The First Sin (South of Eden) by Lisa Beth Darling - Contemporary Fiction - Lucifer Returns to Eden
Interview with Lisa Beth Darling
Welcome to JB’s Bookworms with Brandy Mulder. Tell us about your newest book.
In “The First Sin” (South of Eden) Lucifer is rather unceremoniously yanked out of Hell by his Father and forced back into Eden so he can resume his role (in part) as The Garden’s caretaker. There’s a surprise when he arrives, Eve has been there for many years, and she oversees a host of Olympians who have also been tasked with caring for dying The Garden.
Eden is in rough shape, the Sacred Trees of Life and Knowledge, are on their last legs. All because of Cain Enoch, the son of Lucifer and Eve. After being marked and cursed by God, he’s spent many centuries amassing a sizeable fortune and becoming the world’s first trillionaire. His company, Enoch Industries, is one of the world’s largest polluters and, after the successful simultaneous launch of seven rockets carrying three satellites each, he is the owner of the world’s largest and most successful tech company.
He is on the hunt for his mother and for Eden so he can destroy both in the hopes that he can finally die.
Yet, should he get his wish, Earth, Heaven, and Hell will cease to exist.
Writing isn’t easy. What was the most difficult thing you dealt with when writing The First Sin?
Growing up, I received a double whammy in being brought up Baptist and Roman Catholic simultaneously. Even though my books generally do have a running Divine Theme this one was most difficult as within “The First Sin” the Christian God is an actual character instead of being in the background as he was in the Sister Christian series.
I knew, to be true to the story, I had to change the entire story of The Garden of Eden and Lucifer’s little fall from grace. This, of course, was going against my upbringing, even though I left the Church over 40 years ago, proved quite challenging. I had many stops and starts with this story that centered around the idea of me ‘burning in Hell’ if I went forward with it. Old and lingering Catholic Guilt erupted like Vesuvius inside me. It made me look at myself and my life, my spiritual path, and forced me to come to terms with a lot of things that I didn’t even know were still hanging around in heart and mind.
It took three years and several incarnations of this story, but I finally got past all of that, put down the baggage, and went forward with the story the way it was demanding to be written.
Tell us a little bit about your writing career.
I started writing in the 4th grade and intuitively knew that was what I wanted to do with my life. I wrote short stories and tons of angsty teenage poetry that, to my surprise, was published. I wrote my first novel in 7th grade, and it was a huge hit with some of my classmates who mimeographed pages and sent them flying around the school until I got called into the Guidance Office over it. It was fairly clear that my guidance counselor wanted to admonish me for my story but, as she admitted, it was a really good story but not something she thought someone of my tender years should be writing. She wanted me to stick to happier themes but they’re not really my thing. My writing always bends to the darker side.
As of this moment I have 11 novels available in wide distribution with a handful of more novels, stories, and non-fiction pieces being exclusively available on my website.
They say Hindsight is 20/20. If you could give advice to the writer, you were the first time you sat down to write, what would it be?
Keep going. Don’t stop. Listen to the Muse not the reviews. Self-doubt is the mind and story killer! It’s what leads to the dreaded Writers’ Block and nobody wants that. So just keep writing whatever’s flowing and don’t question it until after you reach The End.
What was your most difficult scene to write?
I can’t tell you because it will give away a very major plotline and spoil the story for those who want to read it.
Are themes a big part of your stories, or not so much?
Within the Of War and Sister Christian series, Gods are everywhere! It seems, at least subconsciously, I’m always questioning the Divine and just exactly what it really is…if it is. Christian and Greek mythology, as well as Celtic mythology, are strong runners in a lot of my books.
What are you working on now?
Nothing! As I said, it took three years to muddle my way through this one, so the Muse and I are taking a break from writing but not from each other
Is there a release date planned?
Hard covers are available in signed limited edition you can buy them exclusively through my website. Paperbacks release the last week in July and e-books are available for pre-order on Kindle. They will release on August 18th.
Who is your favorite character from your own stories, and why?
