Frequently Asked Questions of S. E. Lindberg
What is the Dyscrasia Fiction® story & publication order? And where do I start?
- Lords of Dyscrasia (2011) R
- Helen’s Daimones (2017) PG13 [New to the series, start here]
- Spawn of Dyscrasia (2014) PG13
- Helen’s Storm (working title)
What is "dyscrasia"?SEL: Literally, dyscrasia means “a bad mixture of liquids.” Historically, dyscrasia referred to any imbalance of the four medicinal humors professed by the ancient Greeks to sustain life (phlegm, blood, black and yellow bile). Artisans, anatomists, and chemists of the Renaissance expressed shared interest in the humors; accordingly, the scope of humorism evolved to include aspects of the four alchemical elements (water, air, earth and fire) and psychological temperaments (phlegmatic, sanguine, melancholic and choleric). In short, the humors are mystical media of color, energy, and emotion; Dyscrasia Fiction presents them as spiritual muses for artisans, sources of magical power, and contagions of a deadly disease; the books explore the choices humans and their gods make as a disease corrupts their souls, shared blood and creative energies.
Sounds deep. The target audience is not Young Adults then?
Are you as dark in person as your characters are presented?SEL: Cripes, no. I enjoy depictions of scary things, but in real life I steer away from them. In truth, I feint in the presence of blood and have difficulty being violent—even to bugs, since the potential crunch of an exoskeleton really freaks me out. I dump all my fears into my art. If the horrors appear vivid, it is because my nightmares are too.
SEL: I desired a blend of horror and fantasy that I just could not find, so I decide to write what I wanted to read. I was inspired by the pulp masters of the ~1930’s, but historically pulp short fiction has not translated well in novel length form. The high density adventure of Robert Ervin Howard, the poetic macabre of Clark Ashton Smith, and the weirdness of Howard Phillips Lovecraft worked best in small doses. I aimed to blend those styles into a series of connected chapters—each, in original form, being an independent but connected short. But a unifying story arc evolved, so ultimately Lords of Dyscrasia works as a single novel rather than an open-ended yarn.