Crazy, Insane, And Out Of The Ordinary

Hermione Lee Author Interview

Marvels of the Underworld follows four teenage girls who possess magical powers and set off to uncover a threat to their world. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Marvels of the Underworld is the sequel to In the Name of the Otherworld, my debut novel. I came up with the idea of writing a sequel to my first book 3 years ago, in December, 2019. I was 15 then, and I was very busy preparing for the national high school entrance exam. Driven nuts by the never-ending tests, I wanted to do something crazy, insane, and out of the ordinary. Writing a unique story sounded like the perfect escape. I decided to make In the Name of the Otherworld a trilogy, and immediately started planning the outlines of books 2 and 3. I wanted to venture into genres I’d never tried before, which is why you’ll see a blend of fantasy, sci-fi, romance, horror, mystery, action, and adventure in Marvels of the Underworld. It was my way of exiting my comfort zone and seeking a brand-new adventure in a bland, mundane life of tests, routines, and conformity.

I must add that my wise parents removed me from school a year later, which turned out to be the best twist in my life. I started working on the prose of Marvels of the Underworld on October 9th, 2020, and finished the first draft after four months.

What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

There wasn’t really an approach. I imagine my characters as sentient beings swimming in my head. They talk to me and ask me to write what they say. I often think of them as my little munchkins, baby ducks, and actors and actresses all at the same time. Each of them is a part of my character, and I think of them as the people who understand me the most in the world. To me, they’re real. (Or to them, I’m fictional. Who knows?)

Were you able to achieve everything you wanted with the characters in the novel?

Yes, definitely. I picture myself as a director of a film (book) and my characters as my actors and actresses. My words are the camera that brings out each scene, setting, and chapter.

Each character grows in Marvels of the Underworld. We see Alexandria, Eric, Eileen, Helen, and Zack (to name a few) demonstrate courage, wisdom, and kindness in their own ways, acknowledging not only the similarities they share but also their uniqueness and distinctiveness in personality. I also used the plot as a fable to reflect the corruption that is common in many governments in history, and how important it is to not follow the crowd and blindly conform to the majority.

Loads of prejudiced people believe fantasy fiction is of no value, for they are all conjured from the authors’ imagination, yet I disagree. There is fact in fiction, and there is fiction in fact. The traits my characters display may mirror those of people in real life. Queen Marianne, for instance, is an example of a corrupt leader who chooses to believe in what she wants, resulting in a catastrophe that befalls the Otherworld. In short, stories, especially allegorical ones like mine, do parallel reality.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am not working on “the” next book. Marvels of the Underworld is succeeded by War of the Chaotic Worlds I and II, which will be released by World Castle Publishing this summer, I hope. I completed them last August, finished a standalone fantasy comedy about a protagonist based on my 8th grade English teacher (Once Upon an Enchantress), a prequel for the Otherworld trilogy (Helen’s Tale), a YA fantasy romance novel (The First Buds of Spring), a companion novel for the Otherworld trilogy (Eric’s Tale), and recently finished another prequel for the Otherworld trilogy (Zack’s Tale). I might start a middle grade fantasy novel about a brother-and-sister duo who must overcome their sibling rivalry, but am also considering to write more companion novels for the Otherworld trilogy. My Otherworldian characters love me! They want to consume my attention and make me focus on them only, no matter how much I torture them.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Alexandria Richardson, princess of the Otherworld, has led a much happier life ever since first meeting her parents; that is until her Otherworldian cousin sends for her and her three friends. The Otherworld is in imminent danger, and yet almost everyone is blind to the possibility of their likely demise. Only when a horrible tragedy strikes are they all forced to come to terms with the inevitable truth.
A determined Alexandria decides to put an end to all this. Together, she and her friends embark on an adventure to the Underworld and navigate it to steel themselves against the future battles. Impeded by the peculiar terrains and unprecedented challenges, they discover, however, that the real monsters dwell not in the sinister Underworld but rather in the hearts of their fellow Otherworldians. Hiding among them is an unnamed traitor. Will they discover the identity of the fraternizer before another misfortune befalls upon their beloved realm? Or will the dark side prevail again?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 30, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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