by Louisa Klein
Publisher: Lost in Fiction
Publication Date: January 30th 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
When paranormal expert Robyn Wise is offered an outrageous sum of money to cure a boy who is turning into a dead tree, she’s very sceptical. A politician ready to pay that much to make his son stop growing branches instead of hair? Come on! She’s more likely to be abducted by aliens. This is a trap. Or much worse. And, of course, it’s much worse.
The child is turning into a dark portal, created by a powerful entity determined to absorb Fairyland’s power. This means that not only queen Titania and her court are in danger, but the very balance of the magic fluxes.
Robyn’d rather stick a pencil in her own eye but, to learn how to destroy the portal, she has to sneak into the Wizardry Council, a place full of wizards who are hiding something—though it’s certainly not their dislike of her.
There, she discovers a terrible secret that could help to overthrow Fairyland’s enemies for good, but puts her in the midst of an ancient and deadly war, and not as a bystander, but as the main target.
Q&A with the Author
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?
My background? Are you sure? OK, brace yourself. I’m a true European mongrel. I come from a multilingual, multireligious family, my dad being German and jewish, while mum is a French and Italian catholic. We also have Lutherans and Greek Orthodox in the family and my French great aunt married a Vietnamese Buddhist who taught me how to use chopsticks when I was five. My relatives are scattered all over Europe and I lived and studied in Germany, Italy and the UK (I currently live in London). I speak fluently British English, German, Italian and French.
Coming from such a diverse family and being exposed to so many different cultures and religions has deeply influenced my writing. My books are crowded with hybrids human/fairy or human/other supernatural creature as well as all sort of gods goddesses and other paranormal beings working together to reach a common goal and learning from each other. This is totally something that I have learned thanks to my international background.
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?
I started telling stories to my cousins (I’m an only child) long before I could read or write. My stories were somehow successful, since even my older cousins used to like them and therefore allowed me to play with them! Telling stories has always been the only way I had to connect to people, being a hopeless PIPAN (pathologically introverted, pathetically awkward nerd).
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
Well, that’s a difficult question since, thanks to my crazy background, I got exposed to authors from all over Europe and beyond. I have many favourite authors, but the 2 who really influenced me are J.K Rowling and Josh Whedon. As all millennials, I grew up with Harry Potter. I read it and re-read it again and again, until I knew the seven books by heart. And when you remember every single word of a book, it’s not exciting anymore. But I needed British wizards and witches, I CRAVED them I COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT THEM AND FUNCTION. That’s the first reason why I started writing my urban fantasy series: I missed the Harry Potter atmosphere and I wanted to recreate something similar, although obviously not nearly as good, to entertain myself and other fans.
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?
Sorry, but my life is very chaotic. I don’t have a writing routine, I don’t have any kind of routine. No idea how it feels like. Totally clueless about routine, no, really …
5) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
It was 2008 and I dreamt about a little boy turning into a tree. But it wasn’t any tree, it was something dark and magical. I started asking myself who the boy was and what the tree really represented. And who would save the poor kid eventually? A good story always starts with good questions. At the time, I had already done a lot of world building work, but had no idea what story to tell set in said world.
6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
Contrary to what’s fashionable nowadays, my books feature a 25 year old heroine who’s an outcast and a misfit. She has inborn abilities no one can explain and always had to live with them and the problems that they caused her (life and death problems). She’s a freak, a supernatural freak, but still a freak. She’s never fit anywhere. Harry Potter is famous and honoured in the wizard world, while there isn’t a world, magical or not, where Robyn is popular and welcome. She’s very much like Spider Man, in a way, who was actually never conventionally popular (I’m a HUGE fan of Spider Man, by the way). Like Peter Parker, Robyn never loses her sense of humour and has, on the other hand, a few very close friends who know her well and love her for what she is, in spite of her weird powers.
She’s brave and kick-ass, but also filled with doubts and insecurities, contrary to most heroes who are normally male, handsome, popular and super self-confident. She’s scared but overcomes her fears. She has doubts because she feels the pressure and the responsibility she has towards her friends and the whole world and she wants to be sure she’s making the right decisions. I also wanted a heroine who isn’t all about ‘getting married and having baaaabies’, who has issues with feelings and emotions because of her background. Who is, basically, a nerd. I believe that women being all about feelings is a stereotype, knowing plenty of girls who are awkward, shy, scared of emotions. I wanted to reach out to those girls and tell them that they’re not alone and that they’re fabulous the way they are. They’re heroines the way they are.
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
My favourite is the one character who has absolutely nothing in common with me. You see, I’m stuck with myself 24/7 since I was born, it’s damn boring! I’m not really eager to spend any more time with characters based on myself … That’s why my favourite character is Sir William. William is the aristocratic ghost of an 18th century British duke. He’s been haunting Robyn’s attic since forever, they met when she was five and he immediately took her under his wing.
Will has an impeccable taste, a very aristocratic sense of humour and a real male fashionista (contrary to me, to my mum’s disgrace). He’s also incredibly brave and loyal. He’s probably die for Robyn if he wasn’t, well, already dead. We really don’t have much in common but we’d get along splendidly, I’m sure of it! In fact, I’m pretty envious of Robyn for having grown-up with such an amazing friend by her side!
8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
Any interaction between Robyn and James, who is her love interest and best friend. Although she’s a 25 years old supernatural freak and he’s a wizard hundreds of years old, they’re just the best of friends. They’ve been through a lot but have kept their humour nevertheless.
9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
That normality is greatly overrated.
10) What are your hopes for this novel?
I just hope that people enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!
11) What do you have in store next for your readers?
Ooh, lots and lots of stuff! First, Supernatural Freak is the first of a 4 book series (Supernatural Fog is already out). I hope to release book 3 by the end of the year, in the meantime, I have plenty of other stuff boiling on the stove: I will soon release 5 Supernatural Freak novellas which will be prequels to the main series and then there’s Secret Project Pink, a contemporary rom-com and coming of age series so … Stay tuned! 😉
About the Author
Louisa Klein lives in the UK but was born in Germany and brought up in Southern Europe by a German dad and an Italian and French mum, which made her a little confused at first. She has a degree in Medieval Studies and a postgraduate one in Marketing. She’s been working in publishing on and off since she was 17 and currently is a freelancer and an Urban Fantasy writer. At night she puts on a mask and fights British crime. She gets very little sleep.