Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Linda Bell Brighton and Sidonia the Sorceress

Awhile back, I was privileged to meet Linda Bell Brighton the writer of the Sidonia the Sorceress series. Linda is writing a series based on the major arcana and uses contingent causation. I thought it'd be interesting to ask her in for an interview so we could talk about why she picked this particular structure and her influences.

Linda, I’m so thrilled you’ve put out Sidonia. I’ve always been fascinated by the choices you made in creating your series. Can you tell me why you decided to use Sidonia, rather than a fictional character? 

I’m so tickled to be here too. The short answer: I didn’t decide. Muse did.

The longer answer: I was happily writing away on a current day mystery with a prosecutor named Sandra. Muse decided that Sandra had a previous life and sent me on a frantic web search about witches, then sorceresses. We came across a 19th century book by the same name as my series is now called, Sidonia The Sorceress. When I read it, Muse became furious at what she believes is misogyny! I had to take a second walk that morning to calm her down. She used the time to inform me I was doing a series on Sidonia to correct her reputation. Then, she proceeded to show me images and scenes. She ignored my wails, “ But I know nothing of that time and place. The images and Sidonia’s emotions kept coming until there was nothing more I wanted to do than research and write these books.

And why you decided on the major arcana as the structure of your continuing arc? 

It was the only thing that fit. Sidonia starts out as a naive daughter of a noble. She grows into her power and knowledge. To me, that’s the perfect definition of the Tarot Major Arcana.

Your book is so complex; it made me wonder exactly how much of your book was actually on the page and how much was implied. Your theme is “beliefs create reality”, and there are daemons, Greek logic, the backdrop of the Burning Times, religious struggles between the Protestants and Catholics, and aristocratic power struggles. If beliefs create reality, do you think perhaps Sidonia, the antagonist, Maria, and Ernest are all creating conflicting realities? And if they are, is that another way to show and layer your theme?

Oh yes! Reality is a favorite subject of SF and fantasy writers. I devoured those books! I read about the philosophies and now the sciences around reality.

All (including future) characters have at least one of the beliefs of the Renaissance time, more where possible. Not only are they creating their realities, they live in them.

In some ways, Sidonia reminds me of Meryn Peake’s classic Gormenghast series. What kind of influences, written and visual did you have writing? 

That shows through? I loved those books, absolutely loved them!

Muse has created the perfect vehicle for all my (her?) loves. Every golden brick road I've ever investigated is finding its way in the books.  When Ireland was having the Catholic Protestant problem, I tried to find out why. I didn’t believe it when I finally unearthed it and consulted several religious scholars. They confirmed the reason so many people died in the (future in my series) Thirty Years. The answer is in book one.

Linda Bell Brighton fell in love with myths, magic, and monsters at an early age. On a thunder-storming day in the Keys, her father—in his bass reading voice—brought The Hound of the Baskerville to too-vivid-life. From that day forward, Greek and Roman myths merged with Wonder Woman and Super girl. After studying medieval and Renaissance literature in college, she now combines her loves by writing an alternate history of the Witch Burning Times that she calls magpunk: real history with myths, magic, monsters—and daemons, too.

Wolgast Castle, Book 1 of the Sidonia The Sorceress Series by Linda Bell Brighton

What if witches really existed during the Burning Times?

Forced to attend the Regent's celebration at Wolgast Castle, 1560 Germany, Sidonia von Bork, fears her magical abilities will be discovered and she'll be burned alive as a witch. When she discovers she is actually a member of an ancient shape-shifting race and the prophesied Golden One, she must face her destiny: to save the multiverse from the daemons determined to destroy all humans, and stay alive in the process.

A contest!!

Linda is giving away prizes, including an e-copy of her book at each blog stop on her tour AND three Grand Prize Giveaways of one Travel Mug, one T-Shirt and one Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with your choice of fan art, chosen from here: http://www.zazzle.com/sidonia_the_sorceres, shipped to anywhere in the world!

1)      To win a book: Leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win a book. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends seven days after the post goes live.

2)      To win the Travel Mug or the T-Shirt or the Custom Jumbo Tote Bag with Linda’s fan art of your choice, click the link to go to Linda’s website here http://www.lindabellbrighton.com/ and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. The three lucky winners will be selected by October 7, 2013. 

Visit Linda!
Linda Bell Brighton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindaBellWriter
Linda Bell Brighton’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lindabell.brighton
Wolgast Castle, Book One of the Sidonia The Sorceress Series Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WolgastCastle

1 comment:

Lisa said...

This sounds like the type of book I love reading! Tarot, fantasy, medieval setting all rolled into one. I'm not familiar with Sidonia so I'm off to do a Google search. :-)