Are there any books or authors that inspired you to become a writer?
I can think of several. The first that comes to my mind is not really a book by an author, but something I read on a website called Quizilla: I was in seventh grade then, and “A vampire’s prisoner” by “RebelGoddess13” was my first taste of paranormal romance and vampires. It was the story of a girl who got kidnapped by a vampire (even though he technically meant to save her) and was forced to stay with him and his three friends. While dealing with their craziness, she fell in love with him.
Another author that inspired me to become a writer is a former classmate of mine. She published her first book a few years before me, and it motivated me to do the same.
How long have you been writing or when did you start?
I used to make up and write fan fictions and other vampire stories as a teenager. Back then, my English was rather poor, but that didn’t deter me. In fact, writing and publishing stories on Quizilla helped me learn English.
I stopped writing at some point—I don’t even remember why. Probably because I was too busy with other hobbies and school. And yet, I never forgot about the characters and stories in my head.
At the beginning of 2020, I decided to write one of these stories down. And that’s when I really started writing.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
One of my favorite hobbies is tai chi. Apart from our weaponless form, we learn tai chi with swords, sabers, and staffs. It’s really fun, and the moves inspired some of the fighting scenes in my books.
I also enjoy reading, watching tv shows, playing games (online and board games), hiking, and traveling.
Have you ever traveled as research for your book?
I haven’t traveled as research for my books, but I have used many of the cities I visited as inspiration.
In “The Waxing Moon,” Lilah travels to Hamburg, Rome, London, Paris, Dublin, Salzburg, and many other places. I’ve spent at least a day or two in each of these cities, and I used the impressions from my trips in the book.
My current WIP is set in North America, which gives me the opportunity to use some experiences I made while work and traveling there in 2016 for my book.
How important was professional editing to your book’s development?
I feel like self-editing and getting feedback was much more important than professional editing.
Once I’d finished the first draft of my manuscript, I sent it to several publishers. Most didn’t even reply, and one pretty much told me I needed to learn how to self-edit my book. And that’s what I did.
I read about words and filters you should avoid, how to engulf the reader in the story, and how to show instead of tell. I also bought ProWritingAid, a very useful tool for writers that helps not only with grammar and style, but with repeating phrases, sticky sentences, and consistency as well.
Then, I looked for beta readers to get feedback, which gave me some valuable new ideas about what to work on.
After rewriting my manuscript several times (which took me about a year), I submitted it to the publisher again, and they agreed to publish it.
Of course, they also edited the book professionally. But their changes were minor compared to what I did during my self-editing process.
What books have you read more than once in your life?
The night huntress series by Jeaniene Frost fits the criteria well. Halfway to the grave was one of the first rather spicy paranormal romance books I read, and I love the characters and their humor.
If you could be a character in one of your favorite books, who would you be?
Favorite books as in books I’ve written? Then it’d be Lilah from “The Waxing Moon”. I share a lot of dreams and hopes with her. The main difference between the two of us is that she’s much more courageous than me.
If I need to choose one of my favorite books from another author, I’d like to be Lestat from Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles. Something about him always resonated with me.
If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?
The sequel will be set in the same world as “The Waxing Moon”, but with different main characters. Don’t worry, though, Lilah and Cain will still play a role. And if you want any more hints, read the epilogue very carefully. That should give you a good idea of what to expect.
If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?
I might actually write spin-offs about several side characters.
On her journey, Lilah meets so many interesting vampires from all over Europe with many different backgrounds. It would be a shame not to tell their stories.
I’m already working on an idea with Daniel (a vampire with almost magical abilities) as a main character, but it’s still pretty vague.
I also wrote a short story about Laurant, another vampire from “The Waxing Moon.” Laurant is the CEO of an IT company in Dublin and an almost invincible fighter. You can read it for free if you sign up for my newsletter.
What part of the book was the most fun to write?
This might be a tiny spoiler, but I loved writing the breakup scene at the end of part 1 (I divided my book into 3 parts). There was so much raw emotion and heartbreak in that scene, it shook me to my core.
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