Stephanie: Hello, Susan! Thank you for chatting with me today and congratulations on the B.R.A.G. Medallion. Please tell me about your story, “Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy.”
Susan: Lantamyra is a sanctuary world terraformed by Keepers of Akosh (alien caretakers) to give refuge to endangered sentient beings from two nearby worlds, dragons from Lanluong and humans from Eadlan or Earth as we call her. The dragons are giants, carnivorous, and because they learned the secrets of Akoshic crystal power, they are more intelligent than the human population. However, a few select humans are allowed to learn the secrets of crystal powers and link their minds with the myra crystal. They become keepers or wards of the dragons and serve the three great Houses that rule Lantamyra.
Tylya Lansing is the main character (pronounced Ty-lee-ah) a nineteen-year-old that lives in a small town in California. Her grandmother Lenora is a keeper of dragons that was stranded on Earth. After learning her grandmother’s secret, Tylya becomes obsessed with finding the crystal scepter lost in a rugged Sierra Nevada canyon. She enlists her boyfriend, Josh Hamilton. and together they find it. Now Lenora can return to Lantamyra, and Tylya is determined to go with her. Josh is too much in love to just let her go, he desperately stows away. Once there, he joins Tylya in the training for crystal power. They meet friends, have adventures, attend a moonlight masquerade and eventually finish the training. The mind link with the crystal is a dangerous process that almost kills them. It also has side effects that alter the personality. Josh and Tylya acquire crystal power but could end up losing their love.
Stephanie: Is Lantamyra a name you created and how did you come up with it?
Susan: I didn’t want to bombard my readers with a lot of fantasy-foreign words and names, but, I did create an ancient language, Akoshic. I applied a few simple rules and created words and names. Lan means world or mother. Myra (mear-ah)means crystals. Lantamyra means world of crystals or mother of crystals. Earth was called Eadlan meaning garden mother. Lanluong means world of dragons. Atlantis means port of the world.
Stephanie: Tell me a little about, “Keepers of Akosh.”
Susan: They are an ancient race from a world many lightyears from Earth but located in our own cosmic neighborhood (Sagittarius arm of the galaxy). Myra crystals led to discovering the crystalrealm (dimension of pure energy), and the axiomatic evolution pattern for physical law (Akoshic Ways). Using doorways through the crystalrealm, they traveled the stars searching for living worlds. They became cosmic gardeners that believe the highest form a sentient life can evolve into is gardener. “There can be no higher form of existence, only greater gardens to grow.”
Susan: Please tell me about Tylya and her grandmother. Do they have a special bond? How do they help each other…..?
Susan: Tylya always admired her grandmother, Lenora, as a strong, artistic, and intelligent woman. However, after the tragic death of her father, Tyler Lansing, the bond with her grandmother increased and the bond with her mother, Deanna, decreased. This was partly due to the rebellious stage that teenagers go through with their parents, and partly because her mother blamed her grandmother for her father’s death. He died in an accident searching a rugged canyon for the scepter Lenora lost. After his death, Tylya confronted her grandmother and found out about the scepter. Like her father, she became obsessed with finding it. Right after high school, she moved into her grandmother’s house and worked in Lenora’s curio shop. The bond with her grandmother strengthened to the point that Tylya was willing to leave her mother and her lover, Josh, and go with Lenora to Lantamyra.
Stephanie: Why is Tylya so determined to become,” keeper of dragons”?
Susan: Tylya was an excellent student in High School graduating half a year early. She was intrigued with the idea of linking the mind with the myra crystals and becoming a highly intelligent super-being. When Lenora demonstrated some of her crystals powers, Tylya then became determined to go to Lantamyra and learn the Secrets of the Akoshic Ways from the dragons. All forms of power are tempting to people, but crystal powers and a mind expansion were too tempting for Tylya to resist.
Stephanie: What is your favorite scene you have written in this story and what was your inspiration?
