Take Five with Lucy Snyder, Author, ‘Switchblade Goddess’


Lucy Snyder is the contributor for this week’s Take Five, a regular series where we ask authors and editors to share five facts about their latest books. Snyder is the author of Switchblade Goddess:

When Jessie Shimmer traveled to a nightmare underworld to save her lover, Cooper Marron, she gained magical powers . . . which soon seemed more like curses. Her beloved familiar, the ferret Pal, became a monster. Her enemies multiplied like demons. Worst of all, she hasn’t found a moment of peace to be with the man she adores.

Now a switchblade-wielding demigoddess commanding a private hell stocked with suffering innocents is after her. The blademistress’ vengeance sends Jessie and Pal on a dark journey through strange, perilous realms. Their quest for salvation will push her newfound abilities—and her relationship with Cooper—to the breaking point . . . and beyond.

1. In Switchblade Goddess, readers find out that the protagonist’s father, Magus Shimmer, is a technophile and accomplished hacker. I enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and in the Jessie Shimmer series I’ve incorporated all three genres. The science fictional elements are usually less obvious than the fantasy and horror, but they’re in there. Consequently, I’ve heard from lots of SF fans who have been pleasantly surprised by how much they’ve enjoyed the novels.

2. The first part of Switchblade Goddess is set in the town of Cuchillo, which is loosely based on the real-life city of San Angelo, Texas. I grew up there, and it’s a nice place; nonetheless, I couldn’t fight the urge to make it the setting for a zombie apocalypse. Most of the landmarks in the novel are based on something that exists in real life; the Saguaro Hotel, for instance, is a bigger version of the Cactus Hotel. People familiar with the city will definitely recognize Miss Hattie’s bordello.

3. Shotgun Sorceress and Switchblade Goddess share several secondary characters; Charlie is one of them. She originally appeared in a short story in my collection Sparks and Shadows; she ends up in a pretty bad place in the story, and I wanted to give her a happier ending in the novels. I’d like to do even more with her; she’s a magnet for evil spirits, so she’s surely not done fighting them.

4. I listen to music while I write. My playlists for Switchblade Goddess were mostly made up of Apocalyptica, Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy soundtrack, Juno Reactor, Black Sabbath, Tool, White Zombie, Black Label Society, and Lacuna Coil. Ironically, I didn’t listen to any Lady Gaga, despite Jessie using one of her songs as a mnemonic device in the novel.

5. While my books certainly do focus on strong female characters, my fiction is guy-friendly: there’s lots of action and adventure and cool monsters. I did a signing at a B&N in an upscale mall earlier this year, and although the store was full of suburban women in Manolo heels, 80% of the people who came to get my books were men.