Name: Tamara Lakomy
Where are you from: I am British Born, of Slavic and Amazigh descent.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
I studied archaeology in Scotland, then I became interested in the business world, trying to find sustainable solutions to developing regions.
I come from a family of girls, very close to my mother, and generally a shy person.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have been getting bits of poetry published here and there for magazines, and working on my third book, cobbling together the pieces, and polishing up my second one!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing as young as 13, starting and never finishing, never really taking it seriously, I didn’t necessarily believe in myself. I studied literature for my baccalaureate and excelled in it, I was always an avid reader and gifted with words. I found writing very cathartic, as I am quite a deep thinker, preferring my own company, pouring onto paper what haunted my soul and thoughts, it was the only form of self-expression that fulfils me, I have a wild and dark imagination.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?:
When I got an agent! The interest in my novel made me realise that I had become a writer like I always wanted deep down!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I decided to write “The Shadow Crucible” after reading numerous books such as the Nag Hammadi scrolls, books on shamanism and yes I decided to go for it after seeing how popular “Penny Dreadful” was, it showed there was an appetite for that kind of world.
So using my knowledge of archaeology and occultism to weave together a fantasy story, I penned down the characters that had been developing in my mind for years. I’ve always enjoyed Gnosticism and the stories behind the lost gospels, they are a fantastic source of information and they began to form into stories into my mind, with a heavy gothic touch
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I am quite poetic, and can get carried away with prose, but let’s say I use a lot of poetic license.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I was stuck for titles, and one night one of the characters in my novel came to me in a dream and told me what the title should be. I was happy to have a conversation with a character I created and even happier to see he had an opinion on the book’s name, so my subconscious was smarter than me!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, that our pagan roots go beyond the ruins of temples, they are rooted deep into our subconscious, they shape and mould us, although we don’t really notice it, and with the syncretism of the current religions we often recycle old beliefs. We haven’t really changed much, it is one covering over another, nature’s personification taking various forms in our minds. I would like people to see what unites them, rather than what separates them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The themes such as apotheosis, the transmigration of souls, the threefold death and where do people with gifts such as seeing and being a medium, these themes have been debated and discussed for thousands of years. And they are still an important part of our psyche; intuition, empathy etc, these are gifts that we sometimes cannot rationalize and make us wonder what is beyond the physical world, what and who is there?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
My grandmother influenced me a lot and my mother, they both told beautiful stories, vivid and brimming with imagination. They were highly knowledgeable in Slavic folklore, and it resonated with me. Let’s say it got me interested in fantasy; elves, fairies, demons and goblins. Then I carried that fascination into archaeology and became enamoured with shamanism; so Mircea Eliade was a big influence on me.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love Patrick Rothfuss’s works, the themes in his books are like the quest for the hidden demonic hands that nobody believes in, it is similar to what I do with my writing, encouraging people to pull back the veil. I enjoyed watching his character’s development and search for the Chandrian ( still nowhere to be found)
It is like the quest for the elusive truth.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My university lecturer. She always encouraged me to live out my dreams.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I see myself transitioning to becoming to a full time writer, and inflicting my writing on the world haha.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I believe the novel had the ending it was meant to have all along, I always knew how each character would end, I never had a doubt about it.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes, Tolkien was at fault! The beautiful novels just blew me away and since the language was slightly quaint, I became obsessed with linguistics, hence my desire to study Old Norse, which I eventually did at university. I can say he lit the creative bulb in my soul.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am polishing up my second novel which is about cults trying to enslave humanity. I based it on Nazi Germany and North African mystics, in this fantasy world, both countries have cults who are trying to wipe each other out, one through magical eugenics, creating a race of magicians with forbidden corrupting magic and the other, initiated shamans, sharing their souls with demons who empower them to act as their agents on earth. It is horror basically and very heavy, but it has real experiences in it.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I get carried away easily with descriptions, I have in my mind’s eye a finite image and I try to recreate it faithfully with words.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No I don’t, I just need to sit with family relatives and hear their stories, and the stories passed down generations, or immerse myself in reading, but sometimes to describe a region, I wander around the woods to get a taste of it.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The artist my publisher put forwards, I explained what I wanted and I ensured, it was done, I had a clear image of what I wanted it to look like.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Letting go after the conclusion came, I missed my characters, as they were alive to me, to fully write about them adequately, I had to imagine them daily, almost live with them mentally and imagine their mannerism and behavior to the detail, so when it ended, it felt almost like loss.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I realized that there is such depth to a person and not one reason behind someone’s motive, the complexity of a human being is hard to grasp and sometimes my subconscious seems to know about a character than I do, and it can be frustrating.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
I believe Tom Hardy would make an excellent lead, I have thought about it carefully, and watched enough of his films, and I believe he can carry the character perfectly.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do not stop writing, you always improve the more you write, it’s the practice that does it, read as much as you can too and never give up, no matter how many times you got rejected and how harsh the critics and agents are.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes, I hope they enjoy reading it and see the dark humour within it, I have a particularly dark sense of humour and it’s quite subtle, this book is for everyone who is melancholic about modern living and wished there was much more magic in this world.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I finished some business related books recently and now switched to Angel of Storms by Trudi Canavan, I was a fan of her works years ago and I always read her new releases.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes, it was some children’s book on dinosaurs, my mother got me interested in dinosaurs and history as young as 3, and then progressed to astronomy books and teaching me French.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a dark sense of humour, so I laugh at mischief mainly, and I rarely cry, but when I do, it’s out of severe frustration when I can’t jump around trying to knock sense into someone, so I just cry from the sheer frustration!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to talk to Tolkien and thank him for widening my horizon and make me realize there is a world of beautiful books out there.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“Here lies Regent”, Regent is the sobriquet of a horned dark elf in a High Fantasy novel I’ve been trying to finish, she is nameless and was given that title by her uncle. I based her on myself a lot, and I identify with her the most.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love astronomy and botany and the study of history, but then I love the stereotypical girly things such as makeup, clothes and creating interesting dishes… I go from the sublime to the banal and I enjoy that.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I used to love Penny Dreadful, Westworld, the Strain and Vikings…
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My taste in food is varied; I love goulash and pierogi, both polish dishes, then shellfish, nothing quite like oysters and lobster!
I used to be a goth, so my favourite colour is still black, then grey, then dark green, then brown, then yellow.
I listen to Death Metal and Gothic Doom, some Black Metal on occasion but then I am a mad fan of Placebo which is nothing like the rest.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
A forensic detective… I have a morbid fascination with death.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I intend on creating one soon!
Facebook Page : Tamara M Lakomy