Lanie Mores has her Honours Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology and is a certified hypnotherapist and personal trainer. She lives in Ontario with her husband, son, and forever barking Chihuahua, Batman. You can find her online at laniemores.com.
Shauna Kosoris: What inspired your first book, Father of Contention?
Lanie Mores: The Father of Contention series originally was conceptualized as a trilogy, starting with Book 2, Guardian of Angel, and then continuing on with Books 3 and 4. However, there was so much backstory that after I finished the trilogy, I went back and wrote Father of Contention as a prequel to the series. After much deliberation, I decided to release Father of Contention first, since it truly is the beginning of the story and explains my philosophy of the origins of life and our connection to the supernatural world, creating a strong foundation for the rest of the series.
Did you know at the outset that it would be part of a series?
I’ve always had extremely graphic, colourful dreams that, after awakening, I would jot down with the goal of turning them into novels one day. A few of them really caught my interest and I began working on them independently until one day, after a eureka moment (weirdly, triggered by a Scooby-Doo episode I was watching with my son), I realized they were all connected…parts of the same story. So, at the outset, I had no idea I was developing a book series.
Has the series taken you in any unexpected directions after Guardian of Angel, the second book, was written?
Once I realized that my disjointed dreams were really part of a series, I had the main storyline mapped out in my brain at the outset, and that hasn’t changed. The minor storylines have shifted, however, during the writing process—characters have been added or cut out, or have become more relevant to the main story, some details and extra scenes have been added to help explain my philosophy and the storyline in a more cohesive fashion…but the main concepts and characters have remained the same.
I’m a scientist at heart and I’ve always been fascinated by recombinant DNA technology (rDNA). The character of Renner Scholz was inspired by the scientists that started the whole application of rDNA to the natural world, the Oncomice research which originated in the ‘70’s. Having Renner then exposed to the occult world was a paradox, since he was adamant that the supernatural did not exist. Once he met Milena Nowak, he became obsessed with uncovering the scientific explanation for the existence of another realm invisible to the naked eye. His obsession becomes toxic, an unexpected twist that adds to the storyline while still getting my theory of the afterlife across.
Why does the paranormal romance genre appeal to you as a writer?
I have always been fascinated by science and how it can prove an afterlife exists, instead of the opposite which is what most scientists believe. Science and religion are usually expressed as mutually exclusive concepts, not part of the same whole, however my theories believe they are connected. I included a tad of romance in order to bring an emotional element to the story, so it’s not all philosophy and science. Besides, who doesn’t like a good romance?
You have a background in both psychotherapy and hypnotherapy; did these factor into your books at all?
Yes, being a psychotherapist and having a background in psychology did factor in both of my books. Understanding the human psyche allows me to dig deeper into my characters’ motivations for their behaviour and give them a more realistic touch. I also delve into mental health issues on various occasions, such as with Milena’s sister Brigita having Schizophrenia, and Angelika Juris having social anxiety and panic attacks.
Both Father of Contention and Guardian of Angel were self-published. Why did you decide to go that route?
I tried to go the traditional publishing route with Father of Contention, but I kept getting told the same thing…gain some recognition, get something published before we will publish you. I could have kept trying, but I was impatient and wanted to get my book on the market. I figured I could self-publish and gain recognition that way, with the future goal of getting later books published by a traditional publishing company. Until then, I’m enjoying the flexibility that self-publishing allows…total control over the look of my cover, and the internal content of my story. We are lucky that in this day and age, we have the opportunity to self-publish. It just costs a little more.
What are you working on now?
Presently, I am working on polishing the manuscripts for Books 3 and 4 of the Father of Contention series and getting them ready to be published. The goal is to have Book 3, Sea of Forgetfulness out by summer 2020, and Book 4 out the following year. If I go the traditional publishing route it will take much longer, so I am considering self publishing again. We’ll see. I also have a dark fairy tale that I am working on…a stand-alone book that I am extremely excited about.
Well good luck with everything! To finish up, let’s talk a little bit about reading. What book or author inspired you to write?
Stephen King and Margaret Atwood both inspire me to write. Stephen King, because he has such an amazing skill at tapping into your own morbid thoughts and making it feel as if you are watching a movie inside your head, instead of reading a book. I can’t put his stuff down. Margaret Atwood also has this effect on me, plus I find her writing to be poetic. Her descriptions are bang-on, eloquent and thought-provoking, while she also has some similar beliefs as I do, where science and religion are concerned. Both writers inspire me to write each day, and to keep trying to be a better writer.
Is there a book or author that you think everyone should read?
Not to sound like a broken record, but again I have to mention Stephen King and Margaret Atwood as must-read authors, but their dark content might not be suited for everyone. So, for an author I think everyone should read, I recommend J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series. Her stories and characters come to life with such clarity. The brilliantly creative world she helps us to imagine sucks us in and becomes a world we want to live in. The series is suitable for everyone, and chock full of humour, adventure and a more palatable darkness that we can all relate to.
And what are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty. I fell in love with the characters and storyline after watching the television series and knew I had to read the book. The book and screen versions are extremely similar to each other, which is so satisfying. I strongly recommend reading it if you haven’t already.