Eric Klein Author

Interview with Lyra Shanti

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Today I am interviewing Lyra Shanti about her Shiva XIV Series (the final book came out on the 6th).



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

I was a bit surprised at how much fun it would be. I tend to overthink things, whether in writing or in everyday life, so I get rather heady and no nonsense. But when writing fantasy or sci-fi, you’re free to let go and have a good time. My dreamer side is free to explore and play around like a little kid. Sure, it takes some research here and there, but ultimately, anything goes with sci-fi and fantasy, and that sort of freedom brought out the little 8-year-old inside my heart.

Why did you choose this setting?

I first saw it in a vision… the weird combo of semi Tibetan/ancient Egyptian world that Deius appears to be came to me without much thought. It was as though it was meant to be. But I have to admit, I love ancient cultures and am a big fan of history and mythology set in places like Egypt, Rome, India, etc. Such myths, religions, and settings are ingrained in my subconscious, and I think a lot of that is present on the different planets and cultures in the universe of my Shiva XIV series.

What’s unique about your world?

Hmm… do evolved fish people count? 😉 (Yes, they do.)

I think the mix of the various myths and cultures makes the Shiva world feel unique, though I borrow from a lot of tried and true “tropes.” The trick is to do it in a way that’s not been done before, and where it feels natural to the reader.

How real do you think the science is in your book?

Well, as strange as this is, I literally had no idea about plasma energy before creating the first book. I thought I was being so cool and sci-fi when I coined “plasma” as the major energy source in The Un Galaxy of my books. I only recently found out that it’s a real thing. Lol So… I can’t tell if I’m extremely ahead of my time or extremely behind. Maybe a bit of both. 😉

What did you include that you wish was real today?

Not plasma, because it’s a real problem in my books. It starts off as clean and renewable, but is soon overused and ends up poisoning people!

I think I’d want the more “magic” stuff to be real, like with my Sarax creatures who are a combo of sphinx, griffin, and dragon. They can time/space travel and shape change at will. That would be pretty darn cool.

Tell me about your main character in Shiva XIV. What does he want most in life?

Ayn was raised by the priests of Deius who told him from birth that he is their messiah and the one who will balance to their drying universe. It’s a huge weight on Ayn’s shoulders, though he bears it with pride. He’s extremely shy and sheltered, but all of that changes when he’s forced to find his own destiny. Slowly, through the help of his new friends, he becomes the man he was meant to be, though not necessarily the messiah the priests had in mind.

What he wants most? To be loved and understood. He has a secret about his identity, and he’s terribly insecure. Prophecy aside, all he wants is to love and be loved for who he really is.

Am I the only one to see similarities between Ayn and Paul Atreides? Or the grand Dune-like scope?

Of course you’re not the only one. I’m quite a Dune fan, and it shows in the outward storyline. However, the similarities are rather surface, because Ayn and Paul couldn’t be more different in personalities. Where Paul readily accepts his role as messiah, Ayn resists and even questions his entire purpose. Paul is quite confident, the typical hero in many ways. In contrast, Ayn is sensitive and not at all what most are used to when it comes to heroes. Also, Ayn is quite young at the beginning of the story. We go through his childhood and truly get to know how he thinks and feels. I love Dune, but I think it can be rather simple and dry when it comes to the characters. And I may have weaknesses as a writer, but lack of character definition isn’t one of them.
I like to say that Shiva XIV is a cross between Dune, Star Wars, and Air Bender. All are influences, yet I always try my best to be original.

Links for Lyra Shanti: