Friday, April 11, 2014

Author Interview: Lilo Abernathy: Writing Is One Of The Ways To Lift Up My Voice Against Social Injustice

She lives in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina with her young adult daughter, their Australian Shepherd Xanthos and her daughter's cat Angel. She is her daughter's cat because Angel does not recognize anyone else as being worthy of her time. By day, she is a mergers and acquisitions consultant and by night, she is a voracious reader and now, newly published author. She can read most books in the space of an evening and have read thousands of books over her lifetime. She is a liberal and a feminist and has a strong need to correct social injustices. She believes when these social injustices happen, everyone must lift up their voice to object, as silence is complacency. She’d like to use her books as one of the ways she lifts up her voice.

A very warm welcome to Lilo!

Your real name and pen name?

My pen name is Lilo Abernathy. My real name is a mystery.

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood

We had two old apple trees in the yards. One was strong and whole and it produced a good amount of apples, but they were filled with worms. The other tree had been shot by lightening, was hollow inside, and the two great limbs were held together by a thick metal cord. Without that cord, the tree would have split down the middle and fallen over. That tree produced the best apples. Why? Because all the nutrients it sucked out of the ground went right into the apples, due to it being hollow. Well, I would bring a book, climb into that wounded apple tree, and read at the juncture of three larger branches. I think I even took a nap in that tree once. And of course, ever curious, I would peer into the hollow part of the tree, which was filled with leaves and debris, and wonder what made its home in there.

What hurts you most in this world?

Poverty and hunger
Abuse of animals
Crimes against women
Discrimination for any reason
Destruction of the earth

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?

My daughter was diagnosed with cancer at age 15. It was a very serious kind. My life stopped. Then during the course of treatment due to the chemotherapy, she developed a blood clot in the brain that restricted the blood flow out of her head. I don't know how many times I thought I would lose her. But after three years of treatment, she finally made it through. Her prognosis is good. How did I overcome it? I didn't. There is no overcoming of that. You just deal the hand you are dealt and fight like hell.

You are working on a special mission with specific goals. Please elaborate to let us know about the same.

I have two missions actually. The first mission is to help educate the world through fiction. We have a great many injustices that occur in this world, prejudice, hate, hunger, abuse of people, abuse of animals, corporate green, the raping of our land, etc. With each book that I write, I will explore one of these injustices and hope to help open up minds. I strongly believe this can be done through enjoyable fiction by infusing the books with one of the social injustices and making it one of the main challenges the character has to overcome.

In my book, "The Light Who Shines" the main injustice is prejudice. In this world, there is no racial prejudice, but there is prejudice and hate between the different breeds of humans (Norms, Gifted People, and Vampires). When we take prejudice out of its familiar context of race, we can perhaps see it more clearly.

My second mission is to use my book as a platform for helping secular charities. I am working on connecting with charities, or charity groups, or fundraising groups that have a strong internet network. I'd like to collaborate with them to promote my book to their network and in return provide them with 30% of the royalties earned on the book during that promotion period. So if you know of such a group, please visit my website to learn more about this.

What is your favorite genre and why?

I love Urban Fantasy because so often the main character is a strong female with an intelligent mind and resourceful nature. I really believe that women must first empower themselves by imagining themselves capable, then believing it. Stepping into the shoes of a strong female character, even if it is a fantasy book, helps that happen.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?

Writing has always been on my list of things to do eventually. I had books in me. I know that some of the readers who are reading this blog also have books in them. You should let them out! It is quite a journey. I started writing in March of 2013. I had my first book in draft my May.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?

The Light Who Shines
This book is genre crossing, but I believe it most strongly belongs in urban fantasy and secondarily in romance and mystery.

The story is placed in our world, in contemporary times, but with an alternate history where three different breeds of humans exist: regular humans as you and I know them, magically Gifted humans, and Vampires (Dark and Light). The culture is strife with tension as these three breeds deal with a bloody history and lingering hate.

The story starts out at the scene of the crime where a teenage boy is found horrifically tortured and murdered with ancient magical artifact discovered nearby. The heroine is paranormal inspector, Bluebell Kildare (Blue) who was born with the gift of being a sensitive. As the story moves forward, Blue learns there is more to her power then she originally thought. The plot follows the investigation of that crime and unfolds from the alternating first person perspectives of the Blue and the hero (Blue’s boss, Jack Tanner, a Daylight Vampire). During the course of solving the mystery, Blue and Jack begin to develop a romantic relationship. Jack wants her, but for some reason he is holding back. Along the course of the story Blue meets a wolf (Varg) and he becomes her loyal companion and guardian. It doesn't take long for her to begin to wonder if Varg has some special powers of his own. 

There are a few explicit sex scenes and some detailed descriptions of violence, but the story is not at all a horror or a psychological thriller. The story is infused with some sexual tension and a good dollop of romance. I consider it equivalent to an R-rated movie.

There are some deeper aspects to this story as the characters begin to explore the nature of good and evil and are forced to deal with the prejudices that permeate their society.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?

First, I write the plot of the story.
Then I make sure that the characters (and relationships) develop over time.
I also check that the characters stay true to their nature.
Then it is all review, review, review.

Your dream destination on Earth?

I'm living in it. I have only to look out my window to see the mountains!

Your favorite color and why?

Purple. It is majestic, romantic, and serene. Plus, it looks great against my skin tone!

Your favorite food?

I love foods of every ethnic variety. My favorite food is the food I have not yet tasted. That is the item I most want to order at a restaurant.

Web Links
Amazon Author Page:
Barnes and Noble Author Page:
Twitter: Lilo_Abernathy

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