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Welcome Lou Hoffmann - Wraith Queen's Veil

A big welcome today to Lou Hoffmann as part of her blog tour for Wraith Queen's Veil from Harmony Ink Press.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your writing?
Before I do, let me say thank you, Anne, for hosting my Wraith Queen’s Veil blog tour on Drops of Ink!

Well… let’s see. I guess the best way to approach telling you about myself is to revisit the things you’ll find in my bio, around the web. I love books, for starters, and have loved them all my life. If I had a really good memory, I could make a very long list of books I’ve read, but the list of books I’d like to read and haven’t would still be longer. Both lists would include nonfiction books—for instance about history, physics, astronomy, geology, archaeology, travel, philosophy, mysticism, metaphysics, and so on. Also, it would include classic fiction I’ve never yet read, but even more contemporary books. New fiction comes out every day that I’d love to read in just about every genre, with the possible exception of horror-erotica. More basic facts, I live in the Pacific Northwest corner of the U.S., and though I love the region, I still miss the sun, deserts, forests, palms, pines, rivers and beaches of my original home, Southern California. I love coffee. Chocolate is best if very dark. Wild roses are perfect flowers. Discounting laughter and tears, there is nothing more purely soul-born than music. 

Other than being a grandmother, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, writing is my biggest accomplishment. I write for everybody—across the spectrums of age and gender—but when writing as Lou Hoffmann, I do my best to make sure the books are accessible to the teens who are my primary readership. I break the writing “rules” a lot, but only rarely regret it. I only have two novels out written by Lou Hoffmann, the first in The Sun Child Chronicles, Key of Behliseth, and the second—my latest release—Wraith Queen’s Veil.

Can you tell us about your new release? What inspired you to write it?
As far as inspiration, it is really science that inspired the entire series, which will eventually be five books. Although the books fall well within the parameters of fantasy, there is a sci-fi component present from the beginning, which will become much more prominent in book three, Ciarrah’s Light. It was talk of multiple dimensions that got me started on the idea—specifically books by Fred Wolfe and Michiu Kaku. A book called Breaking the Time Barrier by Jenny Randles played a part, as well as a TV documentary about string theory. Really, the original series title in my mind was Parallel: Lucky’s Worlds. I think The Sun Child Chronicles is a much better title, don’t you?

The star of the books is a fifteen-year-old-boy named Lucky, and in Wraith Queen’s Veil he’s newly returned, via magic and an interdimensional/interworld portal, to the home world he doesn’t remember—Behlis Ethra, usually shortened to just Ethra. He’s accomplished a lot of nearly impossible stuff in order to get there, but he’s not out of trouble. In fact, it’s only getting deeper. He’s a teenager, and he reacts to what he perceives to be neglect by the adults he’s recently come to trust by rebelling—as many teens would, perhaps understandably. But for him, rebellion is a more dangerous proposition than it would be for most. He stumbles into an adventure, a quest in truth, though he has no idea what he’s searching for. He has helpers, mostly personages far from ordinary, but his enemies are no less powerful.

How did you come up with the title?
Wraith Queen’s Veil is a phenomenon of the world of Ethra, something like the Aurora Borealis, but born of the magic that is at the heart of this other world. It is important in the story, as is the Wraith Queen herself.

Are there any characters that you write, that are based on you, or people you know?
All characters any author creates come from inside themselves, on some level. On a more direct level, no, I’ve never written myself into a story or written an autobiographical tale. My characters are not based on actual people or photographs, but apparently are born out of the mish-mosh of people I’ve known or seen in my life. A few partial exceptions, characters that have something in common with a real person, are in my work, and interestingly Lucky is one of those. His looks and a few aspects of his character are loosely based on a boy I knew in grade school—and yes, that’s a long time ago!

Do you have a favourite character and/or book you've written? Who, what and why?
Well, looking specifically at The Sun Child Chronicles, I’d say my favorite is probably Han. Admittedly it would likely be Lucky if I myself were a young person, but as an older adult, Han is pretty attractive. What’s not to love? He’s ultra-badass, protective, gentle, loves animals and his nephew, is sexy as hell, lots of muscles and long chestnut hair and brown eyes, dark, smooth skin… Oh, excuse me. I was starting to get distracted. One of the things I love most about him is he’s neither perfect nor invulnerable, but he always comes through, even at great cost to himself. He listens, and he thinks before he speaks, and he’s caring and careful in his actions. He’s utterly loyal and fully committed to meeting his responsibilities. All that and he still has a sweet sense of fun.

