Character Madness Monday.

An Interview with Alia Stark 


The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles

Please introduce yourself.

Hello. My name is Alia Stark. I was born in Los Angeles, CA, when there was a Los Angeles… or even a California.  I have…or had… 2 sisters and a brother. I graduated from USC, Marshall School of Business.  I’m a widow. I lost my husband, Paul, a few years ago. And I’m a mom. Oh, and I’m the ruler of Lia Fail. The queen of Lia Fail. 

What’s Lia Fail? How do you pronounce that?

(Laughing) It’s a colony. We sit on the mountains that used to be the Santa Monica Mountains, above what was Lake Hollywood, not far from the old zoo. And it’s pronounced Lee-ah Fall. It means Stone of Destiny ( We’re known as the Pagan Village, but pretty much anyone is welcome in our colony. 

My late husband Paul and I started building the Fail after everything settled down. After the disasters calmed down, we knew we needed a place to keep our kids safe. So we found equipment and supplies and started to build, more and more survivors came to us. We just ended up being in charge.

And you’re a queen?

(Laughing) Yes. As we became the leaders, someone suggested we be the presidents, but no one really wanted that. They wanted us to take over, to make the decisions. The rules we had seemed to work, so the next thing we knew, we were a monarchy. It works for us. But the other colonies have different rules. St. Paul’s, Bethel Israel, Crystal Shade, WeHo and Pasadena, they all have presidents. The Buddhist colony, they all run it together. Whatever works.

So tell us your story…

Oh, Okay… well, there was the last great war, so everything is gone now. No more countries, or states, or cities… no governments like we used to have… at least, none that I’m aware of. It’s been thirteen years. We’ve survived. Well, most of us have survived. There are quite a few colonies now. Most of them seem to be religiously based, not all, but most. Well, we all decided to get together every six months…the colonies I mean. We all come together at The Gathering.  We remember to be patient and tolerant of other people and their beliefs. 

During this Gathering though, things have gone all wrong. There is something evil out there, and it is after me and my family. But my friend are there with me, and Sean. Sean Lantry. He’s the Captain of the guard and one of my best friends. 

Is it scary or a love story?

It’s both. There is a lot of love, as well as evil and ugliness. Adventure too.

You mentioned above you’re a mother. How many children to you have?

(Laughing) I have eleven children.


Yes… I would have sixteen, but I lost five of them. My children are Kaley, Alisha, Chris, Tanner, Sara, Coeli, Rebecca, Brian, Lisa, Brandon and Amanda. Frank, Colleen, Cassie, Gail and Steven – Those are the children I lost. 

I’m so sorry.

Thank you. It’s hard sometimes, but the ones I have now are healthy and I think happy. It eases the pain, but they’re never far from my thoughts, and some days are better than others.

Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? 

No, not at the moment… but there is someone… nevermind.

Are you sure you don’t want to elaborate?

No, next question, please.

Who is the scariest person in your story?

Oh, well, that’s really up for debate. There are at least five truly horrible people… but I don’t want to ruin anything for anyone.

(Laughing) Okay, I understand that.  Is there anything big that is planned for The Gathering?

Oh yes! One of my daughters is getting married. Alisha. She’s going to marry Vance Worley. 

Is this the first wedding of your children?

Oh yeah… I’m not that old. My youngest is five.

(Laughing) Sorry. If you could be anything you want to be, what would you be? Why?

I guess I would be exactly who and what I am now. I’m a pretty happy person, despite the hardships and bad things that have happened to me in my life. I really love my life. 

What’s your author like?

Shannon? She’s a lot like me, I guess. We’re both strong willed, independent, leaders. I think there are things about me she wants for herself. But again, I think she’s pretty happy. She likes what she does. 

Do you think she portrayed your part well?

Oh, yeah! She nailed it. She knows me inside and out. She doesn’t pull any punches. The Lia Fail chronicles can get gritty, dirty and ugly, but that makes it real. At least that’s what I think. I may not like everything that has happened to me, but that’s life. 

Do you have any pictures to share?

Sure, here you go. Pics of me, my kids and the books I’m in so far. 

So far? How many books is Shannon writing?

As far as I know, she’s writing at least 5 full novels and the stories in between. She might even do some spin offs, but I’m not sure she’s there yet.

Wow, well, Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. 

Thanks for having me. I hope people read the books. It’s a great ride!


The world as we know it is gone. There are no more countries, states, or cities.  No more traditional government... only survivors who have created a new world made up of small colonies.
It has been thirteen years since the last World War and the village of Lia Fail sits peacefully above the Hollywood Reservoir in the Santa Monica Mountains.  The settlement is making ready to host the fall Gathering. A time to remember the past as well as discover new loves, old friends, family, and fun, but just as the festivities begin, the people in Lia Fail begin to experience strange goings on they can't explain. Unseen forces attack several guests and friends begin to distrust friends.  When they receive news of a horrific massacre, they realize they must face an impending dark evil that threatens to destroy the tranquil village.  

Alia Stark, the queen of Lia Fail, must face this malevolent force alongside her oldest and dearest friends.  The fate of her people, the lives of her children and freedom itself rests in her hands.  Will she have the courage to do what must be done… and at what price?  

This is the beginning of a journey that will change all of their lives forever.

The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles is the first in a new Paranormal, Fantasy, and Adventure Series.
This book contains adult situations and is intended for a mature audience.

From The Gathering to The Bridging:

After the battle at the Black Castle, the survivors have returned and peace has once again settled on the village of Lia Fail. Follow the changes that have transpired in Alia Stark, as well as her family and friends, in this omnibus of tales.

From The Gathering to The Bridging is a collection of short stories from the Lia Fail Chronicles covering the gap of almost two years from the end of The Gathering and taking the reader into the next novel, The Bridging. A Wish, A Touch, A Kiss, A Birthday (Bonus Story) and A Storm contain vital information in the continuation of The Lia Fail Chronicles. Meet the newest members of the Fail, explore new love, adventures and magic, as we travel From The Gathering to The Bridging.


S. L. Dearing was raised in Westlake Village, California and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and then spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She has worked on several film projects in many capacities: directing, writing, First Asst. Director, Etc. Shannon has been writing since grade school. Over the years she has written several screenplays, poems and short stories.

She currently works in an administrative capacity in Century City when she is not writing. Writing since grade school, Shannon only discovered her passion for writing years later and over the years she has written several screenplays, poems and short stories as well as her current published work.  

Her first series (The Lia Fail Chronicles) has several books available at most retail outlets - The Gathering and From The Gathering to The Bridging. In addition, several of her short stories are currently available at Amazon. Several of those stories are from these anthologies: Apocalypse: An Anthology by Readers and Authors, Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST, & Stalkers (Published by Cynthia Shepp and Rene Folsom) and All Our Love (published by Novel Grounds).  She also has a piece in Love Potions, Lotion and Lore (Published by Karen Pierce-Gonzalez).

Shannon is a multi-genre and mash-up author, unrestricted by content, only interested in telling the story that is screaming to be told. She currently lives in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, CA with her two cats.

Purchase The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles here:

Check out S. L. Dearing's Amazon page and other published work here:

Follow S. L. Dearing:


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