Friends, today I'd like to welcome Crystal Collier, author of MOONLESS, to the blog! Can't wait to read MOONLESS? Download it right now, right here. Or mark it "to read" on Goodreads here. MOONLESS is described as Jane Eyre meets Supernatural. Cool, right?
Below, Crystal and I chat about writing and publishing. But first, a little about Moonless:
In the English society of 1768 where women are bred to marry, unattractive Alexia, just sixteen, believes she will end up alone. But on the county doorstep of a neighbor’s estate, she meets a man straight out of her nightmares, one whose blue eyes threaten to consume her whole world—especially later when she discovers him standing over her murdered host in the middle of the night.
Among the many things to change for her that evening are: her physical appearance—from ghastly to breathtaking, an epidemic of night terrors predicting the future, and the blue-eyed man’s unexpected infusion into her life. Not only do his appearances precede tragedies, but they are echoed by the arrival of ravenous, black-robed wraiths on moonless nights.
Unable to decide whether he is one of these monsters or protecting her from them, she uncovers what her father has been concealing: truths about her own identity, about the blue-eyed man, and about love. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with the man of her dreams and risk becoming one of the Soulless.
Yikes! I'm intrigued. And now some Q & A with Crystal Collier:
1. From idea to final product, how did Moonless come to be?
MOONLESS happened. I didn’t have any notions of writing another book, just sat down and it wrote itself in a matter of days. But then, (as with all first drafts,) it went straight into the folder labeled “never to see the light of day.”
Fast forward several years. I hosted a major beta reading (30+ readers) and my readers pushed me into querying. After winning a couple contests and earning enough attention, Raybourne Publishing picked MOONLESS up.
2. Can you give us a brief summary of your writing process? Plotter? Pantser? Somewhere in between?
I dream a dream, binge write for 10 to 20 pages, make plot notes, then go away and let it sit. My subconscious is constantly rotating back and building on what I have. By the time I’m ready to seriously plot, I have the beginning, ending, and at least 3 major plot/turning points. From there it’s a question of taking a week to fill in the blanks, then writing a consistent 1,000 to 2,000 words a day until the first draft is done.
3. Moonless is published by Raybourne Publishing. Can you tell us a bit about your experience with a small publisher?
I’ve had a great deal of independence, and WAY too much say in the process. It’s been awesome!
4. Can you offer us any advice about book promotion? What's working for you and what isn't?
Being a relative newbie at this… I believe book promotion starts with personally inviting those you know to get involved. Ask their opinions on covers, blurbs, taglines, etc. When people are invested, they’re going to share. Your personal reach only goes so far, but the six degrees of separation can extend you to any corner of the world.
5. Is there any writing or publishing advice you'd like to share with us?
Love what you do. Read, read, read. Do your best, and when all else fails, eat cheese and be happy.
Friends, what do you think of Crystal's book blurb? Her writing process? Her take on book promotion? Her obsession with cheese? Please share!