I've got A. E. Lowan here today to talk about their new book, Faerie Rising. A. E., can you tell us about yourselves and how many books you have written?
AE: A. E. Lowan is the pseudonym of three authors who collectively create the dark urban fantasy series, The Books of Binding.
Kristin Vinck: Raised as a Navy brat, Kristin Vinck began writing as a child on the West Coast, learning her love of words at her mother's knee. Kristin won her first writing award for urban fantasy in Seattle at eight-years-old for a story about a city on a boat pulled by dinosaurs. In her teens, Kristin moved from learning at home from her satirist mother to formal writing education at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts in Kansas City, Missouri. Kristin studied medieval studies and creative writing at Truman State University and now writes from the beauty of the Missouri Ozarks.
Jennifer Vinck: Raised among musicians in Kansas City, Missouri, Jennifer Vinck came to writing from another direction - poetry and song. Poetry was her primary creative endeavor throughout childhood and when Jennifer was twelve-years-old she was asked to write the lyrics for a song used for All Species Day (a precursor of Earth Day) in Kansas City. She auditioned for the creative writing department at the Kansas City Middle School of the Arts and there discovered a new passion - speculative fiction. Jennifer met Kristin on the first day of school at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts. They began developing epic and urban fantasy worlds and have been collaborating in fiction and in life ever since. Jennifer studied linguistics and classical languages and literatures at Truman State University and spent many years as a bookseller before moving to the Missouri Ozarks to concentrate on writing.
Jessica Smith: Jessica Smith found her passion for fantastical storytelling where so many young writers do - through the masterpieces of fantasy's renowned matriarchs. As the pile of worlds inhabited by dragon-riders, wizards, and fair folk caused her bookshelves to plea for mercy, the constellation of worlds inside her waiting for their story to be told grew. With enough ideas to fill the state of Texas where she was raised, Jessica first took pencil to paper before she hit double digits. Jessica's love of the complexities of the universe and the intricacies of the human mind led her into study in the medical field. Her passion for writing took her to the internet in search of others who kept whole worlds in their minds. Jessica has been active on many online writing communities over the years, but it was on a fantasy-specific site, Mythic Scribes, where Jessica met Kristin and Jennifer in 2013. Her worlds and theirs collided as a whirlwind of collaboration began. The Books of Binding is the first project that partnership has unleased on the world.
We have released two short stories together, but Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding is our first full-length novel.
Me: Cool! It's nice that you ladies get along so well. :-) What inspired Faerie Rising?
AE: Our first novel, Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding, comes out April 1, 2017. The Books of Binding is a project that has been developing for more than fifteen years, so at this point it is very difficult to recall what triggered the idea, but we do know where. On vacation at a lake house in the Missouri Ozarks, we were talking about magic and a character began to take shape - a very sad woman with long white hair who was close to giving up on her world. Over the years the cast has ebbed and flowed around this character, who we will introduce as Winter Mulcahy this spring, but this series, and all the work we have put into bringing it to the world all started with the sad eyes of a defeated young woman.
Me: Sounds interesting! What are you working on now?
AE: Our current project is Ties of Blood and Bone: The Second Book of Binding. You can expect to see many of the characters from Faerie Rising, and more of the city of Seahaven as we introduce a brand new protagonist to the ensemble. We are very excited to introduce him to the world and will be releasing tidbits of flash fiction and some longer looks at this new character and the rest of the cast via our website and blog this year. Ties of Blood and Bone has a tentative release date of Winter 2018.
Me: Wonderful! :-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?
AE: There have been many authors who have shaped us over the years. We certainly owe a debt of inspiration to authors like Mercedes Lackey, Tanya Huff, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Sherrilyn Kenyon, but for all three of us, our most formative fantasy inspiration was the same - the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. For Kristin and Jessica, it was Dragonflight that set them on the path to writing fantasy. For Jennifer it was Dragonsong. But for all three of us, the Pern series was our gateway drug into speculative fiction.
