To keep the ball rolling on these two spring months of collaboration with amazing authors, I am honored to be a blog tour spot for Ms. Ly and her latest work, “Lysander and Venus.” The title really peeked my interest and the cover’s water-color style is stunning. I wish all the luck to Ms. Ly and her work and tour! She was kind enough to answer an interview for us! Take it away!
Author to Author Q and A
- Where did you grow up? Did your childhood have any impact on your writing? I grew up in San Diego. Not feeling like I fit in, despite having a lot of friends for most of my childhood, is what influenced me the most. Feeling hidden in a group.
- Tell us about the first story you ever wrote, published or not? I think I was twelve. It was something about a man transforming into a werewolf, probably inspired by Remus Lupin from Harry Potter.
- What are you currently working on, writing wise? A distant sequel to Venus and Lysander that ties everything together.
- What is your favorite character you have ever created and why? Vespair from my current two published books. She’s misunderstood and not at all black-and-white as characters so far believe her to be. I’m looking forward to showing her truth in the next book.
- Do you have to write in order or do your ideas just come to you and you put them in order later? I have to write in order. If I have to change a sequence of events, I get discouraged and distracted. Editing a few words or sentences here and there is fine.
- What was your path like until you found writing? Everything felt railroaded to get me to this point, honestly.
- How is your relationship with your publishing company? They were the first ones to give me a chance, so I’m grateful to them
- Tell us about your covers. They’re only stock photos. I had to pick what looked best and felt the most relevant.
- What inspires you to write? Everything and anything, as broad as that sounds. Mostly music, video games and my own experiences.
- How do you get book reviews? I don’t have a set method at the moment.
- What is harder: writing, editing, or marketing? Marketing.
- If you could publish every book idea you’ve ever had, how many books would you have out right now? Just counting the folders I have saved on my hard drive—about 20 books. Counting everything else—over 100, I’m sure.
- Have you ever considered co-writing a book or series with another author? I tried that. It didn’t work.
- What do you do to relax? Sleep. No matter what I’m doing while I’m awake, my mind is always on, absorbing ideas.
- If you could tell your 14 year old self one thing, what would it be? “This is going to keep happening over and over again. It won’t hurt as much next time.”
- What advice would you have for this upcoming generation? The same as the above.
- Have you ever read a book that changed your outlook on life? Consider What Becomes of the Ashes by Pixelnyx.
- Do you have a classic piece of literature or a classic author you are fond of? I like philosophers such as Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir.
- Any type of music that gets your writing juices flowing? Anything I have a personal, emotional connection with. I’ll usually listen to a song over and over while I envision a scene or chapter. Hearing the song again automatically immerses me in everything all over again.
- If you could pick three people who are your heroes or role models, who would they be and why? My favorite philosophers I listed plus Toni Morrison. I admire them for writing unconventional, unexpected work and making a living from it.
- Dog or cat person? Dogs.
- What do you want to eat right now? Nothing just now.
- If you could be in any movie that has already been made, which one would it be? I’d rather work behind the scenes for films like Moonlight or Black Swan.
- What is your favorite holiday or time of year? Around this time. It’s usually when a lot of good video games come out.
- Anything else you would like to add? Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. I’m not anyone all that important. Even if I was, I’d still appreciate it.
Excerpt from “Lysander and Venus:”
Valerie and I said not a word as we walked from the gallows out to the grounds. I didn’t want any of the guards to overhear our conversation. We stopped once we were outside in the chill of night, away from overhearing ears. She seemed embarrassed to have let her guard down with me. She couldn’t know how much it pleased me to see this rare side of her.
“Expect to see me at court this weekend,” I said. “Once I have a better feel for you, His Majesty will want to have a private audience with us. Let’s give it a few weeks first, shall we?”
“Yes…that’s fine,” replied Valerie, blinking hard to stay awake.
“For now, you ought to return home. I’m certain your family misses you terribly.”
“My sister-in-law will never let me hear the end of it…”
I smiled over her misfortune. “Have a good night, my lord.”
Unexpected, Valerie bent down to kiss my hand. She lingered there, uncertain, staring down at my boots. She then left across the grounds to her estate, oddly subdued. This transformation in her from defiant to demure was beyond fascinating. I’d always known Valerie as a private person who expected danger around every corner. But I sensed she was also deeply sensitive, as I was. She was multi-faceted, as she needed to be to survive.
I wished to see more of her faces—if they were just as beautiful as the one she wore each day.
About the Book:
Author: Yoshiyuki Ly
Genre: Historical Romance / Fantasy
Living as a nobleman and as a woman, Valerie of Lysander is sick of waiting for the world to change. The discrimination she suffers as an outcast builds into resentment. Once Val takes matters into her own hands, the whole Empire of Tynan feels her brand of justice. The Emperor’s adviser, Lucrezia of Azrith, wants more of Val’s ruthlessness—for revenge against the unjust, and for her own desires. Venus and Lysander is an intricate romance set in the fictional Victorian city of Eden, 250 years after the events in The Scorpion’s Empress.
Lucrezia is Lady Chancellor for the Emperor and a sorceress-in-hiding. She is forced to conceal her identity from the religious public for fear of death. As she learns to trust in Val’s chivalry and affections for her, they both fall for the softer sides behind their similar bulletproof personas. Lucrezia receives a mysterious warning about a sadistic enemy threatening the Azrith and Lysander families. Once they discover their nemesis’ true motive, Val and Lucrezia’s tyrannous devotion for one another is all they can count on to survive.
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About the Author:
Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name represents her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that reflects in her work. She is a writer and a gamer.