JMW: Hello, this is Jean Marie Ward for BuzzyMag.com. With me today, is L. Jagi Lamplighter, author of the “Prospero’s Daughter” series, featuring Miranda, Prospero and nearly every character you ever loved in Shakespeare. Welcome, Jagi. Your writing career is a testimonial to patience. How many years transpired between the time you began “Prospero’s Daughter” and its publication?
Jagi Lamplighter : 17 years, 19 years until the whole series came out and it was about 10 years, I think, until I finished it–I had put aside a little bit and went back to it. And then the remaining time was spent waiting for my editor to decide if he wanted to buy it, and then once he bought it, to publish it. But during that period, I rewrote it over and over again, and it went from being one book to three. And it went from being rather silly to quite intricate and elegantly put together. I’m not going to say if the readers say it’s elegant to read, but as far as being able to put it together and have it work together, I really appreciated having that time. Sometimes, I think nothing else I do will ever be quite as intricate, because I won’t have that time to weave it all together that I had writing it over and over and over again.
JMW: Did the story evolve during that time, or was it a question of perfecting the prose?
Jagi Lamplighter : The story evolved dramatically. The prose also got a lot better as I went along. But the beginning is almost the same as the original beginning, the first part of the story. But where it went and, in particular, what hell was like changed. In my early versions, I had a silly kind of an idea for hell. I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. And as I was rewriting it, I came upon a book called “A Wanderer in the Spirit Lands” which was supposed to be a channeled book. It was written in 1896 and the idea of hell in there was so intriguing to me, and it matched things I’d read in near death experiences where people had thought they’d actually seen places that they felt were like hell.
Jean Marie Ward writes fiction, nonfiction and everything in between, including art books, novels (2008 Indie Book double-finalist With Nine You Get Vanyr), and short stories such as WSFA Small Press Award finalist “Lord Bai’s Discovery” and “Personal Demons” in the award-winning anthology Hellebore and Rue. Her videos include author interviews and tutorials.