Spotlight – Into the Moonless Night
Posted by authorcamilson
A. E. Decker hails from Pennsylvania. A former doll-maker and ESL tutor, she earned a master’s degree in history, where she developed a love of turning old stories upside-down to see what fell out of them.
This led in turn to the writing of her YA novel, The Falling of the Moon. A graduate of Odyssey 2011, her short fiction has appeared in such venues as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fireside Magazine, and elsewhere.
Like all writers, she is owned by three cats.
Catch Starthorne has spent a lifetime running from the prophecy that names him as the one who will save the shifter race, but now that he has returned to his home in Clawcrags, he may have to face his destiny. Determined to slip through fate’s fingers, Catch sows confusion, making friends from foes, mixing up the occasional sleeping death potion, and matching wits with an overbearing lion-shifter, who appears to have plans of his own.
While Catch schemes, Ascot works to retrieve him with the help of a witch and a pair of madcap shifter rebels. But every attempt to reach him earns her fresh enemies and embroils her ever deeper in the conspiracies surrounding the prophecy. After five hundred years of repressed tension and social strife, the Clawcrags are ready to explode—and it sometimes seems someone’s working hard to see that they do!
“What’s the Moonless Night?” asked Dmitri. Beside him, Moony had worked up to a rude place in his washing, tail slapping the ground hard enough to raise dust.
“Supposedly, it’s when Magden Le Fou’s prophecy will be fulfilled,” Jolt replied. “It’s a lunar eclipse occurring three nights after the vernal equinox.”
The prophecy, thought Ascot. The frabjacketing prophecy. Something about a golden star and—well, Catch hadn’t elected to tell her much else, save that the shifters of the Clawcrawgs thought he was the golden star. Which was ridiculous. Had any of them ever looked at scruffy, roguish Catch? Heard him lie with a straight face, or seen him guzzle more coffee than anyone’s kidneys could stand?
Frabjacket, how she missed him.
Dipping his head, Dmitri scratched the ground. Abruptly, his nostrils flared. “That’s only nine days from now.”
Ascot’s throat turned into a stretch of dust. “Nine days?” It came out as a dry squeak. She worked some saliva into her mouth and swallowed. “What will become of Catch if nothing happens on the Moonless Night?”
She didn’t want to hear it: the confirmation of her worst fears. Had to hear it, just so she’d know. Jolt lifted a brow, seeming surprised that she’d even ask. “If he’s not the golden star, then he’s just another slipskin. There’s only one penalty for slipping your skin in the Clawcrags.” Jolt gave his earlobe a final tug. “Execution.”
Ascot fell away inside herself. The world, shadowed and dark, floated at a distance, as if she stared at it through the cavern of her own skull. Every sound droned and echoed. Only the bloc, bloc of yet another cicada came to her, crisp as the ticking of some mocking clock.
She almost didn’t hear Jolt speak again. “Want us to help rescue him?”
Some praise for the series…
“Falling of the Moon is a fantasy fairytale like nothing I have read before. Mystery and secrets take you to a fantastic mystical world sure to have a book two. It is Pirates of the Caribbean meets Cinderella. Looking forward to Ascot’s next adventure. Strong and determined with her loyal friends she will certainly make the Moonfall Mayhem a great series of books. I am ecstatic that this is just the start to what will be a truly great trilogy.”
— Girl + Book
“I’d say it’s like Shrek meets The Wizard of Oz if Dorothy were Wednesday Addams and Toto a talking cat with bat wings. Fun and funny with many laugh-out- loud moments. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!”
— Susan Abel Sullivan, author of the Cleo Tidwell Paranormal Mystery series
“A unique and clever fantasy, The Falling of the Moon is a thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last. Very highly recommended and certain to be an enduring favorite.”
—Midwest Book Review
“If you’re looking for a great Autumn and Halloween read then look no further, this series has everything you need for a cozy fall evening spent reading. This one is 5/5 stars for me, it’s absolutely perfect and a must read!”
—Hollie Ohs Book Reviews
Interview With …
Thanks for being here today. Tell our readers about you
In no particular order, I’m a history buff, an amateur cook, a cephalopod enthusiast, a gamer, a cat-lover, a knitter, a dreamer, a reader, and, of course, a writer.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Optimism. Every day, there’s a chance for something wonderful to happen. This could be the day you get the story idea that will become a bestseller. You could win an award, get on the bestseller list. Even barring such extreme examples, there’s always chocolate to eat and cats to pet. They keep discovering new facts about octopuses! The world’s full of treasures, if you just put your mind to looking for them.
