I read Cursed Times-Now What? in about two days. I loved it! Being that I sort of feel like a brainless writer–meaning that I would love to write historical fiction if I weren’t so lazy–I was blown away by the amount of research and attention to detail that Lina put into this book. Rightfully so, this book was awarded a 2015 Watty Award out of 75,000 entries! Congratulations, Lina!
Cursed Times – Now What? by Lina Hanson
From Pyramids to Standing Stones; from the high-tech 21th century Earth to a parallel past full of magic: ‘Cursed Times’ follows the adventures of an extraordinary woman. Trueth, last of the European witches (or so she thinks) sets off on a vacation from hell which starts in an underground temple and goes downhill from there. Together with her new-found friends she solves a 5000-year old riddle and, as a reward, not only gets heart-broken but stranded in an alternative Egyptian civilization.
The place is as full of magic as it is lacking in decent showers. Instead, there is evil lurking just below the surface of the Nile and Trueth will need to embark on yet another world-saving adventure. One that hopefully does not end with a romantic shipping-wreck…
What sparked the idea for the novel?
I’m fascinated by history. Especially the long bloom of the ancient Egyptian civilisation has me intrigued and I read tons of novels over the years. I read less about the witchhunts but I’m still intrigued at what sparked this outburst of inhumanity. It felt natural to combine the two and throw in a lot of humour, which is another thing I like a lot. And cats. Must have cats!
I get the impression you’re a big traveler. Is it safe to assume you’ve visited the settings of the book?
I have been to Egypt several times, and I lived in Britain and worked in tourism jobs. I really know the country very, very well.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Hm. I use the Scrivener corkboard function to plan the plotline and I plan each chapter in terms of purpose, characters, conflict etc. But things change. A lot. It’s an organic process. I need to have a view of the characters and the purposes and rough outline though. Based on that I’, probably a plantser or potter. Or whatever a hybrid would look like.
I’m a fan of Terry Pratchett and you might notice it. Not in terms of style – I would not remotely aspire to his levels. But I love to couch my opinion of certain ongoings in our world into fiction. There are some clear ‘messages’. I dare say the novel is still highly enjoyable.
If you could write in a different genre than your normal one, what would it be and why?
I shifted from fantasy to paranormal to adventure. I believe I’m writing fantasy adventures. My secret ambition is to write cozy mysteries with a fantasy touch, lighter than the Cursed Times series. Let me just finish this one and I’ll be off on that project.
How are we going to celebrate when you hit the best seller list?
Not sure. I think I would do what I did when I won a Wattys Award – just stare at the screen and go ‘Nah, not possible.’ And then just continue. And secretly be very, very happy. And hope I get tons of money so that I can do some good for at least a few of all the people suffering in this world!
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