based in reality?
SHEPHERD: All of my characters are most definitely based on the people in my life who have influenced me, both positively and negatively, including Ishitar. Iíve been fortunate enough in my life to have met a broad range of people and each and every one of them have touched me enough in some way to become part of Ishitarís story.
FQ: Readers always wonder what the authorís perspective is on issues such as Ebook publishing taking over the traditional paperback world. Do you believe the rise of Ebooks helps or hurts the author out there who has such a compelling subject but is perhaps pushed aside by traditional houses?
SHEPHERD: Iím an old fashioned reader, so my response to this question is influenced by that. I like the feel of a heavy book in my hands. At the same time, I understand the draw to e-books. As to whether it helps or hurts an author, thatís a tough question to answer. You have the opportunity of getting your work to a broader range of readers because, clearly, you canít sell a digital copy for the same price as a paperback. Then again, as you say, the competition of being noticed and read can mitigate any advantage that may be present by being available in digital format. Still, as a reader, Iíd rather spend a little more and have the physical book than a tablet, nook or kindle.
FQ: Do you believe that angels/religion is on the rise in fiction now that the vampires seem to have run their course?
Thatís an interesting question. And Iím not certain of the answer. Every generation seems to pick its own theme and jump on board for the ride. Not so long ago it was Harry Potter and every other band of witch or wizard that captivated the readersí imagination. I think people, right now, are just looking for something fresh and new. And thatís a more difficult task to achieve than I think people realize. I started writing Ishtarís story over twenty years ago, not knowing that, some day, he would find his place and time. Then again, I supposed Miltonís fans would have gobbled this series up!
FQ: No spoilers, of course, but is Book 3 going to be the finale of this series, or will there be more to come?
SHEPHERD: Book three will not be the end. Iím not sure how many more installments there will be, at this juncture, but there is still a lot to resolve before we see who, ultimately, wins Noliminanís crown!