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A Conversation with L.E. Sterling, Author of TRUE BORN (True Born #1)


Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today, L.E.! What 5 things should readers know about you?

  1. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Drake has renamed our city the “6ix” but no one seems to know why.
  2. I “prepared” for writing a science fiction book like True Born by working for some of the world’s top biomedical engineers. My job was to tell stories about their work. (Seriously. That’s a job). Essentially, that meant I’d hang around in labs and get these amazing scientists and grad students to explain everything to me like I was a small child. It worked, though, because now I can tell you all sorts of interesting factoids about nanoparticles and DNA proteins.
  3. I have a PhD in English Literature – but my thesis was on magic! Yup, more cool preparation for writing science fiction and fantasy novels!
  4. I have published two previous novels. The Originals can be found under my original pen name, L.E. Vollick (and was even published in French: Les Originaux). Pluto’s Gate, my second novel, is published under L.E. Sterling. Both of these novels can be found widely (if you’re interested) and, if you live in Canada, at the public library.
  5. True Born was originally published as a novella on Wattpad – which is all it was ever originally intended to be. I wrote it as back story for another set of novels I intended to write about Dominion City, but it really took off, so I continued the story…and it spun into a trilogy.

You do seem to be uniquely prepared! (And according to, “6ix” is derived from your area code, 416. But how 6ix = 416 isn’t explained…am I just missing it? Is it some weird Canadian math, maybe?)


Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Lucy and Margot Fox are identical sisters. Lucy thinks of herself as the dull and responsible sister, while Margot has always been the vivacious, outgoing twin. But all that starts to change through the course of the novel, and Lucy comes to know herself in a new light, while Margot…well, you’ll see.


What would they need on a desert island? Each other! Lucy and Margot find separation very difficult. They are very special twins, as you’ll find out!



Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

This is an interesting book for me because it was inspired by the true story of my great grandmother. She was born in England and sent to the U.S. at a very young age by her recently widowed mother to become an indentured servant. I imagine the whole voyage was traumatic, because apparently my great-grandmother forgot her identity through the crossing. When she finally arrived in the U.S. she gave the officials, and her new ‘family’, her twin’s name – and she lived her entire life, until she was an adult, as her twin until she discovered the truth. I loved the idea of having a bond with someone that was so close that it took over your own, so I explored this in a fictional world.

Wow—what an amazing story and inspiration!


How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I’ve been writing since I was a little girl – seriously. I published my first article when I was in grade 3, I think, and I wrote my first (terrible sci-fi/fantasy/YA/dystopian) novel when I was 11. I remember reading a particularly interesting and moving book when I was around 9 or 10 and thinking to myself: that’s what I am going to do. I want to reach into people’s minds and affect them, maybe even change them, through telling them a story. After that, there really wasn’t anything else I was inspired to do with my life.



What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

I love disappearing into the worlds I’m making, and immersing myself into my characters. I love these people – I don’t think one could write good fiction unless one loved his or her characters. On the flip side of that, though, is the challenge of making it good! I constantly worry myself over quality: is the plot good enough? The characters deep and interesting enough? But to be quite honest, the hardest part about being a writer is finding the time to sit down and write!

Isn’t that the truth!


What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

I’m actually hard at work on the second and third books in the True Born Trilogy. Book 2, True North, comes out in April 2017. Stay tuned! Book 2 is coming!

Awesome! Can’t wait!


What authors and/or books have inspired you?

The list is so long it’s painful. But let’s start with some people I consistently turn to in order to learn how to write better (and also because, goshdarnit, I LOVE their books!): Ilona Andrews, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Tanya Huff, Cassandra Clare, Diana Gabaldon, and Karen Chance.

It is convenient that we can keep reading them and chalk it up to writing research, isn’t it? 😉


What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I’m reading Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs, the latest in the Mercy Thompson series. I have read almost every book this author has written (and sometimes more than once). I love it, of course. I am amazed that Briggs has been able to put out consistently brilliant novels in this series. I think that’s a hard thing to do, and it’s a skill I need to learn very quickly!

Ooh, I’ve got that series on my TBR. It is amazing that authors can keep writing at the same level of awesomeness, isn’t it?


If you had to “sell” your book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

Okay, well, I’m not very good at putting out in the Twitterverse, but I wrote a haiku once to describe the book, and it comes in well under 140 characters. And so:

Moody antlers rule

What the Fox twins’ blood reveals –

The blond panther snarls.

LOL! I love it! 🙂


About the author:

L.E. Sterling had an early obsession with sci-fi, fantasy and romance to which she remained faithful even through an M.A. in Creative Writing and a PhD in English Literature – where she completed a thesis on magical representation. She is the author of two previous novels, the cult hit Y/A novel The Originals (under pen name L.E. Vollick), dubbed “the Catcher in the Rye of a new generation” by one reviewer, and the urban fantasy Pluto’s Gate.

Originally hailing from Parry Sound, Ontario, L.E. spent most of her summers roaming across Canada in a van with her father, a hippie musician, her brothers and an occasional stray mutt – inspiring her writing career. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.


True Born
(True Born #1)
by L.E. Sterling

Welcome to Dominion City.

After the great Plague descended, the world population was decimated…and their genetics damaged beyond repair.

The Lasters wait hopelessly for their genes to self-destruct. The Splicers pay for expensive treatments that might prolong their life. The plague-resistant True Borns are as mysterious as they are feared…

And then there’s Lucy Fox and her identical twin sister, Margot. After endless tests, no one wants to reveal what they are.

When Margot disappears, a desperate Lucy has no choice but to put her faith in the True Borns, led by the charismatic Nolan Storm and the beautiful but deadly Jared Price. As Lucy and the True Borns set out to rescue her sister, they stumble upon a vast conspiracy stretching from Dominion’s street preachers to shady Russian tycoons. But why target the Fox sisters?

As they say in Dominion, it’s in the blood.


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