Friday, May 5, 2017

Interview with L.S. O'Dea, HANGMAN'S ARMY

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Lake of Sins: Hangman’s Army is the third book in the YA, dark fantasy Lake of Sins series.  These books must be read in order and you can get the first two books free.  Escape, book 1, is free on Amazon ( ) and all other major ebook retailers ( ).  Book 2, Secrets in Blood is free if you join my newsletter ( ).

Hangman’s Army takes place about five years after Secrets ends.  Hugh Truent is sitting in jail and a rebellion between the classes is brewing.  Trinity and her friends must free Hugh and convince him to lead their army.  This book is filled with action like the others but there’s also the start of the love triangle that will filter through the remaining books in the series.  It’s a fun, fast read and I think you’ll love it.

Do you have a favorite character?
I really like a lot of my characters, but I’d have to say that Mirra is my favorite.  She’s simple in her wants, actions and loyalties.  She loves who she loves.  She kills who she wants and most importantly, she’s not ashamed – at all – with who she is.  I admire that.

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
Definitely.  Christian, the River Man, was initially just something spooky in the forest for Trinity to encounter, but then he kept popping up throughout the stories.  He actually became such an important character that he got his own book.  Conguise Chronicles: Rise of the River Man is about him.

He truly helped to shape the ending of Secrets In Blood.  He reminds me of the story that I’d heard about the filming of Jurassic Park.  From what I’d heard, it was supposed to end differently and Spielberg was like “T-Rex has to re-appear.  He’s the hero here.”  Well, that’s Christian.  He had to show up again.  He just had to.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I did.  I spent months contacting agents and had a few get back with me.  They always requested revisions.  I’d spend another six weeks revising.  Send the new book back to them and never hear another word.  That irritated me.  I understand that agents are absurdly busy and I understand the ones who NEVER contacted me at all, but the ones who requested changes, should have (in my opinion) at least sent me a quick note, saying that they were no longer interested.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
This goes along with question four.  I got tired of modifying my story for agents who really weren’t interested.  Plus, I discovered that even if I got an agent and a publishing contract, I’d still have to market my own book.  Since I do my own editing (along with a terrific team of beta readers), I realized that there really wasn’t much that an agent could offer me.  If I signed with one, they’d control the cover and the price, but I’d still have to market it.

I decided that indie publishing was more for me and have not regretted it.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I do not.  However, I have a four tier approach with beta readers.  The first tier is the beta readers who read one chapter and then discuss it with me.  This is kind of like a critique group. These readers get into the smallest details of the story and help me to fix issues.  The next group reads the entire book and then discusses it with me.  This group also critiques the books. They tell me what works, what doesn’t and I have a lot of questions from my first tier beta readers to ask them.  They are also like a critique group.  The third tier is mainly looking for typos and such – more editing than critique.  Finally, I have my Advanced Readers.  They give me their feedback but at this point, remolding the story would be next to impossible.

I have a BA in English Creative Writing so I have participated in critique groups in college and they’re very, very helpful.  Of course, you have to learn to keep your mouth shut and let people speak.  Otherwise, you won’t learn anything.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
A little of both.  I summarize kind of in outline form.  I get that all down and then I start “fleshing it out”.  This is where the characters really take control.  They’ve taken me down some dark paths that I had no intention of traveling when I started.  It’s so exciting when this happens.  For example, I never intended to include sex trafficking in these books, but the characters took me by the hand and showed me that dark, nasty little corner of their world.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
You can find my books on Draft2Digital which has links to Kobo, B&N, iBooks, and several other sites.

Lake of Sins: Escape =
Lake of Sins: Secrets In Blood =
Lake of Sins: Hangman’s Army =
Conguise Chronicles: Rise of the River Man =

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Absolutely.  Marketing takes a lot of time—A LOT.  That’ll be one of the first things that I hire someone to do for me once I start making enough money.  I really don’t like the marketing aspect especially when it takes me away from writing. 

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Animals are my passion and you may recognize that in my books.  I don’t believe that there are any “just a” in this world.  A dog is not “just a” dog.  It has its own wants and desires and we need to stop treating animals as if they were less than us.  Different does not equal less.


A rebellion is brewing in the world of the Lake of Sins while Hugh Truent sits in prison days away from his execution.

After taking his findings about the genetic similarities between the classes to the Supreme Almighty and the Council, Hugh had been arrested for treason and all his evidence had vanished as if made from smoke.

To protect his family, he cut off all contact with the outside world while he sat in prison for over four years waiting for his execution. He has no idea that some of his reports were leaked to the other classes and that civil war looms on the horizon.

Trinity and her friends have no hope of winning the war unless they can unite the classes. In order to do that, they need someone everyone will follow. They need the one person all the classes trust and believe in. They need Hugh.

That means they have to break him out of a maximum security prison and convince him to lead their army, but that won’t be easy because Hugh wants revenge and he’s not going to let anything get in his way especially mouthy, attractive, know-it-all Trinity.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

L. S. O’Dea grew up the youngest of seven in a family that uses teasing and tricks as an indication of love (or at least that’s what she tells herself).  Being five years younger than her closest sibling often made her the unwilling entertainment for her brothers and sisters.
Before she started kindergarten her brothers taught her how to spell her first and middle name—Linda Sue.  She was so proud she ran into the kitchen to tell her mother.  She stood tall and recited the letters of her name:  L-E-M-O-N   H-E-A-D.
She’s pretty sure she has her siblings to thank for the demons that lurk in her mind, whispering dark and demented stories.


Join Readers’ Group and Get the First Two Books in the Lake of Sins Series for FREE

This book is the third in the series--and the series should be read in order.  The first two books is the series are FREE.


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