Return to Anne Bishop's World of the Others with Lake Silence
Mon, 02/05/2022 - 4:58pm — Emily Walton
Ready to revisit Anne Bishop’s World of the Others? You can in her new standalone novel, Lake Silence! This novel takes place one year after Etched in Bone concluded and humanity is recovering after fights with one of the most dangerous types of “Others”: the Elders. These more primitive and lethal creatures are capable of incredible destruction, and humans now know they are not as safe as they thought they were.
Our heroine, Vicki DeVine, has just come out of a trying divorce. While her husband took the lion’s share, Vicki has inherited some of his family property — a rustic resort near Lake Silence. Vicki uses her settlement money to fix up the location, called The Jumble, and she hopes to make a living. But Vicki hasn’t truly come to understand what living outside of human-controlled land means …
When Vicki’s lodger, a crow-shifting Other, finds a dead body, Vicki is catapulted into a situation larger and more dangerous than she could have ever imagined. We couldn’t wait to visit the village of Sproing and vacation at The Jumble, so we touched base with Anne to learn more about this exciting standalone.
RT: Lake Silence is your first standalone in the world of the Others. How does it feel returning to the world, but now with brand new characters?
Anne Bishop: This was a new look at the Others world, set a year after the events in Etched in Bone. In the Lakeside Courtyard books, Crowgard cozies were mentioned by patrons of Howling Good Reads, and I kinda sorta wondered what the Others would consider a cozy mystery-type story. So I started writing about Vicki and Aggie finding a body — because of course, a cozy mystery requires finding a body. And then what I was writing morphed into something not quite as cozy and became what I describe as “cozy thriller meets the Others.”
Fans will undoubtedly be excited to revisit Thaisia, but for new readers, how do you describe the world of the Others?
The Others stories are set in an alternate Earth where supernatural beings have always been the dominant predators, evolving with the world to assume the shapes of other predators — including humans. Since the Others control most of the land and all of the water, humans either learn to work with them or end up being prey. People are like goldfish living in a bowl surrounded by cats.
Vicki DeVine is a marvelous heroine and readers will definitely find themselves identifying with her. What traits do you think best describe Vicki?
She has courage but doesn’t believe she does, empathy for the beings around her, and a healthy dollop of sass, and yet she’s vulnerable whenever something triggers memories of the abuse that undermined her self-confidence and self-worth.
Due to a troubled past, Vicki is still healing. Why was it important for you to realistically show Vicki’s response to trauma and how she deals with it?
Healing from emotional trauma isn’t a steady climb from the bad place to a good place where everything is fine and all the pieces of one’s life are put back together. It’s a stumbling, sliding, ongoing process where a person may be able to deal with A, B and C just fine but falls apart when confronted with D. I would have felt that I’d let Vicki down if I’d glossed over the work that healing requires or didn’t show the setbacks that are part of that work.
I have to admit, learning that Vicki’s first lodger was Crowgard because of her attempted microwaving of an eyeball was hilariously surprising. Did you have a lot of fun writing Aggie?
Oh, yes. I love the chemistry between Vicki and Aggie. They’re both on a steep learning curve. And writing from Aggie’s point of view was channeling teenage girl and crow, with hints that she and her kin can be dangerous.
What would you say are the major differences between humans and the terra indigene?
Humans want to change the world to suit themselves, and the terra indigene adapt to fit into the world as it is and as it evolves. And the terra indigene have really good teeth.
A lot of pressure is put on Vicki when she becomes The Jumble’s designated Reader. How important is storytelling in this world, and to you personally?
In the Others’ world, teaching stories are how they pass on the life lessons about the land, animals, enemies, and the things each of their species values. They also enjoy the stories that are sheer entertainment, and that’s where the Reader comes in; that's the individual who has learned the human skill of reading from books and can provide entertainment or information that is widely disseminated. For me personally? I’ve always loved stories, and the best stories hold some emotional truth that is woven into an entertaining tale.
Did you have any favorite characters to write? Personally, I couldn’t get enough of the owner of Sproing’s boarding house, Ineke, and Vicki’s vampire lawyer, Ilya!
I had fun with all the characters and there were moments for each of them when I’d write a sentence and laugh out loud, but my favorite POVs were Vicki and Aggie. The Jumble and Sproing and all the other characters grew out of the whole eyeball thing and wouldn’t have existed without those two.
Curious fans will be hungry for more! What are you working on now?
The next book in the Others’ world is set in Bennett, the town that is being resettled by some characters we met in Lakeside. However, if Vicki and Aggie should come across another dead body, I’ll be ready to write their next adventure.
Hopefully eyeballs aren’t on the menu! Pre-order your copy of Lake Silence from one of these retailers: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Indiebound
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