For this week's interview, we have Lorelei Moone, author of such titles as the Scottish Werebears series which reached its conclusion this past year. She is currently working on two series: Vampires of London (book 3 comes out in February) and the brand new Alpha Squad with the first book released this past December.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Well, my name is Lorelei Moone and I write Paranormal Romance for the most part. My first book (Scottish Werebear: An Unexpected Affair) came out in September 2015 and I’ve been unable to stop myself from writing more ever since.
I love stories with supernatural/paranormal elements, obviously, which is quite obvious when you look at my books. When I’m not writing, I love to bake or cook. Cakes and chocolate are my two major weaknesses. If there were more hours in the day, I might have started a home based bakery by now so I could enjoy the creative aspect of baking cakes, without actually being the one to eat the end result (my poor waistline would thank me for that!).
The hubby and I also love to travel, and one of our favorite places is Scotland, specifically the Highlands. I adore desolate places, they make my imagination run wild, so whenever possible, I like to use my favorite places as settings in my books.
How many books do you have out? Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently if you had to start over again?
According to Amazon, 12 titles, but those include a couple of collections and a preorder, so in total I currently have 10 individual works out. If I had to start again, I would make sure I don’t take long breaks between releases. We travelled quite a bit in the beginning of 2016, so I could not write as much and release regularly. That really impacted my career and if I had to do it again I’d try to release at least every 6 weeks.
Other than famous authors and industry professionals, who inspires you to write?
My mom has been a huge support. She doesn’t read romance, only literary fiction, but she has never judged my writing and loves that I’m able to express myself this way. She has also been completely unable to keep my activities to herself and will tell the whole family about what I’m up to. I believe she has even given one of my books to an uncle of mine who was curious. Luckily he never said anything to me directly, or else I might just die of embarrassment thinking about him reading one of my sex scenes.
It happens to us all. Any tips on how to get through writer’s block?
Writer’s block for me usually means something is wrong. The story might be in the wrong order, or I’ve gone off on a tangent and need to back track. The only way to get through it is to find the problem and fix it, and then I can continue writing the rest of the book. Mood also affects my writing, of course, but usually I can force my way through a low spell.
I’ve found deadlines to be extremely helpful and that is one of the main reasons I use preorders for a lot of my work; if I can see the book up on Amazon; cover, description and all, I know I have to sit down and deliver. Fear of disappointing readers is a great motivator.
What book/books are you reading right now? Who are your go to authors?
My reading habits depend on mood. I read quite a bit within my genre, though due to time limitations not as much as I would like. Think Milly Taiden, Zoe Chant, Tina Folsom. Lately I’ve tried cozy mysteries for the first time in ages (I used to devour Agatha Christie books when I was a teenager). I also read some Sci-Fi and Horror, mainly books written by author friends of mine. Perhaps I’m nosy, but I love to know what my friends are working on.
How bit of a role does social media play in marketing these days?
I think it’s hugely important to be visible on social media. Although I admit I have someone to help me with the day to day running of my social media, I make sure to answer every message, every comment, every email that I receive myself. I think it’s so important to be out there and available for people to connect with and build relationships with readers.
And now for the silly… given the opportunity to be a lead character in any fairy tale, which fairy tale would you jump into? What would you change in the story to make the story yours?
It would have to be Beauty and the Beast. And in my version, of course the Beast is a werebear who is unable to shift back into his human form until true love sets him free and the lead would have to be a strong female, as that’s what I prefer to write. Hmm… perhaps I should write something like this?
Do you have anything specific that you’d like to say to your readers, or to new readers just finding you?
Yes, I’d like to point out to new readers that Scottish Werebear: An Unexpected Affair (book 1 in the Scottish Werebears series) is free on all retailers, so you can check it out and decide whether you enjoy my writing. This is how I discover new authors as well; if I see a freebie that looks interesting, that’ll get me to try someone whose work I’ve never read before.
What’s in the works for you right now? When can we expect to see it released to the world?
I’ve been taking a little break over the holidays, but I’m ready to get back to work now and write Lucille’s Valentine, book 3 in the Vampires of London series.
I’m very excited to see where that story takes me. Lucille – who was a side character in the previous Vampires of London books– is a complex, sometimes difficult character and I’m truly excited to record how she will fare when she falls for the most unlikely man; a vampire hunter!
We’d love to see an excerpt of you work. Do you have one you could share?
Sure, here’s the first chapter of Alexander’s Blood Bride (book 1 in the Vampires of London series).
"I have amazing news!"
Cat looked up to find an excited looking Shelly standing in the doorway to their shared apartment.
