Here’s the interview I provided for bloggers to use during The Cycle of the Six Moons: The Starriest Summer book tour 😀
How did you come up with the premise for The Cycle of the Six Moons?
It was over ten years ago, and I was on a road trip to Disneyland with my family. I was watching the California landscape passing by, imagining going off on an adventure to rescue a prince from an undersea fortress. At that time, Michelle was meant to be in a video game the entire time, but the story has obviously evolved a lot since then.
Who is your favorite character in The Cycle of the Six Moons?
Really, I love all of them, but anyone who knows me knows that Gediyon is my favorite. He’s such a sweetheart, and manages to be such a badass without spilling blood. Also, he loves tea, and I love tea, and I’d love to sit down and have teatime with him, or cook a wonderful meal with him, or run across a magical landscape with him by my side… By the end, he becomes such an important character to the story—maybe even more so than Michelle herself—and I hope that readers fall in love with him as much as I have as they discover why.
What is your favorite part in The Cycle of the Six Moons: The Starriest Summer?
There are so many parts that tickle my fancy. They’re exciting, or funny, or make me feel like a lovesick teenager again. But I suppose the one part that really hits home is when Michelle is discussing her responsibilities by the bonfire. It was a rather therapeutic epiphany when I had written it. Michelle’s feelings about feeling inferior to her brother were that of my own, and I hadn’t realized it until I’d written it. I hope that scene will connect to readers who either don’t know what they want to do in life, or feel like their siblings are outshining them.
What was the first story you ever wrote?
It was written in second grade and I had called it “The Haunted Mansion.” It had absolutely nothing to do with the Disneyland ride. I included some of my classmates in it, being terrorized by ghosts. I trapped one of them in an iron maiden. When I was done, I took the story in front of my class, with my classmates-turned-characters standing beside me, and read the story aloud. I guess I just wanted to tell a story one day, and I did, and I’m glad I wrote it.
What are your favorite books, and why?
The Princess Bride. It’s hilarious, and the confession scene between Buttercup and Wesley still makes me feel fuzzy inside when a lot of romance books don’t. It also goes into more detail about the history, politics, world, and whatnot, more so than the movie did, which I adore as well. Fezzik and Inigo’s friendship, on the other hand, was expanded on much greater in the books and I love them.
Ella Enchanted—I read it nonstop when I was a tween. It was a retelling of a classic tell, and I thought it was charming. And the entire Harry Potter series, because, well…it’s Harry Potter. I’m also currently on another Harry Potter binge. Finished re-reading all the books earlier this year, watched all the movies, now listening to all the audiobooks. The Harry Potter universe is fantastic.
What has inspired your writing the most?
Video games! Possibly the first game I ever fell in love with was Chrono Trigger. I love elements of time and adventure. The Final Fantasy series has also influenced my writing, and The Legend of Zelda games. Magic, adventure, saving the world! I think what appealed to me the most was developing a camaraderie with those who are also trying to save the world, and without the supervision of parental figures.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I’m also a voice actor, seamstress, and artist, so besides the occasional substitute day job, I have plenty of things to keep me busy. Then when I’m being lazy, I watch let’s players on YouTube while snacking on sweets. And there’s always time for cat squishing. I’d like to play video games more often, but I feel bad about not being productive.
Why did you decide to present the excerpts as audio shorts?
Since I’m also a voice actor, I wanted to utilize my network of voice acting buddies. I thought it was fun, different, and I love hearing my characters come to life. I wanted to present something a little more vibrant than mere words. I hope others enjoy them as much as I had making them!
What kind of message do you hope readers will grasp from The Cycle of the Six Moons?
I hope readers can finish the book, confident that they too have control over their lives, no matter what anyone else expects of them. Your life is your own, so live it for you, not for your family, friends, or even the rest of the world. (Just, you know, try not to do anything illegal…)
If you could take one inanimate object home from Starrs, what would it be?
Claren tea. Ahh, I’d love a cure-all for small ailments, especially insomnia.
Don’t forget to stop by the blogs for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, signed bookmarks, or magnetic character bookmarks!