by Elizabeth A. Schechter
Haven had been their goal since escaping the destruction of the School. Haven had promised safety, rest, an end to running and death. But things had gone badly wrong in the mountains. Tam and Linnea had to leave Matthias and Solomon behind to face the Elders, hoping to return for them once they’d found Haven. The reality does not live up to the promise. Isolated and dying, Haven fears outsiders almost more than it needs new blood. With only the griffon Dancer and the human healer Ilane for allies, Tam and Linnea fear that Haven’s rulers will prevent them from going back for their friends—then fire rains down from the sky, and things became so much worse for everyone.
Buy Link (preorder link): http://www.fantasticfictionpublishing.com/product/havens-fall
Interview with Elizabeth:
Tell us a little about yourself.
Personally? I think that I am about as boring as you can be—I’m a suburban stay-at-home homeschooling mom to a ten-year-old super genius. I drink a lot of coffee, don’t get nearly enough sleep, and in my copious spare time, I get to invite people to share in my fantasy worlds.
I tell people my superpower is converting caffeine into stories.
What draws you to write fantasy/paranormal?
The possibilities! I grew up reading my sister’s romance novels, and it got to the point where I could look at the cover and the blurb, and identify the trope before I even read the book; Oh, this one has a secret baby. This one has a “you have to marry me because reasons” boss. It got boring— I know what’s going to happen before it gets there, so why read it?
I do this with television, too. Drove my husband bonkers when I used to tell him what was going to happen in professional wrestling six weeks out back when we watching Monday Night Suspension of Reality. This is why I don’t watch much television anymore; the predictability, I mean, not the driving the husband bonkers part. That just comes with being married for as long as we have been. (20 years next July, if you want to know.)
Sorry. I went off on a tangent. When I’m writing fantasy or science fiction, or steampunk, or dystopian, there’s still the romance, and there’s still the happily ever after or the happily for now, but how we get there is totally different. That’s what makes it more interesting to me as a writer, and hopefully to my readers.
What inspired you to write your new release?
I could say that I really wanted to explore the intricacies of a forbidden relationship in the midst of a totalitarian religious regime and the subsequent rebellion and rebirth of personal freedom, and tie it into the current political atmosphere here in the United States. But really? No. None of that.
The short answer is that when I finished Counsel of the Wicked, D.M. Atkins of ForbiddenFiction sent out a contract for two more books with the question attached: “So… what happens next?” Which made me sit down and think about what would happen next. Where would it go? Where could I go after that? And could I do it?
Initially, Counsel was supposed to be a stand-alone book. I didn’t plan to write a trilogy, because I honestly never thought I could. I figured I was a one and done kind of writer— one book, then on to the next one. Different world, different characters, different romances. A large part of the reason behind that, is that I honestly thought I couldn’t hold a story together for multiple books. Another form of Imposter Syndrome, I think—I can do one book, but if I have people reading a series, they’ll figure out that I really don’t have any idea what I’m doing!
Which I now know is complete malarkey. I’ve had fun writing the series, and learned a bit about myself as a writer. For one thing, I have learned that I have the attention span of a ferret on speed when it comes to writing an extended universe. I have notes on three or four new projects that popped up in the middle of writing Rebel Mage, that all wanted to be done right now, thank you very much!
What do you like most about your heroine?
Haven’s Fall doesn’t focus on a male/female pair, although I do have a female POV character. She’s just not one of primary romance leads in this book. Linnea did have a romantic arc in the first book in the series, and she is a bit of a mess in book 2, because of reasons that would be a spoiler for Counsel of the Wicked. We’ll come back to her in book 3, but book 2 focuses on the characters Matthias and Solomon, and on them finding themselves and rebuilding their very new relationship after the events that ended Counsel of the Wicked.
Now if you ask me what I like most about those two, it would be hard to answer for Matthias. He’s still in the process of growing up, so there’s a bit of whiny “Why Me???” angst, occasionally enough that I want to shake him, and I’m the one writing him! (He does mature. Eventually. I promise.) In some ways, he reminds me a bit of Luke Skywalker and the Campbellian archetype of the Innocent on an adventure. That’s Matt in a nutshell. In the first book, he’s the young innocent who just wants to be left alone to live his life. Then we have the Inciting Incident and off we go on an adventure.
Solomon is a good foil for Matthias. He’s a little older, and he’s seen more (understatement), which tends to make him steadier. He’s not afraid to push Matthias to be more, to do more, and to grow up. If we’re doing Campbell archetypes, Solomon skirts the border between Mentor and Ally. He’s Sam to Matthias’ Frodo, but without the homoerotic subtext. Or rather, there’s nothing sub about this text.
What’s next for you?
I’m finishing up Rebel Mage 3 (which will hopefully be in the can by the time this interview runs). Then I’m taking some time off, because I’ve been working continuously on this series for something over two years now.
Once I reset my brain, I’ve got two manuscripts that I put on the back burner when I got the contract for the last two books of Rebel Mage. Those need to get finished— one is the sequel to my erotic steampunk novel House of Sable Locks (oh, look! Another series!). The other is a passion project; I’m very big into Carolingian history and the growth of mythology surrounding Charlemagne. I have a series planned (and the first book mostly in draft) involving the four swords that featured in the Carolingian romances—Charlemagne’s Joyeuse, Roland’s Durendel, Olivier’s Hauteclere, and Archbishop Turpin’s Almace. Once those are polished, I have all those little ideas that popped up while I was writing to develop. Some of those look like fun!
Elizabeth Schechter has been called one of the top erotica and alternative sexuality writers in the world. Her writing credits include the award-winning steampunk erotic romance House of Sable Locks, the Celtic fantasy Princes of Air, and the dystopian fantasy Rebel Mage trilogy. Her shorter work has appeared in anthologies edited by D.L King (Carnal Machines), Laura Antoniou (No Safewords), and Cecilia Tan (Jingle Balls; Like a Prince).
Elizabeth Schechter was born in New York at some point in the past. She is officially old enough to know better, but refuses to grow up. She lives in Central Florida with her husband and son, and a most accepting circle of friends who are both very amused and very proud of the pervy, fetish writer in their midst.
Elizabeth can be found online at: