S.G. Blaise - Entertaining, Complex, and Original Fantasy

S.G. Blaise - Entertaining, Complex, and Original Fantasy

S.G. was born in a faraway land of castles, monarchies and fallen dictatorships, aka Hungary. Hollywood movies were largely forbidden under Soviet oppression during her childhood, but her dad smuggled them in anyway, risking his life so that his children could experience the magic and hope inherent in those stories. She watched rebellions unfold in real time. Journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean for love. She ended up in sunny California, where she is living her dream — writing stories and annoying family members. As our Author of the Day, she tells us all about her book, The Last Lumenian.

Please give us a short introduction to what The Last Lumenian is about.

The Last Lumenian is a coming of age story about a 19-year-old girl named Lilla. She is a not-your-average princess and a rebel in-disguise, fighting for the refugee’s freedom. The arrival of the mysterious and ruggedly handsome Callum brings news of a bigger battle - the Era War between the two ruling archgods- that threatens not only Lilla’s home world but everyone else’s in the Seven Galaxies. Lilla must learn to control her magic and defeat the dark god before He finds her - the last Lumenian.

What inspired you to write this book, was there anything in particular that made you want to tackle this?

The inspiration for this book series comes from a dream that came to me during a cross-country European trip in 2012. As I was writing it down, in the middle of the night, with the only illumination coming from my phone, that dream morphed into a story spanning multiple books. Growing up, Hollywood movies were forbidden under Soviet oppression, but my dad smuggled them in any way—not to sell them, but to show them to his children. Seeing the magic in the movies like Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Dune, and Back To Future fostered a love for Sci-Fi Fantasy that would lead to me creating the Seven Galaxies universe.

The Last Lumenian combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, and romance. What inspired you to blend these genres together?

I love combining Science Fiction with Fantasy. I never know where my imagination will take me! Magic seeps into my stories, no matter what. My characters explore a complex society that combines magic with technology and the repercussions that go along with it. Including romance enhances the bond between readers and characters. The combination of these three genres gives the reader the experience of being truly immersed in the story and get to know the characters and worlds they explore as if they are experiencing it themselves. Allowing them to get a better idea of who these characters are at their core and why they choose to make the decisions that they do.

Lilla, the protagonist of The Last Lumenian, is described as a rebellious princess. Tell us more about her. What makes her tick?

Lilla starts out as a reluctant hero who is the last of her kind. It follows the Chosen One narrative. However, her journey blends this narrative with elements of a fellowship. Friends who play pivotal roles in her development and the storyline surround her. She is a princess, yet an underdog in a society that values patriarchal leadership. Lilla wants to help the refugees and joins the rebellion, but she does not fit in there either. She also struggles with mental health issues in the form of claustrophobia. She starts out as a reluctant hero, but by overcoming internal and external struggles, she will learn what her true place in the Seven Galaxies is.

The novel has been praised for its intricate world-building. Can you tell us about the process of creating the universe of Uhna and the Seven Galaxies?

The process of creating the universe of Uhna and the Seven Galaxies stems from a deeply rooted love for intricate societies and leadership. I grew up in Hungary, a country which has a rich history of fallen monarchies and dictatorships. Experiencing this first hand has had a lasting influence on my worldview and inspires many aspects of my world building. Also, this series had a lot of inspiration, ranging from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, to Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Princess Bride, and Guardians of the Galaxy, just to name a few. One of the primary inspirations I drew from these stories is rich world-building. I want my readers to imagine a world and see it as if they are walking through it themselves. My goal was to create a cinematic experience, like all of my inspirations did.

The Last Lumenian features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own motivations and backgrounds. Which characters did you have the most fun with creating?

