Today, I’m welcoming one of my best friends, Becca Lusher, for an interview. Wherein we natter about Becca’s stories and engage in general silliness.
Becca Lusher hails from the wilds of the British Westcountry, where she runs around with her dogs, gets bossed about by cats and takes photos of views with rocks in them. She’s also been known to write occasionally to appease the rapacious appetite of her muse. Some of which she now self-publishes.
You can find Becca at WordPress.
LEO: You’ve recently published Orion’s Kiss, your first collection. Could you tell us a little about it?
BL: Orion’s Kiss was originally a short story I wrote ten years ago, about a not so distant future where resources are in very short supply, about a girl whose strange abilities might be able to counteract some of that. Ten years on the story is pretty much the same, except much longer, and now Freyda has more personality. For her, her imagination is everything. She’s been kept as an experiment in the Institute since she was eight years old. She hates it, and especially the scientists who have done this to her. She feels isolated and alone, especially when a newcomer threatens everything she’s ever known. All Freyda has to turn to are the stars she wishes on every night, cold, remote and useless as they are – until one night a star answers.
And the rest would be spoilers! There are a couple of other stories in the collection as well, but they lead on from the events of Orion’s Kiss, so I couldn’t possibly comment on them ;D
LEO: What’s your favourite story in the collection? (Mine is probably Impossible Things, if you’re curious.)
BL: I don’t really think of them as separate stories, actually. They just sort of flow together into one in my head. “Orion’s Kiss” means an awful lot to me, even in its newest state, so I’ll always love it. Then again, I really liked writing the “Interlude” for its short but neat flow. “Impossible Things” was like coming home, getting to write about the Shadow Garden again and some of the old familiar Aekhartain characters within it. The only story I don’t like much is “Blackbird” and even that one has its good points.
LEO: It certainly does. Could you tell us a little about who and what the Aekhartain are or would that be too far into spoiler-territory for Orion’s Kiss?
BL: The Aekhartain are complicated. Immortal things-with-wings, but not angels. They’re a physical manifestation of an Entity’s power… Hang on, this will take some explaining. There is a Shadow who created the universe, and It in turn created Entities to watch over Its creations. One of these was called Maskai, and she fell in love with a falling star. Long story short, when she turned herself human to be with him her excess power leaked into the world. Where that power collects it has an interesting affect on the population.
So you end up with Aekhartain, who are all different in their own little ways. Like the Aekhartain of Fire, Wind, Water, Earth, or Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Night, Day, Sleep, Dream, Hope, Joy, Love, Light, Darkness. The list goes on and on.
I’ve written more than 90 stories about the Aekhartain over the last ten years, and their timeline spans more than three thousand, so there’s always something going on with them.
LEO: Oooooooooh… Does that mean we can look forward to more Aekhartain stories in the (near) future or are you working on something else at the moment?
BL: There will always be Aekhartain stories, just so long as I can still write. Even though I kind of know the final ending, there will always be gaps to go back and fill in. I’ve actually just finished a follow up novella for the Orion’s Kiss anthology. It’s my first f/f romance, and I’m hoping to release it for free in a few weeks.
Next up is a reworking of Demero’s story, another of the Aekhartain, and something of an old favourite of mine.
LEO: Mero~ <3
BL: He and his hat are a lovely pairing.
LEO: I’m looking forward to it. I don’t think I’ve ever had the chance to read Mero’s story before. *ahem* Anyway. Go on.
BL: “Unbound and Free” was the very first Aekh story I started, even though “Orion’s Kiss” was finished first. That was before I knew you. “Jealousy’s Shadow” came later, despite it being set before “U&F” (the Aekhs have never been written in proper sequence). Baby Demero is a precious thing.
LEO: It sounds like you’ve got quite a few stories to keep you busy for the foreseeable future. Are there any stories in particular you’re looking forward to sharing?
BL: Ooh, that’s a good question. I have so many stories that I go through phases about which ones I like most at any particular time. On the Aekhartain side of things, I’m quite looking forward to tidying up Nawaquí’s tale after Demero’s – he’s the big bad guy of the Aekh world, and it’s been a very long time since I played with his stories.
Outside of the Aekhartain I’d really love to do something with my cloud-covered Overworld and the giant-eagle flying Rift Riders, but that might have to wait a while. There’s also my mad-dragon star-changer Harius, but I haven’t even finished that one yet. Then there are my young mage stories, oh, and the Grim Reaper tales…
I love writing stories and I love to share them. One thing you can always be certain of with me is that there will always be something on the go. And now that I’ve finally bitten the bullet and started self-publishing there will probably always be a new release just around the corner too.
LEO: Awesome! I’m looking forward to where you take us next. (But then you know that already. ^-~) Is there anything else you’d like to say before I launch into a couple of silly questions to end this on?
BL: I don’t think so. It’s always dangerous to leave me too much space to waffle on. Bring on the silly questions!
LEO: If you could be an Aekh, what would you be the Aekh of?
BL: Hope, probably, because of everything I think that’s the one thing that matters most to me. Or magic, because Ysparr gets to do all the amazing things.
LEO: Ysparr is awesome, in a frequently kind of disconcerting way. If you were a book, what would your title be?
BL: The Twisted Tales of an Impossible Mind or Escaping One’s Muse: My Life With Ima.
LEO: Last question. What’s your advice for humans dealing with a kelpie-selkie alliance?
BL: *chuckles* Well, it rather depends on the kelpies and selkies in question, but I think I’d suggest getting on a plane and never coming down again.
LEO: Mine is probably “Run”.
BL: Damnit, I was going to say that! Then I thought the lure of the chase would be too strong.
LEO: XD It probably would be, but at least you’d have a chance.
BL: Get as far away from the water as possible. A desert would likely be good.
LEO: Provided you avoid oases.
BL: Actually, yeah, take a plane straight to the Sahara and hope for the best! I want to write about desert kelpies! I can just see Kit on a camel.
LEO: Serves you right for giving me a sestina sequence. :p
BL: ;P He’d look good with a tan.
LEO: He would. But he’s Kit.
BL: Yeah, Kit looks good with everything.
LEO: Exactly. He’d make burlap sacks look stylish.
BL: He’s so rocking that look this season!
LEO: He may never forgive you.
BL: Trust me, with some of the stunts Kit’s pulled over the years, he deserves some payback.
LEO: Sounds intriguing! Anyway, I know you’re not planning on working on anything featuring Kit for a while, so I’ll shush. Thank you for taking the time to join me for an interview! It was lovely having you!
BL: Thank you for having me, this was fun!
Go check Becca’s collection out! I admit to having bias, but even taking that into account they’re some of the finest stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Orion’s Kiss is a great introduction to the overall world of Aekhs and Becca’s writing skills in general.
You can buy a copy of Orion’s Kiss on Amazon (US, UK) or Smashwords. Becca is also offering a Smashwords coupon of 2 dollars off! If you enter the code VZ28L in your shopping basket upon check-out, you’ll be able to buy Orion’s Kiss for $0.99. The coupon is only valid until March 23rd, though! Becca is also working on a short follow-up novella to Orion’s Kiss that she’s planning to release for free. It’s called Sing to Me and is an f/f romance story. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on that one with you as well! (It is so sweet.)