Name Mariah Lynde
Where are you from
I was born and raised in a military town: Fayetteville, NC. A majority of my life was spent being one of the ‘odd ducks’. In school, I didn’t quite fit with any particular group, but I had a phenomenal best friend to lean on. When I left high school, I had to forego college because of fiscal reasons, but I attended technical school and trained to get my Paramedic. During that process, I met a man in the army and got married. So began my adult life. For a long while I worked and continued to go to school even after my son was born. Sadly, with deployments overseas and the like, it limited my ability to actually work a decent job in something I loved to do. Still, I have had a blast in raising my son, he’s an interesting guy with a unique sense of humor. He makes me laugh no less than ten times a day.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I recently turned over a pet project to my publisher. Contingency is a zombie apocalypse type book written from a first person perspective and way out of my normal comfort zone. As soon as I turned that over, I began working on the finale of the second full length novel in my Vengeance of Avalon series. Hopefully, that will be off to my publisher within the next couple of weeks.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I actually began writing in High School, but few people were aware of it. For me, I never felt like anything I wrote was any good. A lot of the things that I initially wrote and conceptualized were burned or thrown out as soon as I finished them. Once I realized that working the job I wanted would not be feasible as a military wife and mother, I started retreating into my writing as a kind of release. It kind of remained my little secret, until October of 2011. A friend dared me to participate in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month). Surprisingly, I not only finished a novel, but someone got a hold of that first draft and it made its way to Meztrailov Fantasy Games. They asked if I’d be willing to sign with them as my publisher and you could say the rest is history.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I will be honest, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept that I am a writer. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing my books, but I have always been a very left brained person that relies on statistics and numbers. More than that, I also know a lot of people would dismiss my work since I’m not a college graduate. Add to that the fact being an Indie Author is about growing a fan base. That particular part of the job is an exceedingly slow process and can be a costly one. Most often you’re spending more money than you are receiving and in my head, it seems like a struggle. It brings a lot of self-doubt and questioning. If you ask me on a good day, I’ll smile and say ‘Yes! I’m a writer’ but most often I sit here while trying to write and ask myself if I really am a writer. Personally, a lot of the time I just consider myself a storyteller.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had always been in love with the idea of mythology and magic. There was a healthy amount of romanticism, at least for me, in the stories of Avalon and Camelot. As I got older I began reading a lot more. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Christine Feehan, Micheal Crichton…just to name a few. The more I read, the more I got idea of things I’d like to see or know about. Stories I would like to have told, and it always came back to this one key thought I’d had most of my life, ‘What if Avalon wasn’t just a mythological isle but a gateway from the human world into places where magic really exists’?
For years, I had been involved in RP Games, and Online MMORPG’s where I kind of focused on playing magical characters. So I took some of those ideas and shaped new characters to create my old universe and then did research on characters that had already been tied to the Avalon mythology like Merlin. When the time came for Nanowrimo, I just kind of sat down and wrote what I’d been seeing in my head for all those years.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to prefer writing in Third Person Objective or omniscient, especially in the Vengeance of Avalon novels because those books are not just the stories of the main antagonist and protagonist. In that series especially, you have the story of the current book, and then the long term story dealing with the battle between light and dark/good and evil.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Depends on which book you’re talking about. ‘Darkness Falls’ was primarily formed because the premise of that novella was to set up the Vengeance of Avalon Series. One thing in history and mythology that seems to hold true is that Avalon itself seemed to disappear overnight if it ever existed. ‘Darkness Falls’ sets the scene for the fall of Avalon, a place people considered a shining beacon of hope, to the nefarious forces of some unknown dark master.
For the first full length novel, ‘Dark Fury’, the name was born out of the premise of the book. The main characters have grown up and come from a time where there is nothing but darkness and doom around them. The worlds around the characters are crumbling and there seems to be nothing left. Without giving too much away, the main antagonist has suffered much, and that has made her into a survivor. Her rage is something that sets a lot of things in motion, but it is born from the experiences of her life.
