Thursday, October 1, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: AMONG THE STACKS: Lily Luchesi


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Lily.  Welcome to The Gal in the Blue Mask, and thank you for taking part in The Gal's 31 Days of Horror!!  Tell us a little bit about yourself.


Lily Luchesi:
I'm a new author with Vamptasy Publishing.  My debut novel, Stake-Out, was released this past May and became an international bestseller over the summer.  The sequel, Miranda's Rights, will be released on January 8th, 2016.  I really have a deep appreciation for the written wording feel blessed to contribute to literature!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

Lily Luchesi:
I love to cook; I was taught at an early age by my grandma and my mom, both amazing Italian cooks, and I find it relaxing (I don't like the cleanup, though!).

I am a fangirl and nerd.  Superwholock.  Anime.  Tolkien.  DC Comics.  I love it all, and made many friends just because of fandom affiliations.  

I graduated high school the summer before I turned sixteen. 

If I wasn't a writer, my second choice in life was to be a psychologist.

I love tattoos and have nine, currently, with plans to get more.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Lily Luchesi:
By myself?  I taught myself to read before I was three, and I think one of the first books I read by myself was a Berenstain Bears picture book.  The first chapter book was Tale of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Lily Luchesi:
I read multiple books at once!  I just got a copy of Angel's Dawn by Komali da Silva, which is great so far.  Also reading At Hell's Gate, a horror anthology which features some friends and colleagues of mine in the horror community.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Lily Luchesi:
I have always made up stories in my head, starting with Sailor Moon fan fiction when I was just a little kid.  I decided to become a writer after encouragement from my second grade teacher to pursue the talents she saw in me.  Ever since then I have worked hard to get to where I am now, thanks to God's blessings and my mother's hard work behind the scenes, encouraging and promoting me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Lily Luchesi:
I will write whenever, wherever I can.  I prefer sitting on my bed, but I will do a coffee shop, or even McDonald's.  When the muse strikes, I am at her mercy.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Lily Luchesi:
I never outline; never write anything down.  I also listen to music while I write.  It helps set the mood for the story I'm working on, and it also keeps me focused.  I listen to everything from my favorite rock and metal tracks to the most random things you can think of.  Right now it's the old Sailor Moon soundtrack from the 90s!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Lily Luchesi:
Head-hopping (frequent POV changes).  When I write, I am inside the heads of all my characters, and I oftentimes find it difficult to keep true to one POV when I want to tell the readers what they are all thinking.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Lily Luchesi:
I read everything and have read everything since I was a child.  My first inspirations were YA horror/paranormal authors Ellen Schreiber (Vampire Kisses series), Darren Shan (Cirque Du Freak series; Zom-B series), and Heather Brewer (now known as Zac Brewer; Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series).  As I got older into my teens, I started reading Terri GareyThomas Harris, and Stephen King.  King in particular has been a huge inspiration to me in many ways.  He taught me how to scare without being overly gory or a caricature of myself.  I also have a love for mystery novels, and fantasy.  I love Tolkien and Doyle.  I have been reading Doyle since I was about ten, and Edgar Allan Poe since I was eight.  Both are very inspirational to me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Lily Luchesi:
A few things.  First and foremost: the author.  As a reader, you can tell when an author genuinely loves the story they created.  You can feel the heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears they put into it.  Plot is a bit more important than character quality, but not by much.  You have to have an engaging plot, but if a book fails to give me a great character, I won't like it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Lily Luchesi:
I think two things make a good character: reliability and realism.  In creating my main characters, Danny Mancini and Angelica Cross, I made sure that they were real.  Danny, in particular, I knew very well upon writing the prologue of the book.  He was a good detective who gets his world turned upside down and falls into depression.  Very realistic (if you ignore the vampiric implications) and very easy to relate to, especially if you have ever been criticized for telling the truth or have had depression.  Despite Angelica's ethereal characteristics, she has a few key points that I discovered along with the readers that makes her a hero to women and girls everywhere.  Her childhood trauma, not fitting in anywhere, and her good heart are things that I hope have made readers relate to her.  She seems to be favorite.  So, if you have those two things with your characters, chances are I will like them as a reader, and you will love writing about them more.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Lily Luchesi:
Good question.  I put a little of me in both Danny and Angelica.  I have my skepticism and wanting to see good in the world in Danny.  My sense of justice, my feeling of never fitting in, and my desire to do good and make a difference in a bad world in Angelica.  My story is a big piece of me as a whole, but if I had to choose, I am most like Angelica.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Lily Luchesi:
Yes, I am turned off by a bad cover.  Maybe it sounds superficial, but if you are serious about your work, you shouldn't put it out there with a poorly done cover.  Your cover is your brand, it markets you book.  People see it before they read the synopsis or the reviews, so you have to make sure it is presentable.
            The wonderful Rue Volley did the cover for Stake-Out and I have her on tap to do Miranda's Rights as well.  For Stake-Out, I picked the photo that was used and basically told her to do what she wanted.  I was a fan of her work before I signed with CHBB Publishing, and I knew that whatever she came up with would look amazing!  I could have had even more input, but I trusted her and will go through the same process with Miranda's Rights.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your book?

