Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.
Ariella spent her childhood searching for a magical wardrobe that would transport her to Narnia. Extreme math anxiety and taller students that mistook her for a leaning post marred her youth. Despite these horrors, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Davis. She lives a nearly normal life doting on her extraordinary daughter, two shamelessly spoiled dogs, and a media-shy dragon.
What inspires you to write?
My daughter was the original inspiration for my writing. When she was a preteen, it was difficult to find age appropriate books that matched her advanced reading and comprehension skills. So I started writing The Teen Wytche Saga, novels that combine contemporary sweet romances and magic with difficult subject matters ⎯ death of a parent, sibling rivalry, teen depression, and more ⎯ in a manner suitable for ages 12 and up. Now, with my daughter grown, I have launched The Two Realms Trilogy, a magical medieval Young Adult fantasy that begins with The Beltane Escape.
Tell us about your writing process.
I do a lot of plotting and character development in my head before my fingers tap the keyboard. My writing follows a three-act structure and the hero’s journey. I used to map out every chapter on sticky notes adhered to a black trifold display. Now, once I have a rough idea of the plot, I’ll create a word document containing a paragraph or two of what needs to be accomplished in each act. I usually rewrite the first chapter several times as more information reveals itself. The rest of the book is written in near-finished draft and requires very little editing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters deliver messages to me through my muse ⎯ usually while I’m in the shower, driving the car, or just about to fall asleep. If I’m blocked, then I go into shaman mode (my other career). I’ll meditate or do a character interview to discover what I need to change or include.
What advice would you give other writers?
Join writers’ organizations like SCBWI, Romance Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime and enter their writing contests. Attend writing conferences. Hone your craft and never give up!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
The tremendous success of many hybrid authors in my Romance Writers of America chapter influenced me to pursue a combination of traditional and self-publishing. Clean Reads (Astraea Press), a small niche press, publishes my Teen Wytche Saga. Small presses are a great way for authors to get their foot inside the publishing door. But they are not without risks, as authors for Ellora’s Cave and Samhain have discovered. To balance that risk and gain higher royalties and creative control, I created Star Tribe Publishing to publish The Two Realms Trilogy.
I would advise new authors to explore all options. Most traditional publishers offer good advances and print royalties. But their digital royalties often lag behind small presses and self-publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think book publishing will continue to evolve. Self-publishing is on the rise. Transmedia, where an author creates new content like a movie and/or video game related to her books (Disney has a genius for this) will be the next wave. Book publishing will never die. Books are too important!
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Young Adult, Fantasy, Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Young Adult Historical Romance, Paranormal & Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.