‘Contingency’ was easy. It has always been said that if the world would end I would be a person who had a plan for every other plan in existence. I’d be the person who has plans for every possible scenario and those would have contingency plans. When I was writing the book that stayed in my mind and eventually became the name of the book.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Honestly, nothing is ever quite as it seems. One thing I’ve tried to do is make characters people can relate to in some way. Too often, people have looked on me, judged me, or dismissed me based on what they saw or something random I couldn’t control. I always try to give people a deeper look into the characters and stories so they see not everything is what they believe it to be.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
In the Vengeance of Avalon books, I will be honest, there is not much in the line of realism. We have Fae, we have dragons, we have fires galore, but again…all of it is based to some degree on fantasy. The Zombie book I tried to make a realistic as possible. Which in some ways made it harder to write for me, but in the end, was enjoyable.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In the Vengeance of Avalon books, No.
In Contingency, I can tell you every single character is based on someone I know in my own life.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There are four books that stand out over all the others:
The Green Mile – Stephen King
Four Past Midnight – Stephen King
The Stand – Stephen King
Servant of the Bones – Anne Rice
If I had to say anyone was my mentor, even if I’ve never had contact with them, It’d be Stephen King. I love the things he has to say to people who want to write and his stories, while a little out there in some cases, are wonderful reads.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently, I’m rereading The Stand by Stephen King.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
The newer authors that have tempted my palette have been Jaz Primo, Felicia Fox, and Kristin Secorsky. Sadly, I’ve been doing a lot of writing of my own lately and haven’t been picking up a lot of new books.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
‘Contingency’ is with an editor at the moment and being scheduled for release.
‘Flame of Eternity’ is the second full length Vengeance of Avalon novel and the book I am currently trying to wrap up and send on it’s way.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
That is easy, Platinum Book Reviews and it’s mistress of Literary awesome, Vicki Rose have been big on supporting my writing career. She has been a godsend with the encouragement and her work in trying to promote me within the budget I have to work with.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. Maybe not the wisest of career choices, but one I enjoy. I may never make a lot of money doing this, but it is something that is mine and mine alone. That is something that makes me smile each and every day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I can tell you honestly, that the release of Dark Fury, was not without its trials. If I could do it over again, there would have been a lot more extensive editing to fix the problems. Sadly, that is something that will have to be revamped and done again when there is time and money to put into it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes. It actually came about from getting bored in Honors English in High School. I hated the required reading so I would change the stories and write them for myself during class discussions.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is an excerpt from ‘Flame of Eternity’. Hope you enjoy!
“No, there are no threats outside of this land or in this realm save for you and the rest of the Shadow Lord’s men. I have travelled the whole of this world and the only ones I see doing harm to our people, the ones that are doing damage to these lands and people are you. You kill the people you rule over. Oh yes, you don’t outright slay them with your sword or attacks from your men. No, you let them starve to hold on to some form of control and for what? Nothing more than corpses to enlist to your service, unwilling though they may be. All for an army that has accomplished nothing in all these years. So you will keep up with your atrocities until one day there is nothing left of Darengath but your army of undead peons. So when that happens and the last villager dies…what then? Who will work your lands? Till your soil? Who will you hold your precious power over then? No one.”
Hazy, pale green eyes continued to stare forward directly, making Micheal wonder if in fact the woman continued her diatribe because she was in fact blind. Anyone who could see Callin’s features would have known that the time for silence had come. Challenging such a man so openly was bad enough, to continue to do so when his patience was at its end was asking for execution.
With every word that was spoken, Callin’s anger grew in leaps and bounds. Micheal was too far from the pair to effectively insert himself between them and defend the woman. Moving forward to push his way forward within the crowd, Micheal kept his eyes locked on Callin. His anger was physically manifesting and rapidly showing the signs of the true nature that lurked beneath the surface of his façade. Unfortunately, Callin was no longer the warrior he had once been and those physical manifestations were more grotesque or hilarious that intimidating. Callin’s rather corpulent middle shook causing rolls of fat to jiggle and slap together with a sickening sound as he moved to circle the woman.
Just as he had been anticipated, Callin struck out at the female in his anger. Micheal could only struggle to make his way forward in the crowd as he watched one pudgy, thick fingered hand wrap around the front of the female’s throat. Shuffling forward, Callin’s head lowered to put his eyes directly level with the woman’s own as he spoke, letting his voice carry menacingly about the hall to echo in the ears of all that were present.
