I’m super pleased to be spotlighting Vanessa Ryan during her blog tour for her latest release, A Blue Moon.
About the book: Lorrie Duncan, an abstract painter working as a substitute teacher, dreams of making it big in the art world when she’s not busy looking for Mr. Right. She seems on the verge of getting what she wants, at least with respect to her career, because her current boyfriend Marty is a rising star in the L.A. art scene. But when a fortuneteller gives her a medallion with malevolent powers, her life and plans fall apart. Now, to survive, she finds herself in a race to discover its secret, before it destroys everything she holds dear. A Blue Moon is Vanessa A. Ryan’s first novel, a genre-bending literary urban fantasy.
I was able to sit down with Ms. Ryan and chat with her about her writing process and books.
What inspired you to write A Blue Moon? I began writing A Blue Moon some years ago when I was recovering from an illness––my attempt to understand why things happen the way they do. And that’s the underlying theme of the novel. In this story, a woman’s desire for acceptance among her peers and as an artist, leads to some tragic and unexpected events. But this story also has what I call horrifying humor. I don’t know if horrifying humor is a real phrase, but if you’ve ever seen a Coen Brothers movie, you know what that means.
What is your writing process like? Do you plot out every single detail or do you just wing it? I have a basic idea of what I want to write and then I begin. I’ll write for a few hours and then I’ll step away and think about it––what do I need to add or subtract or change. For me, the best part of writing is rewriting. Everything’s already there. I just need to pare down, elaborate or shift the story or characters. I usually write at least three to four drafts. Toward the end of the process, I’ll spend all day and night on a draft. I like to immerse myself in it so I see how every detail fits.
How did you come up with the title for this book? I love the song Blue Moon. But adding an “A” to the title made it sound more musical, as in singing the blues.
Do you have any more books in the works? I have another book coming out in June. This a group of shorter works in the horror/paranormal genre. It’s titled A Talent for Evil. Right now, I’m writing a cozy murder mystery that takes place in Los Angeles and Santa Fe. It’s titled A Palette for Murder. While I love paranormal stories, I’ve had this story rattling around in my mind for sometime and I finally want to release it.
Just for fun: if you could travel to any time period, past or future, when would it be and why? Wow. I guess I’d like to visit the ancient world––Egypt, Rome, Babylonia, Greece. I am fascinated with ancient history, especially Egyptian. Of course, I wouldn’t want to get stuck there. But it would be fun to discover what we don’t know about those times.
Thanks Brianna for having me as a guest on your blog. Happy reading!
Excerpt from A Blue Moon:
“I have to see my attorney after school today,” I said.
“Really? And what do you need an attorney for?” Eleanor Holbrook asked.
I knew Eleanor would be interested. Eleanor’s job as an English teacher brought her immense satisfaction, as she often said, but her real focus these days was her good-looking attorney boyfriend and his important law practice. At least when she wasn’t trying to decide which washer and dryer her parents should give her for her wedding.
Other teachers at the lunch table looked curious too, though unlike Eleanor, they were too polite to ask, or not interested enough to care. But leave it to Davy Rodale, the seventh grade science teacher, to butt in. He called out from the cafeteria line, “Having trouble with your ex, Lorrie? Tom––isn’t that his name? Is he still bothering you?”
God, what ever possessed me to go out with Davy? “No, it’s nothing to do with my ex. I have to sign some papers about an inheritance I’m getting.” I said it loud enough for everyone at the table to hear.
I let them wonder about it while I ate my salad. No harm letting people think I was going to be rich, especially Eleanor.
Eleanor nodded and smiled at me. She only hung out with people with money. Now that I seemed to be one of them, maybe I was worth more of her time.
Vanessa A. Ryan is an actress in Southern California. She was born in California and graduated from UCLA. When not writing or acting, she enjoys painting and nature walks. Her paintings and sculptures are collected worldwide. At one point she performed stand up comedy, so her writing often reflects her love of humor, even for serious subjects. She lives with her cat Frannie, and among feral cats she has rescued.
Find Vanessa on Facebook, Twitter, and on her blog.
Buy the book: Kindle Kindle UK Paperback