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An Interview with Larissa Soehn, author of scifi/fantasy The Defender

cover of The Defender by Larissa Soehn

A woman battling depression and anxiety finds herself trapped in her own life, but when an alien device rips her away from Earth, she is forced to fulfill an impossible role and save the galaxies from destruction.

On Earth, Alexia Harmon is a mother and wife, but in a foreign galaxy, she is so much more. Torn away from her family, Alex is in an epic battle to escape from Gatlin and return to Earth. But little does Alex know, Gatlin is on the verge of destruction. The galaxy faces annihilation; a prophetic doom that was set in motion thousands of years ago.

Alex struggles to stay alive as she fights against an alien government that is trying to kill her, a species of genetically engineered creatures that are hell bent on her destruction, and the demons of her own mind that threaten to overthrow her. Join Alexia Harmon as she works to fulfill her role as THE DEFENDER.

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Excerpt from The Defender

His hands drip with thick green blood. His fingers slide around inside the creature’s body, pulling, pushing, prodding. Finally, he finds what he is looking for, and with a sharp pull, he takes out the small object. He stares down at the tiny orb and marvels at it.

This will be the thing that ends them, rendering them powerless. The thought is vicious, but he has no time for kindness. Not now.

Quickly he turns and gently places the soft ball under a microscope. Staring into the lens, and using advanced medical tools, he prods at the centre of the ball, peeling away the outer shell. Inside is a thick, hard stone-like substance. Carefully he pulls it out. Cold radiates from it as if it could snatch all of the heat out of the room.

Careful to not drop or touch the substance, he swivels around and walks past the dead creature while moving to the second table.

Strapped here is a creature of nightmares. A long, lean body that will tower over all that it meets. Pincers adorn each appendage that will cut through anything it desires, and a face to leave the beings of the societies wetting themselves in fear.

He laughs lightly, looking over his creation with manic fondness. Carefully, he inserts the rocky substance into the cavity that has been carved open to receive the powerful object. The creature’s chest rises and falls lightly, supported by the machines that whir next to the table.

Stitching up the creature, he flicks a switch that pumps adrenalin into its massive system. It takes a few seconds, but the creature’s eyes fly open and look around aggressively.

The eyes looking back are human, but everything else is alien. The strongest parts of many species, all stitched together into one beautiful destroyer.

With one wild whoop, the creature activates its newest power, sucking all the heat from the room. The creator shivers and lunges for the control button. As the room starts to frost over and the air freezes, he presses the button, his fingers creaking as they bend against the cold that suddenly engulfs him.

With a violent spasm, the creature jerks madly on the table and is rendered temporarily useless. He smiles grimly. This is it; this will kill them all.

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An Interview with Larissa Soehn

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I was looking for something to fill my days with after taking some time off work to focus on my mental health. I had always been a relatively creative person, so the words just flowed from me when I sat down to start writing. I had some previous experience with writing mystery games (that’s actually how this book started), so it wasn’t a huge stretch to move into something a bit longer.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

Go to Haldree. When I wrote the small Faction of Haldree, I pictured a fantastic array of tree houses and walkways stacked one on top of the other. It reminded me of my childhood fantasy of playing in my clubhouse with my friends. I also made the aliens their sort of happy-go-lucky. They live outside of the main society and aren’t burdened by the same things that the big city folk would be. It sounds peaceful.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

That she is scared. When Alexia Harmon starts, she is depressed, anxious, and seriously lacks self confidence. Throughout the story, she grows and changes, but I always imagine her as that vulnerable woman. I think she would be scared at every turn, but what makes her special is that she overcomes that fear every time. 

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Alexia. It feels kind of lame to pick my main character, but I think she is so cool. Plus, I based her on myself, so I think we could have some really great conversations. My next choice would be Rickert. He is fun-loving and good-natured, and I think he would be a lot of fun to take out for drinks.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

 Use my words! After all, I am an author, and there is nothing I can’t talk my way out of. I am defiantly not a fighter, but I am a talker.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Probably horror. I don’t do well with scary movies or scary books, and I have pretty bad nightmares about that kind of stuff, especially if it involves zombies! Other than that, I think I could write in most genres. I have four books written in science fiction and one in romantic suspense.

About Larissa Soehn

author Larissa Soehn

Larissa Soehn is a budding new author from the cozy city of Red Deer, Alberta, where she lives with her husband, daughter, two cats and a dog. She started this journey as a recovery method for severe depression. She found that creative writing helped her process her emotions and work through the struggles of depression. As a child, Larissa enjoyed writing and telling stories, a passion that has recently reignited inside of her. Currently she is working to finalize the Gatlin Series, as well as publish a series of children’s books to help families discuss the importance of mental health, amongst other social issues facing children today. Larissa is an advocate for mental health and uses her personal experiences to help others work through their struggles. She uses social media platforms to help spread her message and give people permission to speak up and speak out.



Larissa Soehn will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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