Susan: In Chapter 17, everyone on Lantamyra is celebrating three days of the summer solstice (Litha). The Keeper’s Ball on the Eve of Litha is an elegant formal dance that Tylya and Josh attend with friends. Inspired a little by the story of Cinderella, I spent weeks and dozens of re-writes to craft a dance scene that was believable, beautiful, romantic, and sweet/sad because Josh has informed Tylya that he is no longer the same man that fell in love with her then he ended their wedding engagement. A few minutes later, a song is dedicated to Tylya and tradition requires the couple to dance the first part of the song alone on the dance floor. Josh realizes that this dance may be their last, and he tries to make it as memorable as possible.
Stephanie: Is there a particular message to your story you would like the readers to grasp?
Susan: In every language in the Universe, the strongest word is Truth, and nothing is more precious in the Universe than Life, and, of all the forms of life, nothing is more rare and precious than a living world. It nurtures and protects us all from the harmful radiation of the sun and cosmos; we should always respect our “Garden Mother,” and that’s the truth.
Stephanie: How long did it take you to write your story and will there be others in this genre?
Susan: From the first paragraph to the date of publication, Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy, took seven years and four months. I was determined to produce quality. 2008 was a terrible stressful year. My body suffered several maladies over the next two years including arthritis which disfigured and crippled my hands. My wonderful daughter and my husband helped type the pages for me. A shortage of funds made me decide to paint my own book cover, and that took several months. Two things you can’t hurry—art and old people.
Susan: I have already published A Tale of Two Worlds, which continues the story of Tylya and Josh. At this time, I only foresee one more book: The Prize of the Survivors. I hope to publish it this Fall.
Stephanie: What are you currently working on?
Susan:The Prize of the Survivors is my third book. The living world has awakened. Massive quakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and superstorms threaten to decimate the population of Earth. The Keepers of Akosh cannot prevent the devastation. They can save a few humans and selected species of plants and animals. The final gathering of refugees has begun. The U.S. Government wants to capture a crystalship and/or the keepers that fly them. Keeper Tylya Lansing is in charge of the last mission to Earth. Meanwhile, her lover, Josh Hamilton, is suffering crystal sickness from working in the crystal mine, and the hungry ghosts of dead crystalseekers have been feeding on his living energy. They threaten to trap him in a web of dreams and bleed him to death. “Tomorrow is the prize of the survivors.”
Stephanie: How did you discover indieBRAG?
Susan: My dear, daughter handles most of the marketing. She found out about indieBRAG while surfing the net. She submitted Lantamyra for me. Let me honestly say that being awarded the BRAG medallion is my proudest achievement to date. I know that very few of the indie books submitted are fortunate to receive a BRAG award. The quality standards of indieBRAG are high. The award confirmed my hopes of creating a quality story for readers to enjoy.
Stephanie: Where can readers buy your book?
About Susan Waterwyk
As a child I’d make up stories and act them out. As a teenager I made up stories to put myself to sleep at night, something I still do today. My other creative outlets included music (playing the piano), and sketching and drawing pictures, which eventually led me to painting landscapes. My husband taught me how to compose poetry, a real challenge and I struggled for years trying to grasp the various meters used in conventional poetry. I understood meter in music, but iambic-pentameter? What’s that? Anyway, I never thought of myself as a writer, much less an author of novels. However, I loved to read all types of stories, fantasy/sci-fi especially, and an occasional classic. I believe that extensive reading is an author’s best investment. Input before output.
Living in California’s Sierra Nevada, brought me closer to Nature, and I experienced her living beauty daily. Inspiration is a magic spell enchanting us all to create, and I was inspired to create a sanctuary world, a refuge for readers to escape to when the chains of reality are too heavy to bear.
Now, I’m an author and a graduate of the University of Hardknocks, a storyteller first and writer second.
A message from BRAG:
We are delighted that Stephanie has chosen to interview Susan Waterwyk, who is the author of, Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy, one of our medallion honorees at indieBRAG . To be awarded a B.R.A.G. Medallion TM, a book must receive unanimous approval by a group of our readers. It is a daunting hurdle and it serves to reaffirm that a book such as, Lantamyra: A Tapestry of Fantasy, merits the investment of a reader’s time and money.