Friday, August 14, 2015

Interview with Louisa Lo, BEFORE VENGEANCE

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
My latest book. BEFORE VENGEANCE, is a prequel of my debut novel, VENGEANCE BE MINE (the Cosmic Balance series). The original book is the story about a girl, Megan, who goes to university to get certified as a vengeance demon. Along the way, she made friends with a fellow student called Serafina. Serafina was switched at birth by a race of fae called the changelings and only got released back to the vengeance plane the year before. After VENGEANCE BE MINE, I started thinking about Serafina and her backstory, and BEFORE VENGEANCE was born. Turns out, Serafina grew up with the changeling prince whose twin sister she was switched with. In BEFORE VENGEANCE, he does everything he can to keep Serafina on the changeling plane because failing to do so means losing the girl he loves and gaining a rival to the throne. But Serafina is no doormat and she starts questioning his true motivation…

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
It’s a business decision and it’s a creative decision. I have a business background, and a decade in entertainment accounting had provided me with some pretty good skills and instincts. I also had some bad experiences with traditional publishing where my work was changed to the point of being completely unrecognizable. So I decided to own my writing career. Success or failure, at least it is my risk and my reward. I find that I work much better that way.

If you used a graphic designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Very involved, to the point of being neurotic—lol. Every one of my covers started with a custom photo shoot. I love choosing the models, blocking the poses, picking out the outfits, etc. I also get involved with deciding the background images, the photo touch ups, and even the font used. I know that doing the custom photo shoots is quite the large cash outflow at the beginning of my career, but the final products have a very unified and professional look that I’ll be proud of for years to come.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
Due to years of classical training, when I hear music I couldn’t help but turn my critical ear up for techniques, sound quality, and even hidden meanings behind the songs. I tune all that out when I listen for recreation, but when I write, I’ve already got my hands full drowning out the inner critic, so I would rather have radio silence. As for my overall writing process, I plot, I write until I’m stuck, then I reconcile my finances. It might sound strange, but because I am completely left and right brain balanced, doing math actually recharges my creative side. By the time I finish recording my month-end expenditures, my muse is well-rested and ready to come out and play again.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I do big picture outlines on a spreadsheet, look for major structural flaws and fix them before over-invested in writing time, then I jot down little notes here and there next to each scene. I try not to sweat over the little things because my muse is always three steps ahead of me. There are things I’m simply not meant to see until I get there.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I spend a lot of money on editing because quality control is very important to me. I always say I would rather have three good books out there than nine crappy ones.

There are a few layers to my editing process:

-Beta Reading
-Developmental Edit (big picture stuff)
-Copy/Line/Clean-Up-Whatever-the-Hell-Needs-Cleaning-Up Edit
-Final proof read
-First Read by Friends and Family (they always managed to pick something up no matter how thorough the edit was).

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I’m still trying to figure out the best way to promote myself. Being a trained accountant in my other life, twitter is a nightmare for me because I find myself looking at my un-posted tweets using five different angles, trying to see the legal implications in giving opinions on one thing or another. That’s way too much work for 140 characters. I do much better with facebook. If you message me there, my response rate is 100% and often within twelve hours. I manage to connect one-on-one with a lot of readers using that platform. I remember once hearing an author say that there are points in your career when the best marketing you can do is to write the next book. I think that’s applicable to big names who have already gained the critical mass, but also for authors at the beginning of their careers. Right this moment, for the genre I’m in, I think getting the third book done is most important. But I’m so happy to dip my toes into the marketing water by doing this book tour. The reviews, the readers’ responses…that’s what keep me going in the actual writing process.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I love watching documentaries, dancing the tango, singing, designing board games, playing with my cat and niece, and filing taxes (just kidding, I like the great surge of creativity AFTER I file taxes, see question #4).

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?

Cats who think they’re dogs (mine do). Half-chocolate, half-vanilla soft serve ice cream cones. Hate both coffee and tea (I’m an orange juice girl). Talk because with auto-correct I can offend a lot of people with texting. Day because I’m a night owl and my inner editor is too tired to stop me when I write in sunlight.

What’s next for you?
I’m writing the third book in the Cosmic Balance series called HELL HATH NO VENGEANCE. I’m hoping to get it published by the end of the year.

Book & Author Details:
Before Vengeance by Louisa Lo
(Cosmic Balance #0.5) 
Publication date: TBA 2015
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

What if everything you’ve ever known, down to what you are, was a lie?
Growing up in the enchanted kingdom of Dualsing, seventeen-year-old Lady Serafina has always known she’s different. Her fae power never manifested itself during puberty, and her parents treated her like a tolerated houseguest rather than family. Even her childhood sweetheart, Crown Prince Eldon, distanced himself the moment he was old enough to know the secret about Serafina that everyone in their world seems to know—except her.

Now her upcoming birthday is being treated as a national holiday by the very people who’d neglected her, Eldon is in for a political battle of his life that she’s somehow being dragged into, and Serafina is developing abilities that feel terrifyingly right, but aren’t fae power at all.

As she starts to investigate her origin, Serafina has no idea she would be setting in motion events that would have far-reaching consequences not just for herself, but for all the planes.


“Louisa Lo has an exciting new voice to bring to urban fantasy and a fun and breezy writing style that kept the pages quickly turning well into the night! I need more!” –Michelle Rowen, National Bestselling Author

Louisa Lo lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband, an aristocratic cat, and more cardboard boxes than she cares to unpack. She decided to write about vigilantes, because it seems like a better life choice than trying to become one and landing herself in jail. She just has that kind of luck.
Please visit to learn more about Louisa and her books.

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