I’m a huge fan of L.H. Cosway’s work. If you don’t know this author, check her out. Her supernatural novels, Tegan’s Blood, Tegan’s Return and A Strange Fire are all gripping. I liked her stories so much, I contacted L.H. to see if she’d be kind enough to answer some questions. Turns out, she was game.
Thanks a million for agreeing to this interview.
Can you introduce yourself and your work to readers who may not be familiar with you?
Sure. Currently I write two series of books, both are in the paranormal romance/ urban fantasy genres. My Florence Vaine series would probably be classified as mature YA, and my Ultimate Power Series is more New Adult. Both series are set in the same fictional story world and are sort of spin-offs of each other, but they also have very different feels to them. Tegan’s Blood has a dark, gloomy atmosphere and contains lots of action, while A Strange Fire has more of an Autumn-ish, dreamy feel, there isn’t action at every turn but it’s very much a study of Flo as a character and what it’s like inside her head.
You are a self-employed writer, editor and proofreader. Can you tell us more about that?
Back when I was still at college I worked part-time as a writer for a small company in Dublin. Then once I finished my MA I tried out a few different things, but none of them suited me as much as writing for a living. That’s when I decided to go it alone and set up as self-employed. Obviously writing fiction is my passion, but in my day to day work I edit and proofread news articles and various kinds of web content. Although I admit I have that writer’s weakness of being unable to see my own mistakes, I find editing other people’s stuff to be very enjoyable. I also have an agent/middle man who gets me different long and short term writing projects so that I don’t have to spend lots of time looking for jobs. (I am well impressed by your day job. If only I had the guts to do something similar myself :) )
I fell in love with the world of Tribane in the Tegan novels. Will there be a third book in The Ultimate Power Series?
Thank you! The third book is in the works, it’s called Tegan’s Magic and I’m hoping to have it out by January next year. In all, I envision there to be at least five Tegan books, although I’m not sure how long it will take for me to complete them. There’s a big cast of characters in these books, so I want to be able to give all of them a chance to shine. The third book will feature lots about Tegan and Rita, some about Wolf as his curse has been broken and he’s now in his human form. I’ll also be focusing again on Tegan’s not so healthy love/hate relationship with Ethan. (Good to know. I love Ethan & Tegan together)
Of all your characters, who is your favourite ?
That’s a difficult question, because some days I’ll be really liking one character and the next they’ll be getting on my nerves! Lol. I suppose I have two favourites, Finn and Rita, both have quite in your face personalities, meaning I don’t have to censor myself when I’m writing their dialogue, which makes for some colourful language. Of course I love my two protagonists Tegan and Flo as well, but it’s probably because I’m always writing from their point of view that other characters tend to intrigue me more. Another character that I enjoy writing (but don’t exactly “like”) and who you’ll see lots of in A Vision of Green is Flo’s dad, I think I drew influence from every nasty person I’ve ever known in creating his personality. He’s one of those abusers who’s hurting on the inside, but still continues hurting others and just doesn’t care. So he’s a bit of a tragic villain.
I read and raved about A Strange Fire only recently on this blog. Where did you get the idea for Florence’s supernatural gift?
I’m trying to remember now. I knew I wanted her to be psychic in some way, I just didn’t know which psychic talent she’d have. I found the idea of a girl who could see all of these colours swirling around people’s bodies fascinating. I’d never really seen an empath done in detail in another book, I mostly saw characters with the empath talent, but it wasn’t described in any deep way. When Flo describes people she picks out colours and tells you what they mean, and I like this because it gives her a unique perspective as the narrator of the story. With Flo, you don’t just get to see the expressions on people’s faces, you get to see what they’re feeling too. It’s actually odd that I chose this for her because in real life I couldn’t be any more of a sceptic and I don’t believe in psychics at all. But for some reason I really love creating a fictional world where these sorts of people with special talents exist.
When did you start writing and when did you know you were going to publish your first book?