"So do I," Cat responded with a wide grin on her face. The letter that had sparked her excitement lay in the center of the coffee table, just waiting to be shared with her best friend and roommate.
"Here," Shelly said, handing Cat yet another envelope. This one was different, heavy, made out of expensive looking paper.
"I’ve scored us an invite to the event of the year!" Shelly squealed and clapped her hands as Cat carefully opened the envelope to reveal a matching card with ornamental writing on it.
"What is it?" Cat held up the invitation to the light, noticing how the gold text shimmered luxuriously as she tilted it. The card stock itself seemed to have some texture and inherent glow as well. It was mesmerizing to look at, and almost made Cat forget about her own good news.
"This girl at work had a spare invite. Apparently this is an annual affair, been going for years now. But it's quite exclusive, not too many people know about it." Shelly's voice became more hushed as she continued to speak, like she was sharing a well-kept secret.
If there were so many printed invitations for it that Shelly got one off some random person who also worked at Superdrug, it couldn't be all that exclusive, surely!
Cat scrutinized her friend. Shelly was always the life of the party, wherever she went. Cat, on the other hand, was much more of a homebody. She didn't enjoy the club scene as much, no matter how hard Shelly had tried to convert her ever since they moved in together years ago.
It wasn't that she didn't like music, or cocktails, or even dancing. What she didn't enjoy was attracting attention to herself. Cat wasn't as popular or pretty as Shelly and for the most part, she was fine with that. She just didn't appreciate having her nose rubbed in it whenever they went out together.
"And it's fancy dress..." Cat noted.
"Yeah, obviously! What else is a Halloween party supposed to be?"
Urgh. Fancy dress was just an excuse for most people to dress up in as little as possible. None of what she'd heard so far had made Cat want to go to this thing.
And yet, the slight shimmer of the heavy card stock and the seductive curls of the golden writing continued to catch her eye. The invitation even smelled tempting; sweet, with a hint of pumpkin spice.
"Look, the best dressed guest will even win a prize!" Shelly leaned over and pointed at the relevant line. £1000 wasn't a small amount; no doubt Shelly would pull out all the stops in an attempt to win.
"Let me guess, you already have a costume picked out?" Cat said.
Shelly responded with a wide grin. Of course she did.
If not this party, she would have gone somewhere else on Halloween. She'd probably started thinking about her outfit months in advance. Shelly wasn't one to half-ass a costume party; she thrived on them.
"Anyway, so this seems right up your alley. What do you need me for?"
"Oh, come on! It's not every day you get a chance like this! And it'll be a hell of a lot more fun than sitting at home watching old movies all night!"
Cat made a face. "Wanna bet?"
"The card says plus one. Be a shame to waste it. Plus, after all the job applications you've sent out lately, you deserve to have a little fun." Shelly looked at Cat with big, pleading eyes. She could be so pushy at times.
Cat looked at the card again; every time she did, that little voice in her head screamed louder. Stop being such a spoilsport and just agree already! And indeed, ever since completing her degree in Art History just before the summer, Cat had been trying her best to get a job that would allow her to put her education to use. She'd been on the verge of giving up, because none of her applications had led anywhere... Until today.
Perhaps it was a sign. After she finally received good news today, what if this party was meant to be her chance to celebrate starting a new chapter in her life?
In any case, Shelly didn't seem in the mood to drop the topic. Cat could always tell when her roommate and best friend was going to dig her heels in.
She took a deep breath. Just this once. "Fine. Fine! Happy now?"
"You've made the right choice. You'll see."
Cat shrugged. Bah. Fancy dress. "I guess now I'll need an outfit too."
"Shopping spree!" Shelly clapped her hands in excitement. "On the way out, you can tell me all about your news too, okay?"
Cat leaned forward to grab her envelope off the table and handed it to Shelly. "Read it."
Shelly did as asked. "Oh my God! You've got a job?"
Cat nodded, her chest almost bursting with excitement. "Well, an internship, but it is paid, so that's basically like a job, isn't it?"
"I told you it would work out eventually. Come here, you! I'm so happy for you!"
Cat got up from the sofa and was immediately pounced on by Shelly, who gave her a big hug.
"Here's what we'll do. First we go sort out your outfit, and then I'm taking you out for a few drinks to celebrate.
What do you say?" Shelly didn't wait for Cat's agreement, instead taking her hand and leading her out of the apartment so quickly, she barely managed to pick up her coat and handbag on the way.
Cat smoothed the velvety fabric down herself as she checked out her reflection.
Not half bad.
Granted, the medieval style deep burgundy gown had been one of the very few choices in her size, and expensive to boot. But it fit Cat like a glove and accentuated her best features: her curves.
