Please welcome Skyla!
DNA of a Hero
Like many heroines, Livi Talbot—though she’s her own person—owes some of her DNA to the heroines who came before her.
1. Lara Croft
Yes, let’s get this one out of the way straight off the bat. ;-)
The concept behind the series was “Tomb Raider meets Gilmore Girls”, about a young single mother who is also a treasure hunter. And I love Tomb Raider. I have all the last several games and play them frequently—it’s probably the only game franchise I buy new installments of on release day (and schedule time off of work to play them).
It also gave me something to draw on when it comes to aspects of Livi’s personality that are so far from my own. I’m not a daredevil. I’m not an adrenaline junkie. I would rather pretend-climb a mountain in a video game than climb an actual mountain, and thank you very much but I’ve seen The Decent several times and I would nope right out of any cave you pointed out to me.
But Livi’s not me, and soaking in that whole other point of view of a very physical sort of character helped a lot.
2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Just about every damn urban fantasy heroine owes something to Buffy, I’d say. The snarky one-liners, for starters (which, I suppose we all kind of owe to Spider-man? Buffy was highly influenced by various comic book heroes herself), not to mention the very cinematic moments of badassness.
That’s the Buffy that really influenced Solomon’s Seal and Livi Talbot: the purely visual, cinematic moments I hope came through in the text. The slow-mo leap into danger presented in widescreen, the purely heroic moments no sane person would choose but Livi is a hero and that’s just what she does.
Plus...okay, yes, she’s snarky.
3. Ellen Ripley
Livi is a mother and that protective mama bear streak owes a lot to Ripley of Alien and specifically Aliens. (We do not speak of that abomination Alien 3, thankyouverymuch.) Not just this obvious moment:
But the quieter ones as well.
As Newt becomes her surrogate daughter, Ripley adds Badass Action Heroine to her title with Final Girl Survivor and Smartest Person in the Fucking Room. She’ll risk everything, including her life, to save this child, and takes on the queen alien herself if it means Newt’s safety. Livi has that same primal maternal instinct, no matter how she tries to keep a boundary between her identities as Mom and Treasure Hunter, which causes no end of trouble but also makes her a terrifying force to be reckoned with if anyone crosses her daughter.
EX-DEBUTANTE. SINGLE MOTHER. TREASURE HUNTER.
Disowned and left penniless for getting pregnant as a teen, former celebutante Olivia Talbot was willing to do whatever it took to provide for her daughter…including become a treasure hunter. After the Pulse hit, activating relics of legend, there are plenty of artifacts to be had—not to mention wealthy clients willing to pay top dollar for them.
Just as her daughter’s private school tuition cheque bounces, Livi gets an offer that could be the break she needs to return to some semblance of her former life. A powerful man wants her to travel to Ethiopia and retrieve the Seal of Solomon—a mythical ring said to control demons and djinn—and this bounty comes with one hell of a financial pay off.
The deadline: a week. The team: unreliable. The competition: her world-renowned archaeologist older brother. Nothing Livi can’t handle… Except the danger goes beyond a few subterranean serpent-dragons she might encounter or tangling with her employer’s deadly second-in-command. This client isn’t all he seems, and handing him the ring might be worse than what he’ll do to her—and her daughter—if she doesn’t.
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Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.
Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her short attention span. She is also a proud Writer of Unlikable Female Characters™.
Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she writes full time, works as a freelance designer, stabs people with double pointed knitting needles, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own Irish pub, as well as become world dictator.
Find Skyla at:
Twitter - @skyladawn