Brought to you by
Book Nook Nuts
1.Where do you write from?
I am originally from the east coast. Born on the Mohawk reserve that crosses Canada and the United States. I lived in upstate New York and New York City until I headed to Los Angeles where I have met my husband and worked for many years as a costume designer. I have been back in New York for several months. I wrote The Sleeping Serpent in Los Angeles and now I am writing my second book in New York City.
2.When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I have always been a creator. I wrote poetry, song lyrics, and short stories as far back as middle school. I was a painting major in college. I then made pottery and was a glaze maker. I danced ballet from childhood through many of my adult years. I then became a professional costume designer. I hadn’t planned on becoming an author until friends and family convinced me to write my debut novel, The Sleeping Serpent. The story, loosely based on my experience with a sociopath, had been percolating inside me and I needed to get it out.
3.How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me three years to write The Sleeping Serpent. I had never written a novel before. What happened is I just wrote constantly because it was spilling out. In one year I had enough material for three books! There was a question whether it was to be a trilogy, but my editor thought the arc called for a stand-alone. The next two years were spent editing and designing and publishing.
4.Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The Sleeping Serpent is a fictionalized account of what I experienced after I became embroiled in the lives of a spellbinding yoga guru and his stable of beautiful, intelligent, successful women in Hollywood. Luckily I remained on the fringes because I wasn’t in a romantic relationship with him. Yet, he still had influence over me. Nico, the main character of this story is a gifted healer, but he has an inner wound, an emptiness inside him that left him without empathy. We expect healers to be spiritual good souls, but he uses his power for the dark side of self-interest—to acquire wealth and fame. Many people don't know that there are seductive, manipulative people that target others and use them for their purposes. When we point to them in the news, or as characters on television shows, we recognize them as sociopaths. But we don't think it can happen to us. Luna believes she can heal Nico because he has awakened something inside her she thought was lost. He has made her feel that anything is possible.
5.When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote The Sleeping Serpent from 2013- 2015. Let’s just say that I am like a fine wine and leave it at that!
6.What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I like spending time with my husband traveling, reading, visiting art galleries, cooking and dining out at favorite restaurants as well as visiting with friends and family. I enjoy decompressing with running and yoga.
7.What Genre do you write?
More authors today are crossing genres. The Sleeping Serpent is a dark, psychological, erotic, romantic thriller. The age-old definition of romance requires a “happy ever after” between two primary characters. I would say it is a story about love, but not a romance. I enjoy exploring a character’s behavior, inner growth and spiritual journey. I want to give my readers permission to derive their own conclusions. Many reviewers have written my work is thought-provoking and I am pleased by that.
8.How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
The Sleeping Serpent is my debut novel, and it is a stand-alone. I am currently writing my second book, which is linked to The Sleeping Serpent, but can also stand-alone.
9.Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I am quite active on social media and enjoy reading all the reviews. One thing almost all my readers praise is the writing and character development. Some readers find the story disturbing, and hard to read because it deals with relationship abuse. A couple of readers are shocked, and found it unbelievable. One reviewer, who is an abuse counselor was so miffed by that she wrote a long explanation about how real and pervasive relationship abuse is. During this month of October – Domestic Violence Awareness Month – I participated in events to inform people about this particular type of abuse—narcissistic abuse.
10.As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to be a ballet dancer and I did dance for many years, but not professionally. As long as I was being creative, I was happy and fulfilled. There was a time in high school and college I wanted to be photo journalist and take pictures around the world of indigenous cultures.
11.Tell us about your current project.
I am extremely challenged by the book I have begun writing. I am intrigued by the hero’s journey. In this book, which has the working title of The Serpent Awakens, I am exploring the individual soul’s destiny. It begs the question whether we have been living an authentic life, one that is purposeful and spiritually satisfying. It’s about what guides us to our calling—to live our truth.
12.How do you handle writers block?
I read both fiction and nonfiction that is inspirational and thought-provoking. Naturally, I began by re-reading The Hero with A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell which was extraordinary. I hadn’t read it since college and this time around it was a thousand-watt light bulb going off. Fortuitously, this summer I was upstate with a couple who teach philosophy of religion at Harvard and they pointed me to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (Samuel Coleridge); The Fall (Camus) and Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilych. All three were brilliantly inspiring and not surprising as Anna Karenina inspired The Sleeping Serpent. I recently read a couple of redemptive memoirs: Dharma Punx by Noah Levine; and Writing my Wrongs by Shaka Senghor to understand better the cathartic process of forgiveness and redemption. On the plane this week I re-read Legends of the Fall by one of my favorite authors Jim Harrison who is both an exquisite stylist and hits me emotionally in all the right places.
13.What one subject is TABOO in your writing?
I don’t have any taboos as long as there is a reason for something. Your question has reminded me that three years before I read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner I wrote a scene in The Sleeping Serpent where the main character kills a deer for no reason—just as the mariner killed the albatross. The experience changes him and the purpose or lesson becomes revealed in their journey.
14.If there was one book you wish you'd written, which would it be?
Oh gosh! There are so many. One that comes to mind for many reasons is Isak Dinesen’s memoir Out of Africa. It is a work of beauty. And, everything by Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake, Interpreter of Maladies, and Unaccustomed Earth. There is one book that I recall reading the most exquisite sentences out loud to my husband and who’s stunning characters leave you breathless—Cold Mountain by James Frazier. Another extraordinary stylist I idolize is Ian McEwan (Atonement, Chesil Beach, Comfort of Strangers), and for that matter Cormac McCarthy (Border Trilogy) cannot be left out! I would say both of those authors have been inspired by my all-time favorite Jim Harrison (Legends of the Fall among many).
15.What is your biggest pet peeve?
Simplistic happy-ever-after stories and manipulative tear jerkers
16.Is there one current TV show that is a "can't miss" for you?
Lately it has been Game of Thrones. I also love Outlander. One series that has been inspirational for character development is The Originals. Klaus Michaelson and my character Nico Romero have a similar inner wound.
17.Who was your greatest influence?
My husband has been the greatest influence because he has inspired and encouraged me to explore and grow spiritually, intellectually and creatively.
18.How do you choose your book covers?
I have a dear friend who is a brilliant designer. I trust her completely.
19.Something personal about you people may be surprised to know?
I was adopted as an infant from the Mohawk reserve that crosses between Canada and upstate New York. It’s one of the tribes that comprise the Iroquoise Nation and that native people call the Haudenosaunee. My Native heritage has influenced every aspect of my life.
20.How would a reader find you online? IE: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Street Team, Reader Group.
Luna Saint Claire: Facebook (send me a friend request)
AMAZON AUTHOR: http://amzn.to/1VwAmjA