They Can See Past Illusions

Sherry Leclerc Author Interview

A Realm of Seers and Shifters follows a powerful seer and rogue wolf-shifter who are tasked with uniting the paranormal kingdom to prevent it’s destruction. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

Warning: this answer may contain some spoilers.

The inspiration for the setup of A Realm of Seers and Shifters came from a variety of sources, but from the character standpoint, it started with how I came up with the idea for the protagonist. I remember watching some documentary about animals who can control when they give birth, what gender they give birth to, and so on, depending on the conditions around them. Later I learned about a type of fish that can actually switch genders if there wasn’t enough of the opposite gender around to procreate.

In reality, these changes are triggered by environmental and biological factors–it’s kind of like when Jeff Golblum’s character in Jurrasic Park, Dr. Malcolm, says “life will find a way.” But then I started thinking, what if there was a group of people who could consciously “see” into their bodies and trigger changes? Of course, what they can do isn’t the same as what those animals and fish can do. There have to be rules and limits to any story world, system, or race, after all.

The seers can stimulate healing, suppress or stimulate elements already present in their bodies to change skin tone, hair color, and so on, but they cannot change form. But, since I was going with characters that can “see” inside themselves, I thought, what if we took the traditional seer narrative and made it so that it’s a race of people, not just some otherwise randomly gifted people. They get dream-visions of the present, past, and future, but don’t always know which it is; they can “see” (really, it’s more that they sense/feel) inside their own bodies; they can “see” peoples’ intentions; and they can see past illusions.

As for the shifters, who are called animal-folk in my story, they are a magical race who are spiritually connected to the land and to the animals they can shift into. My inspiration for this came when I was teaching my students (in my “day job” as a classroom teacher) about the indigenous peoples who originally inhabited the land we live on.

The protagonist herself is special because she doesn’t just belong to just one group. It makes her feel like she doesn’t quite fit in, but it also gives her a unique position to approach potential allies from, since she is already open to looking at things from more than one perspective. She is also a reluctant hero who has been prophesized to be the realm’s best hope, but she fears the parts of herself that she needs the most to protect the world.

Another inspiration, though, are some of the social issues that we see in our own world. At the beginning of the series, all the different magical races and the humans keep almost entirely to themselves with very little intermingling. Then there comes a threat to the whole realm in the form of a very powerful dark sorcerer and the demonkin army he’s been building for years behind the scenes. The seers are the only group that understands what’s been going on and who is behind the strange things that have been happening, so it’s up to them to try to mobilize all the people to stand together before their world ends up bowing at the feet of this evil villain. So, the question is, will the protagonist, who is a seer (among other things), and her 2 allies be able to convince the divided peoples to come together to stand against the evil forces who are trying to conquer the realm, or will their differences keep them divided and leave them vulnerable?

The question for me, and where the story draws a parallel to the real world, is what would it take for people (in the real world, the human race, both groups and individuals) to stop focusing on our differences and seeing them as reasons to judge people and treat them as “other”? What would it take for people to be able to look at others and see and appreciate each group and each individual for who they are and what they contribute to the whole?

How long did it take you to imagine, draft, and write the world your characters live in?

I don’t remember exactly how long I was actually thinking about it. The general idea came to me probably a decade and a half before I started to write it. As you can probably tell from my previous answer, a lot of things got added and built into the world along the way. I started to draft it around six years ago. I’ve been planning, drafting, writing, rewriting, and tweaking it for around six years now.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There are a number of themes that were important for me to explore in the book. One of these is knowing and accepting oneself–the good and the bad. There are some things we can change, or work on and improve over time. There are other things we cannot. And sometimes the things we see as our own weaknesses can turn out to be our strengths; we just need to know and understand ourselves enough to learn how to use them to our advantage.

Another theme is similar to the first, and that’s accepting others for who they are–including those from other cultures or those who have a different way of life from our own. Taking that even further is the idea that the things we consider differences can make us stronger when we come together, with each of the differences contributing to and strengthening the whole.

Can you tell us more about where the story and characters go after book one?

I have four books planned in the series. They run almost parallel, with each book following one of the four seer guardians as they protect the keystones and the humans in the gate towns. They will also gather allies to stop the Dark Sorcerer before he can open the Great Gate (which is like a portal) and bring demons across to bolster his army. More will be uncovered about this mysterious and secretive villain and his motivations as we progress through the books. Also, though each book will have a similar set-up, each protagonist will encounter new challenges, groups, characters, dangers, etc. They each have their own unique personal stories and experiences that will affect the action in their books and the development of the series as a whole.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

An elusive Seer. A rogue wolf-shifter. If they can’t unite a divided kingdom, their world will be lost forever.
After her father’s tragic demise, Maelona keeps her powers close and pushes everyone else away. So when visions of a dark sorcerer plague her remote Seer community, she’s horrified to learn the realm’s defenses are in danger. Tasked with an impossible mission to unite all paranormal beings in the fight against evil, she fears long-held divisions could spell their demise.
As she ventures through a sacred forest, Maelona fights her reclusive instincts to recruit a sensitive wolf-shifter with ties to her own dark past. But after encountering the bloody aftermath of demonic raids, she feels the dreaded prophecy at hand. And the time to forge alliances may have already slipped through her fingers…
Will Maelona bring the realm together before a sinister foe divides and conquers?
A Realm of Seers and Shifters is the first book in the action-packed Trial of Kingdoms epic fantasy series. If you like mythical shifters, courageous heroes, and dark prophecies, then you’ll love Sherry Leclerc’s spellbinding adventure.
Buy A Realm of Seers and Shifters to join the magical alliance today!

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Posted on April 14, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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