This month's Indie Author Spotlight features L.M. Sherwin. I read Sherwin's first novel, Night Bells, earlier this month and will review the book in my May book reviews at the end of the month. She's a great young writer and I'm excited for her to be on the blog today.
Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do outside of writing? What are your hobbies and favorite things to do besides writing?
Hi there! I’m L.M. Sherwin and I work full-time from home as an author, an administrator for a graphic design company called Maiedae, and as a lifestyle blogger. As you can see, I’m one busy lady! In addition to writing fantasy novels, I love to read fantasy and science-fiction books and watch those same sorts of shows/movies. I’m also very partial to reading health books and watching fun documentaries. A consummate language nerd, I study both Korean and Japanese in my spare time. Aside from my more “academic” pursuits, I love to do martial arts and take both Taekwondo and Hapkido. I attend four classes a week! I also teach yoga twice a week. I’m very active. I’m very big into drawing and digital artwork as well. :-)
How long have you been writing? What books have you published?
I’ve been writing since I was old enough to read. I would dictate my stories to my mother and she would always write them down for me. When I was old enough to write for myself, I knew I wanted to be an author one day! I’ve always loved writing and telling stories. When I got married to my wonderful husband (dubbed “The Philosopher” on both of my blogs), he encouraged me to pursue publishing—specifically self-publishing. I have three books currently available, two novels and a novella. My two current novels are a part of a series called Tales from Niflheim and are titled: Night Bells and Silent Shades. The novella is part of another series called Tales from the Moons of Kirovna. You can find my books at Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. If you’re interested in checking out my first book, Night Bells is FREE in all of those places! Here’s the Kindle link. ;-)
What is your favorite part of writing a novel?
My favorite part of writing a novel is most likely the revising//editing stage. I know that might sound weird, but during this stage, I get to go back and re-read everything I’ve written! If I’ve let the manuscript “lie fallow” for a while with my eyes off it, it’s always fun to dive back in as if I’m reading someone else’s story! Sometimes, I even forget things that I wrote, so it is like experiencing it for the first time and it is fun to read the manuscript with that perspective. It is also a great exercise to read your own work, make revisions, and edit because it helps you to have a more critical eye.
I recently read your first novel Night Bells. I enjoyed the story greatly and loved the names of the characters and places. How do you develop names for character and places for your novels?
I’m greatly interested in many cultures in our world and my books are heavily influenced by those interests. For names of both characters and places, I base them in the cultural frameworks in which I’m interested. Most of the names in Night Bells come from Norse-derived cultures like Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. For a novel I’m currently working on, my names come from German culture. If I have to make up names, I try to fit them within an existing framework or within a new language-framework that I’m creating specifically for a book.
As a Christian, how does your faith influence your writing?
My faith pervades every part of my life, so it is inevitable that my faith would show up in my novels. I don’t write “explicitly Christian” novels, but my Christian perspective finds its way into my stories (sometimes on purpose). My faith influences my writing most directly in my characters’ lives and choices. The morality decisions my characters face will often fall under what I personally feel convicted is right under my Christian religion. Sometimes, though, I will purposefully create a character or situation that challenges those thoughts and perspectives. I do this to make sure I’m fairly representing variety in the worlds I make and to also challenge myself to think about life in ways different from my own beliefs. I do this NOT to take away my own Christian faith but to make it stronger. I was heavily influenced, growing up, by Christian authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Francine Rivers.
Finally, I'm always looking for recommendations of great self-published books and indie authors. Do you have any recommendations for self-published fiction books or indie authors to check out?
Absolutely! One of my favorite indie authors of all-time is Lindsay Buroker. She is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! Her Emperor’s Edge series is one of my favorites! Her blog is so, so helpful, as well. You’ll not only love her books, but her website. She is always helpful to new and up-and-coming authors, so if you don’t check her out, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. Some other notable indie authors that are terrific are Daniel Arenson and Kendra C. Highley. There are plenty others out there, too! Get to reading! These guys are GREAT!
Thanks again to L.M. Sherwin for stopping by and answering some questions. You can learn more about her by visiting her links below. Or go pick up Night Bells! It's free on all e-book platforms!