Charlie: You’ve recently re-released Cimmerian City. Can you tell us why you decided to do this now and what difference readers might find in the 2nd edition?
Rae: Surely! With the first edition, it was my first novel. Looking back, I realized that I not only had more to say on the subject due to our changing society, but my writing had also grown in the years since then. Interestingly enough, I still received some great feedback and reviews from the first edition but something inside wanted to revisit the narrative and replace the older version with a cleaner longer version.
Basically the 2nd edition includes more scenes, a different opening which is more mysterious to the reader, offering more questions for them to discover they read on. I also had some more commentary to offer since our world today is looking eerily similar to the world of Cimmerian City. More so than in 2007!
Charlie: Can you tell us what elements went into building the Cimmerian City story world?
Rae: Indeed. I like to call it Blade Runner meets Blade with a side of La Femme Nikita because I saw the world as a very dark noirish one. Raven Blackheart, my heroine, is thrust into a completely new world much more dangerous and controlled than the one she comes from in 1999. She has lost everything and everyone she knows in the most brutal way. Now she has to trust someone even though that person is hiding a lot of secrets from her and using her to eliminate other threats. She doesn’t realize a few someones are watching over her and trying to steer her in the right direction.
I’m a huge cyberpunk fan and I love the elements that go into the subgenre like high technology, dark future worlds lead by corporations, a bit of a dystopia elements and usually the theme of man vs. society. I’m a huge fan of Philip K. Dick as far as classic SF authors go and I love the way he weaved stories where the world is familiar to us with different tweaks to make it uncomfortable. I also loved the way Huxley put a mirror to our society in Brave New World and wanted to do the same while offering a heroine to root for to the end (which I hope I did)!
Charlie: What is your favorite thing about Raven, the heroine?
Rae: I love her moxie! The early edition of Raven was a bit more rough around the edges and a tad more immature. At the time, I wanted to make her transition stronger so I went a bit further to the right. With the second edition, she’s a bit more subdued but still has a bit of growth to achieve which hopefully is more apparent by the time she becomes the person she is meant to be in the sequel, A Feast of Shadows.
Readers who missed the first edition will get to see the original opening and a few other deleted scenes in the special edition omnibus release.
Charlie: After the heroine, which character was most fun to write and why?
Rae: Oh, that’s a toughie! There are two other main protagonists aside from Raven–Russell Li and Enos–not including the antagonist himself, Tyler Deamond.
I loved writing Russell because his introduction was pretty harrowing to write, much like Raven’s. Enos was fun because his true identity to the reader and to Raven is a secret throughout the book until the end so I had to walk a fine line to make it apparent yet still remain a mystery. Deamond was always fun to write because although he’s the antagonist and has nefarious reasons for his motives, I still wanted to give him an edge on why he does what he does. The most memorable villains for me are the ones who are complex, edgy and dark, but at the same time you understand why they do what they do. Even if you don’t agree with them (like the ruthless Roy Batty of Blade Runner). There is also an underlining of attraction he has to Raven which is sort of a love what you are/hate what you are kind of situation.
In the end, I would have to say Russell because he has been burned just like Raven and their journey to each other which underlines the entire story arc really made this fun to write (especially when it came to their HEA)!
Charlie: Will book two continue the story following the same characters or will it focus on new ones?
Rae: It definitely will! Book 2, A Feast of Shadows, will pick up directly where Cimmerian City ended with a few extra surprises thrown in to allude to what will happen after the end of the story. I think this is where the story arc really takes off because Raven and Russell’s relationship really hit some strides, the stakes for Earth are higher and the sacrifices are much greater. One of the death scenes in there was pretty heavy for me to write!
Charlie: Where can we find out more about Cimmerian City?
Rae: You can learn more about Cimmerian City on the official webpage from my site: http://raelori.com/cimmeriancity.html
It’s also available on Amazon to sample and buy.
And you can sample a good percentage of the book on Smashwords.
It should be available soon on more online stores!
Charlie: Thanks, Rae, for taking the time for this interview!
For more information about Rae, visit her website, www.raelori.com.