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Updated: Mar 22

Beverly Fowler with the Cadmus Book Award

One of the main goals behind the Cadmus Book Awards is to take every opportunity to promote our winners work. A new feature coming to the blog will be a series of interviews with our winners from 2023. These writers know what it takes to finish a book. We want to explore their processes, inspirations, and learn what drives them to keep creating good stories and sharing them with the world. 

Today our first interview for this series is with author Beverley Fowler. She won the 2023 Cadmus Book Award for the Action/Adventure category. Her novel is called “The Sorceress of Lansheer”. 

Solzanna of Lansheer was Sorceress Advisor and Protectress of Imperial Peace in the vast Lansheean Empire. Although Feraco the Great held an uneasy throne, the threat of Solzanna’s power discouraged many a would-be rebellion. But the winds of change were blowing, and a dastardly plot was brewing in the Imperial City.

We were lucky to have a conversation with Beverley Fowler covering everything from her process to her inspiration. Full interview below. 

Congratulations on winning the 2023 Cadmus Book Award for "The Sorceress of Lansheer"! Can you share a bit about yourself and your journey as a writer? 

When I was a kid, I was an avid reader. I'd find an author I liked and devour everything he or she had written. Reading and music were my favorite hobbies. I grew up on a farm in north central Alberta, with two much younger sisters, so there weren't a lot of other distractions. It was also before computers and the world wide web, so when I'd finished all the books I had at hand, and played all the songs I knew, I would daydream and make up my own, just for fun. When I was in high school, I started writing novellas, which I shared with my friends. They not only liked them, they asked me for more, which I was very happy to provide. One of these novellas was the original version of "The Sorceress of Lansheer". 

By the time I graduated, I knew I wanted to be a writer. 

You must have inferred by now, that that was many years ago. Why did I wait so long to get my story published? The answer is simple. Life took me in another direction for a while. But through two university degrees, a full-time career and raising a family, I kept on writing. It was just a hobby then, along with making music. It fed my soul and helped me cope with the ups and downs of everyday life. But the dream of publishing my work never died. 

I finally did it in 2021 with my first novel, “The Jewels of Trevaline”, another old novella reworked. “The Sorceress of Lansheer” deserved a bit more polish, and the result was worth it. It was published the following year. Both are available on Amazon and various other book sites, including my publisher, They’re also available locally at my favorite bookstore, Audrey’s

Now that my family have grown, and I'm nearing retirement, I look forward to having more time to write and share more of my daydreams with the world.

The Sorceress of Lansheer Book

Could you provide a brief overview of "The Sorceress of Lansheer" for readers who may not be familiar with it? 

This rather tongue in cheek action/adventure is mainly about a clash of cultures and ideals. Think Arabian Nights versus a bunch of gypsies. The two main characters, Solzanna the Sorceress and Jago the Dalo not only come from opposites ends of their world, but from totally opposing ideals.

Solzanna embraces her destiny as the Sorceress Advisor to Feraco, the Emperor of Lansheer. The continuing prosperity of the empire is her one object in life. 

Jago, on the other hand, is running from his as future leader of his own people. 

Brought together by a twist of fate that Jago ascribes to the meddling of the gods, they foil a treacherous plot against Solzanna and her Empire. But the Emperor is ungracious. To save Jago's life, Solzanna is forced to reject him and send him home to his own people while she marries Feraco for the sake of Lansheer. 

But Jago has other ideas. And so do the gods. In the end, an ancient empire falls because of a very foolish wager. 

Check out the trailer on YouTube for more.

What inspired the story of “The Sorceress of Lansheer”? 

A young girl's romantic daydreams, informed by a more mature view of life.

How did you go about developing the characters in your novel? What challenges and triumphs did you experience in bringing them to life? 

They develop themselves. Even their physical appearance becomes clearer as the story grows. The greatest challenge, I think, is getting into their heads, and giving them a voice, rather than arbitrarily shaping their thoughts. My characters are not perfect. To my mind, that makes them more real and endearing. Easier to identify with. When readers find my characters engaging, that's my greatest triumph.

Can you share insights into your writing process? Do you have a specific routine or ritual when working on a novel? 

I simply shut myself in my office, boot up my laptop and begin to daydream. First drafts are always a stream of consciousness. I begin to imagine a story, typing out what I see and hear in my mind, letting my characters talk through my fingers. I don't start with an outline, although I do jot down a rough plot as the story begins to unfold. Until the first draft is finished, however, and sometimes not even then, I have no idea how it will actually end. The process of writing is a journey of discovery for me. The editing is where the real fun (and the work) begins.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors based on your own experiences? How can they stay motivated and persevere in their writing journey? 

Don't give up, just keep reading and writing. Polish your craft and listen to constructive criticism. Don't get discouraged by rejection. It's not the destination, but the journey that counts. Trite but true. Enjoy it for its own sake. If you don't, it comes out in your work. 

Discuss the importance of literary awards to you, such as the Cadmus Book Awards, in recognizing and promoting quality literature. 

To me, they are very important. They are an author's form of peer review. In these days of self-publishing, there is a lot of competition, and awards help make one's book stand out from the crowd. It assures a reader it is worth their time. Marketing is hard, and the quality of the work does not always reflect in sales.

Given that your novel falls into the Action/Adventure category, how do you maintain a balance between these elements in your writing? 

Pacing and balance are crucial. Too much action can be overwhelming. It requires periods of discovery and adventure to make the conflict meaningful. The characters need reasons to do what they do, and these reasons must resonate with the reader if the action is to drive the story forward to a logical and satisfactory conclusion.

Can you share any special promotions, events, or upcoming releases related to "The Sorceress of Lansheer" that readers should be excited about? 

Nothing at this point. I'm focusing on my current project.

If you are comfortable sharing, what projects are you working on now/next? 

Right now, I'm working on an epic fantasy that takes place in a world called Feyan, focusing on the conflict between seven very different races. It starts when two young dellans befriend a troll and accidentally wake a dragon. I'm currently finishing the fourth in the series and can't wait to see how it all turns out.

Any final thoughts, messages to readers, or reflections on your writing journey that you would like to share? 

Keep writing. Keep editing your work. You never know where life will take you next.

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We all knew you could do it, Bev!

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