So when my bestie-since-5th-grade, Sarah Kettles, tagged me in this, I had a moment of panic because for those of you keeping track, I’m editing one book, drafting three others, and brainstorming another two. My brain, you guys. It hurts sometimes. And the idea of having to pick JUST ONE BOOK seemed impossible! But then I decided to talk about the book that’s more fun than anything else I’ve ever written ever–the NA I started for NaNoWriMo, LIKE DROPS OF MOONLIGHT.
Tell us a little about your WIP!
LIKE DROPS OF MOONLIGHT is about a girl, Holly, who just had the worst summer of her life.
She’s a recent college graduate, and the dream job she landed after graduation went up in smoke–literally–when the playhouse she worked for burned to the ground. Then her boyfriend dumped her to become a priest AND her beloved Nana passed away. After her Nana’s death, Holly learns that she inherited a sprawling lakeside mansion in the town of Moonlight Lake, NY–a house that’s been in her family for generations. She’s left a sizable sum of money, too–including more than enough to renovate the house–but it comes with a catch. Holly must live in the house for the entire year following her grandmother’s death–if she moves away before that time is up, the house and grounds will be put up for auction, and the money donated to the town. She figures, how hard can that be?
SPOILER: REALLY HARD. Especially when a dead body turns up in the boathouse and Holly becomes the prime suspect in the murder investigation. But her new friends–including a detective named Angie, and a smoking hot ex-college football player/baker/semi-retired amateur ghost hunter named Beau make the idea of sticking around just a little bit easier.
Even when it turns out her house has a dark history, and there’s someone in Moonlight Lake who wants Holly gone…no matter what.
How did you come up with your WIP(s)’s title?
The title came to me back when this book was still about a lighthouse (the idea has definitely morphed over time!) but I became super-attached to it and I’m not changing it, nope, never.
What’s your favorite type of villain?
I love villains who are unrepentantly bad–dark and twisted and so deliciously evil. I also love seeing their motivations–I love me a good villain origin story.
What motivates you to write?
Setting my alarm clock. My most productive (and consistent) writing happens between the hours of 5-7AM.
What’s the best book you’ve read in your genre?
Oooh, this is a tough one. I haven’t really read any NA mysteries/thrillers–most of what I’ve read so far have all been contemporary romance (which I LOVE). And please don’t make me pick my favorite. Because I can’t do it. Nope. No way.
Share a favorite line/scene from your WIP.
Ooh, this one’s kind of long, but here’s the scene where Holly and Beau meet in LIKE DROPS OF MOONLIGHT.
Hours later, Taco’s low growl woke me up. I blinked in confusion, momentarily disoriented in the pitch-black room. It took a moment for my brain to adjust, to remind myself that I was all alone in Moonlight Manor and not in my room at home or in my apartment at school.
“Shhh.” I rubbed Taco’s ears and tried to smooth out the hair that stood in a thick ruff on his neck. “Go back to sleep.”
But the dog would have none of it. He growled again, louder this time.
But not loud enough to cover a shuffle and a thump from the hallway.
Sweet baby Jesus. My hand froze on Taco’s back. Was someone out there? A chill crept down my back, and I eased my way out of bed. I found my phone and turned switched on the flashlight app, which was kind of crappy, as far as flashlights went, But it at least let me find my flip-flops, which I’d left next to my suitcase, and the heavy poker from the set beside the fireplace.
Taco had left the bed, too, and now stood facing the bed, his fur standing on end. I’d always joked that he was more likely to kiss intruders to death instead of hurting them, but right now? Taco looked ferocious.
“Good boy, Taco,” I whispered, hefting the poker. All I had to do was step into the hall, switch on the light, and see what was going on out there.
And hopefully not get murdered in the process.
“Okay,” I told Taco. “Let’s do this.”
I flung the door open and stepped into the hall, holding the poker in one hand. In the other, I hit the switch, flooding the hall with light. Light that momentarily blinded me, even as Taco bounded by with a snarl.
“Argh!” A scream and a thump came from the other end of the hallway. It scared me so much that I screamed, too—a high, ear splitting shriek that I didn’t even know I was capable of.
