Today I’m fortunate to present A. E. Lowan author of Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding.
Hi, A. E., thanks for agreeing to this interview!
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
A. E.: We are three authors who collectively write under the pseudonym A. E. Lowan. Jessica Smith comes from the state of Texas, Jennifer Vinck is from Missouri, and Kristin Vinck was born in Georgia, but raised in Washington state and California before moving to Missouri back when hair bands were popular.
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
A. E.: A good story should draw the reader in with authentic, relatable characters and through plausible but gripping plot. The story should evoke an emotional response and leave the reader with unanswered questions and a thirst for the next installment.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
A. E.: We all began writing as children. We were all voracious readers and began writing our own stories while in elementary school. Our first full length novel, and Seahaven, the fictional city in which it is set, both evolved from a conversation years ago about where has magic gone and the idea of a white haired wizard who has lost everything. It is a series about the importance of found families and the idea that a small dedicated group can absolutely change the world.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
A. E.: Because there are three of us, our schedule may look a little different than most. At any given time, one of us is drafting our work in progress, while the other two are polishing or promoting the last work and developing the next one. We’re always working on three projects at once. Our drafter works her in pajamas, drinks an obscene amount of caffeine, and works in two to three hour spurts, several times a day, around meetings with our plotter in chief and our resident development guru. Our plotter doubles as our head office minion and spends her days balancing revisions and future tortures to inflict on the good people of Seahaven and taking care of the day to day care and maintenance of a writing collaboration. Our development wiz does extensive prewriting and roleplaying with whomever she can pin down at the moment to cement what is coming up in the series, while also doing edits and rewrites of each day’s material.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
A. E.: Our most interesting quirk might be that we often get away from our computers and act out our scenes during prewriting, figuring out the blocking much the way that a storyboard artist would for a film. We make extensive use of roleplaying to take on the mantles of our characters before they hit the page. We call it method writing, though most other people just call it downright strange to watch. That and one of us can’t think without a metal slinky in her hand.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
A. E.: Our latest book is Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding. It is an urban fantasy about a woman who has lost everything except the will to fight.
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
A. E.: One of the most surprising things we learned during Faerie Rising is that even with detailed outlines, characters still have a mind of their own and being willing to be flexible can lead you to a much better story.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
A. E.: The world shifted sideways. Winter braced herself against the wall with her one good hand, the chalk grinding against the concrete as she fought the initial wave of disorientation. Something was horribly wrong. Within the rift, power was building up, as if someone had just crimped a running hose.
And she was holding the nozzle.
Nine glyphs in the warding, each unique, complex, and time consuming. Each must be drawn with precision, or the whole seal would fail. Winter had never drawn glyphs so fast in her life, her hand frantically scraping the chalk against the wall in her desperate race against… against what? It felt like a tidal wave, rushing implacably toward her. Somehow, something was affecting the balance of power.
She spoke each glyph as she drew it, magic resonating in her voice with each syllable. Six glyphs to go. Its name spoken, the glyph would take on a glow, casting the hole in sharp relief, bringing out each line of exhaustion on Winter’s face.
Highlighting the growing cracks in the cement around the rift.
After the seal went up, the cement became irrelevant. It could be ground to dust, and the seal would hold. Before then, however… the seal needed a matrix, something solid to hold the lines she drew with the enspelled chalk. Before then, the seal was all too fragile.
When the surge hit, it would blow the rift wide open. There would be precious little left of Winter and probably the surrounding square acre or so.
She wasn’t going to make it. Winter’s shoulders were burning, her hand beginning to cramp and shake, her hurt wrist felt like it was on fire. The glow of the warding began to fade as her magic was drained by pain and panic and exhaustion. She needed more power. She did not have time to ground and pull power from the earth… leaving only one choice. “Karen!”
There is power to control in a name. She spoke the name with resonant Command, and suddenly the cougar was there, terrified eyes wide on the wizard beside her. Ruthlessly, she pushed aside the older woman’s flimsy natural protections and pulled what power there was into herself. It was wild, and tasted of dark places, pain-filled joy, and kittens warm in the den. This was not a wizard’s gift she used, but came of her mixed blood. The spell flared back to life, and Winter redoubled her efforts.
The hole began collapsing inward, little chunks of cement falling into the flame-wreathed darkness.
The chunks were getting larger, the cracks creeping closer to her fragile chalk lines.
The surge was now audible, a tsunami rushing toward them.
The ground beneath her knees was quivering with the building pressure.
The warding blazed just as the tidal wave of magic rammed it from the other side, the whole ravine shuddering from the impact, then the lettering settled into the cement, leaving the two women alone in the quiet night.
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
A. E.: Faerie Rising is the first Book of Binding, but far from the last. The Books of Binding are a multigenerational family saga. We will be introducing many of the denizens of Seahaven and the larger preternatural world. Our current work in progress is Ties of Blood and Bone: The Second Book of Binding.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A. E.: Hands down, the best money we ever spent on writing was a research trip to the Pacific Northwest while we were developing the world in The Books of Binding. Faerie Rising is set in the fictional city of Seahaven, Washington. We were honored to spend some time in the beautiful and culturally rich city of Seattle to get a more authentic feel for the region.
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
A. E.: We would love to see you at www.aelowan.com. Our website houses our blog which features character snapshots and original fiction from The Books of Binding. We will also soon be unveiling A Visitor’s Guide to Seahaven, a tongue in cheek homage to our favorite fictional city.
You can also contact us at any of our social media links: