About LANA MOON:
Lana Moon grew up in Southeast Missouri. She has a background in Medieval and American folklore, and spent a brief period moonlighting as a ghost hunter. When that group dissolved, she still had a strong desire to explore old buildings and abandoned properties in Missouri and Illinois. As a result, many of these “forgotten” places are settings in her stories.
What inspires you to write?
I grew up in a rural area with lots of old buildings and plenty of local legends to keep any kid awake at night. As an adult, I love twisting these stories into mystery or paranormal fiction, and mingling these backgrounds with an arrogant (but secretly insecure) hero, and a no-nonsense heroine.
Lots of urban legends have horrendous endings, but I believe in happily-ever-afters in my books.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’ve never written a book the same way twice. What I’ve learned is each book has its own rules. For the book Awake, for instance, I knew the ending of the story, so I wrote that first. Then I wrote the middle. Then I came back and wrote the beginning. Then my editor and I blended areas that needed to be polished and more fluid. But I just never know. Each book is its own journey.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I dream about my characters. Isn’t that crazy? Or often, I’ll be driving around, something mundane will get my attention, and suddenly there’s a voice in my head (that is NOT my own) making all this commentary. It’s really bizarre.
If I’m writing and hit a snag, I may take a break. And in a day, suddenly I’ll hear a character talking to me. I should probably be institutionalized.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing, no matter what. If you hit a roadblock, try to work around it. If you can’t, take a day or two, then come back to it. That’s the magic formula. W.R.I.T.E.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’ve done the self-pub thing, and I somehow convinced a publisher to back my stuff. There are pros and cons to both. The biggest, which is probably obvious, is the money factor. When you self-pub, you are responsible for copyright–I know a lot of self-pubs who don’t do that because they think as long as they put a Copyright__my name on their stuff, nothing can happen. But I’m in the school of thought that by NOT protecting your work, you don’t have a lot of ground to stand on if someone decides to upload it to a free site, etc. Marketing is another cost to consider if you self-pub. But self-pubbing also gives you control over pricing, distribution, etc., that you do not have with a traditional publisher.
A publishing house (well, mine anyway) takes care of copyright and a bunch of other costs. But YOU still need to market your own book to succeed. And the timetable you have with a publisher is theirs, not your own.
These are all things to consider. I still do both–E.M. Bryant is the pen name I use for self-pubs. Lana Moon is my published name.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future is full of changes, and authors have to be aware of these changes. Gone are the days of grandiose advances (unless you are already famous, in which case, let’s be best friends). Self-pubs have changed the game in a huge way–and while there are certainly some really horrific self-pub authors out there, there is also a great amount of successful ones who prove that publishing houses are the way of the past.
I have a great relationship with my publisher, and the things I’ve learned compared to self-pub is priceless. But it’s important to pay attention.
What genres do you write?: Paranormal romance, mystery, suspense, erotica
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print