About the Author
L.E. Harrison is the author of the award-winning contemporary fantasy trilogy The Children of Corvus, as well as a collection of previously published poems and short stories. She decided she wanted to be an author in the fourth grade, when she began writing poetry, plays, and stories.
A lifelong avid reader and lover of genre fiction—from science fiction to paranormal romance, and everything in between—she’s inspired by books that blur the boundaries, and by the authors who manage to do it exceptionally well. She lives in a one hundred and sixty year old farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, where she is working on the next chapter in the universe of Soluna’s children.
First off, tell me about your books.
The Children of Corvus Series: Travel through the Great Shield, and discover the world of the Children of Corvus. Protected by the Great Shield, the tribe lives united in their love and reverence for Corvus, the god of beasts, who had once bestowed a sacred gift—the ability to transform into the divine entity known as Bestiae—upon his descendants. Now, vestiges of this diluted power trigger a curse the Sacred Order calls the blood madness. Corvus’s Sacred Law proclaims that to guarantee the blood madness will not be passed to future generations, every male with the curse must be executed.
Blackbird (The Children of Corvus #1): Book one in the compelling contemporary fantasy trilogy about a tribe of shapeshifters, deep within the inhospitable forest of northern Maine USA, in an alternate dimension known as Blackwater Hills. Alena Andrick is the only child of the Guardian of the Dead. Her safe, predictable life is turned upside-down when she meets Michael Singleton at the Solstice celebration. When Michael is accused of murdering the Captain of the Guard, Alena is forced to choose between obeying her instincts or the laws of her people.
Merula (The Children of Corvus #2): What if you were a shapeshifter, but didn’t know it? What if the man who raised you orchestrated your father’s execution? What if you discover that the people closest to you have been lying to you all your life? To save the life of her childhood friend, Samuel Singleton, Cadie Maxwell must expose the corruption within the Sacred Order, forswear her holy vows, and uncover the truth about her gods and her tribe.
Corvus (The Children of Corvus #3): A witch and a son of Corvus must combine their powers. To defeat the witch goddess and save the souls of the Merulas trapped inside the Shadowlands, Samuel Singleton must embrace his position as leader of the tribe, and accept Bestiae—the god-like part of himself he can’t control. Cadie and Samuel In the Interim: A Children of Corvus Short Story: The events in this short-story take place during the weeks between the novels Merula and Corvus. Focusing on Samuel Singleton and Cadie Maxwell’s brief romantic interlude, the story adds depth and understanding to their complicated emotional connection.
From the Uncollected Thoughts of L.E. Harrison: A collection of previously published poems and short stories. More Lore From the Mythos (Fractured Mind Publishing): Short story – The Time Guardian. Coming October 17, 2020 More Lore From the Mythos Volume 2 (Fractured Mind Publishing): Short story – Tony’s Monster.
What makes you and your books unique? Shine for me, you diamond.
I’ve developed the concept of an expanded universe, within which all of my books are connected. It’s something that helps me visualize the individual world of each story, and better understand where all of my characters fit and how they interact. For example, the gods Sol (Father Sun) and Luna (Mother Moon) had four children—Fatum (the god of fate), Tempus (the god of time), Venefica (the witch goddess of magic), and Corvus (the god of beasts). So, each series I have planned follows the descendants of one of these four gods. I’m not sure how obvious this might be to readers at this stage, however, since I have so far only completed The Children of Corvus trilogy, and two short stories set in the world of The Children of Tempus.
What are you working on now/any future projects you want to talk about?
I have several projects in the works at the moment. I’m currently focusing on finishing a novel featuring the daughters of Venefica the witch goddess, about a witch who is obsessed with a famous rock star. After that, I’ll start working on the third installment of my short story series for Fractured Mind Publishing’s More Lore From the Mythos next anthology, which is scheduled to be published in October 2021 (Volume two will be released in October 2020). I have two novellas in the works for The Children of Corvus series. I’m also working on a novel in The Children of Tempus series, called The Four Immortals, and compiling a poetry collection called Letters In the Attic.
Let’s celebrate. What’s one of the best things that’s happened to you as an author? Don’t be shy.
All three of the books in my series The Children of Corvus are IHIBRP 5-Star Recommended reads. Book two, Merula won the bronze in the 2018 Virtual Fantasy Con Awards for Best Dark Fantasy, and was voted one of Read Freely’s 50 Best Indie Books of 2017. The Blackbirds: The Children of Corvus Omnibus was chosen as one of the Best Books We’ve Read All Year by Read Freely.
Let’s talk CRAFT
What does your writing space look like?
When my second-oldest daughter moved out, I turned her bedroom into my office. It’s in the front of the house and faces west, so when I’m writing I get to watch the sun set over a grassy field surrounded by trees.
Tell me about some of your personal writing pitfalls and what you do to avoid them.
