27 December, 2014

#Interview with Lana Moon, #Author of Awake

About the Author:
Lana Moon grew up in Southeast Missouri. She has a background in Medieval and American folklore, and spent a brief period moonlighting as a ghost hunter. When that group dissolved, she still had a strong desire to explore old buildings and abandoned properties in Missouri and Illinois. As a result, many of these "forgotten" places are settings in her stories.

Moon has been writing for over a decade and contributes regularly to the Shorties Blog which features free short stories and book excerpts.

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Interview with the Author:

When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?
When I was a kid, the books that drew me in were those fun adventure stories where you could pick the ending. That created a spark—and suddenly every ghost episode of Unsolved Mysteries gave me ideas, only I could tweak or change the endings inside my head. And eventually the writing part took off. And here we are!

What inspires you to write?
Growing up in a small town, we had dozens of urban legends and ghost stories that were passed around. I love twisting some of those tales with other folklore to up the creep factor or just heighten the drama. And then I’ll throw some broken people into the mix and make them fall in love. It’s fun! 

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
I was talking to a woman who had lost her husband. Devastated with this loss, she said she sold the home they shared and moved into an old house. She lived in it for seven years and claimed that every night she felt a presence climb into bed with her. There was nothing sinister to it, she said, but it provided the peace she had been looking for. I was enthralled. I couldn’t get her story out of my head. For seven YEARS she felt something crawl into bed next to her! And whether it was just her grief or a real phenomenon, that was a story I wanted to write. And that story became Awake.  

Is there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Once I had an idea to write about one of the flying monkeys from Wizard of Oz. He was going to have a backstory that involved a sort of Oedipus tragedy, but with enchanted monkeys. It’s probably best that it stays locked in the vault. 

Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve never written a book the same way twice, and I don’t know if there is an exact science to writing. I was writing a short story once and became so frustrated with the beginning that I scrapped it and started writing the ending—so that story was literally written backwards. The one consistency that probably all writers will agree on is coffee. 

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
My favorite scene in Awake is probably the mock wedding night between Victor and Eve. Here were two broken individuals running from their pasts, and I really wanted to just freeze a moment for them. So my dowdy heroine Eve buys this lovely white dress, and Victor (the incubus who’s rarely clothed) shows up in a polished suit, and they share a really beautiful and perfect moment. 

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?
Living in the Midwest, I’ve always had a fear of tornadoes. So much of Eve’s fear of storms (despite her secret) is definitely my own coming through. Nature always reminds us every season how deadly it is—but tornado season is the worst. 

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
Every time I finish writing a book, I throw up. Every. Single. Time. It’s a sexy quirk. 

What is your usual writing routine?
It’s taken a while for me to figure out that the more you write, the better the writing becomes. So I’ll work several hours in the evening, or I’ll get up at 3 or 4am and work for a few hours before starting my day job. I’ll sleep when I’m dead. 

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’m currently revising my first full-length novel, To Hold and to Keep. It follows a man who loses his wife in a freak accident. Years pass, but the man remains in a deep state of grief . . . until he meets a woman who looks exactly like his late wife. The story is very heavy on the romance, but there’s also a great deal of supernatural touches throughout, as well as a huggable butler, a precocious little girl, and one peculiar doll . . . and I’ll leave it at that.  

About the Book:

Tormented by nightmares since the death of her family in a devastating tornado, Eve has returned to her Missouri hometown to face her painful past. There, in her aunt’s long-abandoned cottage, she meets an unlikely healer: a gorgeous incubus on the prowl for a mate. Victor offers Eve innocent comfort and soothing caresses, but his demonic nature won’t long be denied.
For thousands of years, Victor has preyed on women’s hidden desires while his own longings have gone unfulfilled. Now, at last, he’s met the woman of his dreams. But while their passion is quick to ignite, their future is far from certain. Eve’s feelings of guilt and Victor’s own dark deeds still haunt them. If Eve gives him her body yet withholds her trust, an enemy from Victor’s past could end their love—and him—forever.