I had the most fun creating both Lilla and Glenna. Both women are role-models for female empowerment. Their complex characters are at the cusp of being an adult, but still under pressure from many directions - family, duty and even destiny. I spent many days shaping Lilla, starting from her stubbornness to her humor and, finally, to her loyalty. I wanted to create a determined hero who struggles with claustrophobia-induced panic attacks and overcomes both inner and outer obstacles on her journey of self-discovery. She is a reluctant hero, but more realistic than I’ve ever seen because of her vulnerability with mental health, and her perseverance that guides her to keep fighting for what she believes in. For Glenna, it was a thrill to explore somewhat of a flipped side of that coin. She is confident in who she is and came from a troubled past that influences who she is at her core. Losing her parents at such a young age to a battle between the Mages and Healers has left her scorned and determined to help others regardless of the consequences. Both characters teach us we don’t have to be perfect to be a hero.

Romance plays a significant role in the story, particularly the dynamic between Lilla and General Callum. What challenges did you face in writing their relationship, and what do you hope readers take away from it?

The first challenge was writing a love story with only one POV through Lilla. I wasn’t ready to have a Callum POV just yet. On the other hand, this gave Callum more mystery regarding who he is and his motives are, not just for Lilla, but for the readers as well. I hope the readers will understand how Callum treats Lilla as an equal and supports her without overshadowing her choices.

The book explores themes such as political repression, economic inequity, and mental health. How did you approach incorporating these complex themes into a fantasy/sci-fi setting?

Growing up in Hungary, I had many personal experiences with complex societal themes that allowed me to showcase and highlight the most important aspects of them in the Last Lumenian books. By using them as part of the world building, my main hero had to overcome these obstacles, thus showing the readers one way to deal with them. This also allowed the story to be free from preaching these themes.

The Last Lumenian has been compared to works by established authors like Sarah J. Maas. Who are some of your personal favorite authors?

Some of my favorite authors have influenced me both professionally and as a reader. They include authors like Brandon Sanderson, Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, Danielle Steel, Sidney Sheldon, Robert Ludlum, Karen Marie Moning, just to name a few. Each of these authors has a specific writing style that continues to encourage me to learn more about the writing craft and enhance my writing even more.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you plan out the entire story before you start writing, or does some of it just "happen" along the way?

I lean more toward the plotter side rather than the pantser side. From my writing journey, I’ve learned that I prefer creating an outline, planning the scenes out ahead of time, but leaving room for improvisation. I highly suggest all writers to test out different methods to find out what works best for them. Each writing style differs from one another. If you find yourself stuck with one style, try another. You never know what you like until you try more.

The book has received both praise and constructive criticism from readers. How do you navigate feedback, and what aspects of the novel are you most proud of?

I've come to realize that all feedback has its own value. One of the hardest parts about being a writer is processing the feedback you receive from others. Regardless if it is negative or positive, use it to your advantage and enhance your writing. The writing journey never ends and there is always more to learn.

Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?

An interesting writing habit I’ve picked up over the years is taking my time to build a structured outline before diving into writing. Sometimes, doing this means I only spend about a month on writing since I can pull inspiration directly from my outline. Making an average day of writing for me is a fun process and feels more like writing from prompts rather than pressure to ensure I hit a specific number or goal for the day.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently working on the fifth book in the Last Lumenian series. I can’t wait to share it with readers!

Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?

I encourage readers to sign up for my free monthly newsletter at sgblaisenews.com to get exclusive first looks at all projects and upcoming events. Readers will receive a first look into all upcoming plans, free downloadable Lumenian goodies, rewarding book sweeps, giveaways, and so much more! Also, connecting on social media is the perfect way to stay up to date with all things Lumenian and Seven Galaxies. Follow me on IG/TikTok at @sgblaiseofficial and on Facebook /thelastlumenian. I hope to see you there!

The Last Lumenian
S.G. Blaise

Princess Lilla, a rebel-in-disguise, is fighting for the refugee's freedom. But the arrival of the mysterious and ruggedly-handsome Callum brings news of a bigger battle—the Era War—that threatens all in the Seven Galaxies. Lilla must learn to control her magic and defeat the dark god before He finds her - the last Lumenian.