Book Tour Q&A: Perils of Sea and Sky by Lilian Horn
Today we're taking part in the book tour organized by Escapist Book Tours for Perils of Sea and Sky by Lilian Horn! Continue reading for the book blurb and a Q&A with the author.
About the book
In the early 1700s, the discovery of anti-gravity technology led to the development of the aeroship trade. But there is one area into which no sky captain dares to venture, and that is the Grey Veil: an inhospitable fog threatening the lives and sanity of all who enter. With the Veil under a strict travel-ban, most level-headed pilots circumvent this treacherous place. Captain Rosanne Drackenheart, on the other hand, makes a pretty penny conducting her smuggling operation through the very edge of the mysterious fog.
When she is blackmailed into searching for a lost warship, she is forced to venture into the untraversed bowels of the Veil. Rosanne must protect her crew from mystical creatures, defend against pirates gunning for her ship, and save herself from the creature known as the Forest Devil.
Featuring Scandinavian myths and steampunk elements, Perils of Sea and Sky is a thrilling high fantasy adventure.
On to the interview...!
Thank you so much for joining us for this Q&A! We’ll start off with one of our standard podcast opening questions–tell us something great that’s happened recently.
My debut novel was released! I had an exciting time building up to the release day and receiving messages from people who were reading it. It was humbling to say the least, but incredibly exciting.
What are you currently reading or what’s up next on your TBR? What made you pick up this book?
I am currently reading a fantasy book called Waking Ursa Minor. I initially picked it up because of the gorgeous cover and because it was a self-published work, as I want to support more indie authors, but truth is the concept sounded different to what I’m used to and something I might enjoy, which I am! I’m having a blast with it.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to start writing?
I’m Norwegian born and resident citizen living in the far north. I hold a bachelor’s degree as a biomedical laboratory scientist, worked in a blood bank where I earned the title as a vampire, and later I’ve worked with histological pathology. I’m a gamer, a painter, and a metalhead at heart.
It’s hard to define exactly why I started writing. I’ve always been writing stories for as long as I can remember and creating new worlds and characters pushed me to explore more. I loved reading fantasy stories, and the genre lit that drive in me to build worlds I wanted to explore.
How do you spend your free time when you’re not reading or writing? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can talk to us about?
Sometimes I enjoy watercolor painting or a jigsaw puzzle. When my health allows it I enjoy walks in the forest, windowshopping, and perusing the madness that is the internet.
Who are your favorite current writers and who are your greatest influences?
Tamsyn Muir is my latest favourite with The Locked Tomb series, but the authors who have influenced me the most are R.A. Salvatore and Alan Campbell.
What is one book you want to shout about to the world? What about it makes you love it so much?
Good Omens. It’s cooky, quirky, fun and insane. I’ll never grow tired of it, and I’ve reread it more times than any other book I’ve owned.
What are your favorite types of stories? Of characters?
I enjoy a lot of different stories, but I lean more towards stories with adventures, a great evil that needs vanquishing, and morally grey characters.
How much do you plan when you write? What’s your writing process like?
I never have the whole story thought out when I start drafting, but I do take notes on the scenes I’ve thought of and give them a place where I think they’re best suited. I fill in the gaps as I go and sometimes I don’t even have a proper ending in place until the third draft! It’s such a strange thing to let the characters have the space and time to develop as I write, but sometimes it does feel like they pick up where you left off and go on their own adventure.
I pace myself at no more than 1500 words a day, as that works best for me. Some days I write less, other days more, but usually I’m able to finish the first draft within the time I’ve set for myself. I enjoy tracking my progress making tables and graphs in excel, just to get it visually representative
Is this your first book? If so, what lessons have you learned from writing it? If not, what lessons did you learn from writing earlier books that you brought into this one?
This is not my first book, no, and that is a good thing because my first book had many flaws. For one I spent 6 years in the drafting process, which is too long. You change your style in that time as you mature, or you get better at writing underway. I always went back to edit whenever I felt like I had improved during the drafting process, and I should have just left things until I was officially done with the first draft.
I also learned it was better edit from big to small, like from plot and character development, to tedious world building details. You have to get the bones sorted before you can add muscle and skin, and lastly reanimate the creature you call a book.
Writing the first book showed me what style I prefer to tell a story in, and how I flesh out the characters, but also what works best for me during every stage of the process, which made writing future books far easier.
How much of yourself do you write into your stories?
I leave a little piece of me in almost every character, from weird quirks, to the way I say things, to life experiences.
What comes first to you when you’re writing, the world, the characters, or the storyline?
It’s almost always the world building. It’s what draws me in the most in fantasy books, and the characters experience life differently depending on that world building.
Can you give us an elevator pitch for your book?
Stranded on an island in the foggy hellscape of the Grey Veil, Captain Rosanne Drackenheart must fight monsters, dodge pirates gunning for her ship and return home before her smuggling operations sends them all to the gallows.
How different is the final version of this book from the first draft?
The story remained more or less the same. During the editing process me and my editor expanded on some things, but not a whole lot was cut out. There was one character who saw a bigger change which did open up for more expansion in the background of the plot.
Can you tell us a little bit about your characters? What are your favorite kinds of characters to write?
My characters are mostly based off Europeans that I’m used to, but there are some who stick out, and I had a lot of fun with those crafting them and seeing how they differed from my main characters. Grumpy old men are always funny when paired with younger characters, as they enjoy mocking older generations.
If you could choose one worldbuilding detail (a place, ability, or creature, for example) from your book to exist in the real world, what would it be and why?
Flying sailships, because it looks badass, and I’m a huge fan of Treasure Planet that inspired that detail.
In your opinion, what kind of reader would like this book?
If you want romance and spice, this is not for you. If you enjoy watching characters get thrown into dangerous situation with nothing but their wits, humor, a hastily thrown together plan, and monsters, my book might interest you.
What would you like readers to take away from this book?
I just want them to enjoy the adventure. Not every book needs to be thought-provoking or overly complex, or have saucy scenes.
Is there anything you can tell us about any current projects you’re working on?
I am currently working on edits for book 2, Journey of the Lost and Damned, which builds on the events of Perils of Sea and Sky. There were many things I couldn’t include in the first book,
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for us! Do you have any parting thoughts or comments you’d like to leave for our readers?
Thank you so much for having me. Read a wide variety of books and keep an open mind.
And finally, where can you be found on the internet if our readers want to hear more from you?
You can find me on instagram (@lilianhornwrites) and twitter (@LilianHorn_), but mostly instagram.
Where to buy the book:
Universal Link: https://mybook.to/Perils-of-sea-and-sky
Publisher Direct: https://www.risingactionpublishingco.com/perils-of-sea-and-sky
Audiobook to be released October 25th: https://www.audible.com/pd/Perils-of-Sea-and-Sky-Audiobook/B0BBJV63SH