08 May 2014

Lana Axe

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Source of the River 500

 “Source of the River” by Lana Axe is a beautiful fantasy tale that truly touched my heart. Rarely do you come across such a labour of love with an imaginative and magical world creation like this.

In a trade with the spirit if the river, a woman has just given her life so that her stillborn son can life. Named River, the son has a deep connection to the river and to the element of water.
The connection of elves, dwarfs and other mythical and fantasy creatured to the elements is a lovely concept. In a market saturated with superpowers and futuristic technology it is a real treat to read a book that brings the superhuman aspect in sync with nature and her natural powers, such as wind, water and fire.

An illness amongst the dwarfs in the mountains requires ‘elementally gifted’ help from River and a dwarf girl. Evil and darkness loom.
Complicating the matters is a sorcerer who wants to bind elemental powers to his soul.

The book is just lovely with its endearing and deep and meaningful characters. I enjoyed the inspired creatures and the elemental theme. I also loved the dominance of goodness in an exciting story full of suspense. A beautiful and magical read that stands out amongst its peers in the genre.

Here is my interview with Lana. Please tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.  lana axe2

I am a lover of nature and animals, and I have a mini zoo of my own. I spend a lot of time caring for my dog, three cats, four turtles, three birds, and bearded dragon. I also spend a lot of time out of doors. As a writer, I try to capture some of nature’s beauty in all of my books.

Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?

It seems like I was always good at English. I was one of those kids who enjoyed reading and writing book reports every week for school, and I read even when it wasn’t required. There are so many fascinating stories out there, and I never could get enough! I still can’t. I try to read a book at least every week when time permits. I started writing tidbits of my fantasy series about nine years ago, and eventually I had enough to put together a few novels.

Tell us about your series. When did you have the first idea for it? And how did you decide on the characters, plots and title?

I’m not sure I can remember the exact moment when the story came to me. I’ve been reading fantasy for many years, and eventually I started having ideas about my own fantasy world. A few characters started to take shape, and I couldn’t get them out of my mind. That was followed by imagining various scenes that my characters would act out. After a while, I had enough to begin crafting a story. Many of the characters are inspired by people who are close to me or by historical figures.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

The more I read Tolkien, the more I wanted to write. The ideas for my story were already brewing in my mind, but it wasn’t until shortly after re-reading Lord of the Rings (which I’ve done many times) that I actually sat down and started writing my first novel. Tolkien’s words are so inspiring that I finally found the courage to try it myself. Thankfully, I have a very supportive husband. He has been there to help keep me going through every frustration and doubt.

What do your family or friends say about your books. Do they mind you taking so much time to write?

Surprisingly, my family and friends have enjoyed my writing. I didn’t expect much interest since most of them aren’t really into reading fantasy. Luckily, I’ve managed to convert some of them. One friend recently told me she never thought she’d enjoy fantasy books, but now she can’t get enough of them.

When did you decide to write fantasy? Would you consider writing outside of the genre?

I sometimes feel like I live in a dream world as it is. There is so much beauty in the world that goes unnoticed, and it’s far too easy to get trapped in the mundane realities of life. Fantasy is an escape. I can create anything I want: new creatures, noble heroes, devilish villains, or anything else! It’s fun, and it takes me away from reality. I truly enjoy sharing those moments of escape with my readers. If I can take someone on a fantasy journey and put a smile on his or her face, then I’ve done my job.

I haven’t thought much about writing in other genres, but I don’t want to limit myself. I could see myself writing sci-fi or historical fiction at some point.

The theme of the elements to me has a touch of new age. Is that so, if yes, is it deliberate or what did you have in mind when writing it?

There is a hint of new age thinking in my writing. Spirituality based on a connection to the earth itself is the basis for the elemental magic in my books. In our world, we can’t really cast magic spells. The closest thing we can get to that in reality is creating that zen-like meditative state. Also, being close to nature and becoming “one with the universe” so to speak, is akin to the magic system in my books. Certainly the idea of broadening your mind and stepping outside of yourself is present.

What are you most proud of in your books?

I am most proud of completing my first novel. After so many years of talking about it, seeing it in print is an amazing feeling. I still can’t believe I’ve now published three novels.

Would you say there is a message in your books beyond the story? Do you find it is well received and picked up by the readers and reviewers?

I try to include a few underlying themes in each work, and I notice that some readers do pick up on them. I try to present situations to show readers that even when there is bad in the world, there is still good out there. Also, I have illustrated through my characters that even though a person should act one way, they often act in a completely different manner. Human nature can be unpredictable at times. The biggest running theme in the first three novels is deforestation. I hope that my work will inspire a love of the forest and all things natural in my readers. Maybe they will take a stand and do something to help the situation.

Did you have it all planned out before you write your stories or do the characters and story surprise you?

I like to think things through and write an outline that is as detailed as possible before getting started. That helps me to have a clear vision in mind, and it keeps me focused while I write. That outline is changeable, though. It is not chiselled in stone. If I feel like a character should be presented with a new situation, or if he should act in a manner different from what I originally thought, I make changes to the outline to reflect it. That way, I can change later portions of the outline to fit the earlier change, and I can still see if the story flows properly before I finish the first draft. This method makes editing much easier.

Who would you picture playing them in a movie version?

Some actors I have in mind include Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Bell, Warwick Davis, and Sean Bean, just to name a few. I’d be open to newcomers as long as they had the right look and mannerisms. That is a fantasy in itself, though. I’d be delighted just to have some cosplayers or a group of fans create a youtube video depicting a scene from one of my books.

Did you have any say in your cover art? What do you think of it? Tell us about the artist.

My cover artist is Michael Gauss. I found samples of his work on deviantart, and I knew he was a perfect match for my work. He creates some amazing characters! I have provided him with basic descriptions of the characters that are seen on my book covers, and I give him a general idea for the setting. After that, I let his imagination take over. It is amazing to see my characters depicted in art. Mr. Gauss has done a fantastic job of crafting them for me.

What is your writing environment like? Do you need silence or music to write?

When weather permits, I prefer to write either with the windows open or sitting outside. I do have a dedicated writing desk near the atrium-style windows in my living room. With a full view of the forest behind my home, and a symphony of birdsong, I am at my best for writing.

What is your life like outside of writing?

I spend a lot of time outdoors. I love hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and just spending time outdoors.

What (not who) would you like to take to a lonely island?

A lifetime supply of donuts.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

Mark Twain. He is such a fascinating person, and I think the two of us could converse for days on end.

Hot or cold? Hot

Salty or sweet? Sweet

How do you handle criticism of your work?

I consider it an opportunity to learn and grow as an author. There will always be critics. My job is to put out the best book I can possibly write.

What are you working on now?  

I am currently working on two more novels in my Tales from Nol’Deron series.

Source of the River on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K0LBU1M

Website: http://lana-axe.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lana-Axe/e/B00CWK1JKQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1398695067&sr=8-1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LanaAxe

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LanaAxe

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7102583.Lana_Axe

 

 

written by
Christoph Fischer was born in Germany in 1970 as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ is his first published work. He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.
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