Interview with Edward Lake
Author of Zena: Soldier
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What inspired you to write this book?
- During the 2016 presidential election, Meryl Streep did a speech at the Democratic national convention. In her speech, she mentioned Deborah Sampson, a Massachusetts woman from the 17th century who fought in the revolutionary war, at a time when women were not allowed to fight in the army.
I had never heard of Deborah Sampson before. It was rather surprising to learn that a woman in the United States was brave enough to do this. When I was very young, I learned about Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman, and many other great American women in our history. But never Sampson.
I had not published a new book in years. Originally, Zena Ezra's character was a young boy who took his brother's place. But at that moment, after learning about Sampson, I decided to change the character to a young woman.
Is your book part of a series?
- Yes. Zena: Soldier is the first book of the Zena Ezra series. The second book, Zena: Commander, was published in June of 2019. The third book will be released in November or December.
Why should potential readers give your book a try?
- For readers who enjoy great action, I believe Zena: Soldier would be a fantastic choice. Zena is constantly surrounded by mayhem and chaos. The Galaxy is at war and there is no end in sight.
Describe the setting of your book.
- The book is set in a fictitious Galaxy called Starlight. The Galaxy is ruled by an ultra religious empire who have harsh laws for people who participate in same sex affairs. Zena discovers she is attracted to women at a very young age, but if anyone outside her family knew, she could be killed.
How many books do you have planned for this series?
- Right now, I have eight books planned. However, I would like to continue the series for many years and surpass twenty books.
Who is your favorite author?
- James Patterson. I really enjoy his writing style.
When you're not writing, what are some of your hobbies?
- Binge-watching my favorite shows with my wife. Sports. Collecting comic books. Lifting weights. Hiking.
If your book was ever adapted into a TV show or film, who would play the lead role?
- There are so many amazing, talented actresses in Hollywood right now. However, I'm a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence. She has a great presence and a strong voice.
What was the first book you can remember reading?
- To be honest, I can't remember the name of the book. But I do remember reading it and I remember the story. It was about a group of young people, and someone ends up dying. I read it during summer break when I was very young. Really wish I could remember what the name of the book was.
What are you working on now?
- Zena: Assassin. The third book in the Zena Ezra series.
A war without end. The woman who began a revolution.
All Zena wants is a life beyond her home planet, the North Star. A life full of adventure and danger. The life of a soldier.
When her brother is drafted into the Holy Army, Zena impersonates him to save his life. But women are forbidden from fighting in the army, and she will be killed if she's caught. Her love affair with the High Priest's daughter only makes matters worse.