If you could have any superpower or magical ability, what would it be and why? What would you do with it? And yes world domination is an acceptable answer.
If I could have any superpower it would be to restore balance, and I would apply it freaking everywhere the world around to everything. Ecology, habitat and species, health, economy, political power, human rights, law, might, work, play, wealth. Everything on a scale larger than family is out of balance, and I would fix it all.

If you had access to a time machine just once, is there anything you'd go back and change? Either on a personal level or an historical event?
There are many things, but all of them really would cause untold trouble if they were to change. The one thing I would change despite that if I could is the development and mass-marketing of chemical pesticides and herbicides, which have been the scourge of species and earth herself since their inception.

If you could go anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go, who would you take with you, if anyone, and why?
Every day, I would answer this differently. Today, I would go to New Zealand, bringing nobody, but then I’d take my friend Anne Barwell on an extended vacation to see everything in New Zealand she’s always wanted to see and hasn’t.  (Do Iget extra points for that?)

What are your writing and personal goals for 2016 and beyond?
As far as writing under the name Lou Hoffmann, I’m working on book three of The Sun Child Chronicles, Ciarrah’s Light, as I mentioned previously. I’ll be following that with book four, Triad of Kayne, and book five, Suth Chiell’s Conquest. However, I also have a few other series planned and some are underway. As the publishing window between each of the SCC books is pretty wide, due to the publisher’s schedule, I may work in something else.

What are you working on at present? Would you like to share a snippet?
Ciarrah’s Light is the next book in The Sun Child Chronicles. Here’s a bit of the prologue, showing that sci-fi flavor I mentioned. It’s a bit more than a snippet, I confess.
Pahlanus, Ancient Mind of Terrathia

Pahlanus, Ancient Mind of Terrathia, sat uncomfortably in a chair made for Earthborns in the Valley City boardroom of an Earth enterprise known as Allied Biotech, Incorporated. The five Earthborns present, though touted as their world’s leaders in what they called “bio-development,” seemed to Pahlanus rather dull-witted. That suited his purposes, but he wondered, if these were Earth’s best minds, how had they managed to uncover the secrets of DNA and gene-splitting?

In many ways, even the Earthborns had advanced beyond the Ethrans, who, to a refined Terrathian Mind, seemed farmers to a man, capable of no thinking deeper than that required for ploughing or woodcraft. Yet Pahlanus knew this to be deceptive. In the sciences, Ethra clearly remained a backwater. Yet it had been Ethrans who’d best learned to manipulate energy with their minds, to channel that energy work—which they called magic—into charms and talismans for even greater strength. This excellence could be accounted for by Ethra’s sheer abundance of the particular energy they employed, which had become the life-force of that entire world. But it had also been they who’d first found the double-sided, hollow, interdimensional barrier they called Naught. And, astonishingly, they’d been the first to understand the permeable nature of that boundary and exploit its weakest sections, using them as portals to other dimensional realities, other worlds.

Pahlanus shifted the pillows stuffed between his narrow, Terrathian body and the arms of the chair. They provided not-quite-enough support, and the longer he sat, the more his long spine tended to curve in ways it shouldn’t, and his tall head, with only his own stiff collar to help his undeveloped muscles, seemed very heavy. Yes, he was physically uncomfortable, and alarmingly aware of it. This was another sign of Terrathian decline, which is what had brought him to this meeting.

