Previously I posted a review for "The Lotus Effect" Bridget Ladd. As part of the review process, I also had the opportunity to do a brief interview with the author that I wanted to share.
MTG: I posted a review for your book today; tell us something about the book that is not in the summary. (About the book, character you particularly enjoyed writing, hidden symbolism that’s subtle etc.)
Ladd: I usually describe “The Lotus Effect" like this: “Imagine if a Princess were to suddenly become a Knight—it’s sort of like that.” I love writing action scenes. The ones that involve Xander and Lily. They are the hardest to write in my opinion, but come so naturally to me now—there are so many intricate details and moving parts. Can she hold this, while doing this? If this was happening to me, what would I do? What would I see? Or feel? I played sports while growing up, and as a writer, I feel the need to submerge into that same hyper sense of reality. I tune everything out, turn on some epic music, and just plunge into the scene. Hours later, I’ll eventually come back to my senses and think, “Woah! That was fun!”
MTG: Do you have a favorite book(s) and why? I know it’s often impossible to narrow it down to one, so just pick one (or a few) that is a new favorite or consistent “go-to”.
Ladd: Hmn. I grew up reading R.A. Salvatore and Sara Douglass novels, which I believe helped to train my mind to write action and fantasy. I also really enjoyed “Eon” and “Eona” by Alison Goodman. But like you said, there’s so many! I read Harry Potter as they came out. (Harry and I were the same age!) I was one of those crazies who stood in line at Barnes and Noble during the midnight releases. *Looks at bookshelf* Oh yes! The “Tiger’s Curse” series by Colleen Houck is great and full of adventure and romance.
MTG: What books are you reading now?
Ladd: I’m reading “The Story of Awkward” by R.K. Ryals. I’m not far enough into it to have a fully formulated opinion, but so far it’s cute and really imaginative.
MTG: Where did you find inspiration for this book?
Ladd: Let’s see . . . even though a lot of my ideas come to me in my dreams, bits and pieces that I eventually interweave together, the idea for “The Lotus Effect” came to me after waking up, while still in—I guess you could call it—the sleep daze. I didn’t even make it out of bed. I just grabbed up my laptop and started writing. I’ve always been so intrigued by Indian and Asian cultures and I’ve often thought of how the lotus was such a beautiful symbol of perseverance. I first learned about it from my Ancient Art History professor in college. She was from India and always spoke so highly of the lotus and its symbolism. I believe the seedling ideas for “The Lotus Effect” were planted then and there in that class. Teachers really do inspire!
MTG: Who designed your cover? I love them! They really get your attention and make you want to read the books.
Ladd: Thanks so much! I actually designed the covers myself. I received my Bachelor of Fine Art in Computer Animation at East Carolina University and decided writing was a better fit for me. But luckily, I can design my own covers!
MTG: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Ladd Write what you love. There are bound to be readers who will share those same feelings.
MTG: How did you get into steampunk? What’s your favorite aspect of the culture?
Ladd: To be honest, I love the aesthetic of it. Corsets are great! (Though, a pain to wear!) Kato, the model and fashion designer, usually has some great steampunk outfits (albeit sometimes they’re a bit revealing.)
MTG: Give us three “Good to Know” facts. Be creative: first job, likes/dislikes, hobbies, favorite way to unwind – whatever comes to mind.
- Fact #1: My favorite food is SUSHI.
- Fact: #2: Most people wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I watch Anime. “Sword Art Online” is my favorite. (And I’m a super geek who tends towards the shy side.)
- Fact: #3 Despite being a book nerd and a video game geek, I played (mostly forced to play by my parents) many sports while growing up, volleyball being my favorite. Not to brag, I actually did quite well and was nominated for the Wendy’s Heisman award for excellence in both school and volleyball. (I’m glad my parents encouraged me to play sports. It helps develop character. And when I’m writing action scenes—I can now call forth my inner athlete! (Who knew nerds could jump? :D)
MTG: Do you have any upcoming projects?
Ladd: I’m currently working on “Soul Arbor” (Rise of the Ardent, Book 3). The rough draft is finished and hopefully there will be a cover reveal soon!
Thanks for taking a look at this interview and my work. If you do ever feel inclined to read “The Lotus Effect”, please let me know what you think. If anything, I hope you fall headlong into Lily and Xander’s world and I hope it brings you all kinds of joy.
About the Author:
Bridget Ladd never quite grew up. She's most likely to be caught carrying a pocketful of souvenir rocks and shells (to the washer’s dismay) and gets excited over trivial things like colorful ponies and raiding tombs alongside her longtime favorite video game pal, Lara Croft. The smell of freshly turned dirt and the sea air are her favorites, and she isn’t above doing twirling spins barefoot in the grass on a beautiful day in her yard. Her books are her shields and she will admit to having her head in the clouds more times than she probably should . . . but she doesn't let any of this bother her too much, remembering her favorite quote by Le Guin, and knowing that the creative adult is indeed the child who survived.
As for her educational pursuits, she graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 3D Computer Animation/Interactive Design and minored in Art History at East Carolina University. Living her life solely as an artist and illustrator after school was not enough—knowing that a picture was only worth a thousand words—she felt that she needed more. She had to get the trapped stories, the vivid, sometimes adventurous, sometimes terrifying dreams, out of her head. Like the authors, artists, musicians, scientists, peaceful warriorswho inspired her, she too wishes to share her worlds with others, let them escape into the unknown. Let them know that like her, it's okay to be different.
She hopes to inspire at least one other soul. Encourage them to put their brush to the canvas, go outside and take the picture they so longed to capture, write the story or song that will blossom to life before someone else's eyes. Just as others had done for her, she hopes to create that one brilliant spark within another, to help bring more color to this sometimes ever graying world. This is her battle. What's yours?