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Please welcome Cheri Lasota to the newest interview series from Author PK Tyler! This series is highlighting an amazing project, with 23 award-winning, and best-selling authors, Dominion Rising!
Cheri Lasota is the best-selling author of Artemis Rising, and helped found the Paradisi Chronicles. She’s still writing science fiction and fantasy, in addition to expanding the world of the Paradisi Chronicles. We love that Cheri also runs Audavoxx, an audiobook advertising company, ensuring that readers have multiple ways to access books online. We hope you enjoy getting to know her a little better through our interview today!
PK Tyler: You helped found the Paradisi Chronicles. Can you tell us a bit about this online science fiction world, and how you take part in it?
“There is so much room to innovate, to get wild and crazy, to try things that have never been tried before (or to bring back things that have been lost to time). Create a universe for several genres; hire the writers you want to develop stories in that universe… What if a 12-book universe dropped on the same day? Don’t stagger them at all, just put them out there at once. What would happen? Why don’t we find out?” ––Hugh Howey, Your Fear is My Opportunity, July 19th, 2014
This tiny snippet of a blog post by Hugh Howey back in 2014 was the spark that launched the Paradisi Chronicles. Two of our group members at the time started brainstorming ideas after reading that post, and they then put out a call for interested authors. I was one of those authors. As we developed it from the ground up, we knew two things for certain: we wanted it to be completely open-source and we wanted the sub-genre(s) written within this sci-fi universe to be flexible so anyone wishing to write in our worlds would have no problem jumping in and exploring.
My own part in the process has been immersive. I spent the majority of my time building out the planetary system and planets with comprehensive maps. Anyone who knows me well knows I LOVE naming things, so named most of the locations in our universe. That was ridiculously fun, since I based most of our words on Welsh and Latin. #etymologygeek =)
Beyond that, I chose most of the technologies we use in our near- and far-future time periods (our universe currently spans 200 years of future “histories”). I have a thing for space elevators, and I spent a great deal of time with a space elevator expert who kindly shared the ins and outs of our current understanding of these future feats of engineering. I also enjoyed exploring the em drive technology for our spaceships as well as the real-world theories for man-made wormholes. I also enjoyed hashing out these future tech ideas with fellow hard sci-fi authors Bill Patterson, Michael Cooper, and Andy McKell.
PK Tyler: Dominion Rising is bringing science fiction and fantasy together. Can you tell us a bit about your contribution? What type of science fiction or fantasy is it, and how is it similar or different to your other books?
Cheri Lasota: Recently an idea for a massive historical/paranormal series whacked me upside the head with a sledgehammer, so I spent months building out the concept, the characterization, and the extensive plot. The Immortal Codex series will be ten books in all, and my Dominion Rising Boxed Set contribution will be Petra, Book 1 from that series.
The series spans millennia, beginning in Ancient Rome and ending in present-day. It follows two warring groups of immortals, who are dangerously reliant on each other for survival.
Petra, Book 1 Description
I am the Prima Vita, the only true immortal. But the darker the gift, the higher the blood price—and I have paid it all.
At the moment of my making, at the turn of the first millennium amid the glories and horrors of Ancient Rome, two men died with me. Both reborn in my immortal blood, one became my lover and the other my enemy.
I promised the unspeakable to save Lucius from Clarius. The bargain, once struck, was simple: die with Clarius once a year to keep Lucius safe for an eternity.
PK Tyler: Have you ever taken part in a box set like this before, or a science fiction and fantasy anthology? How has working on this box set been different or similar to past joint author experiences you’ve had?
There is no boxed set in the world quite like Dominion Rising. It all comes down to the people you’re working with, and there is a special energy among these amazing authors that I’ve never had the privilege to experience ever before. Even authors and readers who aren’t part of the boxed set have been floored at the early successes for this set. I’m truly honored to take part, and we’ve been moving heaven and earth to make Dominion Rising as successful as we can. Even after our launch in August, many of us have already started talking about working together more in the future.
Cheri Lasota: What sci-fi or fantasy authors do you like to read, and where do you look for inspiration when you’re writing your own fiction?
I probably look to TV and film more than other books for inspiration, mostly due to time constraints. But when I’m in deep in research mode for my sci-fi books, I go back to the heavy hitters in hard sci-fi: Kim Stanley Robinson, Peter F. Hamilton, etc. I also tend to dive into nonfiction works by Stephen Hawking and Einstein as well as research put forth by Astrophysicists Brian Cox and Eric Davis.
PK Tyler: We’ve noticed that there are very few science fiction books in audio format, especially if the authors are less well known. Do you have any ideas or opinions on why this might be?
Sci-fi audiobooks are perennially popular among the subscribers of the AudaVoxx.com Audiobook Newsletter I run. I’ve found through my own research that there roughly similar numbers of fantasy and sci-fi novels in the Audible.com store. And if you combine sci-fi with fantasy and compare to the romance genre, there are roughly similar numbers between those two.
The numbers will certainly grow over time. Most sci-fi works are larger/longer than romance and other genres, so it simply takes more money to produce them and more money to purchase them outright from the Audible store. But for those listeners who have an Audible subscription, they are more likely to buy longer audiobooks, since it costs them only a single credit per audiobook no matter how long it is.
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More About Cheri Lasota
A freelance author, editor, and book designer for over a decade, Cheri Lasota has dedicated her life and career to helping authors succeed in publishing.
Cheri began her career in nonfiction and news, eventually becoming editor-in-chief of her university newspaper and earning her B.A. in Film. From there she launched her editing business, which has steadily grown into three businesses: writing fiction and nonfiction; editing/design/marketing for publishing houses as well as individual authors; and founding AudaVoxx, an audiobook advertising company.
Her bestselling debut novel, Artemis Rising, is a 2013 Cygnus Awards First Place Winner and a 2012 finalist in the Next Generation Indie Books Awards. Her second novel, Echoes in the Glass, is a historical set on the Oregon Coast. Cheri helped found the Paradisi Chronicles, a massive open-source sci-fi universe set in the Andromeda galaxy. Her Paradisi Exodus series is focused on the early years of the human exodus from Earth to the new planet. Currently, Cheri is working on a Historical Fantasy series as well as a series of fairytale retellings in addition to further stories in the Paradisi Chronicles.
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