Me: The Pern series is one of my favorites! Anne McCaffrey has written quite a few really interesting series, but I think Pern is arguably the best. :-) What are you reading now?
AE: Kristin is plowing through the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon at a frantic pace. She can't put them down. Jennifer is reveling in some great fantasy new releases: Mackenzie Flohr's The Rite of Wands, Felicia Beasley's Nephilim Falling, Leah Chiasson's Marked for the Hunt, and champing at the bit to get to Z. V. Hunter's Calamity Rising. Poor Jessica is up to her eyebrows in textbooks like Clinical Orthopaedic Rehabilitation: An Evidenced-Based Approach by Brotzman and Manske, but she is managing to sneak in a novel here and there. She is currently reading Brood of Bones by A. E. Marling.
Me: Sounds like some great stories there, textbooks notwithstanding. ;-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?
AE: Faerie Rising is the first in the Books of Binding series. The Books of Binding has an ensemble cast and is a multigenerational story about the importance of found families and the impact that a small, dedicated group can have on the world around them. In Faerie Rising we meet a young wizard whose life is falling apart. Her family has been suffering a long string of tragedies; she is a healer who is suffering from an addiction to stimulants; and politically, she is in way over her head, trying to hold together the fractious political factions among the preternatural residents in Seahaven. She is joined by a faerie prince desperate to find a lost friend and a faerie knight who just wishes the world would leave him alone. The Books of Binding cover a lot of hard subjects - loss, hate, despair, suffering, and perhaps worst, apathy, but at their core are about one family and their drive to create a better world.
Me: I agree, apathy can certainly be one of the most destructive forces known to man. Sounds like a complex story. What is your favorite part of being an author?
AE: Aside from getting to work in our pajamas we love getting paid to dream about the world not as it is, but as it could be. We think that every writer of speculative fiction indulges in some degree of wish fulfillment. Who wouldn't want to have the chance to make the world a better place? Through our characters, we get to do just that.
Me: That is definitely a perk of being an author, I agree. :-) Do you have day jobs as well?
AE: Kristin and Jennifer concentrate on full-time writing, but Jessica is determined to make the world a better place, one injured person at a time. She is currently studying Physical Therapy every minute that she isn't in Seahaven.
Me: Sounds like you all know what you want out of life. :-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?
AE: Probably the hardest part about being a fantasy writer is knowing when it is time to stop tinkering with your story and set it loose in the world. We spend so much time world building, plotting, developing, drafting, and revising - it is very hard to let go of the keyboard and say, "It's ready." The easiest part about being a writer for us is finding the motivation to work. We love our story and the world it is set in. We can't wait to get up and play in our sandbox every morning, and we can't wait to share it with all of you.
Me: It's fantastic when the words just flow, isn't it? :-) What genre do you place your book in?
AE: Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding is a dark urban fantasy. In our series, we blend mystical elements into real-world settings to create a world where you might never know that your next-door neighbor is sometimes a cougar or the cute guy tending the bar on ladies' night once fought with Charlemagne.
Me: Wow! Sounds like a fun read! :-) Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?
AE: We love the world of The Books of Binding and have many more stories than could ever make it into the novels in the series. We will be releasing extras, ranging from flash fiction to novellas, maybe even the occasional stand-alone novel to readers who crave more and follow us on our website, blog, and social media. If you like Seahaven, and the characters you meet, we have much more in store for you.
Me: That's awesome! :-) And so these fine folks can find your wonderful stories, are there any links you'd like me to post?
AE: We would be honored to have you follow us online. You can find more of A. E. Lowan and The Books of Binding at:
or follow us on Twitter @AELowan
To purchase Faerie Rising: The First Book of Binding: http://getBook.at/FaerieRising
Me: Perfect! Thank you so much for stopping by today. And thank you to everyone else who joined us! Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings. :-)