Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your debut novel, Lifeforce! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the novel’s premise?
Annie Rodriguez: Thank you! It’s definitely a dream come true!
Lifeforce is about a witch finding her own voice after she finds herself in the care of an immortal legal guardian upon the death of her mother. Throughout the novel, we see her growing, her powers transform, and the consequences of that power in inexperienced hands. It’s about confidence in who you are, trust, and love. Just because that guardian is not your mother, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love you, her own way.
BD: What inspired you to tell this sci-fi/fantasy story?
AR: I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was ten years old, but I have never felt like I quite fit in regarding the “real-world” society. Also, the fields that I work in, anthropology, public health, and, in the near future, law, give me all the real-life experience I could want. I chose to write fantasy as a means to daydream and escape from reality a little bit. But I also wanted people to know that life is not always greener on the other side. No matter if you think someone has an advantage, magical powers for example, does not mean that person does not have problems. Life happens to everyone, and we need to recognize that.
BD: Were there any previous creators or works that impacted your approach to the story?
AR: Meg Cabot is my favorite author. The Mediator and Avalon High are my favorite works. Also, the vampire universe was inspired by the movie, Underworld (2003). I purposely avoided reading Twilight. I did not want it influencing my plot.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in working on this book, and what do you hope that readers will take away from the story?
AR: The creative process can be beautiful and daunting. For example, the vampire was to be the main character of my story, but my hands on the keyboard decided that was not to be. During the process of creation, the witch fought to be in the forefront. It’s beautiful how your own characters can surprise you. And it is daunting when you realize, during the publication process, that the easiest thing you ever did as a writer, no matter how many drafts you went through, was writing your novel. I’ve been very fortunate to have Green Writers Press and Dede Cummings guiding my hand throughout this journey.
From this story, I want people to understand that life happens while you’re busy making other plans (My wonderful mentor once told me that.), and that it’s all right to keep growing, keep learning, and find your own voice, even if you feel alone for part of the journey. You’ll find someone to share it with, friends and loved ones, sooner or later. But most importantly, find your family, biological or otherwise, and tell them you love them and appreciate them. Life is short-make the most of it.
BD: Do you foresee expanding this story into subsequent novels?
AR: Yes. I really envision a series.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
AR: Shh! Lifeforce’s sequel!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Lifeforce?