Published: June 15th, 2018
Jason and Mortyiene investigate the deaths of several priestesses
A priestess is dead hanging in an iron maiden.
The conclave of priestesses are meeting with new instructions from the goddess Levet.
A new floor is opening and the sealed rooms are scenes of horrific crimes discovered after the room opens. Jason and Mortyiene are called to investigate. Who is killing these women? Why? Does this have anything to do with the ongoing war?
To complicate things further, the sky rangers led by general Valairia, war mistress of the Kylvar are in town to fight a rampaging dragon. There is well known animosity between the clergy and Valairia. These spats erupt into battles as the general assumes privileges not granted to her.
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1. How the series of *Jason & Mortyiene Mystery* was born and what it is with that (almost) black cat?
A funny story, it started as a short story when I was getting my degree at University of Washington. My fellow students really wanted me to turn it into a book. So, after spending years doing the practical job, I returned to the story and expanded it into what
is now the first book of the series. "The Student Librarian." As for the cat, Jason our main character has a library cat. To make matters worse, he has to accept her help and he is allergic to cats. They have a contentious relationship. The cat can speak to all librarians, including Jason, and she is a bit on the bossy side. She is actually inspiration drawn from my own cat. I have had people write me and tell me they have named their cat Edwardynah.
2. How did you establish the right amount about “sinisterness” in the series and how different is to write for YA than Adults?
Well these books aren't really YA, they are more NA. There is scenes of torture, rape, and, in "The Bankers of Zurix" a pretty graphic BDSM scene. If I was writing for YA I would have to tone it down a bit. Though there is sexual content in one of the books, it isn't really a sex book or erotica. It is a murder mystery in a high fantasy setting. "The Priestesses of Levet" though have a lot torture. In fact that is how the girls are killed.
3. Thrill, gore or something else: what you like to use to increase the tension and why? What about red herrings, hidden clues and other “weapons”?
This story has several Red Herrings, dead ends, other suspects. I hope that the true killer isn't revealed too early. I have hidden clues about who is responsible. My beta readers were ok with how difficult it was to identify the killer. Though there is gore, it isn't splatter punk, it is more like what would happen if you were crushed in an Iron Maiden. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but it isn't designed to make you sick, just keep you reading.
4. What is the most dangerous for a mystery/fantasy writer and why? How do you do to avoid / win the challenges of the genre and of writing in general?
The biggest danger facing modern fantasy writers is sounding too much like a D&D game. The stock elf, dwarf, dragon, etc. makes it tough to be fresh and original. Though I do use elves, dwarves and dragons, I steer clear of goblins, orcs, and other staples. Mostly I want to create a puzzle of who is killing priestesses and why and have Jason and Mortyiene investigate.
You need to be careful because things in the book are different. Mortyiene for instance can raise the dead and find out who or what killed them and why so the killer needs to be extra careful to behave in such a way that it isn't too easily solved. Jason is The Investigator, chose by the Library to solve the most important and earth shattering cases. So he needs to be smart not only in magic but also more mundane and scientific clues. I hope that my world is unique enough to carry this through.
5. Inspiration, hard work and planning, talent… how did you program your “writing activity”? What to expect from you next?
I am an outliner. I create detailed outlines and usually have my subplots, red herrings, character arcs all touched upon before I write the first draft. Then I write fast first drafts. Then comes the fun part, revising. I love going over my work and saving what is great.
The industry standard is 3 books a year. I have all three of them written and I am in the process of finishing up the editing of the other two. In September I will have the next book of my "Great Wyrm Saga," this will be a five part epic fantasy, and yes I have the whole series plotted out. There will only be five in this series. And in November I will have the second of my Firemountain Chronicles out. This is a dark fantasy, Lovecraftian fantasy that is set in a creepy mythical town in western Washington. The book coming out in September is "Green Tunics of Noon," and the book in November is "The House of Fire and Rain." This book took a lot of registration. I went to a legal brothel in Nevada and met with the manager about how legal brothels are run in the 21st century. I know way more about the sex trade both legal and illegal than I ever wanted to know.
About the author:
Victoria has been involved in writing since she was a child. She has her Bachelors in Creative Writing and is getting her Masters. She lives in southern Oregon catering to the whims of her muse which takes the form of a fuzzy black and white cat.
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