Tuesday, February 3, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Katrina Sisowath

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I always wanted to write, but could never think of a story. Plus I was really busy running a pre-school and raising two small children. A drastic change of circumstances along with long-term health problems meant that for 3 years I was almost immobile. So I had a lot of time to read and I found myself slowly crafting a plot in my head, getting excited about the story itself and the characters.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

I loved all the classics—Shakespeare, George Eliot, Jane Austen, Tolkien, C.S.Lewis, the Brontë Sisters, Edmund Spenser and Agatha Christie. I was an early reader and always had my nose in a book, but my parents were strict about what reading material I was allowed to get my hands on. As I got older I started to enjoy Historical Fiction and Fantasy. I still enjoy those two genres the most, though I will read anything that catches my eye.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Serpent Priestess of the Annunaki?

I’ve been drawn to Zecharia Sitchin, Laurence Gardner, Michael Baigent and Graham Hancock for many years. They all write about the Annunaki, Ancient Civilisations and a bloodline that once ruled and, according to some, is still in existence, though it is either non-powerful, or ruling from behind the scenes, depending on who you ask. Nicholas deVere called this group the ‘Imperial Order of the Dragon’. The more I read about it, the more I found myself thinking it should be written as a story, starting with the Sumerian account of the Annunaki Pantheon. There isn’t too much on these characters outside of the non-fiction books, yet their stories are fascinating.
Serpent Priestess is centred on Ninkha (Ninkharsag) and her husband Enki, who were given the task of creating workers on Earth to mine gold and gems for the Annunaki. They called the workers ‘lulu amel’, or humans. There is conflict with others when they go beyond their mandate to create workers who can obey orders and instead breed humans who can think and reason.

4. What can readers expect from the sequel and how many books do you plan on writing in the Dragon Court series?

The book that is next in the series is due to be released sometime in Feb/Mar. It is about Cronous and Rhea and the destruction of Atlantis. I’ve based the story on the Emerald Tablets of Thoth the Atlantean (which appeared sometime in the 6th to 8th century A.D). I’ve also read Plato’s account, Paul Schliemann and the theorists who claim that Cronous was the original-or the prototype for the- ‘Antichrist’.  I’ve taken all of those theories and placed them up alongside the claims of other authors of the ‘Imperial Order of the Dragon’ to create a story that, I hope, offers a plausible explanation of who Cronous really was and how those heinous acts that are attributed to him came about. Next in the Series is Innana and her wars. After that I’d like to venture further into Asia to write about the Serpent Cult there (the Serpent Cult was the religious arm of the Dragon Court) with figures such as Lara Kidul in Indonesia, and Himiko in Japan, before tackling the Annunaki presence and its descendants in Africa. Then I’ll come to Europe to write about people like Rene d’Anjou and Elizabeth Bathory. I know what the last book in the series is about---it’s been outlined, but there are a few to go before I can start writing it
So I guess while Dragon Court is fantasy, it’s based on mythology, alternate history and secret societies lore.

5. Is there any symbolism behind how the dragons interact with their masters?

The legends of the Seraphim (fiery serpents with wings) in connection to the Nephilim, or Annunaki, the decision of their descendants to name themselves the Order of the Dragon, the prevalence of Dragons all over the world in mythology and legend—that led me to include them  in the tale of Serpent Priestess. How their bond developed from Dragon and Annunaki as separate beings to the mixing of genes was due to images such as these:--How did these beings come to be? Why do we feel trepidation at the thought of reptilian beings? Where/When did they originate? And what were they really? Are these statues metaphorical or literal? In Serpent Priestess there is some genetic manipulation in order to create the lulu amel, so I took it one step further and had the Annunaki experiment with other life forms. David Icke certainly has a lot to say about reptilian beings, and as someone crafting a story I have to look at all angles and decide what to include and how to present it (and hopefully make sense, even if it is fantasy).

6. What sparked your interest in the Greeks, Romans, etc.?

I’ve always loved mythology, and grew up reading the Greek and Roman myths. The Sumerian Pantheon was something I discovered in adulthood, as it’s not given the same amount of exposure or garners the same amount of interest, which is a shame.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

A high-fantasy novel that’s not based on mythology and alternate history, but on a world that I’ve created from scratch would be interesting. I would also say horror and sci-fi are probably the most likely of the other genres that I could try and maybe pull off, only because there will be elements of both in the Dragon Court series.

8. What would you do if you were Ninkha?

Would I have become attached to the Lulu Amel and decided to better their lives, not listening to those who warned of the risk to my fellow Annunaki? Probably. It is easy to want the best for those we love while being blind to consequences.

9. If you could go back in time and be a part of some ancient culture, which would it be and why?

That is a really tough question. I love history and the study of ancient cultures, yet so much was flawed in each one.  Our modern world is not perfect, yet it is better in so many ways for us than it was for our ancestors. The short answer is it would depend on whether I was a high-born or low-born female as there were some cultures that granted high-born women certain rights, yet their impoverished sisters had none.

10. Would you like to see Serpent as a film? Who do you want to see play your characters?

I would like to see it as a film, though I have no idea who should play the characters. There are too many good actors and actresses to choose.

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

Still writing and hopefully enjoying a successful career as an author. I know the stakes are very high and the likelihood of being able to be a full-time writer without needing a second career is slim, but you have to set yourself goals and always work on achieving them.  I hope to have sets of posters of the characters out soon to complement the books, so eventually I will have enough material to start going to conventions. In 10 years’ time my daughters will be old enough to help out at gigs (provided they don’t declare their independence and bunk my plan).

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Hmmm, I honestly don’t know (is that a good sign?).

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

The Doom of Undal—which is the second book in the series. Though I’m twiddling with the idea of writing accompanying novellas for some of the characters in Serpent Priestess and Doom of Undal, as there were so many with stories of their own, yet there just wasn’t space to include them in the book. It may also help people who are unfamiliar with the Annunaki to understand Serpent Priestess better.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

I would have loved to have met Laurence Gardner as he possessed a tremendous amount of information on the topics I’m researching. He probably wouldn’t have collaborated on a work of fiction, though. Graham Hancock is someone I would love to bounce ideas off of and maybe work with. He is able to write both fiction and non-fiction.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

--I spent a lot of my childhood in Asia, so I love Asian food. The spicier, the better. I find food in Europe too bland and am not a fan of potatoes, gravy, cheese or bread.
--However, I hate the weather in South-East Asia. It was just too hot and I never became acclimatized.
-- I have often tried and failed to learn to ride a motorbike. My younger brother learned it easily and once at the beach, decided to give his poor older sister an impromptu lesson. I drove it down the beach just fine and then had trouble turning around and ended up in the sea. Lucky for me the beach was shallow for quite a ways out.

P.S. Serpent Priestess of the Annunaki has been added to this list on Goodreads. If anyone sends some votes my way, I would be more than ecstatic, especially as it’s up against really good books by established authors.

Find Katrina Sisowath online via:

Official site (has all other links)

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