BBB: Do you have any pets? LJL: Ah…yes. I have: two cats, one rabbit, and one hamster that actually belongs to “Uncle” Bill, my kid’s godfather. Bill’s roommate is allergic to fur, so Bill keeps Algernon over here.
The rabbit is huge and white. His name is Rabbit. (or, occasionally, Bunny.) My Chinese daughter originally gave him a Chinese name, but we couldn’t pronounce it. So she went with Rabbit because her brothers could say this. Whenever we explain that its name is Rabbit, she starts laughing. The house is set up so that the rabbit can come out for what we call “a hop” occasionally. His favorite activity is
herding soccer balls…and leaving circles of droppings around the leather shoes of guests. (My daughter joined our family at nearly 14, so she is still struggling with English. Rabbit is an exotic name to her.)
*–yes, we know Cherubim is normally plural. Thanks for your concern.
BBB: If you could have an unlimited storage of one thing, what would it be? (besides books)
LJL: Okay, I realize this is not the most elegant answer. But…toilet paper. If I never had to buy toilet paper and paper towels again, my life would be much easier.
There are six of us, plus regular guests, and I am alway discovering that we have run out of these things at the most inconvenient moment. (Usually, when I am asleep and I hear “Mom!”)
BBB: What’s the silliest thing you have heard people say about you?
LJL: Hmm… Someone once accused me of being a rich jet-setter. While that would be grand, it’s rather far from the reality of things.
BBB: What is your favorite quote?
LJL: “Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy god; I will strengthen thee; yeah, I will help thee; yeah, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isaiah 41:10)
BBB: Please tell us more about The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel and the storyline that drives it.
LJL: Hmm…you would think those of us who spent over a year writing a book would not have so much trouble saying what it was about.
Here’s the official blurb:
Before coming to Roanoke Academy, Rachel Griffin had been an obedient girl–but it is hard to obey the rules when the world is in danger and no one will listen.
Now, she’s eavesdropping on Wisecraft Agents and breaking a great many regulations. Because if the adults will not believe her, then it is up to Rachel and her friends–crazy, orphan-boy Sigfried the Dragonslayer and Nastasia, the Princess of Magical Australia–to stop the insidious Mortimer Egg from destroying the world.
But first, she must survive truth spells, fights with her brother, detention, Alchemy experiments, talking to elves, and conjuring class. Oh, and the Raven with blood-red eyes continues to watch her. It is said to be the omen of the Doom of Worlds. Will her attempts to save her world bring the Raven’s wrath down upon her?
And as if that is not bad enough, someone has just turned the boy she likes into a sheep.
It is like that…except there is a whole lot more. Joy, sorrow, pain, wonder, drama, romance. Lots of wonder. In long run, it is all about the wonder.
BBB: How many more books will there be in Books of Unexpected Enlightenment series?
LJL: At least 14. Possibly more.
BBB: What sets the Books of Unexpected Enlightenment series apart from other books in the same genre?
LJL: Good question.
I passed this question along to another author, who is a fan of the series, she wrote: “If you take the genre to be YA, the Unexpected Enlightenment series has a deeper and more complex world building and generally more characters. In that respect it might appeal to adults both for its complexity and the interesting worldbuilding behind its magical aspects.”
And she’s right. The series has some teen fans as the distribution has been somewhat limited, many of the current fans are adults. On the other hand, there are also fans as young as ten. (Later volumes will not be appropriate for ten-year-olds, but the first four or five volumes should be for younger folk.
BBB: What types of characters / creatures can readers expect in your world?
LJL: There are magical beasts, including a miniature, talking Lion and Lucky the Dragon, an Asian lung (dragon) who is the familiar and best friend of Sigfried the Dragonslayer (different dragon).
There are pixies, and wood sprites, a riding tree, an unearthly elf, and the enormous Raven with eyes like blood, who is said to be the omen of the Doom of Worlds…but who might be something else entirely.
And demons. There are demons, too.
There might even be an angel.
As to characters:
Rachel Griffin is a girl who wants to know everything—or at least everything interesting. She is the daughter of an English duke and a half-Korean mother. She has come to Roanoke to study sorcery. Her gift of perfect recall allows her to notice things that would be invisible to others. This leads her into a great deal of trouble.
If her goal of knowing everything should prove impossible, Rachel would like to become a librarian-adventurer and save the world.