Lily Luchesi:
I learned a lot about formatting and editing; more than I already did before.  I was already fairly knowledgeable about the industry because I have been trying to get into this profession for fourteen years.  I taught myself everything I needed to know about marketing, and I also came from a family of promoters, so most of what I did after the release of Stake-Out I knew from the time I was young.  I think you have to be as informed as possible about your chosen profession or else you could wind up in a bad situation down the road.  I did learn how to make good promo posters and ads, thanks to Rue and Sarah Brandon, the woman who runs CHBB and welcomed me into the family, having tutorials for the new recruits in the company.  Very valuable information.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Lily Luchesi:
There is one romance scene between Danny and Angelica in Stake-Out, and that was very difficult to figure out how to insert that sweet moment in a story filled with bloodshed and mystery.  I also wrote a short erotic horror story for the upcoming anthology Death, Love & Lust, and the sexy scenes were very hard for me.  I had never written that kind of thing before, and it was a great learning experience for me.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Lily Luchesi:
There are a couple of things.  The first is, the romance is secondary to the horror/paranormal elements in Stake-Out.  The romance has a big part to play, but I wanted the readers to see the mystery and the danger before they saw the love story.  Another thing is that I have two types of vampires in my story.  The modern one, who can easily infiltrate into the human world so as not to be hunted by humans.  And I also have the classic one, the Dracula-esque gentleman who wants one thing: blood.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Lily Luchesi:
Very important.  I wanted each book in the series (there will be four books total) to have a crime-themed title that tied in with the story.  Stake-Out is a bad pun Danny makes in the novel, about how they are on a stakeout to catch a vampire, and vampires get staked.  I know, bad, isn't it?  Miranda's Rights is, obviously, what the police read to those they apprehend, but it also refers to a new character that is introduced in this book named Miranda, and the things she thinks she deserves after having to pretend to be dead for over two decades.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?  

Lily Luchesi:
For me, I have a few issues that can make concentration and writing difficult.  Anxiety, insomnia, depression, and dyslexia.  So, for me, finishing anything is a huge accomplishment for me.  And both are vastly different.  You have to come up with more content for a novel, but for a short story you also have to make a reader be engaged and entertained in just a few pages.  Both are so much fun to write for different reasons!

