TOUR-INTERVIEW-EXCERPT-THE PERFECT TEAR-CONNIE LANSBERG
Connie Lansberg is a singer/songwriter and now author based in
She’s had her original songs placed in some of Australia’s best loved TV shows
that play around the world and The Connie Lansberg Quartet is a fixture in the Melbourne jazz scene. Her
most recent original musical project, Alone with Bees, performs her songs
written especially for The
Perfect Tear. This is Connie’s first novel and the movie is coming
She also received several grants from the Victoria Council of the Arts for the development of mobile phone games that she created.
Connie joined the Melbourne Writers Group in 2010 to work on ideas and scripts and during this time the idea for The Perfect Tear began to develop and take shape. She continued her education by taking scriptwriting classes at the Australian Film and
School Melbourne and later,
worked extensively with Marcy Kennedy on the book. She has two more stories to
complete The Perfect Tear Trilogy and is hoping to have the second book
finished by 2016.
"The first thing anybody tells you about this business is to say what makes you unique and different, but I couldn't and the very idea of it never sat well with me and after much deliberation, I finally realized why.
Because, I'm not unique or different – I'm exactly like you and I love that.
We each have a unique filter through which we interpret the world, and with this filter in place, I write stories and songs and you might find them surprising or intriguing or confronting, you may relate or you may not. They may make you laugh and sometimes, even cry.
You may or may not understand what I'm trying to say and you may not understand me, however, rest assured, once we get past the filters, at our core, we are wonderfully and beautifully, exactly the same."
A HUGE THANKS TO MS. LANSBERG FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS
1) Where do you draw your ideas from when you write?
For this first book, it was a series of songs I wrote with the idea of an unenlightened state and then from the view of having your eyes opened. They were turned into the screenplay of The Perfect Tear and then the first book was written. I think years of reading great books also seeps into you and it seems to me, the ideas are endless. Forming these ideas into a story, however, takes some serious editing.
2) Are there any certain musical artists/groups that fuel your writing? And speaking of fuel- any food or drinks that you crave when writing?
I didn’t read this question before I answered #1! What a great question and the answer, as in question 1, is my own songwriting seems to have the kernel of the bigger story. I find that I write a song and then later I can easily attribute it to one of my characters. As for food, if you don’t eat sugar or any flour based foods, craving for anything disappears. Coffee however, two cups a day, is a must.
3) Speaking of writing, do you heavily outline/plot OR do you just sit and write, letting the story/characters tell the story as you type?
I would never get anywhere if i just sat and wrote as proven to myself when I first started writing without a map. Now I use a beat sheet just to lay out the main events that will move the story from beginning to end. Mind you, in-between each beat, anything could happen and often does. It’s a great delight to me when all of sudden your characters are telling you what to write.
4) What's next?
I’ve started the second story, which takes place nine months after the first story ends. There’s only one new character, but roles have changed.
5) Who do you enjoy reading?
I love Ken Follett for sweeping drama and Zadie Smith for her ability to write about her culture and for fantasy the classic Anne McCaffery. I don’t understand why her books haven’t been made into movies.
- Visit Connie Lansberg’s website.
- Connect with Connie on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Connie at Goodreads.
Title: The Perfect Tear
Author: Connie Lansberg
Publisher: Rockit Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
Author: Connie Lansberg
Publisher: Rockit Press
Genre: YA Fantasy
The Perfect Tear begins with the Singers of the world who, during their initiation by a multi-dimensional being, are given a magical three-pronged hair comb to use as tuning forks to help keep the world in harmony. They are a special breed of women, able to connect their voices to the vibration of the earth in order to create this needed balance and equilibrium for all.
The story follows the main character Eleanor, from age six to sixteen. She is a good natured and dutiful young girl, with a profound ability to interact with both animals and nature. Like her mother, she is a powerful Singer but has not yet been initiated because she has not reached the age of maturity. After the unexpected death of her mother, a grey mist descends upon the earth and the world fails to thrive, forcing this innocent child into a course of action that she had never asked for, nor had ever envisioned.
Set against a backdrop of abandonment, loss and betrayal, Eleanor is determined to find her way through strange and dangerous landscapes in her desperate search for the Perfect Tear, a dark and powerful crystal that contains the Third Vibration, which she must find and release in order to heal the land – and save her world. Just like the notes of a song must connect to create a perfect melody, Eleanor has to discover the proper associations needed to create this special harmony.
