Interview with Jerry Lambert, author of Minor Arcana
07 Jan 2020
What can you tell us about your new release, Minor Arcana?
Minor Arcana is book two in a paranormal thriller series called The Dark Emeralds. The first book, Queen of Swords, introduced the characters and set up the mystery of a set of cursed emeralds. It was my take on the classic ghost story, but with a twist. It takes place in two timelines, 1850 and present day. I wanted to create the tension and chills of a paranormal thriller, but also with the adventure and romance of a historical fiction. I wanted the living and the dead to both have important roles and to include real events and people. When I began Minor Arcana, I wanted to show my characters a year after a night of terrifying events. My characters had been through a lot and the ones that lived needed to show that transformation. In Minor Arcana we pick up a year later, when everyone is trying to get their lives back on track after the events of Queen of Swords. It pulls from elements of witchcraft and paganism. It delves into the history of centuries old covens and into real life brothels and the indomitable women who ran them. While Minor Arcana is book two in a series, I believe that it works well as a standalone story.
What books are currently on your nightstand?
Right now, I am reading books about Lilith and ancient pagan mythology for research for my next book. Also re-reading some classic horror; Henry James’ Turn of the Screw. I am a horror fan from way back. I have always loved Stephen King and Anne Rice. In the past few years I have also developed a love for fantasy, such as Neil Gaiman. They certainly have all been an inspiration to me in my writing. So up next on my shelf is Anne Rice’s Blood Communion and Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. When you’re in the process of writing or editing it is nearly impossible to read, so when you’re in between books it’s a good time to finally get caught up on reading.
What advice would you give your teenage self?
I was a voracious reader and I loved to write, but I didn’t have the confidence to pursue writing as a full-time career. When I went to college I went into other directions. I would tell my teenage self that no matter what happens, keep on track and eventually the confidence will come along with it. Keep writing no matter what else you may do. And in the times when life gets the hardest, that is when you need to work out harder and write more.
If you had an extra hour each day, how would you spend it?
I would probably spend it learning more about the publishing process and possibly get into formatting my own work. I have considered starting my own publishing business, though currently I just don’t have the time. On the other hand, I might just use that spare hour for another cup of coffee and to walk my two miniature dachshunds a little more.
What makes your world go round? Why does it bring you joy?
When I’m not working, spending time with my family, friends, and my dogs makes me happy. I love traveling with my loved ones as often as we can. We love lake house trips in the summer and traveling to Europe and Africa for fun and research. Being able to explore the world with my husband and friends is one of the greatest joys I have, and it makes anyone a more well-rounded individual. It creates an understanding of other people and other worlds that you would never otherwise be privy to.
What scene in Minor Arcana was your favorite to write?
When writing suspenseful thrillers, I love adding scenes with a bit of comic relief. I love the awkwardness of dark comedy and it throws people off a bit in a story that could otherwise be too heavy. In Minor Arcana there is a funeral scene and a cocktail party scene that were both written to break tension and set up the next surprise. Each scene involves a cast of characters that are fun to write about and are based on events and people who I know well. The Hanukkah party scene is based on a dear friend, who has since passed away, who used to have these fabulous gatherings with the most eclectic crowds. You never knew what celebrities, socialites, chefs, luminaries, Cirque du Soleil acrobats, or hairdressers you would meet there. Writing a scene that invites readers into one of those evenings was a highlight for me.
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