Sotia Lazu - Greek Gods Reborn in Today's World
Sotia Lazu loves writing romances with a twist and urban fantasy novels. Her favorite characters are not conventional hero-material at first glance, and she enjoys making them fight for their happiness. She says that sappy movies make her bawl like a baby, and she wishes she could take in all the stray dogs in the world. Sotia shares her life and living quarters with her husband, their son, and two rescue dogs—one of which may be part-pony. As our Author of the Day, she tells us about her book, Peace for Poseidon.
Please give us a short introduction to what Peace for Poseidon is about.
Peace for Poseidon is the first book in my Olympians Ascending series. The series is about Greek gods reborn in today's world. In order to ascend to their full former power, they must bond with their soulmates, whom the mysterious C has located for them. In Poseidon's book, we meet Poseidon--Sei for short--who's more or less a spoiled brat, grumbling about having to bond with a mortal woman for eternity. Only he may have more depth than we initially realize. And it's possible he doesn't find his soulmate all that objectionable once he meets her.
What inspired you to write about Greek gods and their mates?
I'm Greek, born and raised in Greece, and I've always loved our mythology. For years, I refused to write stories about it, because I have a specific idea in my head about how things "happened." Only a couple years ago, I realized that as long as I acknowledge mythology, I can tell any story I want. I mean, the stories that survived to this day were hearsay recorded by mortals, while my Titans and Olympians experienced them, right? Once I allowed myself that leeway, I was like a kid in a candy store!
Tell us more about Sei, what makes him tick?
Sei is used to getting his way, and he's kind of bored with it. He's supposed to rule the world once he ascends, but it was never his choice. When he meets Irine, whose name means Peace in Greek, he finally finds something he truly wants. It kind of changes his perception of things. No spoilers, but while I was writing him as an entitled ass, I was cackling. Nothing better than forcing such a character to come to terms with what he hides inside.
What makes Irina so special?
Although Irine is definitely drawn to Sei from early on, she doesn't just surrender to his charm. He can't buy her, and he doesn't want to. She gives him something to fight for, which he hasn't needed to do in years, and she screws with his initial perception of what he wants their bond to entail.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I draw and design covers on the side, I edit, and I cook. Mostly, I cook. And bake. I love food, and that love--other than showing on my waistline--usually seeps into my writing. I share recipes in my newsletter from time to time. They're not all Greek, but they're easy and quick and yummy.
Readers say they went from hating Sei to loving him. Why did you create him this way?
I blame Spike, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for my obsession with redeeming the bad boy/alphahole. But really, that's the challenge, isn't it? Making people love a character they initially disliked, by giving him layers? I generally go for better-balanced guys in my books, like Hermes, whom you meet in Peace for Poseidon and who's the MC in Book 2, but I do write the occasional jerk in need of soul searching. I like finding out what makes people tick. It's my way of understanding the world.
What fascinates you about Greek mythology?
Everything. I love the stories that make the gods look as petty and ruled by their passions as humans are. Love how many deities the ancient Greeks came up with, to cover every angle of their lives. And then, of course, there's all the sex and intrigues! What's not to fascinate me?
This is the first in the Olympians Ascending series. How do the other books in the series tie in with this on?
Each book is about one of the Olympious brothers and his soulmate. They're not brothers by blood, but they've been raised together by a very-not-human man whom they call C. In the fourth book, we find out more about how he found them.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
I'll be totally superficial and say I want to meet Henry Cavill, because I've got a major crush on him in The Witcher. My husband makes fun of me for making moon eyes at the screen, but I mean... Sigh...
When did you decide to become a writer?
I remember making up intricate stories as a kid, and even trying my hand on a couple mysteries in high school, but I didn't start writing until I came upon fan fiction for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I was having a bad summer--no friends, no job, no boyfriend--and binged watched the entire show. I hated where it left off with Spike (because, hey, he totally redeemed himself) and started writing stories about him and Buffy. I made the leap to original fiction in 2012, when the idea of an Urban Fantasy story about a female vampire who really didn't appreciate her lot in life wouldn't leave me alone. Cherry Stem was born. I sent it to Loose Id, and it was immediately accepted. After that, writing was it for me. I hope I'll manage to make it my full-time job soon, because I have so many stories to tell, and my day job doesn't allow me enough time.
Was there a particular character whose voice you found it easiest to write in?
Hmm... I think it's a toss-up between Cherry Stem and Becca, from Threefold. They both have a lot of my insecurities in them. But the one character that totally surprised me by hijacking the story was Constantine from Cherry Stem ( and later the Vampire Cherry trilogy and its spinoff, Paranormal Private Investigator), who was supposed to have a throwaway line in Book 1 and ended up as a main love interest.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I don't know if it's interesting or can be considered a habit, but I can't start writing a story if I don't have the opening and closing scene ready in my head. With a full-time day job, my writing time is two hours every afternoon, and all of Saturday, and my husband and son know not to disturb me during that time, except to refill my water glass.
What are you working on right now?
I just wrapped up Book 4, Absolution for Ares, and I need to start Book 5, Heat for Hephaestus, but in the meantime, I'm helping my sister write a children's book for her three kids. That project is very hush-hush for the next month or so, though.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
They can check out my website, or follow my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SotiaLazuAuthor. To see pics of food or my dogs, find me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sotialazu. I also have a twitter account, but I'm never on there. Oh, and I have a newsletter too. Did I mention that? https://dl.bookfunnel.com/jhsct1cl4k I send an email out twice a month--unless there's an offer I need to share--and it often comes with a recipe!