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.
1. If you could have written any other book by any other author, what would it be, and why?
Oh, there’d be quite a few because I’d love to have written all my favorites. However, I’d have to go with the Song Of Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones). This series is sooo good! There are so many twists and turns and the characters are so real – not one dimensional. You may hate one character one day and love that same character the next.
2. Tell us something about how you write? i.e. are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you have any weird or necessary writing habits or rituals?
I’m a bit of both. And one of my weird quicks is how I “write” my books. I plot them out while jogging around my yard. I write dialogue and fill what I call “plot” holes while exercising. Then I hurry into the house to get it all down on paper.
3. Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book?
Lake of Sins: Hangman’s Army is the third book in the Lake of Sins series – the series people are calling dark, gritty and too disturbing to put down. “This book picks up the story about five years after Secrets In Blood ended and the world is a very different place. The lower classes have started rebelling, no longer accepting their subjugation by the Almightys. The problem is that the lower classes will never win against the better trained and funded Protective Services, especially since they refuse to fight together. The Allied Classes (rebel army) needs a leader. A person everyone will follow. They need Hugh. But he’s in jail and his execution is only days away. Trinity and her friends must figure out a way to set him free and to convince him that leading their army is the best revenge he could have. This book is filled with action and monsters just like the other two, but Hangman starts the beginning of the love triangle. It’s a fun, fast read.
4. Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
That’s a tough one because I really like a lot of my characters but if I had to pick just one, I think it’d have to be Mirra. I love her “black and white” outlook on the world. She loves who she loves – doesn’t care what anyone else thinks or says – and she does what she wants to do. She is supposedly controlled by Gaar, but not really. She will defer to his opinion – sometimes, but she is definitely her own “person?”.
5. What is your favorite writing tip or quote?
“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.”– Neil Gaiman
I always say that if one person thinks something (doesn’t like a section, is confused, etc) then someone else will be too. I have several groups of beta readers. My niece is my first round. I send her one chapter at a time and then we discuss it. By discussing, I mean she tells me what she thinks and I listen. There are times when she tells me things that I just. DON’T WANT TO HEAR! For example, in Hangman’s Army there was a chapter that started as a summary on what had happened and then slipped into the character’s head. It was only a sentence or two, but my niece said that it didn’t read well. It didn’t read like the other chapters and it felt rushed.
Now, fixing these issues isn’t as easy as fixing a typo. There are threads that run throughout the story and throughout the series. Fixing these things is WORK! However, she was right. I’d been lazy. So, I reworked it and she loved it. Now, before I send her a chapter, if I notice that I did that “summary” thing, I fix it because I know she’ll call me on it. She keeps me honest. She keeps me from getting lazy.
6. Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Do you have any other books in the works?
I’m currently working on the rest of the Lake of Sins series. There should be a total of six or seven books in the series. It’s all done in rough draft format, but book six is very bare and will need a lot of fleshing out which may make it book six and seven.
Once I’m done with the Lake of Sins series, I’m going to write some more of the Conguise Chronicles series. This is a spin-off series from the Lake of Sins that tells the stories of the people who were genetically mutated into monsters by Professor Conguise.
When I’m done with that, I have a suspense/thriller knocking around in my skull along with the prequel to the Lake of Sins series – the story of the Great Death.
So, with my day job, I have years of work planned out for me.
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.
As soon as they were all together, she headed toward the Mile of Fire. It grew hotter with every step and the air became acrid, burning her nose and throat. Sweat no longer trickled down her back; it was a full-blown downpour.
“Are you sure the rocks are cold?” asked Jackson.
“I never said cold. I said they shouldn’t burn us to crisps.”
“I’m pretty sure you said they wouldn’t burn us at all,” said Hugh. “I don’t recall the clarification of to a crisp.”
“Stop whining. You’re out of jail. You should be happy.” He was going to drive her crazy. The sooner he and Dad separated from them the better.
“I’ve been beaten, accused of treason and sentenced to execution without complaint but I’m whining because I don’t want to be burnt to something just a little less than crispy?”
“Yeah. You don’t hear anyone else complaining. Do you?” Good thing she had her back to him because she couldn’t keep the half-smile off her face. He had the irritating gift of being funny and annoying at the same
time. She slowed down. She wasn’t ready for this, but here it was.
The Mile of Fire loomed ahead. Its shimmering waves of heat almost unbearable. The five of them were drenched in sweat, although the closer they got to the rocks the quicker the sweat was drying. Small puffs of steam were coming off her clothes. It was the same for the others. If they didn’t stop sweating they were going to be basted in their own juices. Of course, if they did stop sweating they’d be dried like old fruit left in the sun. They had to move fast.