Ares God of War hands down, he’ll always be my absolute favorite character. He’s big, he’s bold, he’s brash, he’s powerful, and if you mess with his family, he will destroy you. Other than that, he is the embodiment of my Muse. He’s always talking to me, he’s always got advice to give or a wise crack to make me smile. We have an awesome relationship and I hope it never goes away.
Most writers were readers as children. What was your favorite book in grade school?
It’s a toss up between “James and the Giant Peach” and “Animal Farm”. Two very different stories, I know!
What are your plans for future projects?
It appears there may be another Of War story on the horizon which would be interesting and possibly another Sister Christian story as well. Other tales are running around in my head and starting to take shape but right now we’re resting for the remainder of the summer. I hate writing in summer anyway it’s just too darn hot and the air is oppressive!
Good luck with The First Sin, and thank you for being with us today.
Thank you so much for having me, I’ve really enjoyed being here.
Excerpt:"My Father said there was no money in Art," she huffed and took a long swallow from her glass, "he insisted I get a real job."
"Dads," Cain said in a dreamy tone as he looked at a painting of a garden. Something about it called to him. It was so real he thought he could almost smell the patch of honeysuckle as it radiated its sweetness under that bright summer sun. Something about it seemed familiar but he couldn’t pin it down. "They can be real assholes." He finished his glass and slipped his arm around her waist when he heard her start to choke. "You ok?"
"Fine," she stammered even as she blushed. "You’re so right, real assholes," she agreed getting her reaction under control, "but they’re not here now."
"Thank God for that," he said with more grimace than smile.
"Yeah," she sighed and drank down the last of her glass, "more?"
Cain, who normally had such sharp ears and was such an excellent judge of people, was still so captured by the painting that he missed the whole thing. Instead he pointed at it and asked, "Where is this?"
Jesse didn't miss a beat even as her breath caught in her chest, "Devil's Hop Yard, it's a park in Connecticut." She stopped for a second as she took him in and then casually asked, "Do you like it?"
"Devil's Hop Yard," he repeated still a distant tone as he stared at it. Cain had been all over the world several hundred times and the name seemed familiar but he couldn't say he'd ever been there.
"Earth to Cain," Jesse chuckled as she snapped her fingers in front of his glassy eyes.
That brought him back around and he tried to cover the moment with a laugh, "Sorry. Yeah, I love it, it's beautiful, it's like, like, I've been there before." He reached out to touch it but she grabbed his wrist.
"Nope, no touch, we do not put our greasy finger prints on the paint," she said with a serious grin.
"Oh, yeah, right," he muttered as he felt her leading him away from the artwork that he just couldn't take his eyes from until she fully pointed him towards the second hand couched with their thick blankets and the burning hearth next to them. "More wine?" He asked trying to force himself the rest of the way out of his daze.
"There's a delayed echo in here," she cooed as she plopped down on one of the couches and held up her empty glass. Silently she cursed herself for displaying that painting. She never intended for him to see it and convinced herself he never would. Even if he did, it was just a painting. In the end, her pride won out and she felt it was too good not to put on the wall of her little Art Studio.
"What about those?" Cain asked as he filled their glasses and pointed off to one corner where canvases were standing back to front. "What's over there?"
"Oh, God, no," she moaned. "Those are not for viewing." She laughed. "They're just, well, one day I'll just paint over them." "Temperamental artist, I see," he grinned and settled in next to her.
About the Author:
Lisa Beth Darling is 54 years-old, the mother of two adult daughters, grandmother to one, and wife to her husband, Roy, for the last 35 years. She lives and writes in her hometown of New London, CT.
Early influences were Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, Harold Robins, Jacqueline Susan and VC Andrews.
Her stories are filled with secrets, lust, betrayal, and sometimes rage, they may keep you awake into the wee hours of the morning cheering, weeping, and captured by suspense as our heroes and heroines have their love tested by demons who reside within and without.
In her spare time she enjoys gardening and photography as well as cooking and baking. She also enjoys helping other authors bring their works to the world stage.
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Instagram: http://instagram.com/darlingwrtrGoodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1577311.Lisa_Beth_Darling