My sixth grade English teacher wrote, “Lisa, you are comma happy!” on one of my creative writing projects. In red pen, with a lot of exclamation points. So, I guess that tells you all you need to know about my worst bad writing habit. I’ve trained myself to cut most of them when I edit, but I’m pretty sure I still end up with too many!
Sarah’s note: SAME. Solidarity.
Do you listen to music when you write? What kind?
Yes, absolutely! I actually can’t write most of the time without music blasting through my headphones and blocking out distractions. The type of music I listen to varies, depending on which project I’m working on. My playlists are kind of all over the place. Beck, The Beatles, Styx, Queen, The Monkees, Cage the Elephant, Benjamin Jayne, and Foo Fighters are artist who frequently show up. I find that certain songs capture the moods of the characters and scenes in a particular novel or story, and so I’ll make playlists to reflect that. For example, one of my characters, Cadie Maxwell, seemed to vibe best to The Grand Illusion by Styx and The Game by Queen, so I would always listen to those albums while writing scenes from her point of view. For my current novel-in-progress, I have the album Fine Line by Harry Styles on repeat.
What are some of the most interesting rabbit holes you’ve found yourself lost down?
I guess it would be discovering the existence of America’s Stonehenge in New Hampshire, while I was researching standing stone observatories in North America. Apparently, there are many ancient standing stone circles in the United States. America’s Stonehenge also went by the nickname Mystery Hill, so that was the name the children of Corvus ended up calling their version of standing stones and labyrinthine rock chambers where the priests of the Sacred Order perform their rituals. I did get a chance to visit the real site while I was writing book one. The version I created for the series was heavily influenced by the history and layout of the historical area.
Have you ever researched something, and what you’ve learned completely changed your book? What was it, and what did you do about it?
When I began writing The Children of Corvus series, there were certain things I knew about the geographical area where my characters lived. The first, was that it was mostly primordial forest that was magically hidden from the rest of the modern world. The second, was its name: Blackwater Hills. There was a river that my characters called the Blackwater River, which ran through the center of their shielded territory. The third thing I was certain of, was that it was located in Maine, USA. When I resolved to get serious about actually finishing the story, I began to research maps and towns in northern Maine. A few miles south of a small town called Ashland, I found a spot that seemed to match the terrain and location I had previously only seen in my imagination. I was shocked to discover that a river named the Blackwater River ran right through the spot I had chosen on the map! I haven’t visited Ashland or the actual river yet, but I do plan on taking a trip there soon.
How has technology, and research of technology, influenced your writing.
Because I write mostly contemporary fantasy—that is, fantasy set in the modern era—all decisions about which decade each story ought to be set have to be partially based on the technology that existed in that time period. Given that it is fantasy, however, there is still a bit of leeway there.
Let’s talk about BOOKS
What’s your favorite book as a child?
I’ve been an obsessive reader all my life, so it’s hard to pick one favorite book! I loved Judy Blume’s books when I was in elementary school. Later on, around seventh grade, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton was a huge influence on me. That was the book that made me seriously consider writing as a career.
What book(s) or authors have influenced you, and why?
Carol Berg writes flawless prose and characters that leap off the page. I’ve read all of her books at least twice. Jennifer Roberson’s Sword Dancer series is amazing. Reading her books made me want to write in the fantasy genre. I was obsessed with Stephen King novels for many years. The Stand and 11/22/63 are two of my favorites of his. I also love the character Lestat, from Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series is a must read for fans of dark fantasy. For science fiction, you can’t find anyone better than Connie Willis. Judith Merlke Riley is simply brilliant. I’m also a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Jeff Vandermeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy, and The Black Witch Chronicles by Laurie Forest. The list goes on, but that’s a sampling of the authors I enjoy reading.
Hobbies & all things WEIRD
When you aren’t writing, what can you typically be found doing?
Reading, of course. Before the disaster known as the year 2020, I did a lot of traveling around the country. I also enjoy gardening, and yoga. When my kids were small, I did a lot of cooking and baking, but now that they’re all adults I mostly only bake desserts during the holidays.
What’s your strangest talent?
I have synesthesia and a photographic memory. I can walk through a room and—if I’m paying attention—I will be able to recall where every object is located. I can also recall most conversations, verbatim. My husband frequently makes use of the former talent but, as you can imagine, he’s not too crazy about the latter!
Sarah’s note: Whereas I can’t even remember what I did ten minutes ago…
What’s the soundtrack to your life?
These are a few songs whose lyrics I identify with, and that have deep meaning to me for various reasons: Heart Is A Drum by Beck, Fixing A Hole and You Never Give Me Your Money by The Beatles, The Pretender and MIA by Foo Fighters, Words by The Monkees, Watching the Wheels and Working Class Hero by John Lennon. Gypsy by Fleetwood Mac, No One Is To Blame by Howard Jones, Along Comes Mary by The Association, Drive by Incubus.
What’s your favorite food from a country you do not live in?
Tamales. Love, love, love Mexican food!
Any last thoughts?
Sarah, thank you for your interest. I love meeting new readers, so if anyone would like to connect on social media, that would be awesome!