Author Feature – Paradise Found: Tales from the Library – Featuring Lai Zhao

Paradise Found: Tales from the Library is an anthology of stories about the Library of Alexandria. It was rescued from Terra long ago by its founder, Ptolemy I and brought to Paradise City.
The City itself houses every god known to man and more than a few others, and exists in any time. It’s also a place where a person can become everything they ever wanted, or lose all they’ve ever known. The only constant is the Library.
All the proceeds from this anthology will be donated to help defray the medical expenses for Scott Pond as he comes back from cancer.

“Crumpled backwards over the edge of the marble fountain, his arms flung wide to either side, a body leaked blood into the water, turning it a pale salmon pink. Or perhaps the rose petlas that were strewn around were to blame. I couldn’t tell. I just knew he hadn’t been there that morning when Castor had come in.”

~ Requiem for an Unknown, Val Griswold-Ford.

Tania blinked away the green after-image as she tramped into the bar-café. It was quiet, cool; only the whirring of ceiling fans broke the silence. The bartender was absent. As were all the staff. She frowned and blinked some more till her eyes adjusted to the gloom.
In the centre of the main room were another nine people seated around a group of round tables. Some of them had their legs crossed, others were tapping away on their phones while the rest were playing ‘which finger can I wring off first’.
From the back of the bar-café floated the smell of bacon and sausages. And freshly-brewed coffee. Strong black tea coasted in on the aroma of peanut butter spread melting on hot toast. The bar pushed a tendril of an alcohol cordial into the fragrances. Not nauseating, but the additional fragrance killed any appetite Tania may have had. Of course, that didn’t count the knots, flips, and butterfly dances her stomach was doing.
It had been a long time since anyone had invited her to an interview. And certainly none in an eatery.”

~ Downward Mobility, Lai Zhao.

A Bite of… Lai Zhao

Would you rather be a hero or a villain?

The villain. Even after all these years, I prefer to be the villain, only because the role is so much fun! You get to do outrageous acts (if it suits the story) and get away with so much for so long, maybe forever. In my stories, the hero doesn’t always win, and the villain doesn’t always lose. Sometimes, it’s a tie. And sometimes, there’s an even greater villain or antagonist that disrupts the conflict.

Chocolate cake or coffee cake?

Has to be chocolate cake. Don’t get me wrong, I love coffee cake, but my absolute favourite is chocolate cake, and that has to be dark chocolate, too! Why? Well, ‘cos the flavour is calming, heavenly, and dark. It also helps that I have an endless supply of baking dark chocolate and other cake ingredients.
Dark chocolate lava mini-cakes, anyone? Or you’d prefer a Black Forest Gateau? I can make both.

You can have four guests at a dinner party. Name the four people living, dead or fictional you would Most/Least like to entertain.

The late Sir Terry Pratchett springs immediately to mind. I would love to talk to him, not specifically about writing, but about philosophy and his view of the world. There is a documentary about Sir Pratchett, but that’s through someone else’s eyes. Questions might include where he would take the world if he were able to command it, and what might he have done in a parallel world.
Zhuge Liang is the second guest I would most like to entertain. He was a Chinese politician, military strategist, writer, engineer, and inventor. He lived around 181 – 234 AD, during the Three Kingdoms period of China.
I would want to know Mr. Zhuge’s view on current events and what he would suggest. I’d also like to know what made him tick.
My Dad. He’s so reticent, and non-expressive of anything. It’d just be nice to get him to talk about himself.
My Mum. It’d be interesting to see her when she’s not being a mum.

A city of agoraphobia and claustrophobia is home to one Lai Zhao, writer of dark (sometimes urban) fantasy and non-fiction.
By day, Lai reviews the works of others and produces work-related articles. At night, though, she ponders the mysteries of parallel and fictional universes, populated by characters of the imagination. Some are tangible, some are corporeal. But they all exist in some form or another. It just so happens that these beings’ preferred existence is the written word. And maybe a plushie or two. You can catch Lai Zhao on Facebook.

Other books to which Lia Zho has contributed:

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WRITING FANTASY, VOL. 2: THE OPUS MAGUS (1st Edition)

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO WRITING FANTASY, VOLUME 3: THE AUTHOR’S GRIMOIRE (1st Edition)

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