If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Neil Gaiman. I think I’d feel intimidated hanging out with most famous people, but at least with Neil, I could at talk writing. Also, I could ask him a lot of questions about Terry Pratchett.
What’s the story behind your latest book?
My latest novel is Into the Moonless Night, and it’s the third book of the YA fantasy Moonfall Mayhem series. Each book in the series inverts tropes from a different variety of fantasy literature. The first book tackled fairy tales, the second one, Gothic literature. Into the Moonless Night is a twist on Tolkien tropes, which means there’s a grand quest, a significant ring, lots of songs, and a reluctant hero.
Tell us your writing process
I stick to a schedule of writing every single morning from about eight or nine o’ clock to twelve-thirty or one o’ clock. So, I get three to four solid hours of writing in every day. I believe keeping a routine helps establish good writing habits; a day doesn’t seem entirely complete unless I’ve written something.
As for “how I write,” I’m a bit of a terrible re-writer. I can put down a lot of words in a single session—I’ve written as many as two thousand words in an hour—but the next time I sit down to write, I’ll often find myself editing and re-writing what I have rather than forging ahead. This is my bad habit, which I’m trying to break. It’s best to finish the story and revise afterwards.
What tips can you give other authors who are looking to get the word out about their book?
Actually, I wouldn’t mind some tips myself! No, seriously, there’s no formula that I’ve discovered that produces guaranteed results. Definitely contact blogs, like this one, and ask if they’ll do an interview. Do Goodreads and Amazon giveaways, tweet, put out the word on Facebook. Contact friends. If you’re willing to put money into advertising, try Bookbub. If you’re good with videos, put something together on Youtube.
But the most important thing is to keep writing. Sometimes, it’s just a game of numbers, and the more books you have, the more likely it is that people will pick one up and read it. And, if they read and like one, they’ll go back and read your others as well as tell their friends about your work. I suppose my best advice would be: don’t get so caught up in social media you neglect your stories.
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first attempted to write a novel when I was five years old. I didn’t have the attention span to stick it out, but I figured I would, one day. Turned out I was right. How about that?
Tell us about your main character:
The Moonfall Mayhem series’ main protagonist is Ascot Abberdorf, a young woman from the dark country of Shadowvale, but each individual book’s perspective is split between her and one of the other characters. Into the Moonless Night features Catch Starthorne, rogue and Smilodon-shifter. All his life, he’s been running from a prophecy that names him the saviour of the shifter race. In this book, the hour of the prophecy is coming due, and he’s finally been dragged back to his home country to either face his destiny, or prove that such a thing doesn’t exist.
What are you working on next?
I just completed a draft of book four, A Trick of the Moonlight, and handed it in to my editor, Laura Harvey. After she finishes looking at it, it will require rewriting. In the meantime, I’m working on the third book in my yet-unpublished urban fantasy series featuring a tomato-obsessed hitman of the supernatural. I also have a few short stories in the works.
Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I can recite the entirety of The Pirates of Penzance. Also Les Miserables. Probably The Mikado as well, and definitely several Shakespeare monologues.
Don’t ask me to get started. It’s very tiresome.
Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Pratchett is my favorite author. I love his thoughtful brand of humor. I also enjoy V. E. Schwab’s writing, Neil Gaiman, of course, Susannah Clarke, Kim Newman, Hilary Mantel, and Brian Kesinger’s delightful Otto and Victoria picture books.
There’s also quite a few classic writers I go back to, such as Austen, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and the Bronte sisters.
What do you like to do with your free time?
I enjoy cooking and reading, but perhaps my favorite way to waste time is playing video games. The ones I like best are Bloodborne, the Dragon Age series, the Dark Souls series, and Don’t Starve.
Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Mostly, finish the Moonfall Mayhem series for World Weaver Press. That’s still one and a half books away. I’ve also started/outlined another stand-alone YA novel as well as a more adult steampunk book, and wrote a few stories in a dark fantasy Weird Western world that might develop into a novel.
Where can people find you on the web?
Any final thoughts?
Thank you for having me on your blog. To all my readers, thank you. And, to all the writers out there, keep working and persevere. Someone wants to read your stories.
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