Gods, demons and pagan deities… Dark fantasy author Tamara Lakomy explores magic and mysticism in an unconventional manner in her novel The Shadow Crucible. Lakomy discusses her book, motivations and advice for writers who are new to the art of storytelling.
When did you first know you would become an author?
“I began writing when I was 13, and I didn’t take it seriously enough as I had little confidence, but as time went by and as I was a avid reader, I began to write little snippets of stories that had been germinating in my mind for years. At University, I saw a quote by Toni Morrison about books and it spurred me to start again, but it wasn’t until I was 23 that I began seriously. Deep down I believe I have always wanted to be an author, as I have always looked up to them more than anyone else.”
How would you describe your book, The Shadow Crucible?
“The Shadow Crucible although classified as Dark Fantasy, has strong Gothic elements. It’s a voyage into the little known realms of Gnosticism and the esoteric. While it does blend many elements of ancient religions, they are all connected with a salient thread, inviting the reader to examine the roots of their beliefs.”
Can you tell us about your main character?
“This novel isn’t about a generic hero wanting to save the world, rather one that is confronted with a reality she cannot change – a blind creator of the world masquerading as its savior, while harvesting human souls as fuel to challenge the Goddess. Entrusted with this deeper burden our protagonist Estella seeks to overcome the shackles imposed on them all.”
Is there an underlying theme you explore in the book?
“This novel challenges the eternal question that philosophers have contemplated: maybe the god who rules earth isn’t benevolent and [what if] we are trapped here for sinister reasons? Perhaps the mindless evil we see in our nature is because we are somehow a forsaken creation, a dark unpalatable reality that she must confront.
I have blended many Gnostic themes, woven pagan mythology and shamanic transformations (Initiatic rites) to shed light on the obscure world of apotheosis.
In the novel, the world is a macabre chessboard between the the Gods, Arch Demons of the Abrahamic faiths and the pagan deities who seek to make a revival by offering humanity and those they have “touched” an exit out of this world where they are free from the infernal games of the ownership of human souls. The Shadow Crucible promises to interpret mysticism and magic in a novel way.”
Are there any challenges you have overcome that you would like to elaborate on?
“There is a lot of misunderstanding around the topics that I write about; many deem my writings too dark and edgy, and do not necessarily understand my cultural context. I grew up in North Africa, I am a tribal girl that moved to a western society, our storytelling back home is dark, as we have overcome much and we endure many hardships and sorrows, poverty being the least.
I come from a culture little understood and I choose to convey messages through fantasy, as we are used to little freedom of speech, and prefer to weave our ideas through the vehicle of fiction.”
Do you have a particular author you’re fond of or that has influenced your writing?
“I have numerous favorite authors and I cannot choose one above the other, as they tend to switch places depending on my mood. I am deeply influenced by French writers, coming from a francophone environment; Balzac, Flaubert, Zola and Maupassant and naturally Tolkien.”
What advice would you give to an up-and-coming writer?
“I always suggest to writers who are starting out to take their time and while it is good to bear the audience in mind, don’t hesitate to delve into the topics and themes that fascinate you the most, whether they be controversial, taboo or obscure. Writing to be solely famous and rich is not the right attitude and often ends in failure, it is the desire to share something beautiful with the world, thought provoking and hopefully immortal. The things that you may not like about yourself are possibly what makes you unique and stand out, so leverage it and make the most of it.”
“Writing is a tool to give a message to humanity and leave a lasting imprint, so pour out your soul and remember you will be rejected and loved, so write, take on board constructive criticism and ignore the rest.”
— 📖 cHaOsPiRaTiOnS 🔥 (@chaospirations1) March 29, 2017
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