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Lerion forced his lips into a smile and nodded politely in an effort to feign interest in the creations of his fellow novices. Their excited chatter and heightened energy pulsed the length of the room. They seemed foolish to him, but he managed to conceal his disdain. Social transparency in his society was the norm, but hiding his feelings from the collective was something he excelled at. It was his secret talent. Today however, he struggled to maintain a pleasant countenance.
The novices were allowed to see their competition for only a few moments and Lerion extended his glance the length of the narrow corridor again. He had to be certain he would win. Only the best young designers were invited to enter the Creation Contest, and then, only once. Lerion knew this was his only chance to achieve his dream, and he forced himself to scan the room once more. He was searching for any design that might pose a threat, but after another quick reconnaissance, nothing he saw gave him cause for concern. He took a quick, shuddering breath and lifted his chin. Why had he been so nervous?
He felt his energy uncoil and his step became light. He’d worked for this opportunity almost from the day his two co-creators sung him into being–he deserved to win.
Lerion clenched his jaw. The arrogance of his desire was not lost on him. The Creation Contest was much more than a matter of whose design was the most innovative or which novice showed the most initiative. The winning design had to uphold and even surpass the standards of creation set by the Ancient Ones. It had to enhance the evolution of their society as a whole. Had he achieved that?
He stopped in front of a nine-dimensional hologram and pretended to be intrigued with the design, while he slyly studied its creator, a feminine-biased novice named Lalycri. The energy emanating from her shimmered against his outer layer and he involuntarily vibrated in response. Her eyes lit up and he swallowed hard. Her animated smile caused her nose to crinkle and her energy swelled in gentle waves. It undulated softly through him. He felt himself surrender to the pleasure of it and immediately blocked its flow. He would not allow himself to respond. This was not the time to reveal his attraction to her, and he nodded curtly. He had to admit, he found Lalycri appealing and she peaked his curiosity. On any other day, he might have encouraged her, but this kind of personal chemistry often led to a desire to co-create, and he was not about to break the rules. Not today, anyway.
Novices were forbidden to form creative partnerships of any kind. Only those having twelve activated strands of DNA were allowed the privilege of co-creation.the privilege of co-creation. Lerion sighed. He had activated only seven strands of the twelve that lay within each of his cells. More than all the other novices, but still, not enough.
Determined to ignore her vibrant energy, Lerion gave Lalycri a small nod. He leaned in and studied the extremely unusual construct while she beamed at him. He couldn’t work out what its purpose might be, and he stiffened. It had never occurred to him Lalycri might be competition. How had she managed such a complicated design?
He made sure to keep his voice polite rather than accusatory. “I had no idea you’d been selected.”
Lalycri tilted her head and her smile faltered. “Well, I was.”
Her tone had a sharp edge and he realized he had insulted her. “Certainly. I’m not surprised.”
“You sound surprised.” Lalycri’s voice was stern but the twinkle returned to her eyes. “I’m grateful for the honor. It’s definitely the most daring design I’ve produced so far.” She lowered her lashes and her mouth grew firm. “I would give anything to win. I long to pit myself against Tsera.”
Her words came fast and her voice had a ferocious quality that startled him. Lerion blinked and looked sharply at her. They all wanted the honor of winning. However, it had not occurred to him there might be others who desired to win as much as he did. Nobody could want this as much as he did. His every cell informed him being Main Creator was his destiny, and the idea she could snatch it from him was ludicrous.
He felt his vibration quicken, but Lalycri did not seem to notice the change in his demeanor. She smiled brightly, as if she had not just made a startling admission, and began to prattle without taking a breath.
“I should not say this, but, every night, I dream I win the honor of competing against Tsera.” Lalycri laughed out loud. “And then, I beat her at the game to become Main Creator, much to her astonishment.”
Lerion found the musical quality of her laugh charming, but couldn’t help being irritated by her unfounded confidence and her delusion they were competing on the same level. Yet, he’d never seen a design quite like this.
He nodded toward it. “Explain it to me.”
“A vibrational matrix capable of protecting the smallest of creation sequences. Once a unique sequence is within my matrix, no one will be able to access it or use it in any way.” She lost her smile and gazed at Lerion intently. “Every sequence in existence would remain safe within this matrix.” She paused and stared at him. “My voice is the only key.”
