As one of the interviewers at GBM, I get the privilege of learning about new people that I haven’t met before. Learning about their perspectives on life and how they view the world.
A fantastic author has agreed to sit down with me this morning and talk about her book series which you can find on Amazon.com and her positions on some hot-button issues. So I have to say first off. Thank you so much, Sariah Skye, for sitting down with myself and GBM.
Artemis Dai (AD): Fated Magic was your first series, correct me if I’m wrong, and you’re currently working on The Curse of Avalon series. What made you consider paranormal romance as your genre of choice?
Sariah Skye (SS): It was/is The Fated Saga, starting with Fated Souls. To be quite frank I didn’t start out that way; I fell into it. I was determined not to let romance be the primary focus.
I felt, for a time, like I was a sellout. Why? I don’t know, too much stigma with sex and romance. After I gave that notion the boot I just sort of dove in headfirst. PNR has always been my favorite to read; I love stories about shifters, witches, magic, and the possibility that there is just something a whole lot more interesting out there than humanity.
Because we kind of suck sometimes. Fated is what I call a PNR/Epic fantasy hybrid because it takes place in two different worlds; one is entirely made up (the dragon realm). I’m currently still working on the last Fated book. It should be ready by year’s end.
AD: You’re currently working on a fantastic paranormal romance series; would you care to give the series a summary for our readers?
SS: Basically it follows a woman with strange abilities she isn’t quite aware of as she navigates the “supernatural” world, learns her life is way more “legendary” than she thought with ties to King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and so on, and attempts a relationship with four very complicated, cursed incubi men. See this is like writing a blurb and blurbs are evil so that’s best I can do. LOL!
AD: What inspired you to write Ava Dawson’s story?
SS: Well I always joke around and tell people that I’m invisible to men–har har har and it’s true— so I decided to write about a woman who was invisible. More or less. Give her the attention from hot dudes I never got and live vicariously through her. She’s the woman I wish I could be, ideally.
AD: I noticed on Amazon.com that your series reviews tend to have a love it or leave it mentality. What would you say to those that find Ava’s story blasé?
SS: See this is news to me, I point blank refuse to read reviews. I am what I am, and I write what I write, and that’s how it is. I don’t follow tropes, and I don’t typically write “to market” which means I don’t write with the primary goal to make as most sales as I can by appealing to the majority of people.
What would I say to them who didn’t like it? You’re entitled to your opinion. Not everyone is going to like my work. Does it sting a bit? Yeah, it does, which is why I refuse to touch reviews.
I don’t have a very thick skin about certain things, and as long as my people tell me (friends, PAs, and so on) that there isn’t anything overwhelming about any of them I just let them be.
AD: Invisible came out in 2017, Inevitable and Insatiable in 2018, what would you say to critics who say that the series is too rushed?
SS: Again, news to me. Ha! If anything I thought it was too slow, because so many of them are WHAM bam, dive right into it. Sort of floors me though, Fated was too slow, Curse is too fast— you can’t please people.
All you can do is stay true to your story and tell it as best you can, and again, they’re entitled to their opinion. My readers typically complain it’s not fast enough. **wink wink**
AD: Do you have a plan for The Curse of Avalon series, how many books will be in the series, if there will be more?
SS: Curse will be four books, ending with Invincible hopefully this fall, with a possible spin-off depending upon interest, and I hope there is because I hate to leave this world behind.
AD: Do you have any plans for another series, alternatively, adventures?
SS: So. Many. Ideas. I have a dark dystopian reverse harem in the works, a slew of contemporary romances under my other pen name of Lizzie Fox, and a gender-bent, Robin Hood reverse harem in the works.
Also, possible spin-offs for Curse and Fated as well. Suffice it to say yes, I always have many more ideas.
AD: As an Independent (Indie) writer you’ve gone to bat against critics who pick apart the editing skills and limited capital writers have to create perfect book.
What would you say to encourage the independent writer to put themselves out there despite the critic and limitations? Maybe piss off a few critics in the process.
SS: I always say if you’re not pissing someone off, you’re not doing it right. The best thing I can say is there is always going to be a “hater.”
However, if it’s indeed something you want to do, and you can’t get your story out of your head you have to ‘balls to the wall’ go for it, hold your head high, middle fingers higher and do it to the best of your ability. If you fail well, welcome to the club, now you know better for next time.
AD: What are your favorite editing techniques?
SS: Hmmm…copious amounts of alcohol? No, I’m kidding that’s bad. Right? Basically, it’s just going over and over it again, chapter by chapter. Hopefully, I have the luxury of waiting a few days in between so the material fades in my mind, but I’ll do a chapter or three at a time, fix it, rewrite, whatever and then walk away to something else.
Rinse, repeat. There’s no technique other than perseverance.
AD: You’re an advocate for the LGBT community as well. Do you believe that plays a factor in your book sales, do you use your series as a platform to put your position?
SS: I never really thought about it. I think since reverse harem and LGBTQ+ kind of travel in the same realm, it probably does have a good bearing on sales. You have to be pretty open-minded reading about a poly relationship — like in ‘Curse’. I have gay, lesbian, pansexual characters in both series.
Do I use the books as a platform for my positions? Well, let’s say this: I don’t hide it, and I don’t shy away from the taboo stuff. If that’s a platform then, so be it.
AD: Last question, what ambitions do you have for yourself as a writer and author?
SS: I think every author wants to hit that big, shiny “NYT or USAT Bestseller” list, so that’d be lovely in the future. I think we all want to be able to live off of our “art,” and hopefully, I can cement that position here in the coming years.
Personally? I want to tell stories that make people think or make them happy; books saved my life growing up, if I can help someone else make it through a rough time then that’s probably the best part of all.
AD: Again, please let me thank you for taking this time with Gothic Bite Magazine to share your views and insight as an indie writer and author. Congratulations on your successful series and I hope to see a lot more of your work.