Interview: with Lana Lea

Lana Lea utilises years of research in mythology, the supernatural, paranormal, spirituality, religion and history to craft stories of horror, mystery, supernatural, crime, fantasy and steampunk/gaslamp fantasy. She writes poetry, songs, radio skits, plays and short stories while constructing her novels. Lana freelances as an editor and proof-reader, hosts creative writing and poetry workshops, and runs Generation XYZ Writing Group.

Hi Lana, please tell us a bit about yourself. What got you into writing fiction?

I simply loved learning when I was a child, and I couldn’t wait to start school. I started writing fiction as soon as I learned how to write. I read voraciously – Enid Blyton, CS Lewis and LM Montgomery when I was little, and then I grew into Tolkien, Agatha Christie and Edgar Allan Poe by my teens. I couldn’t help being inspired by such great authors, and I wanted to emulate them.

Given the wide amount of fan fiction being published in countless places online, what are your thoughts on fan fiction in general?

I have nothing against it – people like what they like, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t write fan fiction myself (although one of my earliest efforts at age 7 was a reworking of an Enid Blyton story!)

Are there any horror/fantasy/sci-fi tropes or sub genres which you feel are played out? And vice versa, what tropes would you like to see more of?

Oh, I don’t think so – it’s only limited by imagination, really. What would I like to see more of? Just any story that’s well-developed and has a unique voice. And good editing/proof-reading is an absolute must.

There are millions of people around the world with great story ideas, but who never even start to write them down. What drives you to sit down and aim for finished, published stories?

This has always been my passion, my driving force, my life-blood. Like breathing. I can’t exist without writing. Period.

What books are beside your bed right now?

Oh my goodness – a whole big pile of books… I’m currently reading The Girl with the Swansdown Seat by Cyril Pearl, about morality in the mid-Victorian era. Next up is A Hunger Like No Other, by Kresley Cole, The Falcon at the Portal by Elizabeth Peters, The Burglar Caught By A Skeleton and Other Tales from the Victorian Press by Jeremy Clay, The Science of Edgar Allan Poe – edited by Harold Beaver, and then a couple of local productions from Specul8 Press, the small press in my town that has published a lot of my short stories – Liam by Taine Andrews, and Tattle Tale and Other Stories by TC Phillips, who runs Specul8 Press. And there are a couple more, but I guess this is enough to keep me going for a couple of months…

Do you have any particular writing rituals you are comfortable sharing?

Not really, though I do believe that having a regular routine is important, just sitting down and getting some work done every day. And coffee. Lots of coffee.

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