Interview With Author Lucienne Diver
– Interview With Author Lucienne Diver –
Lucienne Diver is the author of ten novels (thus far), five of them in the Latter-Day Olympians series of myth, magic and mayhem…Her latest book in the series, BLOOD HUNT, was published by Samhain in October. Comiccoverage.com caught up with her at the 2050 Event in Daytona Beach to get the scoop.
comiccoverage.com (C.C) When did you start writing?
Lucienne Diver (L.D) I started writing when I was eleven. I had a wonderful fifth grade teacher who divided the class into writing groups and gave us prompts regularly—a starting sentence or a theme and a time frame during which our pens/pencils were not allowed to stop moving. If we couldn’t think of something to say, we had to write “nothing at all, nothing at all” until that changed. I got hooked. I’d always done well in school, but this was the first time I’d felt a real spark for something and got feedback that indicated I was on the right track. Those free-writing assignments were wonderful practice for writing first drafts—you keep things moving, write what comes to mind, don’t second guess yourself. You can be hard on yourself during the revision stage, but you can’t improve or perfect what doesn’t exist. My mantra: get it down, then get it right.
C.C: So, tell us about your Latter-Day Olympians series.
L.D: My series is about Greek gods running around in modern day Los Angeles. Okay, that’s a huge oversimplification! Having lost their worship and tribute over the years, they’ve lost a good deal of their power and have had to get day jobs. Still drawn to fame and fortune, many of them have gravitated toward L.A. For example, Circe, the enchantress who turned Odysseus and his men into swine, is now a high-powered Hollywood agent. Apollo, the sun god, is an actor who shines as brightly on screen as off. Hephaestus, god of the forge, is a special effects guy with Industrial Light and Magic. Of course, not all the gods and goddesses are happy with their current lot, which means that some may be fomenting trouble—murder, mayhem, possibly pyrotechnics—in their fight to achieve their former glory.
C.C: I love the Gods and Goddesses theme. What mediums influenced you for this series?
L.D: I took Latin for five years, starting in junior high school. My favorite part wasn’t the language. (Declining verbs…blech!) It was the mythology, history and culture. From there, I went on to study anthropology in college as well as writing. Comparative religion was fascinating to me. I already knew to an extent how many myths and legends repeated across cultures (with variations, of course), but expanding my horizons and my knowledge made me that much more aware. I love the idea of playing in a world where I start with a particular pantheon familiar to most people and then draw at least some of those connections for my readers. I hope that I inspire some to go forth and read more of the myths for themselves!
C.C: Is there a heroine or a hero in the Latter-Day Olympians series?
L.D: My heroine is Tori Karacis, who is a private investigator in Los Angeles, and the black sheep of her circus family. Afraid of heights, she was shut out of her family’s acrobatic troupe. The Rialto Bros. found other things for her to do until her curiosity uncovered secrets best left hidden. She now works for her Uncle Christos is his investigations firm. She’s never believed the story that her family line began when the god Pan beer-goggled one of the gorgons…until she witnesses a murder by something she can’t quite explain in BAD BLOOD and until her subtle ability to stop men in their tracks (if not actually turn them to stone) truly manifests.
C.C: That sounds like a lot of excitement and fun! So there’s mystery in each book?
L.D: Mystery, suspense, action, snark. Lots of snark.
C.C: Are there any authors that inspire you?
L.D: I’ve always been a voracious reader. I think everything I’ve ever read has influenced my writing to some extent or another. I grew up reading a lot of classic science fiction. Particular favorites were Asimov’s Robots novels and Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man(which is terribly sexist and dated if you read it today, but it’s also the most amazing example I know of fooling the reader without cheating). From them I might have been inspired to combine mystery and suspense with my magic. I loved (and still love) epic fantasy, everything from Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince series to Stephen R. Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need novels to more modern works like anything written by N.K. Jemisin. It’s possible my love of flawed heroes and heroines came from their work, although really, we’re all flawed and so it may just be that those who see themselves or the world that way make more sense to me. I’m also a huge fan of the classic gothic romances—Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, Madeleine Brent… So atmospheric and descriptive. And you can’t beat Regency romances for sheer banter!
C.C: Where can readers find your books?
L.D: Everywhere! Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iTunes, you name it! The books are available in both print and digital form. If readers want to try before they buy, my publisher and I are offering a free prequel story from the point of view of the god Hermes, who’s a big player in the Latter-Day Olympians series and a fan favorite. The story is Trickster Blood and is also available everywhere.
C.C: What are the other series titles?
There’s also a Latter-Day Olympians story, The Parlor, in the KICKING IT anthology edited by Faith Hunter and Kalayna Price.
C.C: Do you have any more exciting series planned for the future?
L.D: I hope so! My agent currently has a young adult thriller on submission for me, and I’m very excited about it. I don’t want to jinx myself by saying too much.
C.C: Anything else you’d like readers to know?
L.D: Yes! I’ve also just launched the Goddities website. It’s the gossip mag of the gods run by Yiayia, Tori’s crazy grandmother in the series (who also happens to be the Rialto Bros. Circus’s bearded lady). So if you want to bone up on your gods and goddesses or just have some serious fun poking around, this is the place to be!