Lori Holmes - Gripping Fantasy Romance Set 40,000 Years in the Past
Growing up in England and having had a misspent youth devouring everything science fiction and fantasy, Lori enjoys reading and writing books that draw a reader into new and undiscovered worlds with characters that are hard to part with long after the journey comes to end. Lori's debut novel, The Forbidden, begins the epic journey into the Ancestors Saga, combining history, mystery and legend to retell a lost chapter in humanity's dark and distant past. When not lost in the world of The Ancestors Saga, Lori enjoys spending time with her family (2 twin boys, 2 whippets, and her husband - it's a busy house!) usually outdoors walking and exploring the great British countryside. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Forbidden.
Please give us a short introduction to what The Forbidden is about.
The Forbidden (Book 1 of the Ancestors Saga) takes audiences on an epic journey 40,000 years into our own dark and forgotten past. It offers a unique twist on the pre-historic fiction genre by entwining known fact with myth, legend, and the supernatural.
The story centers around Rebaa, a young female of the Ninkuraaja People. Kidnapped from her own forest tribe years before by a clan of Cro Magnon. Rebaa dares to fall in love with a man not of her own species and in doing so, defies every lore laid down by the creators of Human Kind, the Sky Gods.
When a bloody battle with mysterious creatures wipes out her adopted clan, Rebaa is cast adrift in the frozen wilderness. Now she must fight for not only her own life but also that of her unborn Forbidden child.
Driven by the love for her baby, Rebaa sets out on a perilous journey to find a safe haven for them both. But what haven could possibly exist for one who bears the Forbidden?
What inspired you to write this story? Was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?
I’m not entirely sure where the first seeds for the Ancestors Saga sprang from. I remember having the idea for the two main characters of what has now become book 2 of the saga, Daughter of Ninmah. It was the idea of a small orphan girl who belonged to a group of people with special abilities and her friend and protector who was a half-breed and deeply frowned upon by the rest of the girl’s people.
This basis for their story was in my head long before the setting came to me. I have a keen interest in history and I remember one day reading the latest research on how ancient species of humans interbred and suddenly everything fell into place. I distinctly remember sitting in my future husband’s car when lightning struck and I realized I had something worth writing.
The idea of the little girl’s people sprang from a musing my mom once had, which was: what could humans have become had we followed a more spiritual path, rather than a technological one? From that, the Ninkuraaja were born.
Tell us more about Rebaa. What makes her so special?
Rebaa belongs to the Ninkuraaja. A now-extinct species of human that possessed elemental abilities. As such, Rebaa has a connection to the Earth and all its living creatures. She is unique among her kind in overcoming the aversion to other humans and falls in love with a Cro Magnon chief. Despite facing insurmountable odds and death at every turn, Rebaa’s will to survive and extraordinary abilities are almost enough to overcome everything thrown into her path.
Why did you pick 40,000 years ago as the backdrop for your story?
I chose 40,000 years ago as a setting because this was the time when the other species of humans that we used to share our planet with were nearing extinction, which fitted nicely with my idea for the overarching story in the Saga. I wanted to explore what each People were facing and add my own fantastical twist to the events that took place.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Besides writing, I am an artist. I love sculpture most of all and plan to sculpt my characters once I have finished writing the series. I also love gardening and am a shameless Japanese Maple addict!
What drew you to fantasy romance as a genre?
I was drawn to the fantasy romance genre because these are the sort of books I grew up reading. Fantasy and sci-fi were always my first love and so the adage goes: write what you know!
Do any of your characters ever take off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
Indeed they do! Daughter of Ninmah (book 2 of the Ancestors Saga) almost doubled in length because of this.
This book is part of a series. Can it be read as a standalone? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
The Forbidden can be read as a stand-alone. I wrote Daughter of Ninmah first and The Forbidden started life as a prequel novella before becoming what it is today, Book 1 of The Ancestors Saga. As such, the main characters in The Forbidden are not the main characters followed through the rest of the series and, in being the first book, you don’t have to have read anything else to understand what is happening.
The Forbidden connects to the rest of the series in following the life of Rebaa’s Forbidden son, Juaan.
What is the first thing you do when you start on a new book?
When I start a new book, I try to write a loose outline of where I would like things to go, whether I stick to that outline or not is another matter entirely. There is a lot of head-scratching and banging my head against a blank screen at this point, too!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?