"I'm telling you, you look amazing," Shelly insisted, and rested her hand on top of Cat's shoulder.
Cat turned to face her friend and smiled. "I'll just pretend I'm meant to be an extra from Game of Thrones. That's still popular, right?"
Shelly grinned and nodded. "That's the spirit. Just give me a moment to fix my hair and we can go."
Cat watched Shelly as she fluffed up her blond curls, making sure not a single one was out of place, before pushing a flower wreath down on top of them.
Her costume was a sort of cross between stripper and fairy, with the most elaborately decorated net wings Cat had ever seen. The overall effect was impressive, if a little revealing. Of course, that was exactly how Shelly liked to dress when she went out. There was no way she'd end the night alone.
"You look great too," Cat said, as she ran her fingertips over the edge of the sparkly wings.
"They won't know what hit them when the two of us arrive." Shelly giggled.
The doorbell rang, signaling the arrival of the cab they'd booked. You didn't turn up at a fancy party disheveled and windblown after braving the public transport and autumn rains, Shelly had insisted.
Cat took one final look in the mirror and off they went. She had no idea what to expect. The card, combined with the address at the bottom, had seemed quite fancy indeed. But if it was so special to be invited, how come the two of them had snagged a card? They weren't exactly part of London's high society.
Even the cabbie seemed surprised when Shelly told him the address. Cat imagined that it wasn't every day that two working class girls asked to be picked up from their tiny shared apartment in Shepherd's Bush and driven all the way to Kensington Palace Gardens, London's most expensive street. Luckily, the man didn't make a fuss about it.
As they pulled into the road, Cat finally did understand his reaction though. Just the size and scale of the first houses she saw were enough to take her breath away. Ever since moving to London a couple of years ago, she'd never visited this part of the city—why would she? Ordinarily she would have had no reason to.
"There it is." The cabbie pointed ahead at a beautiful Georgian villa.
As he pulled into the driveway, the ornately decorated iron gate opened by itself to let them in. The cab crawled up the immaculately kept gravel driveway and came to a halt in front of the house itself.
"Wow," Shelly said.
Cat just stared up at the impressive façade and blinked a couple of times, lost for words.
Was this really the place? She didn't belong here. They ought to turn back and forget about this whole party business.
"Come on!" Shelly urged and prodded Cat with her elbow. "Let's go!"
Cat took a deep breath and paid the driver before getting out of the car. She smoothed down her dress and did her best to stay balanced as she walked up the half dozen steps to the large double front door.
As soon as Shelly joined Cat in front of the entrance, the two doors swung open as if by magic, giving them the first glimpse of the party that was well underway inside. At least it was the right place.
Cat turned back one last time and caught a glimpse of their cab leaving. There was nowhere else to run.
Shelly took her by the arm and almost dragged her inside.
They were both speechless. They both stood there, looking up at the most beautiful carved wooden staircase Cat had ever seen. In the center of the ceiling up above was a giant crystal chandelier, its light refracting and dancing around on the walls and parquet floor below.
A waiter arrived seconds later, offering them a glass of champagne.
Shelly emptied her glass immediately, but Cat wasn't much of a drinker. She sipped it slowly, and tried to take in as much as she could of the lush interior. This mansion didn't belong to some footballer, or other nouveau-riche celebrity. The place screamed old money.
As luxurious as it looked, it was tasteful.
Within minutes of their arrival, Shelly couldn't resist the pull of the festivities, and Cat found herself alone. She didn't mind. The champagne was lovely, refreshing with just a hint of citrus, and if Cat was left completely to her own devices, the decor alone would keep her entertained all evening.
Cat gazed at the staircase again. What wonders awaited up there? If she wasn't polite to a fault, she would have been tempted to check it out. She wouldn't, though. Not unless he was invited to.
Her eyes settled on a painting of a man on horseback that hung on the left hand wall closer to ground level. She squinted to get a better look; it seemed old, probably expensive just like everything else in here. But that wasn't what had attracted her gaze. The hunting scene looked just like the standard fare you found in country houses and palaces around the country, except the man was dressed completely in black.
She felt a chill pass down her spine as she focused on his face. His dark eyes gave the impression of being alive as he seemed to stare down at her. How handsome he was. He would have had a striking presence back in the day with his sharp jawline, impossibly flawless skin, and dark medium length hair.
If she found nothing else of interest here—which was unlikely—this one painting could captivate her for hours. That was how lifelike it looked.
Cat had to admit Shelly had been right: she'd never been to a place or a party quite like this one before.
Thanks again to Lorelei for taking the time for this interview, and we wish her the best of luck with her two new series!