Interview with Cheri Lasota, author of Artemis Rising

Last week I reviewed Artemis Rising by Cheri Lasota and as a follow up here is a short interview with her that she so graciously was able to do with me. If you want to know more about Cheri or her book Artemis Rising visit her website.

The story Artemis Rising involves two different myths- Arthurian and Greek- which inspired you more when writing this story?
Great question! I would have to say Tristan and Isolde captured my imagination the most. And that’s probably because there is simply more to that story. And one of the most interesting things about that legend is that the original story from which all others came is lost in history. Isn’t that intriguing? We don’t know who wrote it, but oh, to know! And the idea of knights and ladies and a love that can last through centuries–what’s not to love?

I had a great deal of fun, however, building my antagonist, Diogo, out of the Greek River God Alpheus. It was rather delicious taking his obsession and channeling into an angry, obsessive boy. He was effortless to write–in fact, he wouldn’t shut up–because he had so much inherent drama in his personality.

There were several foreign words in the story. Are you multi-lingual?
Sadly no! I can read and write a bit of conversational Portuguese, but I’m rubbish at speaking it. Portuguese sounds like a cross between French and Spanish. A bit nasal, and a lot of soft zhussing noises. Really quite lovely, but hard to get the hang of!

But it was critical to me that I incorporate the flavor of language into this book. I loved hearing it when I lived there, so I wanted others to experience what I did, however vicariously. And honestly, I totally dig glossaries of foreign words. My favorite book of all time–The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay–had a glossary of Afrikaaner words. That’s just cool. =)

What do you remember the most about your time living in the Azores Islands?
One of my clearest memories was the night I arrived. It was stormy, rainy, night as black as ink. And I went to bed just wondering what the island really looked like. The moment I woke up, I raced to the window. I remember I didn’t have my contacts in, so the world was a blurry riot of color–brick reds, verdant greens, cobalt blues.

I stared at that ocean that seemed to surround the world and I said to myself, “I’m going to miss this place when I leave.” And I was right. I’m still missing. I missed it every day I lived there. It was pure magic: the people, the sights, the tastes, the smells, the sea. I would live there the rest of my life if I could.

Can you describe your journey to getting this book published?

Oh dear. Do you have an hour? =) Plotting this book probably took me five years. It’s complex. Really, really complex! It’s like a puzzle and I knew every piece would fit. I just had to figure it out. But essentially there are three storylines (with every character playing three roles) running simultaneously, and each story intertwines with the other. But two agents, a couple of book deals on the table, ten years of work, and a whole lot of ebook design fun…and voila! A novel is born!


Anything coming up next?
I’m currently writing another YA novel set on the Oregon Coast. It’s called Echoes in the Glass and it revolves around a lighthouse. One set of characters experiences triumphs and tragedies at Cape Sorrow in the 1930s while the other set are renovating that same lighthouse in present day. This project has been a joy to create and I can’t wait to get back to it! 

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