Life-splitting, or gene-splicing as used in Earth, had been discovered there only forty or so years earlier, but in Terrathia time had moved differently, and many generations had passed since the appropriated science had been used in the laboratories of great Terrathian Minds. Pahlanus himself had made the key connection, adding Ethran life-force magic as a wedge to accomplish true life-splitting—used to perfect the Mind’s form as well as to mine needed energy. After many years of progress, Pahlanus was a prime example of the end result. He was a Mind, his brain capacious, attached physically to a minimal body able to handle objects and move him from place to place. His emotional “echo,” to use a translation of the Terrathian term, had been bundled into an ethereal, semi-visible form loosely bound to him by a cord of energy. For the hundreds of years he’d lived in this state, he’d been able to ignore the presence of the echo entirely, allowing it to feed silently from the life-force he consumed in lieu of material food.

Until now.

Like other Minds, he found himself aware of both physical and emotional discomfort, for the separation from the echo had weakened. Terrathian life-force, even supplemented as it had been by the energies of Ethra and Earth, had become scarce, for in their exuberant pursuit of perfecting themselves, his kind had failed to realize the resource did not infinitely renew itself. As Terrathia died, they’d taken emergency measures and stock-piled life-force energy, enabling them to create a small, temporary, substitute world. It could not be sustained indefinitely, but it must be maintained until the Minds of Terrathia had regained sufficient strength and physicality to colonize elsewhere.

To do that, they would need a vast amount of pure life-force.

Pahlanus cleared his long, serpent-slender throat, preparing to speak aloud in the reedy remnant of his voice. He surveyed the five heavy-featured Earthborns present, and then locked eyes with the single Ethran presence—a woman functional though technically dead. When the Earthborns had ceased their prattle and looked toward him expectantly, he said.

“Gentleman, my Lady. We need your children.”
Are you a cat person or a dog person? Can you tell us about your pets?
I really love both cats and dogs, and I’ve had dogs in my life who were very important and very much loved, but in the last ten years or so, I’ve only had cats living with me. Our house includes three, right now. Boudreau is “my” cat, a big male, gray—nearly the color of a Russian blue—moderately fluffy, with a snaggletooth, a deep-throated purr, and a relatively tiny meow. His full sister, George, is technically my daughter’s cat, but she doesn’t really go along with that program. In looks she’s a compact version of Boudreau. She’s got a big voice and doesn’t hesitate to use it in a commanding fashion. She obviously considers herself a lady, and also the primary breadwinner of the family as she reminds us at least a few times each week that she can hunt (cat-toy) ratty-bacon, and when she does she requires profuse admiration and thanks. They have a younger (half) brother, Nibbles (pronounced nib-blees) who looks nothing at all like them; he’s a tortoise-shell tabby. He’s a lean-mean machine in looks, and he’s smart, but you’d never know it because his mentation is slow, the result of an anoxic event in kittenhood. He appears timid because of that, but it’s really because he can’t quickly absorb and process stimuli. He is obsessed with food, and he’s very sweet.

Are you obsessed with stationery? And if so, what and why?
Um…. No. (?)

Thank you again, Anne. It’s been a delight!

When Lucky arrives in Ethra, the world of his birth and destiny, he expects a joyful reunion, but the first thing he notices when he reaches the Sisterhold—his home—is something false behind his mother’s smile. In a matter of weeks, the Sisterhold becomes agitated with worries and war plans. People he trusts—like the wizard Thurlock—frequently can’t be found. His mother seems angry, especially with Lucky. Even Han Shieth, the warrior uncle he has come to rely on and love above all others, maintains a sullen silence toward him.

When Lucky’s resentment builds to the breaking point, his bad decisions put him and his friends, L’Aria and Zhevi, in unthinkable danger. Han arrives to help, but he can’t claim invulnerability to the hazards and evils that threaten at every turn. Events launch Lucky, alone, on a quest for he knows not what, but every step brings him closer to his identity and full strength. Self-knowledge, trust, and strength lead to smarter choices, but even his best efforts might not render his world truly safe, now or for the future.

Buy Links:
Harmony Ink:
Amazon (paperback):
Amazon (ebook)
Barnes and Noble (paperback):

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For a list of the other blogs in the tour click on the link below:

Latest Month

April 2017


WIPs aka the to do list

The Harp and the Sea
One Word
Comes a Horseman
A Mage to Forget
Double Exposure
Dragon's Price
A Sword to Rule
A Wind of Roses
Finding Home
A Year and a Day
Tempus Institute
Jazz Detective
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