“You will pay for you insolence but not before you learn your true place in the world, wench.” Just as Micheal made it to the front of the crowd he saw Callin’s fingers tightening around the woman’s throat. A growl caught in the lycan’s throat as his body tensed to lunge forward and pull the pair apart. Micheal’s body dropped, crouching low in preparation for a blitz attack when the sound of metal slamming into the floor registered and all hell broke loose.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I get discouraged pretty easily. Like what I am doing is not good, or not enough to please myself or the audience I’m writing for. Sometimes it’s bad enough I get writer’s block. Honestly, it’s a huge distraction to feel that way and when you compound other distractions from everyday life on top of it, things tend to go topsy turvy.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Hands down, Stephen King is my favorite author. This man has switched styles, moved genres and bounced around the literary world to encompass so many things. You have to respect anyone who can push themselves to write outside of their comfort zone and embrace it.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, sadly. I’ve not garnered a reputation that has me travelling to promote my books anywhere. Still, I hope that will be the case someday!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Funnily enough, those are stock covers that I we found and cropped to fit in a generalized template. While I’d love to give credit to some artist, I sadly found myself limited in money to hire one.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Ha ha! Life. Seriously though, as a military wife and mother, my schedule works around my husband and my son. The demands of my husband’s job have him juggling a lot of hours and responsibilities and being a parent, even without the military being involved is an all-inclusive sort of thing. A majority of my time is spent trying to balance the demands of just being here for my family, which makes actual time to write in a day hard to come by.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I did have something to say. For a long time, I kept silent and lived in my own head with my ideas. Actually getting them out of my head and on paper was a serious ‘oh wow’ moment for me.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I will tell you honestly, do not go into this for the money. Not many of us will make tons of it, write because you love writing. Write because it makes you happy. Tell your story and if at the end of the day you think you should scrap it, don’t. The biggest regret I have is knowing all the stories I trashed or burned which could have become something wonderful.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you. For reading my books, for any feedback you might have given. You have no idea how much those things, small as they might seem mean to people like me. They give us an idea of what you want to see, what we should change, or if we’re too far off the mark with anything.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I will forever remember the first book I read. To my mother I thank you, because that book which sparked my young little mind was ‘Where The Wild Things Are’.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
For laughter, my son. No matter how stressed out I get, that child has a knack for showing up to do something that will make me giggle. When I was stressing out over editing Dary Fury for myself, I was sitting in my office, hair frazzled, eyes narrowed and irritated beyond all belief. My son, ran up the hall from his bedroom, turned on a song on the MP3 and started dancing around and singing Weird Al’s ‘White and Nerdy’. I couldn’t help but bust into a fit of laughter and just join in. That is only one example of my son’s pure amount of awesome.
Crying, is a little harder. One sure fire way to get me to cry is give me a day where everything seems to be out of my control. I will admit, I’m human. Sometimes there just comes a day when any and everything that I’m into goes wrong. I will not lie, on those days, especially when there are other people involved, I get close to being a teary, rampaging idiot.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Yes. I’d want to meet Edgar Allen Poe or William Shakespeare. Both have captured my mind in differing stories or plays. If I could just have a single hour with one of them, I’d be set for life.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
If I could have anything written on my headstone, it’d be a line from the movie Galaxy Quest. ‘Never Give Up, Never Surrender!’. Why? Because it’s just the right amount of sarcastic comedy and despite everything that has happened in my life to date, I’m still here and I’m still working at it.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Yes! I enjoy cooking. I’m not talking like, pop open the refrigerator dough and voila! I’m talking lean, mean, down to the roots home cooking. I look up recipes daily and try to figure out what I can experiment with next. A close second is playing video games, either with my son or on my own. Both have the potential to be highly amusing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Films are easy, Star Wars or anything Bruce Willis related are guaranteed to get me going. I love action films with sarcasm, or sci-fi with a good deal of plot. Television Shows I have to admit I’m all over the map: Walking Dead, Scandal, Once Upon a Time, Suits, Supernatural, NCIS…seriously my list goes on and on.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Good questions! My favorite foods…I have to say I love stuffed mushrooms. Those things will be something I stuff myself full of until I get sick. My favorite color is purple and last but not least, my favorite music is rock. As for a specific type of rock, there really isn’t one. I love pretty much all rock music period.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I probably would have found a way to stay in Emergency Medicine. Some of my best memories and experiences came when I was working in that field. I hated having to leave, but I didn’t really have a choice.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
As a matter of fact, I do. My blog can be found on the Goodreads site as an author blog. https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7783987.Mariah_Lynde/blog
Link for Dark Fury http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Fury-Vengeance-Avalon-Book-ebook/dp/B00M9QVNHC/ref=pd_sim_sbs_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=41fLdJt4rIL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=0DC6V65N2X6R9J9DZ85M