Saturday, 2 May 2015

Magical Muse Collection Anthology - Author Interview with Alexis Lantgen

Alexis Lantgen is a musician and writer who holds a master’s degree in music performance from Florida International University, as well as a Bachelor of Music in viola performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Letters (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Oklahoma. She performs on violin and viola in orchestras including the Wichita Falls Symphony and the San Angelo Symphony. Currently, Alexis teaches private violin and viola lessons, and in the past she's taught eighth grade English and ESL in Dallas public schools. Her first novel is a YA Urban Fantasy about a young African American boy with special powers who must save his sister from an evil voodoo sorcerer. She hopes to finish revising her first draft by January 2014. In addition to her novel and short stories, Alexis writes poetry and a blog.

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About the Anthology

Stories of fantasy ranging from dark, to light and inspiring, bring life to this anthology. The creatures featured throughout, both good and evil, display the devastating or wonderful personalities they were given by the authors who created them for your enjoyment.

Alexis Lantgen brings a twist to the story of a fairy changeling, showing a dark evil intent behind this mythological practice.

Andrea R. Cooper turns a dark fantasy tale into a lyrical piece that tests your understanding of your own mind.

George L. Duncan features a creature many never saw coming as the source of justice in a corrupt world.

Dark fantasy takes a humorous twist with Oz Durose, who introduces us to a new type of zombie that makes you regret deleting the files off your very own computer…readers beware!

Mythological hounds are a foreshadowing of doom for one man seeking refuge from their deadly chase. Allison D. Reid brings a tale of adventure as seen through the eyes of the hounds and their mysterious master, born from the darkness of hell.

Demons lurking throughout this tale bring a monster into the world. A demi-god finds out her fate as KJ Hawkins spins a tale of triumph and fear.

Matthew Frassetti presses the will of a man trying to save his lover from the hands of a demon. The bonds of friendship between man and beast are tested as this tale of adventure takes a twist.

Brendan Carroll brings a brilliantly fun, entertaining story to life, showing how in the midst of everyday beauty, time simply passes when you least expect it.

Khushi Agarwal tests the power of Christmas cheer with elves on strike. Will Christmas come on time, or will it be ruined for all?

The holidays are here as D.B. Mauldin brings a hard working elf into the spotlight for a special Christmas festival.

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Interview with Alexis Lantgen

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

My biggest obstacle is finding enough time and energy to write! I teach violin and viola, play in symphony orchestras, and care for a vivacious toddler. I'm very happy, but at the end of a busy day it's hard to focus on writing. I overcome it by sneaking little bits of writing time in throughout the day--during my breaks at work, when my daughter is napping, in the evening if I'm not too tired. I focus on the time I have, and forgive myself if I can't write for a day or two. I think the most important thing is to keep going. Success comes from perseverance!

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

Yes, but I try to change details. The hero in my (currently unpublished) novel is based on one of my favorite students.

What are you working on now?

I just finished a non-fiction article for Renaissance Magazine, and I'm working on a new Fantasy novel (or possibly novella). While my first novel is YA, this time around I'm writing a very adult fantasy about a woman who's burned in an acid attack on her wedding day.

What genres do you write?

I write scifi/fantasy, but I'm curious about all genres. I think it's good to explore outside of your reading/writing comfort zone--it gives you a more diverse set of tools, and can make for exciting genre crossovers. I'd never read a Western novel until recently, but now I'm reading Lonesome Dove. It's different, but in a good way.

What is the worst writing advice you've ever received?

I get sick to death of hearing endless variations of "write everyday!" That's great for people with lots of free time, but people with jobs and families shouldn't feel terrible about not being able to write all the time. Do the best you can with the time you have, and don't let anyone shame you or discourage you. Besides, most of the people who give this advice seem to spend most of their "writing" time on twitter.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Ursula LeGuin. She writes such deep, philosophical, fascinating stories, but they're also so enjoyable to read. I love her books! Based on her writing, she seems like a wise, thoughtful person.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

Both. I carefully outlines my first novel, and I'm writing my second one by the seat of my pants. Some days I miss the comfort of an outline, but with my new story I'm trying to just follow my main character on her journey.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?

I've read "Harry Potter" so many times! I'm looking forward to reading it again with my daughter when she's old enough--I'd love to see her fresh perspective. Robert Graves' "I, Claudius," is another favorite, and a great book for anyone interested in violent politics or ancient Rome. I love re-reading Jane Austin as well--she's got such a flawless eye for human nature.

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?

Tons. I have books piled all over my nightstand and stuffed into random places all over my house.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to get out and explore. I love going for long walks in the park, or finding a new restaurant, or visiting a museum, or taking my daughter to the zoo. I like to take in the culture of the city I live in. My husband and I also love Renaissance Faires!

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