Blog No. 295
Welcome to Week One of the Blog Tour. Where I focus on someone other than me. But only partially. I’ll definitely get to me. But for the most part I’m going to be talking about Justine Alley Dowsett and her newest book, Mirror’s Deceit. It’s part of The Mirror World Series of Fantasy books.
Justine has been writing for far longer than I have. She went into publishing (something I toyed with, with her help but have since abandoned) and is now the premier genre publisher in the city. The Mirror World books are written with her sister Murandy. Writing with another author can be enough of a challenge, writing with a sibling must take some serous control of your emotions. While I find that process fascinating (from what I understand, they act out the parts and write it all down, amazing) I am more interested in her choice of genre and how she writes books in series.
As opposed to many authors I know, Justine’s identity as an author is intertwined with her identity as a publisher at Mirror Worlds Publishing. Her presence online exists mostly within the boundary of the company. It’s admirable that she’s so focused and looks to help other authors as well as work on her own career. Justine does a lot for publishing and genre fiction in the area. I’m not sure how she has time to do it all, but she writes so much faster than I do, so that’s got to help.
Since I am completely out of touch with the world around me (including my fellow writers in the city) I had to ask Justine a bunch of questions about her writing and the series. I mostly stuck with the concept of a series as that’s what interests me most. Both The Thinking Machine and the abandoned Pilot novel are meant to be the start of a series. The reason I stopped pursuing Pilot was mostly because I wasn’t ready to focus on a novel series. But that’s maybe too much about me, so back to Justine. As I’ve mentioned (I think fifteen times already) Mirror’s Deceit is a fantasy book.
Would you consider what you write fantasy?
Yes, definitely! All of my books contain some element of fantasy and usually they are a blend of two genres. In the case of the Mirror World series, that’s fantasy and romance, and it’s on the darker side. Mirror’s Deceit in particular is about a pair of anti-heroes seeing how much they can get away with.
I love fantasy because I read and write to escape. Fantasy allows me to make up my own rules in my own world and it lets me leave behind any limitations the real world tries to dictate. The sky is the limit in fantasy.
As for why this book is fantasy? Well, it’s a lot of modern concepts and dialogue in a simpler time… oh, who am I kidding, it’s magic. It’s about getting to play with magic.
Is it more difficult than other genres?
I don’t think so. In some ways it’s a lot easier because, as I said, no limits. That being said, there needs to be a focus on world building and your challenge comes when you have to explain the world and how it works without bogging the reader down with details. Personally, I love it. I get to immerse my readers in a world of my making and there’s nothing better than that.
Why write a book series?
You’ll have to blame my sister on this one. She’s my co-author and it’s because of her that I’ve tackled writing romance at all. Oh, and she loves this world and these characters and she doesn’t want to let them go.
Besides, you can write a standalone fantasy novel, but after all that world building would you want to write just one book set in the world you’ve created?
What is it about this story that makes it deserve multiple books?
The Mirror World series is very complex. The setting is two parallel worlds that exist precariously in balance. In book one, Mirror’s Hope, the cast of characters discover how to travel to the ‘Mirror World’ where doubles of everyone exist living opposite lives, and their actions begin to essentially unbalance reality.
Now, in Mirror’s Deceit, we’re showing the story from the other side, literally. Having multiple books allows us to explore different perspectives and to take more time to resolve all the little mysteries of the world that we’ve built.
Intrigued? You can find Mirror’s Deceit and the rest of the books in the Mirror World series anywhere you buy books, or in our webstore.
Justine makes an awesome case for Fantasy storytelling. I’m usually not capable of following the big complex stories, but good fantasy can be fun, scary, tense, exciting, heartbreaking, and heart warming. With good writing and editing (and as Justine points out, world building) even the stories that don’t fit into one book are easily accessible. If you have even the slightest interest in Fantasy and or Romance, The Mirror World Series is worth checking out. If you aren’t so sure about setting off into a world that big just yet, Justine has other books you can start with, and Mirror World Publishing has more still. You may even see a book you recognize on their site.
Official Stuff for Justine
Justine Alley Dowsett is the author of nine novels and counting, and one of the founders of Mirror World Publishing. Her books, which she often co-writes with her sister, Murandy Damodred, range from young adult science fiction to dark fantasy/romance. She earned a BA in Drama from the University of Windsor, honed her skills as an entrepreneur by tackling video game production, and now she dedicates her time to writing, publishing, and occasionally role-playing with her friends.