Everything you wanted to know about Lyssa but were afraid to ask
After procrastinating on it for quite some time, I’ve decided to post a little bit of an FAQ about myself so that if you see me mentioning something on social media you won’t be like, “WTF is she talking about?”
Q: Who designs your book covers?
Most of my covers are created by the ever-awesome Najla Qamber Designs. The exceptions are Magic at Midnight, which was designed by the equally-awesome KimG Design, and Cheerleaders from Planet X, which I designed myself on a lark and wound up really liking. The covers for the Iamos Trilogy use custom photography from the unfortunately-now-out-of-business Mosaic Stock.
Q: Will any of your books be available in audio at some point?
Yes! Cheerleaders From Planet X is available now, in fact!
As for the Iamos Trilogy, I would very much like to have audiobooks made, but logistically it’s looking unlikely. It is very difficult to find producers that will use two narrators for one book, and having separate narrators for Isaak and Nadin is important to me. I’d have to hire an independent studio and it would likely cost several thousand dollars to do the entire series. Sales for the Iamos Trilogy just don’t justify that. I’ll keep my options open if anything changes in the future, but for the time being, the answer is probably no.
The Iamos Trilogy
Q: How many books are in the Iamos Trilogy?
Four. Because I want to be Douglas Adams. It’s actually 3 full novels and a novella (45,000 words is still a novella, okay?), but you can’t really get by with skipping the novella. I tried, but it just needs to be there.
Q: So what order should the series be read in?
Fourth World -> Different Worlds -> New World -> One World
- Fourth World (novel) is narrated by Isaak and Nadin
- Different Worlds (novella) is narrated by Henry and Tamara
- New World (novel) is narrated by Isaak and Nadin
- One World (novel) will be narrated by Isaak and Nadin AND Henry and Tamara
Q: I heard that Fourth World includes ace characters—who are they?
The main books of the Iamos Trilogy (i.e., not including Different Worlds) are narrated in dual-POV by Isaak, a teenage boy living on Mars 60 years from now, and Nadin, a girl from Mars’ ancient past. (Hello, time travel!) Both Isaak and Nadin fall on the ace spectrum. Isaak is demisexual, which is addressed (on-page/word used) in the first book. Nadin is asexual, which is explored on-page/word used in the second novel, New World.
(Additionally, Scylla, a major but non-POV character, is on-page aro-ace.)
Q: Is the asexual representation in the Iamos Trilogy #OwnVoices?
Yes! I go into it more below (see “Queer Stuff”), but I am ace. Nadin’s experiences very closely mirror my own.
Q: When is the last book of the Iamos Trilogy coming out?
Due to low sales, the Iamos Trilogy has unfortunately been put on hiatus. I’m hoping to be able to get back to it in 2020 for a release in either late 2020 or 2021. For more details, see this post.
Want me to be able to write the last book sooner? Spread the word! Recommend the currently-published books to your friends or request copies at your local library. If sales on the series improve, I’ll be able to get to work on One World sooner.
Cheerleaders from Planet X
Q: Is Cheerleaders from Planet X considered Young Adult or New Adult?
That depends on your definition of those genres. If you’re looking at the age of the characters, Cheerleaders would definitely be NA since the main characters are all college students. However, New Adult tends to have certain expectations assigned to it in addition to the characters’ ages—for example, NA is usually quite steamy, and though there’s been pushback from both authors and readers trying to diversify the genre to include both “sweet” romance and completely romance-less plots, that expectation is still strong and difficult to get around. Because Cheerleaders from Planet X contains no sexual content, and because its themes and writing style are similar to those of YA (such as its focus on self-discovery), I’ve decided to market it primarily as YA. But it can definitely go either way, and I’m still hoping that NA will continue to diversify as time passes.
Q: Will there be a sequel to Cheerleaders from Planet X?
Most likely. The reception to Cheerleaders has been phenomenal, and I couldn’t be more excited about that! I definitely have some ideas for continuing the story, but right now they’re still firmly in “idea” territory rather than “plot” territory. I’m letting the ideas germinate in my head for now and I’ll see where my brain leads me.
Q: What’s going on with your health? I’ve seen you mention it periodically/noticed it’s affecting your book releases…
I used to avoid going into this too much online because I didn’t want to seem like I was looking for sympathy or oversharing, but I’ve decided I want to be more open about it in order to raise awareness for the conditions I have, because they are not well understood by the general public, or even the medical profession. Treatment has been difficult because of that, so I’m hoping that being open about my disability will help open some eyes and maybe encourage health professionals to educate themselves about these conditions.
I live with a handful of chronic illnesses. Many of these have stemmed from non-cancerous pituitary tumors that I underwent surgery for in 2014 and again in 2017. Some of them the doctors are unsure of the root cause—could be the tumors, could be something else. The primary conditions that impact my life most are:
- chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)
- myoclonic seizures (non-epileptic)
These conditions can cause me to have muscle weakness, mobility issues (I often use a cane or walking stick to support myself in case my legs start to give out), and random extended periods of brain fog that make it incredibly difficult to concentrate. All these things combined have taken their toll on my writing schedule and are a major part of why my books are published so far apart. I’m still learning my limits and trying to set my publication goals accordingly, but even when I give myself a generous deadline, life has a tendency of just happening—for example, the Cheerleaders From Planet X fiasco. So basically, please know that if you’re looking forward to a book and it’s not coming out very fast, I’m not doing it to be a jerk, I promise.
As mentioned above, I (like Nadin) am asexual. This means that I do not experience sexual attraction—which is, of course, different from romantic attraction. Unlike Nadin, who is heteroromantic, I am biromantic. That’s a large part of the reason why some of my books have m/f romance and others have f/f; just like how I’m (theoretically) happy dating any gender, I’m happy writing romance between any gender. I do have an upcoming book planned with a bi heroine, but for the most part I just don’t go into it and you get the pairings you get. (If you get pairings at all. Because I also don’t write that much romance to begin with.)
I struggled for a while trying to figure out whether it was “okay” for me to write m/f and f/f both under the same pen name, as these two genres tend to not have much overlap when it comes to readership, but I ultimately decided that I was writing these books for me and for people like me. (And mostly for sci-fi/fantasy fans who [hopefully] don’t care.) So if either m/f or f/f are not your cup of tea, just be aware that I write both and maybe check the reviews of each book before you buy.
However, I am very unlikely to ever write sexual content, regardless of gender. I stay PG-rated, and my PG is probably most people’s G.
Q: How do you feel about [insert political issue here]?
I intend to add to this FAQ as more questions become frequently asked, so if there’s something you want to know more about, please feel free to leave a comment below!