Lisa Shearin, bestselling author of the Raine Benares Series took some time out to answer a few questions for us!
What was the inspiration for this series?
I’ve always loved fantasy. However, I also love thrillers, mysteries, and crime capers. The Raine Benares series was a way for me to combine them all into one – basically the books I wanted to read but couldn’t find.
Can you tell us a little what world-building was like for your series? I’ve always thought that world-building was a little like giving your imagination free rein – was it like that?
When writing fantasy, almost everything is different from what we experience in real life (no magic, no goblins, no elves—well, at least not that I know of. If anyone knows differently, please tell me). In my world building, I wanted to give readers something familiar to hang their imagination hats on. I based the city of Mermeia with all of its canals and palaces, on Venice.
What was the inspiration behind Raine in particular? She begins the series as an average sorceress, before the Saghred changes her life and she finds herself in the position of needing to get rid of it and the power it has given her – how would you describe her journey through the books?
Way back during my college days (and believe me, that was WAY back), there weren’t many, if any female main characters in fantasy. I loved reading fantasy, but the girls weren’t getting to go on any adventures. Raine Benares was my way to change that. Of course, now a majority of fantasy protagonists are female. Go girls!
You’ve stated that Book 6, All Spell Breaks Loose, will be the end of the Saghred storyline for Raine, but not the series. Do you think there’s a danger introducing a new storyline to an established and successful series like this one?
Not at all. I have quite a few characters in the series who are capable of carrying their own spinoff series.
When you started writing about Raine’s adventures, did you know that at Book 6 (or at some time) you would leave the Saghred storyline behind and move on?
I originally envisioned the series as having probably three books, tops. I’d have said “no way I’ve got six books in my head” if someone had told me after MAGIC LOST, TROUBLE FOUND came out that there’d be five more books after that one. I probably would have collapsed from exhaustion on the spot. The storyline and the characters just kept expanding to fill more books. It was my job as the author to keep up with them.
Can you talk about your ideas for the evolution of the series beyond book 6?
As I said, I have other characters who could carry their own series—and several who are chomping at the bit to get their time in the spotlight (Yes, Talon, I’m talking about you. Now hush.) Tam could have his own series, Raine & Mychael could have one, Piaras and Talon could have a “Young Guardians” series, and Phaelan would love for me to write his adventures. I absolutely plan on coming back and playing in Raine’s world in the future.
Do you have any other series planned, other than this one?
I’m working on a new series right now, in fact. It’s an urban fantasy/supernatural thriller that’s been in my head for about five years, and I’m incredibly excited to finally get a chance to work on it.
How do you do it – work at your job, and write a successful series?
Actually, I try not to think about it. If I did, I’d probably just fall over. Seriously, it’s a ton of work, but I’ve always wanted to be a published author; it’s my dream. “Living the dream” can be a lot of work (and for me, it is), but it is oh so worth it.
Thank you, Lisa for the interview!