As my eyes adjusted, they narrow in on Taco standing over a very large, masculine shape curled in a ball on the dusty carpet, dressed in jeans and a black sweatshirt, and wearing some sort of goggles on his head. Goggles which he ripped off and flung to the floor beside him and moaned, his hands coming up to rub his eyes.
“I swear to fucking God, Owen, that’s not funny!” The man’s voice was deep and smooth, even thick with anger. He kept rubbing his eyes, definitely oblivious to the fact that I was standing there, brandishing a deadly weapon.
“What are you doing in my house?” I demanded, my voice two octaves past hysterical. “Get out!”
“What?” He lifted his head. Blinked at me. Rubbed his eyes. Blinked at me again. “Who are you?”
“I’m the girl who’s going to hit you over the head with this poker if you don’t leave right now!”
The guy froze, his head tilting the way Taco did when I sang to him. His eyes—dark brown, like chocolate—flicked over me briefly, sending heat flaring down my limbs, before returning to my face. “You’re serious.”
I stepped forward and hefted the poker. Taco retreated to my side, his fur still on end. “Do I look like I’m joking?”
God help me, he smiled. He actually freaking smiled, his lips curling up and his chocolate eyes crinkling in the corners. He brushed his dark brown hair off his forehead and stood slowly, holding one hand out toward me, palm facing out. “I’m just going to stand up, okay? This is all kind of a giant misunderstanding. Don’t hit me. Please.”
He was a big guy—well over six feet, and muscled like an athlete. I didn’t know if I could hit him hard enough to bring him down, and since he wasn’t currently trying to attack me…“What are you doing in my house?” I repeated.
“This is going to sound crazy.”
His gaze dropped below my chin again before snapping to the ceiling. A faint blush rose along his high cheekbones. “Can you, um. I’m sorry. But your top…”
I looked down and shrieked. The strap of my tank top had slipped down my arm, almost fully exposing my left breast. I yanked it up and glared at him. “Ohmygod.” I was going to die right here, and he wasn’t even going to touch me. I was going to melt down onto the floor in a puddle of embarrassment. I had just freaking flashed the guy who broke into my house.
He kept his eyes on the ceiling, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat.
“Don’t you dare laugh at me,” I threatened, brandishing the poker. “I will hit you.”
“I’m not laughing. I’m not.” The tremor is his voice told me otherwise. “I’m really sorry. My friend and I—we didn’t know anyone was here.”
“So you just break into people’s houses when you think no one’s there?”
“What? No. No. My grandfather used to be the caretaker here, before he retired. Owen and I used to do investigations here when we were younger. He’s back in town, and we thought, for old time’s sake…” He trailed off, shaking his head. “We didn’t know anyone had moved in. I’m sorry.”
I let the poker drop a bit—it was heavy, and my upper body strength wasn’t anything to write home about. This guy didn’t seem like a murder or a thief. He was a … well. I wasn’t exactly sure what he was.“Investigations?”
His lips tilted upward, and red crept up his neck. “Yeah,” he said. He lifted the goggles. “Ghost hunting.”
“Ghost hunting,” I repeated. “You’re a ghost hunter.”
“Amateur,” he said quickly. “And retired. Semi-retired.”
Tell us about your favorite character you’ve ever written.
Oh, it’s got to be Leah, Amelia’s best friend in A MAGIC DARK AND BRIGHT. I love Leah because she’s everything my main character, Amelia, is not–she’s loud and brash and has no filter at all. She loves with her whole heart and jumps head first into everything. I can’t wait for everyone to meet her!
What is/are your crutch word(s)?
I just ran AMD&B through Wordle, and this is what came out. Take away what you will:
Are you a plotter or a pantser, and why?
I’m a hybrid. I tend to start off with a very loose outline, veer wildly off-course, then re-outline about half-way through. My first drafts are a mess, my
second third fourth drafts are where the magic happens!!
What advice do you have for other authors?
Be brave! Don’t be afraid to follow your own path, no matter what the people around you are doing. We’re not in a race, or a competition–we’re all on a journey. Together.
- What’s the last sentence you wrote?
- What are you currently working on?
- What’s your dream writing environment?
- Tell us about the first book you ever wrote.
- When did you know you wanted to write a book?
- Share your favorite line/scene/snippet from your WIP.
- What books make you want to be a better writer?
- What song/songs could be on the soundtrack for your WIP?
- How often do you write?
- What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?