Beyond Books Exclusive Author Spotlight: Lucy Saxon
Lucy Saxon is 20 and lives in Hertfordshire with her parents. She describes herself as a cosplayer, con-goer, book-lover and all-round nerdgirl.
Lucy wrote her first novel, Take Back the Skies, at the age of sixteen, finding a home for it with Bloomsbury at seventeen, and is now working on the rest of the series.
When not writing, Lucy spends most of her time on the internet, reading books and slaving over her sewing machine.
Beyond Books: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Lucy Saxon: I’m 20, living in Hertfordshire with my family, and I’m currently a fulltime writer, working on the six book Tellus series. I’m also hugely into cosplay and going to conventions, and spend far too much of my time on social media and online fandom stuff. I’ve suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for the last nine years – so writing is the perfect job for me, really!
BB: What inspires you?
LS: Mostly just the urge to create things. All I want to do is create things and share them with other people and (hopefully) have other people enjoy them and love them as much as I do. Whether that’s through writing, or through cosplay, or through other things; I’m inspired by all sorts of things around me, but all of them feed into that urge to create.
BB: What are you working on at the moment and what can you tell us about it?
LS: I’m working on two things at the moment! I’m editing book three in the Tellus series ready for a June publication, and I can tell you approximately zero things about that, I’m afraid! I’m hoping I’ll be able to share details and the title soon, but I haven’t been given permission yet.
The other thing I’m working on is a totally different novel, a futuristic fantasy that I’m polishing up ready to send to my agent and pray that she likes it. Again, can’t tell you much; but I can say that it involved cosplayers, video games, and superheroes!
BB: What genres do you write and are there any genres you would like to write?
LS: I write fantasy/sci-fi, and pretty much always have done. It’s what I’m familiar with, it’s what I’m comfortable writing, and it’s where most of my ideas tend to veer towards. I would like to write some contemporary stuff, or maybe even historical fiction, but I have yet to get an idea that makes me venture out into that – and doesn’t accidentally turn into fantasy along the way.
BB: When did you first realise you wanted to become a writer?
LS: I got into writing for fun when I was about twelve, when I discovered the glorious world of fanfiction. I always enjoyed writing, but didn’t really think of it until a viable career. Then when I was sixteen I wrote the first draft of Take Back the Skies, and it was the first time I’d finished something and thought it might actually have the potential to go somewhere. After that, things just kind of took off, and I haven’t regretted a second of it.
BB: What is your favourite book?
LS: The Harry Potter series. That series has shaped my life more than any other piece of media, and I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without it.
BB: What is your favourite movie?
LS: That probably changes depending on my mood/what kind of day I’m having! There are a few movies I can watch over and over without complaint, any day, any time – the Potter movies, anything Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, and there’s a few cheesy romcoms I can’t say no to. But I think, if I had to choose, my favourite movie would probably be the first Captain America movie.
BB: What do you do when you’re not writing?
LS: Sewing! Cosplay takes up honestly at least 60% of my non-writing time, the other 40% being things like sleeping, watching Netflix, reading, and scrolling Tumblr looking at puppies and Avengers GIFs for hours on end. As you can tell, I lead a very exciting and productive life.
BB: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
LS: Keep writing. Even if you think it’s not good enough, even if you don’t think it’s going anywhere; everything you write is practice and experience for you to keep going with, and eventually you will find that one story that you know is going to work. And you have to have faith in your writing – if you can’t be 100% committed and in love with your work, you’re going to find it hard to convince other people to love it and commit to it as well.
BB: What book are you reading at the moment?
LS: I haven’t had that much time to read recently as I’ve been so busy with edits, but I’m working my way through the Crewel World trilogy by Gennifer Albin. I read the first book aaaages ago, and finally got the last two, so I’m about three chapters into Altered so far.
BB: What do you think makes your books stand out from the crowd?
LS: There isn’t all that much steampunk-esque YA fiction out there, so I’m covering that particular niche! But also I think my books are quite unique in that instead of being a regular series of chronological books following one character/story arc, they’re six standalone stories connected by the world they share and the history that my characters are helping shape. It’s a series about Tellus itself, rather than any particular characters.
BB: Describe your writing style in ten words or less.
LS: Uses too many words when fewer would probably do just fine.
BB: Do you have a favourite character in your books?
LS: That’s like asking a parent to pick their favourite child! I have some characters that I have a bigger soft spot for than others, but I wouldn’t necessarily say one of them is my favourite over all others.
BB: Tea or coffee? And how do you take it?
LS: Tea! Milk, no sugar. Chocolate digestives if they’re available.
BB: Do you have any pets?
LS: I have a 2 year-old German Shepherd called Luna. Named after Luna Lovegood, but we often tell people it’s short for Lunatic, because that about sums up her personality.
BB: Who or what has made the biggest influence on your life?
LS: Like I said, the Harry Potter series has probably been my biggest influence. I can’t think of anything else that’s impacted me in a remotely similar way. Except perhaps fanfiction, but even that can be credited to Harry Potter really.
BB: If you were invited to the Oscars, who would you take with you?
LS: I don’t know! I feel like my mum would drug me and steal my ticket if I didn’t take her, so let’s go with her.
BB: If you could be any animal what would it be?
LS: A dog, or a horse
BB: Which is the best Chris – Pine, Pratt, Evans or Hemsworth?
LS: Evans. Chris Evans is life.
BB: What are you most looking forward to in 2016?
LS: So many things! I’m looking forward to book 3 coming out, I’m looking forward to hopefully doing more book events and festivals, and I’m looking forward to the possibility of awesome things to come. I’m pretty optimistic about 2016 – fingers crossed that works out well for me!
Catherine Hunter is the daughter of a senior government official on the island of Anglya. She’s one of the privileged – she has luxurious clothes, plenty to eat, and is protected from the Collections which have ravaged families throughout the land. But Catherine longs to escape the confines of her life, before her dad can marry her off to a government brat and trap her forever.
So Catherine becomes Cat, pretends to be a kid escaping the Collections, and stows away on the skyship Stormdancer. As they leave Anglya behind and brave the storms that fill the skies around the islands of Tellus, Cat’s world becomes more turbulent than she could ever have imagined, and dangerous secrets unravel her old life once and for all…
Aleks Vasin is the youngest of four brothers, each with his path mapped out. But Aleks doesn’t want to work in his father’s shop and live with his family in a village in the westernmost corner of Siberene. And when he hears his parents fretting about money, he decides to save them the cost of his keep and leave.
First he heads south – though everyone tells him not to – to Rudavin, headquarters of the kingsguard, and he signs up for the army, little knowing what brutality it entails. After only a few weeks, Aleks realizes that this garrison is full of liars and thieves; he’s signed away four years of his life to a commander who steals his money and a captain who’s already hurt Aleks’s beloved horse. This is not a noble destiny.
After a brutal beating, Aleks escapes, hoping to find safety and a new life somewhere in the north. And there, this deserter finds love, adventure, and a skyship in which he might just prove himself a hero after all – if he can evade the soldiers who seek to capture him.
Prepare for another sweeping adventure in this second book in a unique six-book series. Each book is set in a different land within the Tellus world, with repeating characters and related, nonlinear storylines that combine to create a one-of-a-kind, addictive reading experience.