Please welcome authors Lisa Blackwood and SM Schmitz, to a very special double author interview! This interview series features authors from the Dominion Rising boxset, which is independently managed by PK Tyler and Gwynn White.
SM Schmitz is a fantasy writer and USA Today best-selling author with an MA in modern European history. She’s sarcastic and lively, with many of her novels set in Louisiana, where she’s from!
Lisa Blackwood is a fantasy romance writer and USA Today best-selling author with a love of gardening and music, and of course, all things book related! She lives in southern Ontario, and takes care of an abundance of pets named after various Viking Gods all while writing fantasies.
Let’s get started with three questions for SM Schmitz followed by 3 for Lisa Blackwood!
PK Tyler: You’re a fantasy writer, and more specifically, mythic fiction. The Unbreakable Sword Series pulls in multiple mythos from all over the world. Can you tell us a bit more about this series, and if your book for Dominion Rising will be similar? As a side note – is Neil Gaimen an author you read? The description of your series reminds me of American Gods!
SM Schmitz: Vengeance, our contribution to Dominion Rising, is quite different as it’s a space opera, but I still brought a little of my snark to the dialogue (it’s far more pronounced in The Unbreakable Sword series). Cameron is my literary soul mate, in large part because of his snarky personality.
I’m a former world history instructor, so combining world mythologies just made sense for me. I always emphasized how interconnected our world is—and has been for millennia—so I brought that into my mythic fiction. I also used my knowledge of world history to build many of the alliances and rivalries readers find in the series.
My series is multiverse like Gaiman’s American Gods, but it’s not as dark. It’s intended to be a light, fun read.
PK Tyler: Dominion Rising is an independent box set with 25 amazing authors taking part. What made you decide that Dominion Rising was a good fit for you? Moreover, what in the world made you decide to write a new co-authored novel? Is it easier, or more fun with 2 people?
SM Schmitz: Dominion Rising is the outcome of a conversation some of us had in a marketing group, and when the idea was first floated, I volunteered Gwynn White to lead us (you’re welcome, Gwynn!). Honestly, I’m not sure she’s forgiven me yet.
In all seriousness though, I’ve been part of this amazing project from the beginning when it was just an idea and we didn’t know yet if it would ever even come to fruition. P.K. Tyler and Gwynn White have done such a fantastic job. I’m proud that I’ve been a part of this exciting project.
When a launch date was announced for the set, Lisa and I decided to write Vengeance for it. We’d already discussed co-writing this project, and given our schedules, it worked better for us to include Vengeance rather than each writing something different and trying to still get Vengeance launched this year.
PK Tyler Now for the fun part! Tell our readers about something fun, or wacky that’s happened while we’ve been writing together…the good the bad and the ugly of working with a writing buddy!
SM Schmitz: Lisa and I have such different styles that it works well, I think. When we first discussed how we’d tackle co-writing, we decided to divide sections based on our respective strengths. Co-writing also has this in-built accountability, so for me personally, there’s no getting sucked into a Supernatural marathon when someone is waiting on my contribution.
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Both authors will get to answer the last question so we can see if they really like writing together!
PK Tyler: You live in southern Ontario, long for a deep dark forest, and love to write fantasies. Your book covers all display strong women, and I’m wondering if you could talk a bit about how important the roles of women are in your books.
Lisa Blackwood: Yep. Even though I write fantasy romance or fantasy with romantic elements, my heroines can hold their own in a fight and be a true partner for the hero. Sure, they can still be vulnerable and need a well-muscled shoulder to cry on once in a while, but hurt someone they care about and the perpetrator better run. As for why my covers all having the female lead pictured—that’s because of the limits of photo-manipulation. My heroes are non-human all the way. Although Vengeance and my next novel picture the hero. Oh and the next three after that. Lol. Must be time for some balance.
PK Tyler: How much does mythology play a role in your stories? Is there one mythos you’re particularly drawn to – like Viking or Greek Gods? Do multiple mythos ever get to play in the same universe together?
Lisa Blackwood: Mythology does play a role in all my stories to varying degrees. But I have to say my favorite mythology/culture is that of ancient Mesopotamia. The Sumerians, Assyrians, Akkadians, and Babylonians had all the cool deities and badass creatures like Lamassu, winged genies, gryphons, sphinx, winged lions and an entire host of other mythological creatures.
PK Tyler: Now for the fun part! Tell our readers about something fun, or wacky that’s happened while you two have been writing together…the good the bad and the ugly of working with a writing buddy!
Lisa Blackwood: Truth, poor S.M. Schmidtz probably should get points for being a saint. I don’t think I can write a sentence without inserting a typo, but as she mentioned earlier, we have different strengths and styles which made the co-author project fun. While I tend to focus more on plot, world building, and unique creatures, she creates characters that readers can connect with and will make them laugh with their witty humor. I know I laughed many times when reading some of the scenes she created.
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About the Authors
Lisa Blackwood is the USA Today bestselling author of the Gargoyle and Sorceress Urban Fantasy series. She and her new co-author, S.M. Schmitz, are also embarking upon a new Space Opera Romance series. Book one is titled, Vengeance: Warships of the Spire. It can be found in the Dominion Rising boxset anthology.
As well as writing, Lisa is also an avid gardener, horse enthusiast, and dog lover. She grudgingly lives in a small town in Southern Ontario, though she would much rather live deep in a dark forest, surrounded by majestic old-growth trees. Since she cannot live her fantasy, she decided to write fantasy instead. Freya, her ever faithful and beloved hellhound, ensures Lisa takes breaks from the computer so they can rid the garden of cats with delusions of conquest.
S.M. Schmitz has an M.A. in modern European history and is a former world history instructor. Her novels are infused with the same humorous sarcasm that she employed frequently in the classroom. As a native of Louisiana, she sets many of her scenes here, and like Dietrich in Resurrected, she is also convinced Louisiana has been cursed with mosquitoes much like Biblical Egypt with its locusts.
Wouldn’t you know it? My author friends and Dominion Rising companions love to give away stuff! Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win!