Lerion blinked and the back of his neck felt cold. There was something odd in the way her eyes bore into his with such intensity. Lalycri was a more gifted designer than he had first thought. She might very well be a true competitor, and this thought made the energy in his temples pound. “Have you tested it thoroughly? Are there any innate weaknesses?” He could hear the irritation in his own voice.
Lalycri frowned and pushed her pretty face close to his. “If there are, I shall not be telling you.”
She paused and gazed at him with her large liquid eyes. “I imagine your design is exquisite,” she said.
Heat rushed into Lerion’s face. He also had a talent for reading energy and intention in others, and he felt her energy change from jagged jolts of excitement to the more circular movement of congruity. Her compliment appeared to be genuine.
Glancing down the long line of uninspired designs, he nodded and almost smiled a real smile. His creation was exquisite and, though he longed to boast about it and crush her silly dream, he remained silent. All in good time.
Lalycri took a step forward and touched Lerion’s arm. He had to stop himself from snatching it away, which would have been a grave insult. He didn’t like being touched without permission, but he instantly adjusted his thoughts and frequency into a consistent flow so as not to hurt her feelings.
She smiled and gave his arm a squeeze. “I have no doubt, Lerion, you will be the one chosen. We all know how brilliant your ideas are and how...driven you are.”
What did she mean? Was she mocking him? Without permission, he pushed his consciousness through her etheric layers and fully connected with her mind. It was strictly forbidden, but he couldn’t stop himself.
He found himself caught up in a swirl of overwhelming thoughts and feelings, all strangely thrilling to his senses, but within the thrill of their mingling frequencies, he discovered Lalycri’s thoughts were not harmonious with her words.
Lalycri’s internal oscillations surged, and he was keenly aware of both her shock and pleasure. He quickly broke the connection, his nerve endings tingling at the energetic disruption. What had he done? He refused to look her in the eye, but felt keenly the distress he caused her by his intrusion and subsequent withdrawal. Her energy fluctuated wildly and she winced. She was hiding something.
A wave of panic caused his head to jerk back. “I must go. I do not wish to miss the announcement.” He turned to leave and felt her energy swirl downward, a sure sign of her indignation. He stopped and searched for a compliment. Anything to placate her. “Your design is clever and useful. Honor to you.”
Lalycri pulled her lips into a tight smile and raised her eyebrows in acknowledgment of his praise, but said nothing more. Lerion had no idea what words would elevate her dampened vibration, so he bowed his head in a swift movement and left. He clenched his fists and moved rapidly down the corridor.
With each step, he silently berated himself for his gross indiscretion. Novices were forbidden to connect directly, one to one. How could he have been so rash? Lalycri had every right to report his intrusion. It would mean instant disqualification from the contest.
Lerion forced himself to breathe deeply and with great effort, managed to bring his anxiety under control. He lifted his chin. Hiding his emotions, though socially unacceptable, was not forbidden, and he was good at it. He allowed himself a rueful smile. It was a necessary skill. He found his fellow novices irritating. And weak.
From his many forays into the Void, the unending nothing, the absence of light, the disconnection from the Main Energy Grid, Lerion had discovered his ability to hide his intentions from the whole and how to appear congruent while his true agenda remained hidden. This prodigious ability separated him from the others and made him different, a thing he relished.
He shivered involuntarily at the memory of darkness, of disconnection. Part of their training as newly created beings was to prepare for the Void. No further activation could take place until disconnection with M.E.G. had been experienced and indeed, survived. Many did not. Their unbounded terror overwhelmed them, and they were reabsorbed into the Main Energy Grid. Lerion would never let such a thing happen to him. He was the only novice who had made several trips to the Void in order to defeat the terrible, crushing fear and accelerate his activation. It won him an enormous amount of respect from his fellow novices.
Nevertheless, sometimes, like now, he just felt alone.
His thoughts returned to his indiscretion. The actuality of a one-to-one connection was intense and pleasurable, something he hadn’t expected. He forced the memory out of his conscious mind. He had to bury the experience, and as long as Lalycri remained silent, he would get away with it.
She had revealed a small talent for shielding her thoughts. However, given time, he would discover her secret. Of that, he was certain.