LBD~Thank you for having me here and for reviewing my series, I'm very glad that you enjoyed it.
Prufreads~Your 'Of War' series reads like a dark epic fantasy. How and when did this world start to take shape in your mind?
LBD~I'm happy to know that you think it reads like 'a dark epic fantasy' because that's exactly what it's supposed to be. I worked with the character of 'Ares' for years, off and on, using him as a minor-to-major character in other stories but he never got the lead role he so lusted after until "The Heart of War" (book #1 in the series) came into being. He absolutely insisted it was high time that we told HIS story! "Heart" started out as a stand-alone book, I had no intentions of doing another series because they're so draining, but we got to 'The End' and realized there was so much more to tell. Here we are, with 5 books in the series, and we're almost done telling the full tale.
Prufreads~ This series contains graphic scenes of violent rape, sexual assault, verbal and physical abuse of women as well as ongoing incest. How would you defend that to would be critics?
LBD~For the most part I simply don't defend my work to such critics, I learned a long time ago that doing so is equal to beating my head against a brick wall and I find that such criticism tends to tell far more about the critic in terms of who they are and where their head is at than it is a reflection on me and my work and what I do. The incest complaint always makes me groan and roll my eyes as I quietly wonder if said critics have read any books on mythology, (or the Bible for that matter). I wonder if they know anything about the Ancient Gods at all. Usually I conclude that they don't and dismiss them. In the end, I just don't write the glorified bedtime stories that seem so popular these days. I've never been interested in fluff--except on a peanut butter sandwich. I write stories for adults. By that, I don't mean I write for people '18 and over' I mean I write for adults; people who live in this world, understand this world, and can handle the truth of this world. If a reader is looking for some feel-good piece they should bypass me and read another person's work.
Prufreads~ Ares is such a complex character. He's flawed and lethal but has so much heart and is even playful at times. Do you find it difficult to maintain that balance as his story progresses?
LBD~No, that's just him. That's the way he is and I love him for it.
Prufreads~ The Olympians are nothing short of corrupt and dysfunctional. Who would you say is the most and the least redeemable and why?
LBD~Yes, they are corrupt and dysfunctional just as they are in those books on mythology. I don't paint them with a rosy brush and make them into something they never were so they're more palatable for a mainstream audience, I think that's a horrible disservice to them, history, and the reader. I also don't believe anyone is beyond redemption, I think if you sincerely want it and you work for it then you can have it. But, out of all the characters Apollo is probably the least redeemable simply because he thinks he's done anything wrong. He thinks he's above it all and no laws or rules apply to him. The most redeemable, of those who require redeeming, is probably Raven. If anyone felt he wasn't redeemed at the end of "Child of War-Rising Son" I'm hoping they feel differently by the end of "Kingdoms of War" but the boy will still have a mouth on him. That's just part of who he, being Ares' Son and all.
Prufreads~ The creative process is a challenging one. Which character and book has proven most difficult for you to write thus far?
LBD~I have to say that the OF WAR Series has been a joy to write and I love all of the characters. This series is truly manna from heaven for me. A gift from the Gods and I have enjoyed every moment of the creative process even when I'm staring at a blank screen trying to will the words to come. I do have an early book, "Dream Weaver" and that was most difficult to write because it's very auto-biographical on many levels. The lead female in the story, 'Lizzie Love', was most difficult because it was hard to separate the character from myself. It's an early effort, totally flawed (like me) and a little rambling (like me) but, in the end, I think it's a good story probably because of it's flaws.
Prufreads~ With the 'Of War' series wrapping up next year, what's next for Lisa Beth Darling?
LBD~I honestly don't know and I'm scared to death over it. The idea of being without Ares and Company is terrifying, I've come to love them all so much, they're family to me. I know the my Muse--The Big Guy, as I call him--will reinvent himself for me at some point and we'll come up with another story but until the OF WAR Series is finished I'm totally in the dark on what he has in store for us down the road. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be dark and moody and full of surprises. At least I hope so.
Thanks again to Lisa Best Darling for stopping by. In celebration of the Women of War (Of War #5) release, the Of War Anthology is FREE on kindle Feb. 14th-15th!!!
Also one lucky reader will win Women of War (adobe/PDF,kindle, nook,ibooks,kobo, or Sony). All you have to do is be a Prufreads follower AND comment below! Winner will chosen via random.org on Tues. Feb. 19th. Good luck!