Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Author Interview with Teri Harmon about "Black Moon"

Title of the Book: Black Moon
Author: Teri Harman
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Number of Pages: 416
Year Published: 2014
Reading Level: Young Adult-Adult
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy

Synopsis: Simon Howard accidentally killed three people. Four months later, the nightmares won’t stop. Willa Fairfield, his girlfriend, his soul mate, wants nothing more than to help him move on. But guilt isn’t the only thing getting in Simon’s way.When unexplained earthquakes hit the small town of Twelve Acres, and dozens of people go missing, the Light witches discover their most feared enemy, Archard, is still alive. Employing the twisted, dynamic magic of a legendary witch known as Bartholomew the Dark, Archard plans to exact his revenge and take control of the Powers of the Earth on the night of the black moon, a rare lunar event infamous for Dark magic.As the Light Covenant fumbles to defend against Archard’s sadistic intentions, Simon’s magic grows inexplicably more powerful, even dangerous.  Willa throws all her efforts into solving the mystery of Simon’s transformation, but when the events of the past storm into the present, the couple’s future changes forever.

We invited Teri Harman last year at the launch of Blood Moon, the first book in her Moonlight Trilogy. Check out these links to read all about OUR BOOK REIVEW OF BLOOD MOON and SEE THE HUGE WITCH PARTY we threw for her in 2013!

This year she came to our first Delicious Reads Retreat!

Summer Nicole Photography
Summer Nicole Photography
Summer Nicole Photography
We read Black Moon for our Halloween selection and loved catching up with Simon and Willa. We were able to get some insights from Teri on the creation of Black Moon.
Summer Nicole Photography
First, we asked if she had actors in mind when she created her characters because we had so much fun doing that for The Goldfinch

But Teri said she created her characters from scratch. There are characteristics from certain people in her life, but she didn’t want to base them on actual people. If she had to pick actors for her characters, Jonathan Rhys Meyers would be Archard and and Jensen Ackles would be Simon.

Delicious Reads, Black Moon, Teri Harman, Book Club Retreat, Witches

Teri is a big Buffy the Vampire fan. Buffy is what influenced her to create a strong female character. Willa was actually named something different in the first draft, but it didn’t quite fit. Willa means “protector” and she wanted Willa to possess that quality, so the name fit perfectly.

Her books move back and forth between times and so we wondered what her favorite era to write the story was.

Teri loved writing from Bartholomew’s perspective He wasn’t always going to be a main character, but he had this voice that captivated her and she knew his story had more depth and that it needed to be told.
Summer Nicole Photography
We asked her about her writing process. When she started writing the series, she had young children. Her process revolved around a desk that they purchased from Ikea. It was supposed to be painted, but it never happened and they put inspiring quotes on it. Now she loves it so much she won’t ever paint it. Eventually she  created a home office which is where she writes now.

We were curious if she had met people that practice some of the Wicca spells and rituals. She has, and they describe their practices as another version of a religion. They invoke power from the moon or from the spells in a similar way to prayer. A black moon is very important and is almost its own religion. A black moon is the second new moon in a month and it happens every few years. 
Each full moon every month has a specific name and specific things that are attached to it. 

(image source) 
She added in the psychic mind and dreams to the powers of the moon. If she could have one of the powers, it would be the gift of dreams. She has very vivid dreams and many of them have been incorporated into the books.

We asked her about the terminology “witches.” Some of us thought that a male witch would be called a “Warlock.” But she told us that according to Wicca, the term “witch” is used for both men and women.

One of the most difficult things about writing Black Moon was the trying to avoid the second book slump. She wrote forty-five thousand words (as a reference, most young adult books are about sixty-five thousand words) and then decided it wasn’t the story she was supposed to write. She did a very brave thing that no writer wants to do—she trashed the whole thing and started over. Then she came up with the twisty plot that is now Black Moon! All and all, Black Moon went through about ten different drafts. She said the toughest part was to make the story feel fresh with the same characters as the first book. She worked really hard to make the second book even better than the first.

Her work paid off when she got this Kirkus Review

"A dark, realistic and intriguing story that evades the second-book slump. 
Unusual and absorbing."

What’s next for Teri?? She has written a stand-along book called The Painted Life. It’s about a girl who is trapped in a painting and it comes out next June! We are so excited to see what this book is all about! 

Black Moon was a perfect Halloween/Fall book chock-full of twists and turns. We had a great time with Teri at our retreat. She has already finished the last book in her series and it’s in the final editing stages. We can’t wait for it to come out!

Your Writerly Ranter,

Summer Nicole Photography

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