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Interview Lynne Stringer

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This week we are joined by Lynne Stringer, here to tell us about her novel The Verindon Alliance (on Sale May 1, 2020).

Can you describe your world or setting?

I created the planet Verindon for my trilogy, which was released in 2013/14. Sarah, who was from Earth, travelled to Verindon halfway through book one, The Heir, and lived on Verindon for the duration of the trilogy. Verindon is a member planet of one of a group of systems called the Seven Systems. They are self-governing and their main export is in water, which the planet has in abundance, and in precious gems such as the opal-like lukis stone. They also export mining equipment and techniques. However, The Verindon Alliance takes place several hundred years before this and Verindon doesn’t have any knowledge of other planets at the start of the story.

How did you build this concept, what research did you do?

Most of it was out of my imagination and information gathered through years of sifting through this idea or that, culminating in a planet that interests me mainly because of its culture and the political situations that arise from the interactions between the two humanoid species who inhabit Verindon—the Vendel and the Verindal.

Why did you choose this setting?

I don’t know if I’d call it a choice. The location grew in my head.

What’s unique about your world?

Verindon’s sky is covered by translucent clouds. It’s raining (only lightly) constantly. It’s hard to notice and feels more like high humidity than anything else. But between the horizon and the cloud cover, the entire sky looks like a floating rainbow.

How do you explain the science or magic in your world?

At the time of my latest book, The Verindon Alliance, they don’t have much more advancement in their technology than we do on Earth, except in the development of lasers which are used both in weapons and scientific investigations. I’m not heavy on the science aspect, preferring to develop character relationships and cultural and political situations on my planet.

What was the most surprising thing you found out while researching/writing your latest book?

Just how determined the two different species on Verindon were not to work together. I knew it was going to be a major feature of the book but even I was surprised at how stubborn my characters were to stick to their guns.

I was also surprised (and relieved) to discover that a story that I’d referred to occasionally in my original trilogy and had worked out only sketchily, held together when I came to write it out in full.

How do you handle the food in your world?

The trilogy has some references to eating food such as cooking different creatures, such as a grondal (a stupid but vicious predator about the size of a leopard) and eating a worsha fruit (which looks like a plum but has a fishy aftertaste), however, The Verindon Alliance didn’t require much mention of food to tell the story, so little of it is covered in this one.

Do you have a recipe that you could share, maybe one that our readers could try, based on the food in your world?

Grondals taste great when cooked on a spit over an open fire, but the smell is unbelievably bad. You definitely have to hold your nose while you’re eating!

What was the most mundane item that you used that really has cool tech or magic behind it?

One of the new innovations the Verindal have developed in The Verindon Alliance is a metal that feels as soft as a cushion when you sit on it. It’s only just started being used in the car belonging to the Verindal High Family at the time of the novel, but it will be in mass production within a few years.

What did you include that you wish was real today?

One thing from my trilogy is that most things are virtual. You can redecorate your house completely, including the number of floors, entries, rooms, etc, by changing the virtual program. You can also design and wear virtual clothes that look and feel like any normal clothes that we have on our planet.

Anything else you would like to share with our readers?

You don’t have to have read my trilogy in order to enjoy The Verindon Alliance, so feel free to buy it first and read the others later. I would be interested to see how many different things readers pick up in the trilogy doing it this way from those who read the trilogy first.

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