Interview with Stella Atrium, Author of Seven Beyond

14 Sep 2022

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Seven Beyond?

As a young person, I wondered how a career would shape if a person had enough time to master any discipline. And why not more than one discipline like music or finance or architecture? How would a person’s outlook change? What choices would be delayed or discounted?

Leonardo de Vinci, for example, mastered and pioneered several disciplines, but he had no private life and worked for hire making weapons for this lord or that one, just to buy more marble. Of course, for women the demand or child-bearing years dictate many choices, but what if she could space out pregnancies over centuries? How would her experiences and career and life choices be impacted?

When my father began to age, additional questions piled onto the snarl. How to face daily life when friends are gone, or a homeland is lost, or your memory is faulty? What reasons to take up the daily tasks and keep going? All these concerns were pressed into the plotline of Seven Beyond.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’ve been reading for many decades, so I had trends where I read mostly biography or mostly philosophy. In the 2000s I was enamored with books about the Ottoman Empire; I sort of fell down the rabbit hole.

I read in fantasy after I discovered Robin Hobb. The books based on old fairy tales were a favorite, or tales from Eastern European Jewish tradition.

I started reading deeply in science fiction when I was writing in that mode, but shied away from the grimdark subgenre where all the plots were the same and interest was driven by the gore or unusual creatures. That trend ran out for me rather quickly.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Right now I’m reading books from India, especially survival strategies for women in a layered society, where status is about what you are rather than gained through merit. The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi is open on my reader right now.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

In Seven Beyond I loved working with the traveling group who are on a journey of discovery. Lady Drasher leads them through her wealth and social contacts. She is cynical like me and brooks no dissent to her methods. She tells stories during the idle times that are based on literature with a wicked twist of her own, like she was there.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

The needed elements to write are to get up early, put on a pot of coffee, and turn on the computer. At two in the afternoon I look up because my stomach is growling. LOL

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Never let ‘em see you sweat.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Our lives benefit from the lives of people who came before us: family, friends, heroes, philosophers, leaders, enemies. We should learn a little something about them.


Stella Atrium is the author of the new book Seven Beyond

Connect with Stella Atrium

Author Site



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