Updated: Aug 5, 2019
We were delighted to talk to Sylvia Mercedes in the Dragon School Discord, Friday August 2, 2019. Join the Discord for live interviews with fantasy authors!
sarahklwilson: Welcome SylviaMercedes ! Thank you for joining us today! Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
Sarahklwilson:I love that hair!
Ellen: Nice to meet you
SylviaMercedes: Thank you!!! I do too. It fluctuates between blue and green . . . always peacock colors!Want to hear the story behind the hair?
Crystal H.: sure
SylviaMercedes: So I've always had very, very, very long dark, curly hair.ALWAYS.But last year, my husband challenged me to shave my head for the St. Baldrick's fund raiser.This charity raises money for Childhood Cancer Research.I panicked! Couldn't live without my beautiful hair!!!
Crystal H.: Wow
Ellen: That's great and brave of you.
SylviaMercedes: But . . . I also have a daughter now . . . and I wanted to be an example to her.
So I shaved my head--raised $2000 dollars for cancer research.
I sold my beautiful hair to a woman who suffers from chronic hair loss, who makes her own wigs.
Crystal H.: That is awesome. You are so brave for doing that.
SylviaMercedes: Then donated the money back to cancer research as well. So I promised myself that while it was growing out, I would dye it wacky colors!
Sarahklwilson: Your covers are amazing - so is your writing! - and you’re rocketing up the charts. Tell us about these books!
SylviaMercedes: I've been developing The Venatrix Chronicles for about three years now.They started out as fairy tale retellings, but morphed into something completely different.Now they're pretty much epic-fantasy YA with a romantic thread.I like to write about kick-butt heroines saving the day!With a touch of romance on the side.
She does look like she kicks-butt
That’s great! Tell us about your heroine!
SylviaMercedes: Ayleth is one tough cookie. She has been raised for as long as she can remember in a Holy Order devoted to hunting shades -- spirit from another world, which possess mortal bodies and damn mortal souls.The twist --- Shade-Hunters have to be possessed by shades themselves in order to have the power they need to fight.
Sarahklwilson: That’s a twist alright!
SylviaMercedes: But Ayleth is questioning whether or not what she has been taught is true . . .Are all shades evil?Are all those possessed by shades damned?Maybe . . . ???Maybe not . . . ???
I loved the intro you sent me. Can anyone else get their hands on that? The beginning was chilling.
SylviaMercedes: Oh, yes! The first book is just $0.99 right now, if you're interested in trying it out! https://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Shades-Venatrix-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B07TN3HQF7/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Daughter+of+Shades&qid=1564771632&s=gateway&sr=8-1
Manda: Sorry a little late here. It's brave to shave your head, but it's awesome that you did. The covers are so awesome
SylviaMercedes: Thank you, Manda! This book is my freebie for all those who'd like to try out my writing! You can get it when you subscribe to my newsletter: https://www.sylviamercedesbooks.com/
Sarahklwilson: Does the love interest show up in the first book, or is it a slower burn?
SylviaMercedes: Yes, the love interest is in book 1 . . . though not everyone has recognized him yet! There's two possibilities . . . but one definitely pulls out in front early on!
Sarahklwilson: Nice!And have you planned a long series?
SylviaMercedes: It IS a slow burn romance, though. They are definitely NOT romantically interested in book 1!!! LOL..Yes, the series is seven books long. All of the books are written, and MOST of them have been edited too.So I'll be launching book 2 late this month, book 3 in early November, and then the rest of them soon after.
Manda: How many all together?
SylviaMercedes: Seven total!They're pretty much one big story, but I tried to make each story as stand-alone as possible.
Sarahklwilson: Beyond the problem with shades, is there another big thing facing this world, or are the shades the main source of conflict?
SylviaMercedes: Yes . . . we pick up with our characters at the END of a war. But the war isn't as OVER as everyone thinks it is.
SylviaMercedes: The terrible Witch Queen -- Dread Odile -- is supposed to be dead. But . . . some of her worshipers/followers might not be willing to accept that. And they are slowly creeping back in at the edges. It's spooky stuff . . . . and super fun!
Manda: Spooky may be cool
Crystal H.: Sounds so good!
SylviaMercedes: I do like me a little spooky, I won't lie. I try not to let things get TOO scary though, I swear! Book 6 gets dark in places, but for the most part it's ADVENTURE more than horror.
Manda: Dark is ok
Sarahklwilson: This is fabulous! It seems close to my semi-dark YA enemies to lovers series, Bridge of Legends. They could be sisters.
SylviaMercedes: I REALLY want to read Bridge of Legends!!!It's on my TBR stack!!!
Sarahklwilson: Yours is on mine!!! Lol Do you have a special inspiration for this series?
SylviaMercedes: Hmmmm, I have to think about that a little . . .I was inspired by Lois McMaster Bujold's Curse of Challion series for sure. And Sabriel, by . . . I'm blanking on the name. You know who I mean?Both of those authors impacted my development of this series in a lot of ways.
Sarahklwilson: Did one particular idea spark the whole thing?
SylviaMercedes: (Who was that guy??? CanNOT remember his name to save my life!!)No, it developed a lot as it went. I thought I had a solid plan . . .Then it changed. Then it changed again. But I always had Ayleth, my main character.
Sarahklwilson: Garth Nix
SylviaMercedes: And her shade, Laranta.
SylviaMercedes: Those two were constant as the story morphed around them. YES! Garth Nix! Thank you, Sarah. It started out as an 8 book series. Then went down to three. Then back up to six. Then finally settled at 7.So it was ALL OVER THE PLACE in development. I've gotten much more organized in my plotting since then! LOL. My current projects behave much better for me.
Crystal H.: it's nice when things behave. Lol
SylviaMercedes: This is the inspiration image for my current WIP.
Crystal H.: ohhh
SylviaMercedes: It's a Beauty and the Beast retelling, coming out in December. And it's been MUCH easier to write than Ayleth's story!And . . . there are wyverns!
Sarahklwilson: Very cool!
Crystal H.: Nice!
Sarahklwilson: We like wyverns!
SylviaMercedes: I figured this was the place for wyverns. Sadly no real dragons in any of my stories . . . yet! I'm working up to them . . .
Sarahklwilson: Is that series going to be a long one, too?
SylviaMercedes: This story is a duology. One book from Her point of view. One book from His point of view. Then done. But it's a lead-in to my next series-in-the-works, which is . . .
Manda: That's ok
SylviaMercedes: A six-book fae-romance-adventure.
Sarahklwilson: Ah! Good timing for that.
SylviaMercedes: Not a final image! Just something I put together until I get a cover created . . . That's what I thought! Fae-romance-adventure is definitely a popular genre right now!
Sarahklwilson: Well, we’re getting close to the end of our half hour here. Where can we continue to follow your work?
Manda: Thanks for visiting with us SylviaMercedes
Thank you so much for hosting me, Sarah! It was really great to be here and meet everyone.
Crystal H.: Very cool, Thanks for hanging out with us. I look forward to reading your works.
SylviaMercedes: Hope you'll enjoy them, Crystal!
Sarahklwilson: Thank you so much for coming! It’s always a treat for us!
SylviaMercedes: It's been fun! waves
Manda: Bye for now