When I was a child I would write these funny stories that were more comedy than anything else, I remember one about Santa getting stuck up the chimney. In my teens I never really wrote, just the odd bits of morbid poetry, as you do. I think I was about eighteen when I really started writing again. It took a couple of years before I began writing anything halfway decent. I had my two novels Tegan’s Blood and A Strange Fire written and sitting on my laptop for at least two years before I did anything much with them. Then this year I decided to make a new years resolution to self-publish them, because I haven’t got the will-power to just keep sending them to publishers in the hopes of getting noticed. I suppose some people might see that as being lazy, but let me tell you self-publishing is a lot of hard work, it’s so much more than simply writing a book and hitting the “publish” button. (Self publishing is definitely hard work, for those who are serious about their work anyway. I can see a traditional publisher coming for you though!)
How did you go about publishing your work?
Looking back on it I went in pretty much blind to a lot of what I was supposed to do. I set up a date to publish Tegan’s Blood on Amazon, wrote to lots of reviewers, set up a twitter account and that was about it. I had no clue about Goodreads or any other promotional things, so I basically learned it all as I went along. It’s definitely been an eye opening experience and I know so much more now than I did at the beginning of the year.
How have you found the promotion/marketing side of publishing?
I see it very much as a necessary evil. As an indie author you can’t just write your book and send it off to be taken care of by the publisher. It’s a do it yourself job. So basically you’re your own marketer, publicist, formatter, cover designer etc.(unless you have the funds to pay other people to do it for you!) You definitely have to have the stomach for the marketing side of things and lots of time(both of which I don’t have) but I do the best that I can. I always feel uncomfortable with saying things to people like, “Hey, read my book, it’s BRILLIANT!” I just really can’t do stuff like that, it makes me feel ill. But I will do blog posts and tweets to let people know about my books and when new ones are coming out.
Who would play Tegan and Ethan in a movie?
Ah, if only River Phoenix were still alive he’d be perfect for Ethan. There aren’t very many actors who look the way I imagine Ethan in my head, but the closest I can get would be Micheal Pitt, because he has that whole sort of blond grungy look and I love his hair in Boardwalk Empire. For Tegan I would say Eva Green, although if I was going to pick an actress who’s the same age as Tegan I’d go for Kaya Scodelario who played Effie in Skins. Both of them have those kind of interesting faces that you just can’t stop looking at.
Is there any book you read over and over again?
Rose Madder by Stephen King. One of my all time favourites.
What are some of your favourite TV shows and films and why?
I’ll watch just about anything. My favourite show this year was Hit and Miss starring Chloe Sevigny, about an Irish transgender hitwoman. I just found the whole story spell-binding. My other favourites include Dexter, Fringe and True Blood. One of my favourite movies is Heavenly Creatures, I love the exploration of the relationship between the two main characters in it and the way they create this fantasy world that they can both live in. It’s one of those movies that you just can’t stop thinking about after you’ve watched it.
Will you be releasing your books in paperback?
This is something I really want to do, possibly next year, it’s just finding the time to do it that’s the problem. But soon, soon!
The feedback for your books has been excellent. How does this make you feel?
It’s always an amazing feeling when I get a positive review, it gives me the determination to keep going. Although I do have that problem of focusing on the few negative ones instead of enjoying the positive ones. It’s a learning process, I’m sure I’ll find a balance eventually. One day I’d love to not be curious about what’s said in reviews anymore and just simply write because that’s the part I really enjoy. That being said, I’m so unendingly grateful to any reviewer who takes the time to say what they thought of my books because it spreads the word about them and gets other people reading them.
A Vision of Green, the second book in the Florence Vaine series is out soon. Let us know what’s in store for Flo.
Oh lots. She’s going to be on a bit of a rollercoaster in this book, with ups and downs and everything in between. She’ll discover that breaking her habit of following her dad’s orders and letting him bully her is not as easy as it seems. Her relationship with Frank deepens and she also spends more time with her new friend Caroline, as well as Frank’s brother Alex. For anyone who’s read my Ultimate Power series, Tegan, Ethan and Rita play a brief cameo in one of the chapters(this also has a small spoiler for something that happens in Tegan’s Magic) Not to mention Flo makes a discovery about where her ability to read auras really comes from.
I’m delighted with those answers, especially the thought of River Phoenix playing Ethan in a film. A Vision of Green should be out on the 28th of September. Grab your copy of A Strange Fire and dive into Flo’s world. Has anyone read Cosway’s work? If the answer is no, I hope you will go and check out her novels. She lives in Dublin, and for me personally, it’s always great to find new Irish writers.
Under the Desert Moon is on tour. Becky’s Barmy Book Blog features a review and excerpt today.