1. Which books/authors inspired your work?
The Last Lumenian series had a lot of inspiration, ranging from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, to Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Princess Bride, and Guardians of the Galaxy just to name a few.
As to authors, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, Diana Gabaldon, Patricia Briggs, and Ilona Andrews are all great examples.
2. What’s one (3, 5) thing(s) that you learned while writing your book?
I’ve learned a lot about who I am as a person; learned to be more patient; learned to celebrate every milestone along the way; and lastly, I’ve learned that writing is a journey not a destination.
3. After this book, are you writing anything new? Where are you in the process?
I am currently working on book 3, and book 2 is planned to be released this December.
4. Describe your writing routine. Do you outline? Edit as you go?
I spend 3 or 4 months on outlining and notes before I jump into writing. The writing itself is about 30 days or so. I don’t edit as I go; I get everything out on the page then do the revision/editing as needed.
5. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I picked up a few new “covid” hobbies like making diamond painting notebooks and bookmarks, and building miniature dollhouses alongside reading and watching movies.
6. How do you combat/cure writer’s block?
I have not encountered writer’s block, mostly because I don’t believe in it. When a scene is not coming to me, I usually step back and do something else for a day or two. Almost always I end up with a solution or an even better scene after a day.
7. What advice would you give an aspiring writer who doesn’t know where to start?
Reading is very important, not just in the favored genre but outside of it; keeping a journal and doing writing prompts are great ways to develop your author voice. Always write down any ideas that pop in your head and see which one makes you want to read that book or get excited about developing that story. It is also a good idea to develop your craft during this time–read “how to” books, go to writers’ conferences and participate in Read & Critique groups.
8. What was the most challenging thing about writing your book?
The most challenging part was not relating to writing but to its time aspect. I had no idea how long it would take to write my book (it took 6 years). I had to learn to be patient and appreciate the journey of writing.
9. Are you part of any writer’s groups or guilds? Which one(s)?
I am a lifetime member of the San Diego Writers Ink; member of the RWA, IAN and IBPA
10. Do you have a social media presence? Where can people find you online?
Readers can find me on my website: www.thelastlumenian.com; on Instagram @sgblaiseofficial and on Twitter @SGBlaiseAuthor. There is also a Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/thelastlumenian
11. Talk about your main character. What are they like and what inspired their personality?
Lilla is sassy, intelligent, kind and royal. She was born as a princess but her royal title did not get to her head. She is funny and wants to find her true place in life, amidst overwhelming pressure from her father and an archgoddess. She struggles with claustrophobia but does not let it overtake her.
When I was writing Lilla’s character, I tried to imagine someone who could be my best friend–inspirational and loyal, someone who doesn’t take herself too seriously, and someone who is by no means perfect.
12. How does your main character change throughout the story?
Lilla starts out as a powerless princess who becomes a rebel then an inspiring hero by the end of the story.
13. If you weren’t an author, where do you think you’d be? What would you be doing?
I might have ended up as an amatuer stand-up comedian.
14. What is the most satisfying thing about being an author?
The most satisfying part of being an author is getting to live my passion and dream.
15. How do you think your book (F)/story (NF) can help people? What do you hope people will take away/learn from your book?
I hope that the readers will not only enjoy a few hours of much-needed escape from reality, but they come away with the message that you don’t have to be perfect to be a hero.
16. What made you choose the time/place in which your book was set?
My book is a fantasy, so I just made up the time and place that suited the story best–futuristic society with highly evolved technology, and with underdeveloped social and moral integrity. This background is not only relevant to today’s world but provided the most challenges for my heroine.
17. What is/are reviewers/family/friends/other authors saying about your book?
The Last Lumenian has earned Readers’ Favorite 5-star badge; it has 19 wins, placements and honors up to this date; Kirkus Review calls it a “A terrifically entertaining, complex and original fantasy.” It has nearly 4,000 5-star ratings on Goodreads and over 240 reviews on Amazon.
18. What type of person do you think would most enjoy your book?
Anyone who loves the mix of sci-fi and fantasy that has humor and a sprinkling of romance would enjoy reading my book.
19. How do you organize your book collection, if at all?
It’s instinctual and not a system per say.
20. If you could invite your favorite fictional hero/heroine over to your house for dinner, who would it be and what would you talk about?
I’d love to have coffee with Captain Janeway from Star Trek Voyager. I have always admired her confidence and integrity as she handled challenging situations without giving up on her principles.
21. What’s the best book, other than yours, that no one has ever heard of?
I love P.G. Wodehouse books that probably previous generations are more familiar with than the younger ones.
22. What’s a book you own that people would be most surprised to see on your shelf?
I have a book or two that discuss mathematical principles.
23. Which author, living or dead, would you most like to meet? What would you hope to learn from them?
The writer I would like to meet the most is Kurt Vonegut. I absolutely admire his writing style and humor.