Meet the creators of the Lodestar Diaries and Redbeard
1) Let’s begin with the basics. What is your Author name; use your Pen name if you have one.
Viera Landis, and my coauthor is Veronika Landis.
2) What is your genre and what drew you to it?
YA sci-fi/fantasy/adventure. We are huge fans of all things Marvel, the Lord of the Rings, Rick Riordan, and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I grew up on Star Trek and have always been a sci-fi/fantasy/adventure fan, and love the YA genre because it is clean and family-friendly. I don’t like to feel like I have to hide what I’m reading or can’t share it with my teenagers.
3) How did you come up with your cover design?
We actually released the first three books of the Lodestar Diaries series last year, but when I went to rehire my super affordable cover designer for the rest of the books, he had disappeared off the internet! I had to recreate the first three covers myself, with absolutely no graphic design or visual art skills whatsoever, as well as the rest of them so I could release them because I had no money to hire someone! That’s why it’s taken so long to get the rest of the books out. They’ve been finished since last year!
4) What is the hardest challenge in being a writer?
Believing so much in the power of our books and our characters and getting other people to take a chance on them. I am learning a lot as I go about marketing, and still have SO MUCH to figure out.
5) What is the most important bit of information you would want to tell a person interested in publishing a book?
Don’t be too hasty. Take your time and do it right, or you might end up with a failed book launch like I had and am still trying to recover from! LOL! Learn all you can about marketing first, build a platform, and THEN release.
6) What is your favorite character from any book you have ever read?
My own pirate captain, Iver. I like to believe I’m actually married to him in an alternate universe somewhere. But, besides him, I’d have to say Lester Papadopoulos (AKA Apollo).
7) Where is your favorite place to read?
Anywhere, but I love reading outside in nature, preferably by a large body of water or on the side of a mountain.
8) Which book villain would be the hardest to defeat?
Ooh, that’s a hard one! I’ll go with Nero from the Trials of Apollo.
9) What book protagonist would you love to talk to if he/she/they were real?
Percy Jackson! But since I seem to be hyper-focused on Rick Riordan books so far, I’ll also say Katherine from one of my favorite books of all time, Mrs. Mike.
10) What is one book that is currently on your To-Be-Read list?
Oh, man. I have so many of them. But probably The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna, since I absolutely LOVE that cover.
11) Do you prefer to read series or independent novels?
I love reading both, but I am partial to series because they allow you so much more time to become involved in the plot and attached to the characters, which is also why I love to write them!
12) If you could live in any “book world” what would that be?
Besides my own (where I practically already live…ask my daughters), I would have to say Anne of Green Gables. I grew up loving Anne’s world, and still do. Gilbert Blythe was the first love of my life!
13) What is the name of your book/series? Tell me a little bit about them.
Our first series is the Lodestar Diaries. In the first book, the Light and the Loyalists, our protagonists discover they have been chosen from birth to end an intergalactic war. They travel the globe, gathering a huge, diverse group of friends and family to help them, some of whom are also chosen ones. While there is an underlying current of sci-fi/fantasy to the plot (i.e. the Lodestar, a prophecy, and the chosen ones’ superpowers), the focus of the story is ultimately on the lives and relationships of the characters, who are discovering who they are and learning to rely on one another. The Redbeard trilogy is the backstory of some of my pirate characters, and I honestly believe we wrote the first series just because we were meant to write that one.
14) Do you have a website? If so, what is it?
15) Where can we find and follow you? (Name your social media platforms.)
16) Is there anything important that you would want my readers to know about you?
We are a mother/daughter duo who represent women and LGBTQIA+ writers. We believe in the power of stories to change the world. Our main goal in writing these (besides to tell a great story) was to inspire people to want to work together and live in harmony with one another, regardless of differences. The diversity and found family in our books is our way of pouring more love, peace and hope into the world.