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Consumed My Every Waking Thought

Hermione Lee
Hermione Lee Author Interview

In the Name of the Otherworld follows a young orphaned girl into a magical land where she learns her true identity and must come to terms with who and what she is. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?

I’d say that Alexandria’s struggles and inner demons parallels that of my own. Before I became an author, I had a strong lack of confidence. I didn’t like being me at all, no matter how much I achieved. For some reason there was this little part of me that kept discrediting and doubting myself. But then all changed since the idea of writing In the Name of the Otherworld entered my mind. Finally, I had a goal to strive for, a dream worth fighting; something that consumed my every waking thought and absorbed my energy like a huge magnet. The notion of penning a novel kept me excited, and I was so focused on my book that I didn’t even have the time to feel insecure or question my abilities. But along the way, few people were willing to support a young author like me. My enthusiasm won me many perfunctory compliments, yet almost nobody was truly interested in what I was doing. In the Name of the Otherworld would never have been born had my will been just an ounce weaker. I felt that, like Alexandria, I was proving my worth to not only myself but also the others during my journey.

Alexandria was a character I enjoyed following. What were some obstacles in the story that you felt were important in defining her character?

Her Cover of Courage

First of all, she was mistreated as a child. This made her independent and fierce yet terrified inside. She performed magic without herself being aware, hurt people, and inflicted damage without meaning to. She was scared of herself. But as a victim of bullying, she donned a mask of bravado to conceal the many insecurities that dwelled underneath.

Her Personality

Alexandria didn’t have many people to love. Her parents were believed to be long dead (or at least at the beginning of the story). She had very few friends, while most of her peers either bullied or shunned her. Because of this, she is fierce, loyal, and will do everything to protect the few ones she loves.

Her Ambition

She endured years of bullying in the orphanage and school. Plus, she was often defined as a “freak” and a “witch”, labeled different in a negative sense. This made her rather ambitious. As an underdog, Alexandria was eager to prove the people who despised her wrong. She did her best in every battle, fighting not only for the people she loved but also to prove herself worthy.

This seemed like a fun book to write. What scene did you have the most fun writing?

This is no easy question to answer. As the author of this book, every scene has a significant meaning to me. To a writer, a scene is never just a scene. Memories, those of where I wrote it and how I got the inspiration of creating it, are linked with the scene itself. In other words, every scene is memorable in its own way. I can name a few that stand out in particular, though— the scene which the protagonists had to cross the bridge (in chapter five), Clarissa’s first time flying on a cloud, the part where they all had to jump into a waterfall for dear life, the chase in the desert, the final battle…. Oops! Did I give away too much?!

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

I finished the sequel of In the Name of the Otherworld six months ago. It’s titled Marvels of the Underworld, and hopefully it’ll be published next spring. I haven’t signed the contract yet, so no promises, but I try to look on the positive side and cross my fingers for the best. Two weeks ago, I completed the third book of the Otherworld trilogy, War of the Chaotic Worlds. I can’t give too much away, but there will be a great many twists and turns in both the second and third book. They’re much darker compared to In the Name of the Otherworld. I’m busy editing the third book now, but as soon as I finish, I plan to start a young adult novel without speculative elements. It’s going to be very different from what I have written in the past. As an author, I always enjoy challenging myself to new heights.

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Regarded as a witch and alienated by the majority of her peers, fourteen-year-old orphan Alexandria Richardson wants to be anybody but herself. However, this all changes one day, when the mysterious fountain in her school transports her and her three classmates to a world of magic— the Otherworld. The four of them are brought to the palace of the Otherworld on the rulers’ orders, and the shocking truth of Alexandria’s identity and parentage is revealed. As Alexandria then participates in a miraculous adventure with her companions, she explores the depths of courage, kindness, and friendship. But will she make it safely back to the Otherworld? Or will she eventually yield to her biggest enemy, someone no other than herself?
It’s not just an adventure. It’s a journey of growth and redemption.

In the Name of the Otherworld

In the Name of the Otherworld by [Hermione Lee]

In The Name Of The Otherworld follows a lonely young orphaned girl named Alexandria who is desperate to be someone other than herself. Her life completely changes after she is transported through a magical fountain to a mysterious world of magic called the Otherworld where Alexandria’s true identity is revealed. Alexandria embarks on an adventure that will pit her against her worst enemy… herself.

Author Hermione Lee has crafted a magical coming of age tale that takes readers on a whirlwind adventure following a girl that is easy to sympathize with. Alexandria comes from an abusive adoptive childhood and the scars she carries are deep and the exploration of these issues throughout the novel was absolutely stirring. She learns that she is so much more important than she ever realized, but with that power comes great responsibility for her and seeing how that circumspect young girl navigates these large emotional obstacles and responsibilities was something that kept me coming back.

Alexandria has fantastic magical abilities that are used in some creative ways and elevates this fantasy story into the realm of epic sword and sorcery adventures I often read as a child. 

The Otherworld is crafted so vividly that it really comes to life as its own character. Each backdrop is imbued with a unique sense of imagination that makes the world compelling. Through easy narration and engaging dialogue we’re given the backstory to the Underworld and Otherworld and the contrast and lore is something I found to be alluring. While Alexandria remains an interesting protagonist throughout the novel, the other characters seem black and white, you either like them or you don’t which coincides with Alexandria’s like or dislike for them.

This is an emotionally charged epic fantasy novel. I mourned the loss of her parents and the heartache of an abusive orphan childhood. I understood Alexandria’s reluctance at the shocking revelation of who she is, to accept she is a princess and perform her royal duty. I was pleased by Alexandria’s decision to which of the two worlds she would pledge her loyalty to. For the world she would forever belong to and defend.  

In The Name Of The Otherworld is a fun and impassioned paranormal adventure novel with striking characters on a bold journey that will keep readers up late at night while they struggle to put the book down.

Pages: 203 | ASIN: B097NQG3SW

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