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Lily Luchesi:
The Paranormal Detective Series is a horror thrillers series following human detective Danny Mancini as he discovers that there is an entire paranormal community in Chicago (and all over the world) that many humans know nothing about.  Readers will follow him as he finds himself immersed in this world to help save humanity from the evils that are out there, alongside the FBI agent Angelica Cross in the FBI's secret Paranormal Investigative Division.  Each book will have a slightly different take on parts of the paranormal world, with vampires being at the center of it all.  
            My target audience is a mixture of Supernatural fans (the TV show), classic mystery/crime fans, and really just anyone who likes their horror with a lot of darkness, charm and attitude.  Me and women over the age of 16 can (and do) enjoy this series.  
             I hope the readers like that I have few vampire and werewolf cliches and show the dark side of the paranormal that popular media has neglected for a while now.  I want readers to be empowered by my characters; inspired to do good.  I also want them to feel self-acceptance of who they were born to be, as Angelica learns.  I want them to be tolerant of those who are "different," as Danny has to learn.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Lily Luchesi:
Right now, there hasn't been anything left out yet.  That might change as the series goes on.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your 'trunk'?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

Lily Luchesi:
I do.  I have a poetry book in the works that I stopped for a while.  I wrote poetry before fiction, and want to bring that to light some day.  I also have a YA paranormal romance series I had written when I was a teen that I ignored, which is inexcusable.  I also have a MI-5 (British government) M/M romance novel I want to finish.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Lily Luchesi:
On November 14th, I will have a short erotic horror story in the Hot Ink Press anthology Death, Love & Lust.  It is a F/F erotic about a girl who gets caught in a deadly Friday the 13th myth with the Angel of Death.  
            On January 8th, 2016, Miranda's Rights will be released worldwide as an ebook and, shortly after, as a paperback.  I am currently working on the third Paranormal Detectives book, and am about one fourth finished with the first draft.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links haha.)

Lily Luchesi:
You can find me via the following: 
Newsletter sign-up, so you never miss a sale or event

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
It's been great having you on today - thanks, again, for stopping by.  
            Before we go, do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Lily Luchesi:
I just want to give a sincere thank you to everyone who has read my work, shared, tweeted, and supported me.  Without you, I would not be able to do this.  Also, NEVER GIVE UP!  I gave up, I was defeated by the rejection letters that kept coming in.  I quit.  And then my mother pushed me to submit Stake-Out to CHBB/Vamptasy.  My dream came true, at what was literally my last resort.  So, if you feel defeated, if people are telling you can't do something, stand up and say, "Yes I can!"  Because you can.  I believe in you.


About the author:
Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California.  Ever since she was a toddler, her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark."  At two, she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call "Gothic," she doesn't believe she shall ever change.  She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-lover, and will always associate vampires with love, blood and rock & roll.  Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe's complete work.  She then realized that she has been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms.  She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and now, at twenty-one, has two contributing credits in anthologies and a debut novel, Stake-Out, was published by Vamptasy Publishing on May 19th, 2015.
            Her short story, "Undead Ever After," is in the Love Sucks Anthology, published by Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing on June 13th, 2015.
            Her short story, "The Devil's Dozen," will be in the Hot Ink Press anthology Death, Love & Lust, to be released on November 14th, 2015.
            The second book in the Paranormal Detectives Series, Miranda's Rights, will be released on January 8th, 2016 via Vamptasy Publishing.

About the book:
Paranormal Detectives 1: Stake-Out

Genre: Horror, Occult, Police Procedural, Vampires
Publisher: Crushing Hearts & Black Butterfly Publishing
Publication date: 5.17.2015
Pages: 128

In a city overrun with the undead, an ex-cop is given a chance to get revenge...
            Danny Mancini is on a case, following a murder suspect. When he catches him, he finds out that the perp isn't even human: he's a 200 year old rogue vampire!
            The department doesn't believe him, and puts him on early retirement, despite his many years of service to the Chicago Police Department, which sends him into a downward spiral.
            Two years later, Danny gets an invitation from the beautiful, young and very attractive Detective Angelica Cross to join a secret branch of the FBI to hep her track down Vincent, the wayward vamp.
            But renegade werewolves, meddling immortal witches, and Danny's strange visions of a life lived a century ago with Angelica, make things more difficult than it should be.

1 comment:

taniekitty said...

Great interview! I also really like the Vampire Kisses and Vladimir Tod series.