Nastasia, the princess of Magical Australia, is a vision of loveliness who insists that rules be obeyed to the letter. She is tremendously loyal to her family, even though her father is a laid back fellow who puts crocodiles and emu on his national sports teams.
Sigfried Smith (a.k.a the Dragonslayer) is a superbly rich (he has the slain dragon’s hoard) orphan boy who is suffering from magic shock, having just discovered the existence of magic. This makes him absurdly brave and absurdly foolhardy. He is, however, a superb magician and a very loyal friend.
Other characters include a mysterious cute older boy, an imposing Bavarian prince, a girl who can walk into dreams, a fearless girl reporter, and many more.
BBB: If you could meet any literary figure from history, who would you meet and why?
LJL: Aslan. There are many many characters I’d like to meet, but I’m trying to think if I could only meet one, which one would have the most impact on me. There are a LOT of questions I’d like to ask Aslan.
BBB: What is your very favorite part of your day?
LJL: Around ten in the morning on a weekday. Everyone has left the house, and I have a whole day of writing ahead of me.
BBB: If Hollywood made a movie about your life, whom would you like to see play the lead role as you and why?
LJL: I really like Catherine Zeta Jones. I think I’ll pick her…picturing her the way she was in The Mark of Zorro. Ideally, I’d like someone who put across an image of both intelligence and fun. Jennifer Connelly or Joanna Going could be good calls, too. (This is assuming you mean younger me. I don’t know of any actresses who look like me now.
BBB: Of all of the Gilligan’s Island characters, I am most like (and tell us why):
LJL: The professor? That’s a hard question. Really none of them are like me. But the professor is an intellectual and rather clever. I like that.
BBB: If you could mix three animals together, which ones would you choose to make the ultimate animal?
LJL: Easy. Wolf, Deer, Cat. Those were my favorites as a child.
BBB: What’s coming up for you for the rest of 2014 and into 2015??
LJL: More writing. I am trying to finish Book Three, Rachel and the Technicolor Dreamlands. (That title is from a dream, but friends liked it so I decided to use it.) The next book, which I’m really looking forward to, is called The Awful Truth About Forgetting.
Read a 5 star review of The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel by clicking here.
Buy a print copy of The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel from Amazon by clicking here. Buy a Kindle copy of The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel from Amazon by clicking here. – ONLY $2.99!
Books in the Books of Unexpected Enlightenment series in the order they should be read: The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin The Raven, the Elf, and Rachel
About L. Jagi Lamplighter
L. Jagi Lamplighter is the author of the YA fantasy: The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. She is also the author of the Prospero’s Daughter series: Prospero Lost, Prospero In Hell, and Prospero Regained. She has published numerous articles on Japanese animation and appears in several short story anthologies, including Best Of Dreams Of Decadence, No Longer Dreams, Coliseum Morpheuon, Bad-Ass Faeries Anthologies (where she is also an assistant editor) and the Science Fiction Book Club’s Don’t Open This Book.
When not writing, she switches to her secret identity as wife and stay-home mom in Centreville, VA, where she lives with her dashing husband, author John C. Wright, and their four darling children, Orville, Ping-Ping Eve, Roland Wilbur, and Justinian Oberon.
11 Quick Things About Jagi
Favorite Food? Buckwheat casseroll
Favorite Color? No favorite color. I like blue, green, red, and purple best. (Does this mean I fall off the bridge in Monty Python’s Holy Grail?
Favorite Movie or TV Show of all Time? Movie: Winter’s Tale (the Mark Helprin novel movie) TV Chinese Paladin Three.
Favorite Drink? Jasmine Gingerale or Mint Limeade. Elderberry flower drink is good too.
Favorite Current Book? Is that favorite modern book? Or currently my favorite book? Favorite book: War and Peace. Favorite recent book? Probably J. K. Rowling’s Silkworm…though it was disturbing.
Favorite Season? Fall
Favorite Online Hangout? Facebook…though I hold to the truth “Facebook is not your friend.”
Favorite Animal? Cat/wolf/deer
Favorite Band or Musician? The Newsboys
Favorite Mode of Travel? (Trains, Planes or Automobiles) Probably Automobiles
Favorite Vacation Destination? Chincoteague (A magical place and the location of my favorite book when I was eight, Misty of Chincoteague.)
Connect with JagiCONTEST INFO: Open to readers worldwide.
Prize: A $75.00 Amazon Gift Card
Nov 27, 2014
Author L. Jagi Lamplighter Interview and $75.00 Amazon Gift Card Contest LIVE Here!
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